The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is hosting since Thursday the “Latin American Meeting of Local Governments and Participatory Democracy”, which will gather in Caracas until June 9 more than a hundred mayors, governors, councilors and progressive leaders of 19 Latin American and the Caribbean countries.
This important space for deliberation will lead to an intense agenda for debate that will make progress in the strengthening of popular governments of local management and in the strengthening of direct and participatory democracy in the continent, said the Vice-minister of International Communication of the People’s Popular Ministry for Foreign Relations, William Castillo.
In his introductory remarks, Vice-minister Castillo explained that among the main objectives of the meeting has been the beginning of the construction of a network of political articulation and management between the progressive local governments of the region and the Venezuelan government.
It is also proposed to advance in a debate that will strengthen the technological tools for information, discussion, exchange of experiences and the generation of projects that are capable of helping the peoples to advance in the defense of social rights and in the right of participation.
“Of course, we are summoned by a noble goal that is love and solidarity with a people, the Venezuelan people who are giving a historic battle for their sovereignty, for their independence, for their model of social inclusion, for their right to food, health, free education, for its model of public services, popular management and the construction of a different democracy in the continent”, he added.
The Vice-minister of International Communication emphasized, in this context, that Venezuela is currently the center of debates on the concepts of democracy; “And that’s because in 1999 a new political model was inaugurated in Venezuela based on popular protagonism”.
The dominant elites do not determine the will of the people
In the act of installation, the Foreign Minister of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, reflected on the challenge posed by the factors that the plutocracy intends to maintain at the different levels of government in the region, denying – consequently – power to the villages and organized communities.
“That is the great challenge we have at this moment. The dominant elites are not the ones who determine the will of the people”, he said.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister emphasized that the Latin American Meeting of Local Governments and Participatory Democracy is the antithesis of meetings that seek to guarantee “that these elites prevent the people from having power”.
“Sometimes there has been a tension between the constituted power, which includes various instances of government, and the people; in Venezuela we have achieved a formula of coexistence with a clear vision (…) The peoples are organized, eventually the power that the States have, must be given to the people to advance towards self-government”, he added.
On other issues, the diplomat denounced the illegal blockade and the siege that in various fields maintains the United States government against Venezuela.
“Venezuela has been the subject of attacks, aggressions, of a blockade that is already advancing even in the naval, they intend to stop the Venezuelan ships that export oil and intend to stop the ships that bring to Venezuela goods for production, for consumption, that bring medicines, food”, he said.
FM Arreaza reiterated that within the framework of this blockade have been illegally retained about 6 billion dollars from the Venezuelan State in the international financial system, and also denounced that the US administration has proposed to force a change of government in the Latin American country.
Threats to democracy
The governor of the Junín region, Vladimir Cerrón, raised the threats to democracy in the region, among which the policy of judicial persecution of progressive leaders, the interference of the United States, the US military bases and the application of unilateral coercive measures.
In his speech, the regional president questioned the hostile policy toward Venezuela assumed by several Latin American governments aligned in the so-called “Lima Group”.
At the closure of the inaugural act, the mayor of Caracas, Érika Farías, made an extensive recount of the Bolivarian process initiated by Commander Hugo Chávez, even before his promotion to the presidency of the Republic, as well as the promotion and consolidation of the participatory and leading democracy in Venezuela.