The Foro de São Paulo.
Olavo de Carvalho, President of the Inter-American Institute, has been souding the alarm about the workings of the São Paulo Forum for more than two decades. And yet the Forum, which is the vastest and most powerful political body that has ever existed in Latin America, goes on unknown to the American and, by the way, also worldwide public opinion.
The São Paulo Forum was created by Lula and discussed with Fidel Castro by the end of 1989, being founded in the following year under the presidency of Lula, who remained in the leadership of that institution for twelve years, nominally relinquishing it in order to take office as president of Brazil in 2003. The organization’s goal was to rebuild the Communist movement, shaken by the fall of the USSR. “To reconquer in Latin America all that we lost in East Europe” was the goal proclaimed at the institution’s fourth annual assembly. The means to achieve it consisted in promoting the union and integration of all Communist and pro-Communist parties and movements of Latin America, and in developing new strategies, more flexible and better camouflaged, for the conquest of power. Practically, since the middle of the 1990’s, there has been no left-wing party or entity that has not been affiliated with the São Paulo Forum, signing and following its resolutions and participating in the intense activity of the “work groups” that hold meetings almost every month in many capital cities of Latin America. The Forum has its own review, America Libre (Free America), a publishing house, as well as an extensive network of websites prudently coordinated from Spain. It also exercises unofficial control over an infinity of printed and electronic publications. The speed and efficacy with which its decisions are transmitted to the whole continent can be measured by its ongoing success in covering up its own existence, over at least sixteen years. Brazil’s journalistic class is massively leftist, and even the professionals who are not involved in any form of militancy would feel reluctant to oppose the instructions that the majority receives.
The Forum’s body of members is composed of both lawful parties, as the Brazilian Workers’ Party itself, and criminal organizations of kidnappers and drug traffickers, as the Chilean MIR (Movimiento de la Izquierda Revolucionaria) and the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). The first is responsible for an infinity of kidnappings, including those of two famous Brazilian businessmen; the latter is practically the exclusive controller of the cocaine market in Latin America nowadays. All of these organizations take part in the Forum on equal conditions, which makes it possible that, when agents of a criminal organization are arrested in a country, lawful entities can immediately mobilize themselves to succour them, promoting demonstrations and launching petition campaigns calling for their liberation. Sometimes the protection that lawful organizations give to their criminal partners goes even further, as it happened, for example, when the governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Olívio Dutra, an important member of the Workers’ Party, hosted a FARC commander as a guest of state; or when the Lula administration granted political asylum to the agent of connection between the FARC and the Workers’ Party, Olivério Medina, and a public office to his wife. Sometime before, Medina had confessed to having brought an illegal contribution of $5 million for Lula’s presidential campaign.
With the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the adoption of some private enterprise principles in China, it was believed by many that communism was on the wane.
However, with Castro isolated and surrounded in Cuba, he reached out to Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva of the Worker’s Party of Brazil. (Lula de Silva would later become President of Brazil).
An event was hosted in São Paolo, Brazil in 1990, the seat of Lula’s power, bringing together the communist and leftist parties and guerilla movements of the continent, which came to be known as the São Paulo Forum (FSP).
One of those guerrilla movements, the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), had contacts with Brazilian government officials.
On the first of March 2008, Operation Phoenix was launched by Colombian special security forces just inside the Ecuadorian border. Raúl Reyes, second in command of the FARC, was killed.
Far from the Colombian government being congratulated, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nicaragua all severed diplomatic relations with Colombia, claiming the reason as the breaching of the territorial integrity of Ecuador. In reality, this showed the ideological affinity between the FARC and these three governments.
1. “What is the São Paulo Forum?”
Having no known headquarters, it is held approximately once every year in different cities, including such locations as Mañagua, Nicaragua (1992), San Salvador, El Salvador (1996), and Havana, Cuba (2001).
It brings together many different leftist groups and individuals including but nowhere near limited to: the FARC, the Socialist Party of Chile, the Sandinista National Liberation Front in Nicaragua, the Worker’s Party of Brazil, Raul Castro, Hugo Chávez, Rafael Correa (president of Ecuador), and all of the communist parties in the region.
The FSP officially opposes terrorism, violence, and drug trafficking. However, active members of the group, like FARC, engage in all of these practices.
2. “Expansion of the São Paulo Forum”
Venezuela under Hugo Chávez has been instrumental in not only propping up communist governments but also in bringing them to power.
This meddling of Chávez in the affairs of other Latin American countries includes accusations made by the National Action Party of Mexico that Chávez provided support to presidential candidate Obrador, Chavez’s financial support to Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, who tried to buy votes in the 2006 presidential election, and Chavez’s role in destabilizing Peru in 2007.
The petrodollars of Venezuela, which rightfully belong to the people of Venezuela, are instead being used to illegally support leftist political candidates all over Latin America.
3. “Methods Used to Seize Power”
Although the members of the São Paulo Forum do not believe in democracy, they disguise themselves as Democratic forces in order to further their goals, as armed struggle has not been successful.
Petrodollars, border “conflicts,” and strategic partnerships between so-called moderate and radical leftist governments have all encouraged the spread of leftist governments in Latin America.
4. “Demolishing Democracy from Within”
Working through the system, Chávez has been able to slowly dismantle democratic institutions. Using oil revenues, he “buys consciences and loyalties in Venezuela and abroad.”
When political options were closed to the Venezuelans opposed to Chávez, they took to the streets, but with pro-government paramilitary groups created for intimidation, even this avenue is now somewhat restricted.
Others in Latin America, most prominently Chávez’s three closest allies, Evo Morales (president of Bolivia), Rafael Correa (president of Ecuador), and Daniel Ortega (president of Nicaragua) are in the process of trying to do the same in their respective countries.
5. “Destroying Iberian America’s Identity”
Esclusa states that the São Paulo Forum is dedicated to changing Iberian values “based on the dignity of human life, freedom, justice, tolerance and the search for the common good. These are all Christian-Western values that restrain totalitarianism.”
The defamation of the Catholic Church is also a tool utilized by the São Paulo Forum, as “a materialistic and atheistic culture” is more consistent with communism than is a religious one.
6. “Replacing Multilateral Organizations”
The members of The Foro de São Paulo have been successful in pretending to represent and exploiting “the will of the people” to destroy the system from within.
With the recent gains of leftists, they have been able to take control of powerful organizations like the Organization of American States. Through this, they were able to have President Uribe of Colombia denounced for his government’s attack on FARC senior members.
7. “The Sao Paulo Forum and Transverse Empires”
The concept of a transverse empire is an empire which is not confined to a certain country, but rather is continental, even international in nature. This is the international communist movement today, as represented by the FSP.
To survive, it uses the communicative resources of the globalized world to spread its political, ideological, and economic message.
The Foro de São Paulo is an excellent example of a transverse empire, with its FARC members traveling as far away as Europe to spread its message.
8. “Lula: The Power Behind the Throne”
Lula, president of Brazil, is generally viewed as a moderate, while Chávez has been viewed as a radical socialist. In looking at recent history, however, their views are very much aligned, with the political situation in Brazil preventing more extreme measures on the part of Lula.
Numerous examples show the close political ties the two have, including the push by Lula to have Venezuela join Mercosur, an alternative trade organization, and numerous public displays of support for Chavez by Lula.
9. “Free America and the Purloined Letter”
“Everything the [São Paulo Forum] does is out in the open; therefore, no one seems to notice the criminal organization behind it.”
Members of the editorial board of the Forum’s magazine America Libre, include and have included commanders of FARC, and a secretary of the ELN. Articles in the magazine have attempted to justify the crimes of the Cuban regime and even terrorism.
This use of free speech in this manner is another example of how opponents of democracy use democratic means to destroy it.
10. “The Revolution is a Farce”
Many outside Venezuela believe Chávez has the support of the Venezuelans and is a champion of the poor. In reality, he has committed electoral fraud, uses repression to intimidate people, and uses petrodollars to buy loyalty.
During his presidency, the Bolivar, the national currency, has devalued exponentially, oil production has declined, imports have quadrupled, and poverty levels have remained constant.
In trying to explain the failures of his government, he points to the North American “Empire” as the agent to blame.
11. “An attempt to Prevent Tragedy”
Esclusa, the author, is a Venezuelan who now lives in Colombia for fear of retribution from Chávez, and has traveled across Central and South America giving speeches and making appearances to warn against the dangers arrayed against Latin America.
Founding Fuerza Solidaria with friends, Esclusa has led the organization to put together demonstrations in Venezuela and a website in order to warn people of the dangers that face them.
12. “Why is Chávez Still in Power?”
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, military dictatorships were in power in Latin America. Therefore, many see a military government as a historical enemy, even though the chances of a military dictatorship taking over any country in Latin America are virtually non-existent.
Because many still fear the “ghost” of the Right, they are more likely not to object to Chávez for fear of something worse, despite the fact that this alternative is nothing more than a “ghost.”
13. What Can Be Expected of the Sao Paulo Forum?
The FSP has many methods which can be utilized to exert pressure, including punitive economic sanctions against democratic countries, fabricated border disputes, and strategic terror attacks.
The immediate attention of the FSP revolves around overthrowing Colombian President Uribe or forcing him to back down in his defense of Colombia and campaign against the FARC.
14. “It is Urgent to Create a Counterpart to the São Paulo Forum”
The danger of the FSP lies in the fact that it is a coalition, and so an attack against one member means the other members will rush to its aid.
It is necessary to create a counterpart to the FSP, first by holding a “founding” summit to bring together the democratic leaders and groups of the region, and second by creating an intelligence archive of the many radical and violent efforts of the FSP. UnoAmerica is the federation that opposes the FSP. Its website is http://www.unoamerica.org/unoPAG/principal.php
Also, it is necessary to put together a team of professionals, including professors, lawyers, and journalists, to refute the tenets of the FSP.
15. “Conclusion: Crisis as an Opportunity”
Marxism was allowed to enter Latin America by way of people’s weariness with the poverty and social ills that plague those societies. However, it is clear that the policies promoted by the FPS do nothing to alleviate those problems and in fact worsen them.
There now arises an historic opportunity to defeat this Marxism through a rediscovery of the values of the Christian-Western civilization of which the people of Latin America are a part, and to initiate a new quest for development and growth in Latin America.
In a May, 2009 article entitled “Panama and the decline of the São Paulo Forum” Esclusa writes concerning the win of businessman Ricardo Martinelli over the socialist candidate Balbina Herrera in Panama as a possible death knell for the São Paulo Forum. He states that the current economic crisis will make it extremely difficult for socialists in power in Latin America to effectively govern, and that their receding popular support will undermine their governments. Finally, he suggests that now is the perfect time to create a new political movement on the continent that will fill the void that will be left by the Foro de São Paulo that is capable of bringing “wealth, development, and stability to the region.”