“The Sao Paulo Forum is with you, Lula!” It was the cry that was heard from the public in one of the activities that Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had after winning the presidential elections in Brazil, last Sunday.
The President-elect was addressing a few words to the international guests who traveled to the ballot. And who raised the voice from the crowd was the Chilean Esteban Silva Cuadra.
The leader of the Allendista Social Movement is a well-known Chavista and active participant in the Sao Paulo Forum -entity created in the 1990s by Lula himself together with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez with which it seeks to promote “21st century socialism”, which brings together left-wing parties and movements- and was in Sao Paulo following the leader’s triumph of the Workers’ Party (PT).
He also did it in the first round and in the last two elections in which Lula won. And he has taken it upon himself to publish it on his bill from Twitter.
Esteban Silva is a emblematic face of the pop. He was a member of the Social Unity Table, a group that he called for strikes and mobilizations after 18-O, some of them considered the most violent days.
In his social networks, he called for people to take to the streets in the most complex moments of the outbreak. For example, this record is from November 11, 2019, in the middle of Plaza Baquedano: “The people demand a constituent assembly for a new Constitution that ends the neoliberal economic model of abuse.” And immediately afterwards he called to participate in the national strike on November 12.
That day, 189 serious events were recorded, 46 civilians and 347 police officers, PDI or Armed Forces injured and 1,020 detainees. Such was the crisis that on the night of that day the then President Sebastian Pinera warned that democracy was being attacked and called for a agreement for peace and a new Magna Carta.
In the months – and years – that followed he continued with his “Octobrist” stance. The day that the statue of General Baquedano was removed -due to the serious damage it had- he wrote: «It is not only a concrete fact, it also represents a cultural symbolic event of great importance. The official history questioned in practice by the people. The statue must never come back!”
After Lula’s victory, Esteban Silva values ”the advance of the anti-liberal struggle in Latin America and the Caribbean”
In Brazil, Esteban Silva was part of the international guests of the PT who met at the Intercontinental Hotel where they followed the “heart-stopping” count of the ballot, where for many hours, the current President Jair Bolsonaro positioned himself above Lula.
A day earlier, on October 29, he participated in the international conference “The fight for democracy in times of advance of the extreme right in the world”.
At the meeting, organized by the PT International Relations Secretariat, one of the speakers was the former President of Spain, José Luis Zapatero. According to Web of the party, the Spaniard “highlighted that Latin America is currently the region with the most progressive demonstrations. It is the only region in the world that is at peace.” They also state: “And he said that ‘Bolsonaro’s defeat will be the beginning of the end of the extreme right’”.
The tone is similar to the one used by Esteban Silva on his return to Chile. In his social networks he took stock of his trip.
He highlighted the crucial aspect of Lula’s victory “At a time when there is a second process of leftist and progressive governments, advancing the anti-neoliberal struggle in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Criticizing the Bolsonaro government, Silva – who also leads the “Chile better without FTA” movement – warned that the followers of the current President of Brazil will try to “destabilize a broad-based government, of a broad anti-fascist front where the Workers’ Party is the axis”. He adds that the challenge of Lula’s party is “to generate the conditions for that the people recover the territories” of certain groups of the so-called “military family”, of the evangelical Pentecostal churches, of policemen. And in conclusion he says that it is no longer about a particular political party but rather it is “Fascism of a new type”.
“The trench of the Sao Paulo Forum is fundamental”
The speech to end neoliberalism, which was heard loudly a few days ago in La Moneda with the visit of the economist Mariana Mazzucatois part of the ideas that Silva reiterates such as those raised by the Sao Paulo Forum.
The group He retweeted the Chilean leader’s congratulations to Lula among the greetings that leaders of the region sent to the Brazilian. In this way, the former Frente Amplio appears highlighted by the Forum amid the messages of Gabriel Boric, Pedro Castillo, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Nicolás Maduro, among other rulers of the region.
His inevitable participation in the meetings of the Forum is well known. Last year, for the entity’s 31st anniversary, Esteban Silva recorded a message highlighting that “the trench of the Sao Paulo Forum is essential” for the “fight” against “neocolonialism, in short, against US imperialism and against the forces that retard change.”
As stated The bookcasethe “friend of Lula” in other quotes from the Forum or in opinions that are replicated by the organization’s networks, has supported the regimes of Cuba and Venezuela. Regarding the first, he said: “We want to join the National Day of Solidarity with Cuba, Cuba Lives. A hug to the people of Cuba, to the Cuban revolution, to the government of Cuba, to the people of Commander Fidel Castro”.
And in April, he traveled to Caracas to attend the Summit against Fascism organized by Madurowhere another Chilean was also present, the mayor of Recoleta, Daniel Jadue.
Also in line with the mayor of the Communist Party, Silva has led campaigns against TPP-11. Controversy generated the meeting that his movement “Better Chile without FTA” held with the undersecretary of International Economic Relations, Jose Miguel Ahumadawho has a well-known position contrary to the treaty that, despite the fact that it has already been dispatched by the Senate, has not yet been promulgated by the Government.
Regarding the new constitutional process, the member of the Sao Paulo Forum has already spoken: «Those who accept the imposition of ‘borderlines’ and limitations in the constitutional process are mistaken. Beyond the results of the plebiscite of September 4, and sooner rather than later, the country’s crisis cannot be overcome without the election of an original Constituent Assembly».