The SI Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, convened in the Dominican Republic. The meeting was held from 23-24 March and was hosted by the Dominican Revolutionary Party, PRD. Keynote speakers at the opening of the meeting included: SI Secretary General Luis Ayala; Raúl Alfonsín, former President of Argentina and President of the international relations institute of the Radical Civic Union, UCR; Tomás Borge, Sandinista National Liberation Front, FSLN; former President of Bolivia and Chair of Revolutionary Left Movement, New Majority MIR, Jaime Paz Zamora; Victor Benoît, general secretary of KONAKOM, Haiti; Rubén Berríos, president of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, PIP; and Chair of the Committee, José Francisco Peña Gómez, PRD leader and SI Vice-President.
Close to a hundred delegates took part in the meeting which focused on two themes: 'Latin America and the Caribbean and Globalisation: elaborating proposals for creating opportunities and strengthening solidarity' and 'Defining priorities for governments with social responsibility: policies for education, health and social services'. The themes were introduced by Raúl Alfonsín, Rolando Araya Monge, leader of the National Liberation Party, PLN, of Costa Rica, and Errol Greene, Jamaican People's National Party, PNP.
The Committee also received reports on national situations from delegates and issued a number of statements on national issues.
Resolutions and statements
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (SICLAC), meeting in Santo Domingo on 23-24 March 1998, welcomes the constructive dialogue between the Holy See, in the person of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and President Fidel Castro. It had the immediate effect of achieving greater recognition of religious freedom on the part of the Cuban government and, at the same time, resulted in the first steps being taken towards lifting the embargo against Cuba, with the re-establishment of direct flights from the United States to the island and the removal of restrictions on the shipment of food and medicine and remittances of dollars to that country.
SICLAC, while demanding further actions by the US government with regard to the lifting of the embargo and the repeal of the Helms-Burton Law, hopes that the Cuban government pursues the economic opening and implements political conditions to open the way for better prospects for democracy in that sister Republic.
We acknowledge the release of detainees by the Cuban government, and hope this will be extended to other detainees deprived of their freedom, including Vladimiro Roca.
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (SICLAC), meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 23-24 March 1998,
1. That the Central American Union is essential for the eradication of poverty and to achieve a significant improvement in the living standards and level of culture and education of the people of the region, and to strengthen the capacity of Central America to make itself heard at international level;
2. The agreement between the Presidents of Central America to initiate a gradual and progressive process for the constitution of the Central American Union, as a better form of expression than the Community Association stipulated in the Tegucigalpa protocol of 1991;
3. That the desire for the political union of Central America can only be achieved by strengthening and consolidating democratic and representative institutions at regional level, and
4. The essential role of the Central American Parliament in the process of political union in Central America,
1. To recognise the spirit of integration expressed by the Presidents of Central America in the Declaration of Nicaragua, in September 1997.
2. To grant full support for the legitimate position and aspiration of the Central American Parliament in the sense that improved authorities and binding powers may be conferred upon it within the system of Central American integration.
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (SICLAC), meeting in Santo Domingo on 23-24 March 1998,
Expresses its concern regarding the legal position and respect of human rights of the Bolivian citizen Oscar Eid Franco, detained for more than three years without a definite ruling having so far been made, and
Resolves to appoint a delegation which will visit Bolivia in the name of SICLAC, charged with gathering information on the development of the proceedings and the legal position of the Bolivian citizen Oscar Eid Franco.
The Socialist International Committee on Latin America and the Caribbean (SICLAC), meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on 23-24 March 1998, is particularly concerned by the deadlock of the electoral process and the absence of a government during the past nine months, which has had serious social and economic consequences affecting the daily life of the Haitian people.
In view of this situation, SICLAC appeals to all political actors in Haiti, and in particular to the member parties of the Socialist International, to take steps to help resolve the situation:
1. by setting up, as rapidly as possible, on the basis of the appointment of a Prime Minister, a government which will contribute to the strengthening of institutions;
2. by relaunching the electoral process through the establishment of a balanced and credible Electoral Council;
3. by working for a realignment of democratic forces so that efforts may continue for the democratisation of the country.
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (SICLAC), meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 23-24 March 1998, supports the forces of democracy in Peru, especially the Peruvian Aprista Party, in their struggle against the present brutal, neo-liberal regime, under which the majority of the population is suffering even greater poverty and unemployment than before.
It also expresses its support for the alternative position advocated by the Aprismo and its inalienable social commitment to the poor of Peru, with a view to achieving social justice.
It also supports the accusation by the Aprista Party that the present government of Peru continues to disregard human rights and citizens freedoms, refusing to investigate and punish the immorality, corruption, torture and crimes that they have committed, and that they have been systematically preparing a fraudulent election, violating the Constitution and undermining the legitimacy of the State, in order to ensure the illegitimate re-election of Fujimori.
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (SICLAC), meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 23-24 March 1998, expresses its support for the steps taken by the Puerto Rican Independence Party to obtain, during the course of this year, the 100th anniversary of the invasion of Puerto Rico by the United States, the approval of a resolution in the United Nations Committee on Decolonisation, which reiterates the applicability to Puerto Rico of Resolution 1514 (XV) of the General Assembly, confirming the inalienable right of the Puerto Rican people to free self-determination and independence, and requires the United States government to fulfil its decolonising obligations.
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (SICLAC), meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 23-24 March 1998, in accordance with the agreement reached at the last meeting of the Council in New Delhi, invites and urges member parties of the IS, especially those in Latin America and the Caribbean, to send delegations to the International Conference in Support of Puerto Rican Independence. The Conference, sponsored by the Puerto Rican Independence Party, will be held on 23-26 July 1998 in San Juan, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the invasion of Puerto Rico by the United States.
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (SICLAC), meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 23-24 March 1998, urges its member parties to support and attend the Extraordinary Conference to be held by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), on 22-24 May 1998. The Conference will be devoted to improving its constitutional capacity, combatting anti-Sandinista campaigns and preparing for future electoral contests.
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (SICLAC), meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 23-24 March 1998, considers that it is essential to protect the freedom of the people of the region, to promote processes of social justice and encourage progress and development, as well as to achieve a legitimate voice in as many different international forums as possible, to recover or maintain the unconditional legitimacy of each country's institutions without the use of any form of deception or illegal short cut.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
President of SICLAC
José Francisco Peña Gómez
(Dominican Republic, PRD)
Secretary General of the Socialist International
Popular Socialist Party, PSP
Guillermo Estévez Boero
Radical Civil Union, UCR
Luis Alberto Cáceres
People's Electoral Movement, MEP
Hyacintho R. Croes
Revolutionary Left Movement, MIR-NM
Jaime Paz Zamora
Democratic Labour Party, PDT
Ligia Doutel de Andrade
Socialist Party, PS
Liberal Party of Colombia, PLC
Juan Guillermo Angel
National Liberation Party, PLN
Rolando Araya Monge
Dominican Revolutionary Party, PRD
Hatuey De Camps
Enmanuel Esquea Guerrero
Manuel Cáceres Troncoso
Vicente Sánchez Baret
Winston Arnauld Guzmán
Hugo Tolentino Dipp
Rafael Suberví Bonilla
Milagros Ortiz Bosch
Rafael Fafa Taveras
Tirso Mejía Ricart
Peggy Cabral de Peña Gómez
Rafael Gamundy Cordero
Julio Mariñez Rosario
Miguel Vargas Maldonado
Héctor Rafael Peguero Méndez
Ivelisse Prats de Pérez
Rafael Báez Pérez
Party of the National Congress of Democratic Movements, KONAKOM
Montinard R. Blanchet
Jessie Ewald Benoit
Lavalas Political Organisation, OPL
Pierre Paul Arry Marsan
Democratic Party of the Left, PDS
Donato Di Santo
People's National Party, PNP
Party of Democratic Revolution, PRD
Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI
Guillermo Máynez Gil
Sandinista National Liberation Front, FSLN
Democratic Revolutionary Party, PRD
Revolutionary Febrerista Party, PRF
Peruvian Aprista Party, PAP
Luis Alva Castro
Puerto Rican Independence Party, PIP
Rubén Berríos Martínez
Fernando Martín García
Luis Nieves Falcón
María de Lourdes Santiago
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE
José Manuel Caballero
Democratic Action, AD
Socialist International Women, SIW
Sofía Leonor Sánchez Baret
Parliamentary Group of the Party of European Socialists
Ana Miranda de Lage
José Carlos Marín
Partido Socialdemócrata, PSD
Santo Domingo Accord
Fernando Alvarez Bogaert
José González Espinosa
Ligia Leroux de Ramírez
Abraham Bautista Alcántara
Elías Wessin Chávez
New Space Party
Central American Parliament
Alfredo Pineda Saca
Rafael Santos Badilla
Social Democratic Group of the Latin American Parliament
Ambiorix Díaz Estrella
If you are looking for an earlier meeting, please consult the LIBRARY section.