“Imperialism Has Nothing to Offer US, Only Threats:” Dilemmas of Humanity Conference in Santiago


Over 230 representatives of social movements, trade unions, and left parties from 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are taking part in the Regional Dilemmas of Humanity Conference in Chile. The conference opened with a call for socialist solutions to the threats posed by neoliberalism and imperialism to the people of the region

“Today, the countries of the South do not have to submit to the dynamics of the world economy organized by the North,” declared Peruvian political scientist Monica Bruckmann at the opening panel of the Regional Dilemmas of Humanity Conference in the Recoleta municipality of Santiago, Chile. She added, referring to the recent expansion of the BRICS block, “At this moment, the emerging powers and countries are in a position to modify the world economy and geopolitical power relations.”

The debate on the position of Latin America and the Caribbean within the global context was central on the first day of the conference which seeks to be “a platform for discussion and consensus…on the urgent strategies to overcome the civilizational crisis we are currently going through, and to build socialism as our emancipatory horizon.”

The event, which has brought together over 230 representatives of social movements, trade unions, and left parties from 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, takes place amid tectonic geopolitical shifts. In the last year, tensions between imperialist powers of the Global North and emerging Global South economies have intensified significantly. This was evident in the context of the recent BRICS Summit, which was met with significant skepticism and alarm from Washington and the European Union, which continue their campaign of aggression and encirclement against Russia and China, and all those that work with them.

The region is also facing its own internal shifts with an increasingly dynamic political landscape and countless attempts to undermine democratic processes and constitutional principles. The ongoing lawfare campaign against Guatemala’s first progressive president-elect Bernardo Arévalo, the political violence in Ecuador in the context of deep instability and snap elections, the continued struggle against the coup in Peru, the consolidation of a progressive bloc and strengthening of regional integration mechanisms such as CELAC, and the rise of the far-right and the possibility of a far-right victory in Argentina are just some of the elements that shape the region today.

In the face of this increasingly difficult scenario in the region, Argentine activist Marina Cardelli of the Evita Movement pointed out in the panel “The dilemmas of the Latin American and Caribbean people: Why our proposal is socialism” that, “Our restricted democracies have only advanced when there was people’s organization. And if there is one thing that never went backwards in these 40 years in Argentina, it is people’s organizations.” She emphasized that, “The most important task for popular movements today is to build hope.”

50 years of assaults and resistance

The regional conference is also taking place as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup against Salvador Allende and his Popular Unity government. Recoleta, the municipality led by Daniel Jadué of the Communist Party of Chile (PCCh), is hosting a series of events to mark the date in response to what Jadué characterizes as an attempt to erase history by center and right forces. “They try to create the narrative that Allende was overthrown because his was a bad government, but in reality, he was overthrown because it was the best government Chile had ever had, and that was a threat to imperialism,” Jadué told conference participants.

He added that the anniversary was not just about Chile but also all the imperialist attacks and coups that had taken place in the region in the past several decades. “In Latin America, there were more than 56 coup d’états in less than 30 years. We commemorate 50 years of the coup in Chile but we commemorate one year since the coup d’état in Peru, three years since the coup d’état in Bolivia, 14 years since the coup d’état in Honduras, 22 years since the coup d’état in Venezuela, and many others in between…so this is not specific to Chile, it is part of a hegemonic policy of US imperialism to exhaust the people of Latin America and the world,” he noted.

Veteran communist militant and thinker Hector Bejar, who spoke at the first panel of the conference, also highlighted the importance of the date, stating, “On this anniversary, we must also celebrate the failure of the policy of extermination [of the left]. We are here, they tried to exterminate us, but we are here, the sons and daughters are here, and that shows that this policy failed.”

He added that in today’s new geopolitical scenario, “Imperialism has nothing to offer us, only threats, they tell us not to trade with China and not to associate with any Russians.” The Dilemmas of Humanity Regional Conference will conclude on September 4, the 53rd anniversary of the victory of the Popular Unity alliance, led by Allende. It will culminate with discussions on “The challenge of socialism today in our region: reflections from our revolutionary experiences” and “How to carry forward an emancipatory project and unity at the continental level?”.

The conference in Chile is one of several regional conferences being held ahead of the III International Conference of Dilemmas of Humanity in Johannesburg, South Africa from October 14-19. The debates and deliberations of these regional spaces will be systematized and integrated into the discussions in Johannesburg.