Two Sisters from Brazil Report on World Social Forum

Attention: open in a new window.Two Brazilian Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur were in Nairobi to learn English and to participate in the World Social Forum. 

brazil-2Critical analysis of everyday reality is basic to the formation of effective instruments and strategies for popular social movements.

What we see today is that imperialism is alive and as aggressive as it ever was at any moment in history. And it may even be worse. We can see this looking at the situation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Cuba and many other countries, where the ideological power as well as the economic power and the physical power (military force) of the Capitalist countries dominate. We see ever new ideological instruments which propagate the life style of the United States, in a world where the poor are getting poorer and immense environmental problems are destroying the planet.

Our dream is that the Latin American regions of the world become more integrated and our governments more capable of making the necessary modifications!

The LEFT in Latin America has to be an effective force of government, a political force supported and reinforced by popular movements. But, it is not enough to simply come into power supported by local social movements but it has to continue to be challenged and pressured by these same movements.

Socialism has to learn from its past. There is need to rethink the past, because theory and praxis have to walk together, step by step.

Latin America is going through a transition stage from neo-liberalism to an unknown and as yet undefined point. And amidst this transition, our countries continue to face the same challenges as always:

Economic Crisis: Some people think that things ae improving but what we see is that we continue to be economically dependent on the dominant countries.

Ideological Crisis: This we see in Brazil, where political instruments, parties and movements are in crisis, after so many years of popular class struggle to elect a government of the left. Once in power, paralysis sets in! Yes, it is time to go back to the streets, to reorganize and mobilize the grass-roots movements.

The problem/question seems to be that once we arrive at the top, in power, we forget the popular movements – no power in government. So what can we do? What is the direction now?

The MST – Landless Movement believes that the responsibility lies with the popular, social movements, get the people back out in the streets, demand and challenge the popular governments, be agents of construction, not merely let ourselves be governed!

The challenge now is to reconstruct an effective left movement that demands a more ample state/space in government, where the popular organizations can have an active voice. It is time to construct bridges not only among Latin Americans, but also with our sisters and brothers on other continents, like Africa, that face the same challenges.

In the end, it is better to have success with your people than to err alone. We are challenged by our realities to rethink our relationship with “capital”, with the transnationals in Latin America. We don’t kid ourselves that Imperialism has forgotten about Latin America. On the contrary, Imperialism will be back, will attack again, and we need to be organized and united, because Che Guevara’s thought is alive today as it ever was: “We are too few to be divided among ourselves! Let us unite! Nothing can separate us!”

                                                                                                                                    By Novices Luciane Diniz and Josineide Silva (Brazil)

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