Poverty Inequality Inclusion

Speaking at the 5th Latin America-Caribbean-European Union Summit held in Lima May 17, Cuban First Vice-President stated that ‘the present world order is responsible for today’s high levels of poverty, inequality and exclusion.

If a small portion of the United States astronomical military budget were reallocated, to aid for sustainable development, a vital contribution would be made to the current situation Ventura noted. He suggested that EU countries -several of which register t
he highest military budgets on the planet - could be the first to take steps in this direction and steer their main ally to “follow in their footsteps”.

In a second speech, addressing Sustainable Development, Ventura stated that the bizarre strategy of producing biofuels from food must be challenged adding "Sustainable development implies a revolution in our values and in the way we face present inequalities and future challenges".

“Facing the vital crisis that threatens humanity today” he added “cannot consist of preventing the development of those who need development the most. We have common, albeit differentiated, responsibilities. Those who have unjustly and selfishly hoarded riches and technologies, who are responsible for 76 percent of greenhouse gas emissions since 1850, must bear most of the weight of this effort.”

The summit's concluding agreement the Lima Declaration identifies a range of social programs addressing poverty and climate change with the intention of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, by 2015 and the Latin American additional goals by 2020.

The Problem is Capitalism

Referring to issues discussed during the LAC-EU Summit Bolivian President Evo Morales noted that to achieve social justice there was a need to “stem the neoliberal model and capitalism”.

In the speech delivered to a mass gathering to close the 3rd Summit of the Peoples, held in parallel with the Euro-Latin American meeting, he noted that social organizations and left wing parties must unite and the people must organize to achieve their liberation with honesty, clarity, grass roots work and a vocation to serve the needy.

Before attending the Lima meeting President Morales had announced that a recall referendum will be held on August 10. The referendum was proposed by Morales in December and had been approved by the upper house of Congress in February. Earlier in the month Bolivia's elites had pushed ahead with a secessionist referendum seeking autonomy for Santa Cruz and other lowland departments of Bolivia in spite of a National Electoral Court ruling forbidding the referendum and international condemnation.

More Information

> Cuba Insists on a Fairer World at Lima Summit
> Peoples Court against Transnationals

> Latin America and Europe Propose Measures against the Food Crisis
> Recall referendums open new struggle
> “Poverty, Inequality, Inclusion”
> “Sustainable Development: the Environment, Climate Change & Energy”