Latin America Advances towards Socialism in the 21st Century

"The Latin American nations have a common past, and it is time for us to look for our common fate to put things in order," said Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in a lecture delivered in the Aula Magna of the University of Havana.

The lecture was attended by Cuban First Vice President José Ramón Machado Ventura.

President Correa said that Latin America needs new ways for integration, and that this was an opportunity to lay the foundations of something different: Socialism in the 21st Century, a radically democratic alternative based on equity, social justice and humanism.

This is a project in constant reformulation and construction, which inherits the achievements of traditional socialism, but at the same time, confronts dogmas with a critical spirit and rejects standardizing formulas because each society and culture has its own characteristics.

"Socialism in the 21st century proclaims the supremacy of human endeavour as the ultimate end of production over capital," he said.

He also advocated not paying the foreign debt contracted by poor countries, because it is illegitimate and corrupt. He suggested that those officials who contracted the debt behind the people’s back should be punished, and also called for the creation of a Development Bank and a Regional Reserve Fund.

Correa mentioned that with the incorporation of Cuba into the Rio Group, which recently took place during the summit in Brazil, the process of regional integration finally starts to take a definite shape, and that it should be transformed into concrete actions for the sake of our peoples.

After noting the historical ties that unite Ecuador and Cuba, Correa described the success of the Cuban Revolution as the most important referent for social movements in the region.

Succeeding in administrating a country under siege for 50 years is not only a heroic act, but also a moral example for all the nations. Cuba will continue to advance towards new economic and social achievements once the absurd US blockade is lifted, he said.

After the lecture, he spoke with students and professors from both countries, and Rubén Zardoya, Rector of the University of Havana, gave the president a commemorative plaque for the 280th anniversary of this Cuban university.