In the face of differences, dialogue.

Faced with challenges, cooperation

“Our region and the world need peace, to concentrate all their capacity, intelligence and resources, on confronting the true enemies of our species: hunger, poverty, climate change, illiteracy, diseases, resource depletion. natural resources and the growing marginalization to which the vast majority of the world's population is subjected.

The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, was the speaker who opened the official ceremony dedicated to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)

, at its VIII Summit of Women Leaders and Heads of State and Government, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the proclamation of the region as a Zone of Peace, signed by the 33 member states in Havana, during the II Summit of the regional mechanism, held in 2014 under the leadership of General of Army Raúl Castro Ruz.

The president of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, who assumed the pro tempore presidency of CELAC at this meeting, participated alongside Díaz-Canel;

the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, who will lead the Community in 2025;

the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, host of the meeting and who headed the mechanism in 2023, and the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres.

“Our Proclamation is very young, but it is, without a doubt, a historic milestone in the equally young history of CELAC,” said President Díaz-Canel at the beginning of his speech.

“The Proclamation means,” he expressed, “hope for millions of people, whose main concern is the survival of their own in a world convulsed by violence and wars.”

Peace, he added, “is not only a legitimate right of all peoples and every human being.

It is a fundamental condition for the enjoyment of all human rights, in particular, the supreme right to life.”

“Supporting peace is defending the right of each people to freely choose their political model, and their own path towards economic and social development,” stated the Cuban president.

And, he emphasized, “to advance the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean, peace is essential,” which allows us to “listen to understand each other, come closer to what unites us, and debate differences in a civilized and respectful manner.”

“In the face of differences, dialogue.

In the face of challenges, cooperation.

In the face of diversity, more unity.

In the face of war and violence, let us defend peace! ”Díaz-Canel would express at the end of his speech.

With “a big hug to the brave and noble people of the Great Homeland of Latin America and the Caribbean,” President Xiomara Castro began her words at the ceremony celebrating the Peace Proclamation.

"After a decade and despite all the difficulties we experienced," he expressed, "we have managed to maintain our historical custom of being a zone free of armed conflicts and war, and today we must ratify our commitment that never a country in Latin America and the The Caribbean will use violence against a brother country,” he emphasized.

“The problems and differences of the countries of this bloc,” said the Honduran President, “must be resolved between us, without external interference or pressure;

with dialogue as a tool and always thinking about regional well-being and the self-determination of the people.

“Peace,” Castro de Zelaya conceptualized, “is not only the absence of peace, it is also justice.

It is memory.

It's true.

It is the right of boys and girls to go to school.

It is fighting poverty.

Peace is ending hunger, which is the worst of violence.

“Peace in Latin America and the Caribbean,” he stressed, “must be based on respect for the principles and non-interference in the internal affairs of any State and the principles of national sovereignty, equal rights and the self-determination of the towns.”

The Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, would highlight for his part “the dangers that peace in Latin America and the Caribbean has”, the first of which, he said, is the increase in violence and war in the world, something closely linked also, he added, to the main problem that humanity has today: the climate crisis.

A climate crisis, he denounced, “which is produced by an economic system, and we are going to give it the name it is: capitalism.”

The president denounced the enormous challenge to peace represented by the current wars and the increase in the military power of the imperialist countries, which, "since they cannot sustain themselves on civilized international relations, on international law built on the Second World War, on the rubble of the Nazis, then they press the buttons on the bombs,” as they are doing in Palestine, he denounced.

Petro described violence as another great danger to peace in Latin America and the Caribbean, “which we have to recognize and act on,” he stated.

We are “the most violent region in the world;

even more so than regions where direct war, even genocide, takes place.

“We,” he added, “have experienced a genocide of a million Latin Americans in the last half century.

The majority of those dead are still Colombians, but more and more are Mexicans, Brazilians, Venezuelans, Central Americans, South Americans.

“This violence,” he added, “has even produced an exodus, which now numbers in the millions, from the peoples of the South to the North,” where, however, he warned, “bars, prisons and machine guns await them, and many They die on the way.”

And another third threat, the Colombian President listed, is the military one.

"It sounds naive to think that we are going to be a zone of peace if we are aligning ourselves with the large blocks of military powers in conflict for commercial or business reasons," he said.

Petro thus called on his Latin American and Caribbean colleagues to "think about military autonomy for security and defense."

”It is time,” he emphasized, “to deepen the mechanisms where our armies, our police, our public forces and above all the weapons that exist in Latin America, are put into function of common political objectives of Latin America and the Caribbean with an autonomous policy within of the world".

The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, would highlight in his speech how pleased he was to celebrate at the VIII Summit, under his leadership, the tenth anniversary of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed in Cuba in 2014. .

However, he argued that "the peace and security of our region is being undermined by the export of weapons that reach the hands of criminals who kill, rob and terrorize our citizens;

and those weapons and bullets – he accused – come mostly from the United States of America.”

"They, with the defense of the right of their citizens to bear arms, have their own values, but they want those values ​​to be manifested in our region without our permission, and that is why I am happy that the government of Mexico has adopted the initiative to take action against weapons factories in the United States (...).

And I am pleased that the courts of that country have accepted the complaint;

and we are all waiting for these types of actions to be taken.

“That is a very good initiative to help maintain peace and security in our region.”

“Having said this,” Gonsalves added, “it also seems to me that it is clear to every mature person that imperialism and hegemonies are the natural enemies of peace.

But peace—he conceptualized—is anti-imperialist and anti-hemony.”

Anyone from our region who wants to support war is objectively supporting imperialism and hegemony.

And we don't have to go that route.

Justice, prosperity, civilized life are the means of peace,” said Gonsalves.

The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, the last speaker at the ceremony celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, would express for his part that the region "has shown that unity to "Peace is possible and it makes a difference," although he warned of the many threats that are pending, agreeing with all the leaders who assisted him.