The Fourth Hemispheric Summit against the FTAA launches today.

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Freely translated by Anoosha Boralessa (October 2015). Not reviewed by bilaterals.org or any other organization or person.

The current situation of the FTAAs negotiating process and the campaign of the people’s struggle against this annexation plan devised by the US Government will be analysed from today in the Fourth Hemispheric Summit of the Battle Against FTAAs. The Summit will continue until next Saturday in the capital’s Palacio de las Convenciones.

Photo: ARNALDO SANTOS

As of this morning, more than 800 representatives of social movements from 36 countries have confirmed their attendance. This number does not include Cuban participants.

Summoned by the Cuban Chapter of the Continental Social Alliance, the Summit will examine the state of the battle against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAAs), the negotiation of which has currently been suspended at the inter-governmental level.
However, Doctor Osvaldo Martínez, the President of the Organizing Committee for the event and the Director of the Centre for Global Economic Research, commented to Granma that the foregoing did not mean that this proposal for the consolidation of imperial dominium has been completely defeated.

That’s why, in this event, it will be possible to reach agreements on new actions with a view to continuing the battle against the imperial plan, also waged against Bilateral Free Trade Treaties, the external debt, privitizations and the militarization of Latin America. So he pointed out.

A Member of Parliament who is also the Chair of the Commission on Economic Matters of the National Assembly of the People’s Power (Comisión de Asuntos Económicos de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular) specified that there would be a special session on the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). This was a Venezuelan proposal that, unlike the FTAAs, expressed the interests of the people of the region.

During the meeting, the participants will discuss, among other issues, the external debt (not mentioned in the FTAAs), privitization, war and militarization, the environment and biodiversity, agriculture and food sovereignty, in thematic meetings, panels and conferences.

Martínez opined that the FTAAs, more that a simple trade agreement that is signed or not, is designed to dominate the continent and is animated by neoliberal ideology which claims to impose itself by taking on different forms.

He considered that today the continental battle poses special characteristics and specified that the Bilateral Free Trade Treaties that the North American Government was negotiating with various Andean and Central American countries have been converted over this last year into the centreground for the battle of social movements.

He pointed out that these Free Trade Treaties (FTAs) are worse than the original North American plan because they are animated by the same ideology but are aggravated by inequality in bilateral negotiations.

In this context, the prestigious economist also highlighted the people’s struggle against privitizations, notably those of public services (electricity, water, education and health) that form part of the same FTAAs ideology and the type of policy that the George W. Bush Administration was pushing through.

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source: Granma