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The Assembly of Social Movements Towards ALBA began on Thursday with a turnout of over 150 delegates of Latin America and the Caribbean. In the five days of the Assembly the representatives of over 22 countries will discuss the challenges of the grassroots integration as part of the ALBA continental project.
Claudio Katz, member of Economistas de Izquierda (EDI, which stands for Left-wing economists) and philosopher and popular educator Isabel Rauber talked about the challenges of the working class and the social movements faced with the crisis of capitalism.
Katz talked about the current process of the crisis of capitalism caused by the very contradictions within the system and analysed the popular initiatives that could enable to defend the social majorities affected by the crisis. Katz talked about the regressive model imposed in Latin America in the 80s and said that it is still based on five pillars: agricultural exports, open-pit mining, large-scale extractive projects, sweatshops, tourism and remittances as a result of massive migration.
The economist suggested the implementation of economic measures that, from the grassroots perspective, will allow Latin America to move forward in its integration and to defend the peoples from the global crisis.
Some of the proposed measures were the implementation of a common exchange fund, the use of the ‘sucre’ as a common regional currency, a control of the exchange rates and the nationalization of the region’s financial system. Lastly, he highlighted the importance of the Bank of the South and the need to get funds so that the bank can participate in the reconstruction process of Latin America.
Katz finally addressed the importance of social movements to come up with specific programs to achieve financial, food and energy sovereignty.
“We have proposals to confront the crisis, change the current model and confront the imperialistic policies. We can do that because we have a common goal, a strategy, an aspiration that is socialism, a democratic and equal society where no one is exploited or exploits others.
Meanwhile, Isabel Rauber talked about the paradigm inherited and the challenges of today’s social movements.
“After the fall of real socialism some said it was the end of history. That paradigms fell. Thinking about power was one thing and revolution was an act. Today we fight the capital with the old paradigms. We need to change ourselves, we need to be empowered to revolution the building of power and to change the course of history”.
Rauber also referred to the challenges of social movements, including the building of a collective subject that will enable to move forward towards a political and social force of liberation. The educator talked about the importance of raising awareness and experiencing alternative models.
“We have great things that enable us to discuss th world today. This new power is built from the bottom up, from the roots. We need to change the production and reproduction model. We need to follow Che’s example to live up to our ideas with actions”, she emphasized.
Rauber said “This Assembly sends a message of hope. We are survivors, we cannot kneel down, but we need to continue creating to continue making progress together”.
Source: albamovimientos.org through the social movements’ media convergence
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