Fight Back! interviewed Venezuelan trade union leader Jacobo Torres de Leon, the international coordinator for the Bolivarian Socialist Council of Workers at the Workers’ Summit of the Americas which took place June 10-12 in Tijuana, Mexico.
Fight Back!: Why are you here at the Workers Summit of the Americas?
Jacobo Torres de Leon: We are here as a general response to the exclusion of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua from the USA’s Summit of the Americas, on the part of the U.S. administration. They don’t have the right to exclude any country. We question this and how they treat the countries of the Americas. They try to divide us. All of Latin America needs to be included. We are here with the movement of workers and unions, in Canada, USA, Venezuela, other countries in Latin America, Cuba and Nicaragua. We are the alternative, and we are inclusive. We are here to discuss our movements and our people as the answer. We are not only discussing the exclusion, but also about the solidarity with Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, who are victims of imperialism and the blockades. This unity is our power, unity of the people. We respond to the crisis and how the biggest capitalist nation, the USA, has negatively impacted the world.
Fight Back!: What message do you have for the USA?
Torres de Leon: We never compare the people of the USA and the government. The people are generous with us. We want to unite with the people of the USA and we want to make a world that is free. We want to make a world that is free from capitalism and imperialism. We want a world that is socialist. We work with the people of the USA and join them in the struggle. We can save the humanity from capitalism.
Fight Back!: What is the goal of this conference?
Torres de Leon: Our first goal is to meet the leaders of movements. Second, we want to have a response to the position that Biden has in the USA, and establish against the aggression, against the blockade, against the economic wars – and also to have unity and integration of all of our people. These movements we can build with more people and mobilize the people and all of our countries. We have solidarity with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba to resist the aggression of the USA and the blockade.
Fight Back!: Why do you think other countries, like Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, etc. pulled out of the USA summit of the Americas?
Torres de Leon: I think around 25 countries are not sending their president or representatives to the U.S. conference. This is a response to the oppression of the USA and the movement building during this time. Over the past ten years, the countries of the Americas have been organizing diligently against the USA. USA is more isolated from Latin America. They see that the countries in Latin America are in agreement that this is the moment to organize against the oppression. This is the answer for countries to remove their support of the USA and Biden and to have an alternative in Latin America.