Overwhelming support for Cuba in the Civil Society Forum

Abr 09, 2015

Various social organizations joined our continent this Thursday in supporting Cuba’s position in the workshops of the Summit of the Americas’ Civil Society Forum and demanded the expulsion of the group of mercenaries who have been accredited to participate in the event.

Edgardo Voitier, of the Panamanian Frente Amplio por Colón (Broad Front of Colon), read a statement on behalf of Panamanian civil society organizations criticizing the presence of people who “do not believe in prosperity or peace and do not come to contribute, but to provoke.”

Voitier noted that Panamanian organizations had come to the Forum, which is taking place in the El Panama Hotel of the capital, as they believed they would have the opportunity to discuss the central theme of the 7th Summit of the Americas - “Prosperity with Equity” - but soon found that the event is being used as a political platform for people with links to terrorism.

He recalled that some of the Cuban mercenaries at the event have ties to Posada Carriles, the very same man who tried to blow up the Paraninfo Auditorium of the University of Panama in 2000 in order to assassinate Fidel Castro and another 3,000 people.

“Had it not been for the security of another country (Cuba), I myself would be dead,” Voitier, who attended Fidel’s historic speech that day, added.

As defenders of human rights, he noted, we can not support these people who do not want to talk about peace, but come to show off their impunity, he said.

The National Strategic Alliance, a group of more than 80 Panamanian social, professional and trade union organizations, joined in supporting Cuba.

FRACTURES IN THE WORKING GROUPS AND SUPPORT FOR CUBA AND VENEZUELA

Granma was able to corroborate that the “Democratic Governance” and “Citizen Participation” working groups were fractured by the end of their sessions, given the support of various civil society organizations from our continent for Cuba's position not to accept counterrevolutionaries with links to terrorism as representatives of the country.

This is not Cuba’s or Venezuela’s problem, a Brazilian delegate said during the Democratic Governance session, but a problem for the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean. She added that no country’s civil society could lend itself to foreign interference.

In the same session, other Latin American delegates expressed their rejection of the presence of Cuban mercenaries, who turned up to participate towards the end of the first day of the event.

Meanwhile, when the Cuban delegation entered to participate in the Citizen Participation session, they found that an important group of counterrevolutionaries were already settled in the room.
Ricardo Guardia Lugo, President of the Continental Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Students (OCLAE), told Granma that our representatives went to complain to the organizers and demand the expulsion of these people as a condition to initiating the debates.

Delegates from Panama, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador seconded this position, which led to confrontations.

Sources from the security team of the 7th Summit of the Americas assured that the conflicts were of a purely verbal nature and no physical violence occurred.

In the morning, Lilian Tintori, wife of Leopoldo López, the Venezuelan opposition leader who is currently imprisoned for his participation in violent protests in February last year, also attended the Citizen Participation working group.

This reporter witnessed Tintori’s precipitous retreat following the indignation of a small group of Venezuelans belonging to the Comité Contra la Guarimba (Committee Against Violent Street Protests) who represent the families of dozens of people who lost their lives due to the destabilizing attempts of the Venezuelan right wing.

Both the Citizen Participation and Democratic Governance working groups were fractured at the close of the day. Some of those attending both spaces left before the scheduled time, with the idea of conducting a parallel discussion.

It has not yettranscendedwhat procedurewill be followed forthe final reportof the Forum,to beformally handed overto the leadersattending this 7thhemispheric meeting, which begins this Friday.

According to membersof the Cuban delegation, otherworkshopson topics such asEducation and Healthheld their sessionsnormally and here the prestigeandexemplary resultsof our country were recognized.

Taken from Granma