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REGIONAL UNITY VERSUS NEO-LIBERALISM by Jesus Rojas

posted 21 Aug 2014, 06:29 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 21 Aug 2014, 06:31 ]


 REGIONAL UNITY VERSUS NEO-LIBERALISM 
by  Jesus  Rojas

Rio Tocuyo, Venezuela

 

 

The unity of the Latin-American and Caribbean peoples is the only guarantee of shared development that prioritizes human needs over the profits of foreign corporations. Today  the doors are  open to our development, but our  development can solely
  come  through  seeking unity 
and articulating  strategies  for perfecting our unity  and  shared  development.

 

No single developing country can succeed in the 21st century alone and even less if we are divided. It is  necessary to create a strong  alliance  for  the  well-being  of  our  peoples  and  to contribute  to the construction  of a multi-polar world in which the needs of the majority are addressed.

 

 It  is  crucial  to build  a  common  space  for  the purpose  of deepening the  political, economic,  social and  cultural integration  of  our  region and  to  establish  meaningful commitments  for  joint action  to promote  sustainable  development  in Latin America and  the Caribbean through  a  framework  of unity,  solidarity, and  cooperation.

 

At  the same  time it is   important to  promote  communication, harmonization, synergy, and  convergence of actions  and  exchange of  experiences  among  us.  This optimism stems from indications of recovery in the global economy.  Nevertheless, there is a consistent recognizable  impact of the crisis of capitalism on some countries in the region. In particular,  I  note  the  special  challenges  faced by  middle-income  countries, including  those  that are small, vulnerable, highly  indebted  and  require  greater attention  from  the international  community  to  assist  their  economic  recovery.

 

The crisis our countries suffer nowadays results from the consequence of the imbalances and intrinsic contradictions to the capitalist system. The new patterns of wealth accumulation and the set of neoliberal policies that governments   implemented to facilitate integration into global capitalism were unable to bring about any sustained development for a majority of the population, or even to prevent continued backward movement.

 

The world recession of 2007-8 hit not only Latin America, but also the Caribbean hard, undermining growth and reversing gains of previous years.  Politically,   the fragile democratic systems installed through the so-called transition to democracy of the 1980s were increasingly unable to contain the social conflicts and political tensions generated by the polarizing and pauperizing effects of neoliberalism.

 

The voraciousness for accumulating major wealth is not only causing the irreversible destruction of the environment, but the multiplication of countless sufferings and hardships on millions of human beings. Humanity has never endured such atrocious inequality. Meanwhile, a very small number of individuals and companies monopolize gigantic fortunes created through financial manipulations and excessive speculation, all at the cost of misery of the majority of humanity.

 

Albert Einstein wrote in 1949:

 

 “I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals”

 

The left-oriented or “pink tide” governments have followed Einstein`s wisdom by challenging and even reversing major components of the neoliberal programme. Many of them  halted privatization, nationalized natural resources, and  other  economic sectors,  restored  public health and  education, expanded social welfare spending,  renegotiated foreign  debts on  fairer  terms, have cut  ties  with the IMF, and staked out foreign policies independent of Washington`s  dictates.

 

Those countries that stuck to the neoliberal path have been hardest hit by the crisis unleashed by the 2008 collapse of the global financial system. I must highlight that  those countries that  have pursued post-neoliberal and  redistributive and  regulatory policies and limited re-nationalizations  have fared much better, both  with  faster  rates of economic  growth and reductions in poverty and inequality.

 

This process has been more advanced  in South America than elsewhere in the  region, where  countries are also leading the push  to develop alternative forms of  cooperation and integration that break with political subordination  to Washington`s dictates.

 

It is necessary to construct instruments at the service of the people, with a system of democratic and transparent governance that promotes inclusive public policies, integration between peoples and a new model of development.

 

We  must generate a  new global alternative an  alternative  economy based on mutuality  would mean a life model based on the interests of communities, peasant organizations, workers, the  peasants themselves,  women and  indigenous  peoples  and at the same time an equitable  redistribution   of wealth, establishing modes of production to meet the real needs  of women and men.

 

 This is  why  we  must   reaffirm  the  need to undertake  efforts  with our people that  will  enable  us to move  forward collectively;  namely political, economic, social and  cultural integration  to foster  social  welfare and improved  quality of life, and  promote   our  independence,  our  sustainable  development on the basis  of democracy  and  social justice.

 

We  must  also reaffirm our  commitment to  the  defence of  sovereignty  and  the  right  of  any  State to  establish  its  own political rule free from threats, aggression and  unilateral coercive measures. This must all take place in an environment of peace, stability, justice, democracy, and respect for human rights. 

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