International gathering in Cuba reinforces anti-imperialist solidarity

November 19, 2019

Nov. 11 — The Anti-Imperialist meeting of Solidarity for Democracy and against Neoliberalism  (Encuentro Antimperialista de Solidaridad por la Democracia y contra el Neoliberalismo) was held at the Havana Convention Center Nov. 1-3.

The conference was attended by more than 1,200 delegates from around the world, with nearly 100 coming from North America. Notable large delegations included movement representatives from Puerto Rico, Argentináa, Brazil and Chile, as well as delegates from as far away as Vietnam and New Zealand.

The meeting was opened by Fernando Gonzáles, a “Cuban Five” hero of the Cuban people and president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).   The meeting was closed by President of the Cuban Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez; Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of the Cuban Central Committee; and President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro Moros. Also attending were the Second Cuban Communist Party Secretary José Ramón Machado Ventura and Eseban Lazo, president of the Cuban National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State.

Powerful addresses were made by a number of delegates, including Glesei Hoffman of the Workers Party of Brazil; Dr. Hannah Bissiw of the National Democratic Congress of Ghana; Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincents and the Grenadines; and a representative of the Communist Party of China. All stressed that coordination and unity against neoliberalism and in defense of democracy were urgently needed. The assembly declared the year 2020 as a year of left counteroffensive. The struggles to Free Lula in Brazil (he was freed Nov. 8) and to win independence for Puerto Rico were also raised.

Six breakout sessions took place, including “Solidarity with Cuba and other just causes” held at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), “Integration, identities and common struggles” and “Strategic communication and social struggle/decolonization and the culture war.”

Gail Walker of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization represented the U.S. delegation at the front podium and had the honor of introducing the closing plenary speakers.

In his closing remarks, President Díaz-Canel said in part, “A special greeting to all who resist and have come to the Cuban capital, which has always been, and will be, a meeting point for those who defend peace and solidarity among peoples. The new generation of Cuban leaders, trained and educated by the historical generation of Fidel and Raúl, are revolutionaries, socialists, faithful to Fidel and Marti, and we will not yield a millimeter in our positions in favor of independence, sovereignty and social justice. And as a link with the peoples who struggle and resist, we will always uphold solidarity as a fundamental principle to which we owe so much.” (, Nov. 4)