The Socialist International Meeting of Latin America and Caribbean Committee was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on March 26, 2023, hosted by Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD).
The opening session was addressed by the Chair of the Committee and President of the host party Comrade Miguel Vargas. He welcomed member parties and thanked Socialist International for choosing to host the regional committee meeting in Santo Domingo. He gave a report on his tenure as Chair of the Latin America and Caribbean Committee and thanked member parties for giving him in his leadership of the committee over the years.
Miguel Vargas stated that the 2023 Regional Committee meeting aimed to discuss the rising challenge of authoritarianism in the Latin American region as well as key issues confronting democracy in the region. He reiterated his commitment to work with member parties in the years ahead to strengthen social democracy in the region and promote Socialist International’s values of human rights, equality, and inclusive development.
The Secretary-General of the Socialist International Benedicta Lasi, thanked the Chair of the Committee Miguel Vargas, and the entire leadership of the Dominican Revolutionary Party for hosting the committee meeting. She recognized the Latin American & Caribbean committee as one of the strongest and most dedicated geographical committees of the Socialist International. She stated that there was one precondition for achieving the objectives of the organization which was that member parties needed to work hard to win elections. She however stated that winning elections was not a given and it was important for political parties to evolve and be responsive to the needs of the people. According to her, these were the prerequisites for belonging to a progressive political family like the Socialist International and the conditions for survival as a political party in the new era.
President of the Socialist International and Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez explains that to make the work of the Socialist International possible, we must work with unity, and coordination among all committee members, and strengthen our coordination role with the parties in the region. President Sanchez stated his commitment to leading the presidency with determination and obtaining tangible results from the necessary collaboration between Latin America, the Caribbean, and the other regions. He believes it is an opportunity to strengthen not only the regional collaboration but also the convergence of progressive ideas that have shaped the social democratic project throughout history. President Sanchez also highlighted the need to collaborate with other organizations to strengthen the influence of the Socialist International and articulate a real social agenda on a global scale.
Following the opening session, the delegates debated the main themes set out in the agenda - addressing the issue of rising authoritarianism in the region and ensuring the inclusivity of young people and women in the region's development model.
Delegates from the member parties in the region addressed in detail the themes of the meeting and highlighted situations and conditions that have led to the rise of authoritarianism in the Latin American region. They also stressed the need to confront the political and economic instability in the Caribbean region and proposed strategies that Socialist International could adopt in addressing these challenges.
Th delegates reiterated the commitment of their parties to work with this new leadership of the Socialist International to strengthen social democracy in the region and promote the common values of human rights, equality, and inclusive development in their countries. The need for the development of a framework and strategy for achieving the new mission of the organization was also highlighted with emphasis on the need for the formulation of an inclusive developmental model for the region which involves young people and women playing an active role in policy making and governance.
After the Committee’s deliberations on the theme of the meeting, it proceeded to ratify the agreement of the committee during the last Congress to re-elect Miguel Vargas as the Chair of the Latin American and Caribbean Committee.
Vice President of Socialist International, Rafael Michelini (NE, Uruguay), proposed candidates for the Latin American Committee's vice presidencies which was reaffirmed by the Committee President Miguel Vargas (PRD, Dominican Republic). The Committee discussed and elected the following comrades as Vice Presidents of the Latin America and Caribbean Committee of the Socialist International: Augusto Robinson (PRD, Panama), Rafael Filizzola (PDP, Paraguay) Juliana Brizola (PDT, Brasil) Samuel Doria (UN, Bolivia) and Janice Allen (PNP, Jamaica).
At the end of the deliberations and based on the contributions by member parties, the Committee adopted Resolutions on Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and the Declaration of Santo Domingo.
The Committee meeting was attended by members parties in the region including Vice Presidents of Socialist International from Latin America and the Caribbean region: Rafael Michelini (NE, Uruguay), Alejandro Moreno (PRI, Mexico), Kattia Rivera (PLN, Costa Rica), Miguel Angel Sánchez (PLC, Colombia), Jesús Rodríguez (UCR, Argentina) and Edmonde Beauzile (Fusion, Haiti). The meeting was also attended by Janet Camilo, President of Socialist International Women, Hana Jalloul, Vice President of Socialist International (PSOE, Spain), Mario Napatian, Vice President of Socialist International (Socialist Party, Armenia) Jesus Tapia, IUSY President, and Bruno Gonzalez, IUSY Secretary General.