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FRSO sends delegation to the Sao Paolo Forum

By Sean Orr

Caracas, Venezuela – From July 25 to 28, delegates from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) will be participating in the 25th Sao Paolo Forum, held this year in Caracas, Venezuela. Over 1000 delegates from around the world will be attending, under the slogan “For Peace, Sovereignty and the Prosperity of the People: Unity, Struggle, Combat and Victory!”

The FRSO delegation will be led by Tom Burke, the Organization Secretary of Freedom Road.

Much has happened since the Sao Paolo Forum first began in 1994. At that time, the international left was trying to summate the overthrow of the Soviet Union and the apparent victory of imperialism in the late 1980s. In Latin America, this world-historic tragedy followed three decades of carnage, during which U.S. imperialism did everything that it could to prevent socialism from taking hold in its hemisphere. Successive presidential administrations organized the overthrow of progressive and socialist governments, propped up murderous dictatorships, and armed and trained militaries that waged genocidal civil wars in Central America and Colombia. In every country in Latin America, thousands of revolutionary cadre and civilians were killed. The organized forces of the left were physically weakened, more so than any other region in the world.

Coming out of that period, two of the main left-wing organizations largely intact in the region – the Communist Party of Cuba and the Workers Party of Brazil – founded the Sao Paolo Forum as an attempt to gather those forces that remained. Their numbers were small, and there was little unity around what path must be taken to defeat imperialism and capitalism. Many of those who initially came together were reformists without any revolutionary commitment. Then, the anti-imperialist struggle was given strength by the victory of Hugo Chávez in 1998 and the start of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. The so-called Pink Tide began, and many of the wide-ranging political parties of the Forum found themselves elected into government. Many believed that the dark days of U.S. dominance were a thing of the past, and that the masses could now democratically determine their own future. Venezuela played a leading role, directing part of its oil revenue to support these new progressive governments.

Then, Barack Obama became President and the United States began to reassert its dominion. In 2009 the world watched stunned as a military coup d'etat took place in Honduras, with the full support of the CIA and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Pink Tide began to be rolled back. The tactics varied by country – impeachment, trials, street violence, betrayals from within their own ranks – but the message was the same: “Every attempt to bring change through reforms and elections that you try will be broken by the old forces of reaction whose institutions you now occupy, but they still own.”

Today, only the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua remain firm against imperialism. All others have been defeated. The Bolivarian Revolution stands out, for while the imperialist counter-offensive came crashing down around them, the Venezuelan masses deepened their revolutionary process. Socialism is their horizon. President Nicolás Maduro says that a new popular offensive must sweep Latin America, one more radical and profound than the last – a “Red Tide” perhaps? And as Latin America's left-wing forces gather once again, the Venezuelan movement plans to lay the groundwork for such an offensive. FRSO will be there, building relations with the revolutionary forces of our hemisphere for the common goal of ending U.S. imperialism and building a future that belongs to the masses.

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