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Interview with William Camacaro on the Workers’ Summit of the Americas

By staff

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Fight Back! interviewed William Camacaro, one of the coordinators of the important Workers’ Summit of the Americas which takes place on June 10-12 in Tijuana, Mexico. Fight Back!: How was this Workers’ Summit of Las Americas started?

William Camacaro: I was in Venezuela last year with comrades and we said, “We have a possibility to organize a conference in Mexico.” We used to organize an event in Tijuana in solidarity with Cuba against the blockade. That has not happened for six or seven years. Now is more important than ever because Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are under U.S. sanctions. So, we need to make connections with people from the movements and the unions in the USA.

In January, when President Biden announced the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, we knew we had to have a “Workers Summit of the Americas” in Tijuana. Now it is even more important because Biden will not invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the U.S. conference. We can get people from our movements across the Americas to talk with each other including Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Fight Back!: What is the purpose of this summit?

Camacaro: In beginning, the Workers Summit was to express our opposition to the U.S. sanctions and to denounce U.S. interventions. Then we added lots of issues like immigration and NATO. NATO is trying to have more of a presence in the continent like in the Caribbean. Some already belong to NATO. Colombia is a partner of NATO and the U.S. is very interested to get Mexico and Brazil into NATO. We don’t want NATO in this continent. We can see what is happening in Europe with war and repression.

The most important thing about the Workers Summit is to see if we can raise the consciousness about the sanctions and U.S. interventions in the region. I just came from Venezuela, and you can meet people that don’t see the relation between the U.S. sanctions and the situation they are living because the propaganda by the media is so huge.

Two weeks ago, European countries agreed to start buying oil from Venezuela. The U.S. said they will “allow” them to buy from Venezuela. At the same time, the Biden administration is still recognizing Guaido as president. The U.S. is still trying to overthrow the Venezuelan government, but Guaido has no support. The right-wing people don’t even like him. He cannot have a rally with more than 500 people in Caracas, our capitol.

If you do research, every few months, there is some kind of sabotage or attack on the oil refineries in Venezuela. Ten days ago, they were trying to destroy the biggest refinery. They frequently send drones to attack the refineries. Venezuelan security caught a former U.S. Marine close to the refineries with explosives. There are extreme right elements like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida that is very upset because Biden is supposedly establishing “relations with Venezuela.” Rubio says that U.S. sanctions have to get stronger.

Fight Back!: What message do you want to send to people in the USA?

Camacaro: The most important thing is for people in the USA to fight U.S. intervention in the region and see and learn that every time the U.S. intervenes, those countries get worse. The U.S. is spending money from the taxpayers to destroy other countries. After the U.S. destroys the economy and overthrows the government of a country, like in Honduras, they impose a government that was connected to the narcotraffickers. Then, hundreds of thousands of people try to move to the USA. The Honduran government, the U.S. overthrew in a coup, was trying to help the poor. Hillary Clinton said that people from Honduras were not allowed to come to the U.S., but she supported the coup.

The U.S. government needs to invest in the economy at home and have healthy partners. Strong economies for its neighbors, and no more U.S. interventions or sanctions. I think the people of the USA need to see that U.S. intervention is always negative and always done in the name of democracy and freedom. In reality, it is always in the name of U.S. corporations getting richer.

I want to make a stop at the border during our Workers Summit in Tijuana. There are 3000 Ukrainians around here that got brought here to cross over to the USA. It only takes like five days, and then the U.S. allows them to cross the border. Meanwhile, they block people from Mexico and other Latin American countries from entering into the USA.

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