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Shared Values

The Summit of the Americas convened by the Organization of American States (OAS) has long been an arena to push US economic and political interests in Latin America and the Caribbean, without regard for the peoples of our shared continent. The Biden administration has stated that this ninth summit looks to “further advance this administration’s agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean.” On what grounds does the United States have the right to push its agenda on the rest of the hemisphere? 

An alarming 38% of the homeless population in Los Angeles are African American, yet Black people only make up 9% of the LA population. In 2021, the Los Angeles Police Department shot 37 people, killing 17 of them - including 14-year old Valentina Orellana–Peralta. More than 1.7 million migrants were detained by Border Patrol at the US-Mexico border in 2021 – the highest levels ever recorded.

In the United States, 140 million poor and working people across race, color, gender, sexuality, and place face worsening conditions at home and at work. A staggering 4.2 million youth experience some form of homelessness each year. Many more across society see that their basic rights are being stripped away such as the right to justice, the right to vote, and the right to collectively bargain. 

Through disastrous policies with complete disregard for public health, over 900,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States while the wealth of US billionaires shot up by more than two trillion dollars throughout the pandemic. Is this the model of a "strong and inclusive democracy" that the United States seeks to impose on the rest of the hemisphere? Despite growing inequality and cutting Covid relief for millions of families, the Pentagon budget has now surpassed $782 billion. US Militarism continues to be a menace for working people abroad and at home.

When a powerful country imposes what it claims is ‘democracy’ on other countries, it demeans the idea of democracy and crushes the possibility of any real democracy from taking root. Such a ‘democracy’ – imposed by war or regime change – is destructive to the potential of the people and to a planet facing the threat of ecological devastation. No one country must be allowed to dominate others and no countries must be permitted to benefit economically and socially at the cost of the benefit of all peoples.

Our Summit of the Peoples of the Americas, unlike the OAS Summit of the Americas, puts people before markets and free trade and puts dignity and democracy before arms deals and regime change. We want an international democratic system that promotes respect for the different countries and societies in the hemisphere and promotes the essential well-being of each person’s dignity and development. We want a system that understands the power of peaceful co-existence, mutual respect, and the imperative of economic and socio-cultural advancement.

 

We will convene a People’s Summit of the Americas to ensure the voices of the poor and working people across the hemisphere are heard. To that end, we affirm the following points of unity.

  1. The need to fight together against white supremacy and the violent forces who wage a daily war against Black, Latino, Asian, Arab, Indigenous & Migrant communities in the US and abroad.

  2. The right of workers to collectively bargain and organize unions without interference, intimidation, or retaliation from employers. Workers around the hemisphere are organizing for better conditions on the job in face of deteriorating wages, benefits, and safety conditions—exacerbated by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

  3. Full amnesty and rights for all immigrants. As a consequence of war, neo-liberal free-trade policies, and foreign-occupation on Global South countries, people are forced to uproot their lives and flee their homelands.

  4. For a future of collective liberation that is free of discrimination, harassment and violence against Women, Trans, Intersex, Queer and Gender Nonconforming People.

  5. The right of access to adequate housing, food, and healthcare. These are the most basic rights needed to guarantee a decent and dignified life and are increasingly being eroded.

  6. To end racist police violence and mass incarceration, and free all political prisoners. Racist policing and mass incarceration are tools to enforce white supremacy. The US prison industrial complex, which incarcerates 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, must be dismantled. 

  7. The erasure of the massive debts burdening countries in the Global South as the result of the legacies of colonialism and IMF plans. The effects of heavy debt prevent further development and adequate social spending on vaccines and health measures necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

  8. The end of vaccine apartheid, where countries of the Global North horde supplies of vaccines while denying them to the peoples of the Global South. South Africa, India, and other countries in the Global South have called on the US to waive the vaccine patents, which artificially limit who is allowed to produce the vaccine for the sole reason of enriching large pharmaceutical companies.

  9. The right of sovereign nations to decide their own policies and forms of government without foreign interference. The peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean have been subjected to coups, sanctions, and invasions when their policies don’t align with US interests. This contradicts the basic rights of sovereignty and independence.

  10. The need to end the deadly sanctions against the countries of Latin America as well as to lift the criminal blockade against Cuba. Sanctions are a form of war against civilian populations. During the Pandemic, sanctioned countries have been prevented from purchasing adequate medical supplies. Sanctions and blockades do great harm to ordinary people.


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