The XXV edition of the Forum of Sao Paulo on Thursday raised the curtain in Caracas with tacit support to the government of the Chavista Nicolás Maduro and the frequent calls to release the former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio "Lula" Da Silva, whom they considered a "political prisoner of the capitalism".
This first day began with little public, but was gaining pace as the invited delegations were incorporated and closed the day with a massive event, in which the leaders of Chavismo were in the front row.
The Executive Secretary of the Forum, Mónica Valente, outlined the objective of the meeting of left-wing parties and organizations: to provide support to the leaders with whom they agree ideologically, such as the Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro, the Bolivian Evo Morales and the Argentines Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández .
"Venezuela is not alone … we are here to tell President Nicolás, we are with you," Valente said in his speech.
Valente also demanded that the Colombian Government "respect the peace agreement" and end "the genocide of more than 500 leaders" on the left of that country.
He also said that the former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be asked for freedom in prison, accused of several corruption offenses.
In that sense, María Diaz, a member of the National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela (ANC) – a space parallel to Parliament and which is not recognized by a large part of the international community – told Efe that she will propose in the forum the creation of a international team of lawyers to advise with cases similar to those of Lula.
"A network of jurists must be formed so that from the constitutional, from practice, (can) take action in defense of the political prisoners of capitalism," he said.
The first vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and main promoter of the event, Diosdado Cabello, was accompanied by ministers, governors and mayors of the ruling party during the opening ceremony.
"The only thing that guarantees victory is the unity of the peoples," said Cabello and warned that "alone, no one can defend against imperialism."
Earlier, on Thursday afternoon the Workers Forum was held, in addition to the meeting of the European Left Party and the Sao Paulo Forum and a meeting of the Working Group.
Colombian ex-senator Piedad Córdoba said that her presence in the activity is linked to her "commitment to the Bolivarian process" and the Venezuelan people, as well as her friendship with the ruler Nicolás Maduro.
This same day, the Venezuelan opposition expressed its rejection of this activity, because they believe that its realization is a "mockery" and an "unnecessary expense" in the midst of the crisis in the South American country.
"Venezuelans reject the presence of this club of worshipers of -Nicolás- Maduro (…), our voice of protest will be felt throughout the country so that the world knows that in Venezuela the Forum of Sao Paulo is non pleasing" , the First Justice (PJ) party said in a statement, in which former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles is active.
The formation criticized that they have invested, according to the text, 200 million dollars in the event while the country is living "the greatest humanitarian emergency in the history of the region".
The event "is undoubtedly a mockery and a new robbery of the nation," PJ said while pointing out that it represents "the worst of politics, corruption, authoritarianism, the suffering of the people and the end of democracy."
For their part, members of the Venezuelan student movement approached the headquarters of the forum in Caracas, the Alba Hotel, to express their disagreement with the celebration of the Forum.
From the outskirts of the hotel, a dozen students called the mechanism the "death forum" and also criticized the alleged investment of 200 million dollars when the country's electricity system presents severe failures and requires investments.
The Sao Paulo Forum emerged in 1990 under the auspices of the Workers' Party (PT) of Brazil, and this time it will bring together about 500 international delegates from the leftist movements, the organization reported on its website.
. (tagsToTranslate) Forum (t) Sao (t) Paulo (t) Maduro (t) Lula