Declaration of Cancun
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, meeting in the city of Cancun, Mexico, on 8-9 October 2021, expresses its satisfaction at having been able to carry out, in the framework of these challenging times, the first in-person meeting since its last gathering in Kingston, Jamaica, in December 2019.
The delegates and representatives of member parties and guests present also register their gratitude to the host party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, of Mexico for its warm hospitality and fraternity that has ensured the success of the meeting.
COVID-19, which has struck in all corners of the world, has hit our region hard, particularly in terms of the loss of human life and the deterioration of the conditions and quality of life of our people, and has caused a drastic decline in our economies.
In its deliberations, the Committee insisted on the need to continue strengthening our health systems and to guarantee fair and timely access for all to the vaccine and other medicines and supplies necessary to combat the pandemic.
Member parties from throughout the region have reaffirmed the need to continue mobilizing the resources required to ensure that the post-pandemic recovery puts people at the centre, maintaining support programmes as long as they are needed, and promoting the recovery of economic activity and employment with a focus on the most vulnerable groups. All efforts required must be deployed in order to prevent the worrying inequality gap that exists from being exacerbated by the pandemic.
Democracy in the region faces tough challenges due to the health emergency that we are currently enduring. Strong democratic systems and nations with robust institutions have proven to be better prepared to deal with it. Our parties in the region must continue to strengthen citizen support and consolidate our electoral advances, as we have more suitable and democratic proposals than those emanating today from populist sectors of various origins.
A successful democracy also requires the full participation of women in the life of our political institutions and their incorporation in decision-making, a dimension that our organization promotes and defends.
The Committee expresses its resolute support for SI Vice-President Sandra Torres (UNE, Guatemala), who has not been able to be present at this meeting because the authorities in her country have prevented her from traveling. The process that she faces has dragged on for too long and the accusation against her stems from a political motivation to restrict her fundamental right to participate freely in public life in her country.
For the members of this Committee, the situation in which Torres is a victim is an expression of the politicization of justice ("Legal War" or Lawfare), which we denounce and which we are committed to fighting against throughout our region. Courts of justice, administrative bodies, parliaments and other instances, at the time of issuing and applying norms, must remain faithful to the nature of their functions, avoiding the danger of allowing themselves to be exploited and the temptation to seek an illegitimate influence on the political life of our countries.
The Committee stands in solidarity with Haiti, a nation that was recently stuck by the assassination of its president Jovenel Moïse and then by a devastating earthquake, less than a month and a half apart. The Haitian Constitution and institutionality have been surpassed, the magistrates of its Supreme Court have not been appointed, no elections have been held to allow the renewal of parliament and even the Chief of its National Police holds today an interim appointment. Insecurity, kidnappings, and the presence of criminal gangs that act with total impunity are worsening day by day and with them the country's humanitarian crisis deepens and thousands of Haitians are driven to migrate. The Committee urges the SI member parties in Haiti to work towards a concerted, inclusive and participatory political solution that takes on the challenge of restoring the democratic legitimacy of its institutions and, for its part, the Committee undertakes to closely monitor the situation and actively support the initiatives that ensure these objectives.
After listening to the contributions of the delegates of its member parties in Venezuela, Acción Democrática (AD), Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) and Voluntad Popular (VP), who are participating in the negotiations currently underway in Mexico City between the Maduro regime and the opposition, the Committee expresses its support for the process as a mechanism to achieve a peaceful, electoral and democratic solution to the crisis that the Venezuelan people have been living in and suffering for a long time. We call for the release of political prisoners, some of whom are in a grave state of health, and we express our deep concern at the poverty and inequality afflicting Venezuela today.
The Committee is in agreement that climate change is today the main challenge facing humanity, and its member parties express their determined commitment to continue working throughout the region to combat it. Latin America and the Caribbean is among the areas most affected globally by the phenomenon and by the consequences that follow, such as hurricanes and storms, floods, droughts, water scarcity and degradation of biodiversity, among others.
The Committee recognizes and congratulates once again the tireless and long-term work carried out by the SI on this matter. The member parties of our political family must redouble their efforts and urge the international community, governments, parliaments, civil society organizations and citizens, to remain mobilized and to act now in the face of this challenge, honouring the commitments of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.