From Lucha
Organ of the Communist Party of Labor of the Dominican Republic
December-January, 1998-1999

Final Declaration

Latin American Meeting of Trade Unionists

In an atmosphere of Latin American solidarity and fraternity, we trade unionists from Ecuador, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic met in the city of Santo Domingo [Dominican Republic] on the 6th, 7th and 8th of November, 1998, to discuss the impact of the neo-liberal policies on the working class and actions to try to confront this policy, decided that:

1) Neo-liberalism is a creature of capitalist imperialism, which seeks to divide up the markets on a world scale among themselves; it is the deregulation and privatization of everything; it is the devaluation of the national currencies to obtain gigantic profits in currency-exchanges; the elimination of the customs duties, so that imported products can enter the country under conditions of competitive inequality, which prevents the development of the national economies, closes our enterprises and increases unemployment and chronic poverty, it is the deregulation of finance capital, for the increase of interest rates to levels that are unattainable for national capital; and it is the increase of payment of internal taxes for the poorest.

2) Given this reality, we the participants in the Latin American meeting of trade unionists have decided on the need to coordinate ourselves, to develop solidarity, to promote the struggles from a class point of view in order to:

a) Improve the material conditions of life of the workers and the people.

b) Resolutely oppose the policy of privatization of enterprises and services.

c) Struggle against exploitation and for the conquest of democratic rights and liberties and in defense of national sovereignty of our people.

d) Strengthen the levels of organization of the workers and raise their class consciousness.

3) We declare solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico in their struggle for freedom and independence. We demand from the President of the United States the freedom of the Puerto Rican patriots imprisoned for their struggle to support Puerto Rican independence.

4) We reiterate our support and solidarity with the Cuban revolutionary process at the same time as we demand the end of the blockade and hostilities instigated by the United States.

5) We demand that the Colombian government respect and carry out the accords signed with the workers' federations and we condemn the assassinations of trade union and popular leaders at the same time as we demand respect for human rights.

6) We also show our solidarity with the Ecuadorian working class and its fighting people.

7) The Latin American meeting of trade unionists also expresses its solidarity:

- With the families of those assassinated and disappeared by Augusto Pinochet, and we demand punishment for him and the creation of an international tribunal if this would be necessary to judge him.

- We demand the cessation of the war-like hostilities on the part of the governments involved in the imperialist aggression against the people of Iraq.

- We demand that the President of the Dominican Republic reactivate the case of the disappearance of Prof. Narciso Gonzalez in order to punish those guilty of the crime.

The Meeting also expresses its solidarity with the workers of Banco Mayo of the Republic of Argentina in their struggle against the sale of this bank to Citibank and for the defense of their jobs.

8) It was decided to hold a Second Latin American Meeting of Trade Unionists, to take place next year in the Dominican Republic. An Organizing Commission was formed by the countries present.

9) To hold similar meetings of class trade unionists in each country, as the continuation of the Latin American Meeting and as a reaffirmation of all the agreements adopted.

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