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Latin America and the Caribbean

Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, Caracas, Venezuela

25-26 September 1998

The SI Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean met in Caracas on 25-26 September, where it was hosted by our member party in Venezuela, Democratic Action, AD, in advance of parliamentary and governatorial elections in November and presidential elections scheduled for December. The gathering opened with a tribute in memory of our dear friend and comrade José Francisco Peña Gómez, who had chaired the Committee for almost twenty years. Lewis Pérez, General Secretary of the AD, welcomed delegates from nearly thirty parties from the region and beyond (full list of participants). Greetings were conveyed by María Emma Mejía from the Liberal Party of Colombia, PLC, and the General Secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE, Joaquín Almunia. SI Secretary General Luis Ayala, who chaired the meeting, also addressed the delegates. Luis Alfaro Ucero, the Presidential candidate of AD, stated that the transformation to an ordered and efficient state in Venezuela was the basis of his party's electoral programme, and collective answers were required to the problems of poverty and marginalisation.

The discussion on the first main theme, 'Democracy, State and Governability: social democratic proposals for addressing the new challenges', was introduced by AD President Carlos Canache Mata; Rolando Araya Monge, leader of the National Liberation Party, PLN, of Costa Rica, and SI Vice-President; and Gustavo Galland of the Argentinian Popular Socialist Party, PSP.

For the second main theme of the meeting, the Committee turned to focus on 'Common approaches and perspectives on the changes in world markets and the effects on regional economies', which was introduced by Carmelo Lauria of the AD, and a great number of contributions to the debate were added. Committee members concluded that a social democratic economic strategy for Latin America had to be proposed which could meet world changes in a more decisive way. The Committee expressed the need for policies which would favour exports from the regions, as well as the development of national markets, stimulating internal consumption and increasing social welfare policies for the benefit of the greater number. A Latin American economic area with a common currency, common capital markets and a common technological base was favoured as an option for the future economic development of the region.

Brief reports were presented on the national situations of some countries. A resolution was adopted calling for urgent reform of the international financial institutions. The Committee also welcomed the first Summit of Latin American and European Union Heads of State and Government that will be held in June 1999. SICLAC expressed its support of the elections in Venezuela and the strengthening of democratic institutions in the country. The Committee declared its solidarity with the people of Haiti, and reiterated its serious concern for democratic institutions in Peru. It showed its strong support for the victims of Hurricane Georges in the Dominican Republic, in Haiti and in Puerto Rico. Also, SICLAC in a statement expressed its hopes for peace following the truce announced by ETA in Spain.  



Original: French

The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, meeting in Caracas on 25-26 September 1998:

1. Expresses its profound sympathy to the Haitian people who are suffering the consequences of Hurricane Georges, and requests at the same time the expression of international solidarity on behalf of Haiti at this time.

2. Expresses its deep concern with regard to the governmental and electoral crises which persist in Haiti despite the Haitian people's efforts to establish democracy in their country.

3. Calls on President René Preval and other interested parties in Haiti to reach an agreement on a political commitment which would allow, on the one hand, for the ratification of a new Prime Minister as soon as possible and, on the other, for the preparation for elections in the future, a process which should be overseen by a provisional Electoral Council.

4. Encourages political parties in Haiti, SI members and other democrats, to implement a strategy for unification which will safeguard the democratisation process which is still in its early stages.


Original: Spanish

The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, meeting in Caracas on 25-26 September 1998:

1. Expresses its deep concern at the recent decision taken by vote of the government majority at the Peruvian Congress to block the popular referendum demanded by a million and a half citizens to decide whether a second re-election of the President of the Republic is valid according to constitutional regulations as well as the right of law.

2. Calls on the democratic political forces of Peru to achieve a consensus which will ensure that an authentic and progressive democratic alternative is possible for Peru as from the year 2000.


Original: Spanish

On 18 September 1998, ETA declared an indefinite truce of its terrorist activities.

In the Basque Country and throughout Spain the hope for a better future has been re-kindled after 30 years of political violence and more than a thousand deaths.

The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, meeting in Caracas on 25-26 September 1998, adds its own support to this hope for a better future and calls on ETA to lay down their weapons indefinitely, in order to allow for permanent reconciliation to take place and for the peace process to develop.

Democracy and freedoms in Spain provide for all parties to have the right to exist, accepting any political aim as legitimate. But the defence of these rights should be upheld by means of speech and the ballot box and never by murder or by the use of weapons for the purpose of blackmail.


Original: Spanish

The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, meeting in Caracas on 25-26 September 1998:

1. Acknowledges that globalisation is a real and irreversible process which has positive potential which we should take advantage of, but it also produces harmful and unregulated effects which should be resisted.

2. Reaffirms the urgent need to review the functioning of the international financial system as well as that of the Bretton Woods institutions in order to solve international liquidity problems, the balance of payments deficits, the external debt, the stability in currency exchanges and the financing of sustainable development which will generate more employment.

3. Therefore emphasises the need for the establishment of authentic international organisations which will regulate and monitor the financial markets.

4. Welcomes the first Summit of Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union, which will meet in Rio de Janeiro on 28-29 June 1999. It asks the representatives of the participating countries to adopt and co-ordinate measures designed to provide economic stability to both blocks, as well as the implementation of a new transatlantic relationship between Latin America, the European Union and the United States of America.


Original: Spanish

The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, meeting in Caracas on 25-26 September 1998, ratifies its support for democracy as a way of life and a system allowing for the election of representatives of the State, as well as expressing its firm hope that Venezuela, in the elections scheduled to take place later on this year, will strengthen its institutions as well as the provisions of social freedoms.


Secretary General of the Socialist International
Luis Ayala

Popular Socialist Party, PSP
Guillermo Estévez Boero
Gustavo Galland

Radical Civic Union, UCR
Raúl Alfonsín
José Saez
Adolfo Gass
Raúl Alconada Sempé

People's Electoral Movement, MEP

Nilo Swean
Eurico Hermans
Edwin Jacobs

Revolutionary Left Movement, MIR-New Majority

Guido Riberos

Party for Democracy, PPD

Sergio Aranda

Social Democratic Radical Party, PRSD

Anselmo Sule
Miguel León Prado

Socialist Party, PS

Ricardo Núñez

Liberal Party of Colombia, PLC

Horacio Serpa Uribe
María Emma Mejía

National Liberation Party, PLN

Rolando Araya Monge

Movement for a New Antilles, MAN

Reinardo Martina

Democratic Left Party, PID
Guillermo Landázuri

Democratic Party, PD

Jorge Antonio Meléndez

Socialist Party, PS

Jean Crusol

Party of the National Congress of Democratic Movements, KONAKOM

Victor Benoit

Lavalas Political Organisation, OPL
Gérard Pierre-Charles
Suzy Castor

Party of Democratic Revolution, PRD

Alejandro Ordorica Saavedra

Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI

Jesús Cabrera Muñoz Ledo
Carlos Flores Vizcarra

Peruvian Aprista Party, PAP

Luis Heysen Zegarra

Puerto Rican Independence Party, PIP

Rubén Berríos

Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE

Joaquín Almunia
Ramón Jáuregui
Trinidad Jiménez

Democratic Action, AD

Carlos Canache Mata
Lewis Pérez
Timoteo Zambrano
Gilberto Barradas
Henry Ramos Allup
Jorge Millán
Carmelo Lauria
Rafael Marín
Aristides Hospedales
Ixora Rojas
Mery Tenorio
Isabel Carmona
Nelly Rojas Paz
Luis Piñerua Ordaz

Socialist International Women, ISM
Marlène Haas

Parliamentary Group of the Party of European Socialists
Ana Miranda de Lage

Office of SI President
Vera Matthias

SI Secretariat
Latifa Perry
Gabriela Shepherd
Patricia Coelho


New Space Party
Felipe Michelini
Antonio Gallicchio


Other activities

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