Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, said: People across the Latin America region are rising against “savage capitalism” especially the neoliberal model pushed by the International Monetary Fund.

Maduro was delivering his closing statement at the III Anti-Imperialist Congress against Neoliberalism held in Havana Sunday.

Maduro said that although neoliberalism seems to have taken the reins in Latin America, it is exciting to observe the Chilean people are rising against a constitution forged by the Pinochet’s dictatorship.

“[There is a continental] insurgency of the people against the model of exclusion, privatization, impoverishment, [and] the individualism of savage neoliberal capitalism of the International Monetary Fund,” said Maduro.

He specifically mentioned the recent leftist electoral victories in Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and parts of Colombia, and the anti-austerity protests in Chile and Ecuador.

More than 1,200 delegates from 95 countries attended the conference to meet and discuss six main themes such as solidarity with Cuba, people before free trade and transnational corporations, decolonization, cultural warfare, strategic communication, and social struggle.

They also discussed youth strategies for the continuity of struggles, democracy, sovereignty and anti-imperialism as well as and integration, identities, and common struggles.

Maduro and the Cuban head of state Diaz Canel recalled their nation’s alternative projects to capitalism.

“In Venezuela, an alternative project to neoliberalism will never be reversed. The Bolivarian Revolution emerged as an early response to demonstrate that a society can be built that guarantees social rights to its people,” said Maduro.

He went on to describe Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez as the “brilliant heads” of this “anti-neoliberal wave.”

Venezuela’s delegation to the Congress included members from the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV), the allied Communist Party (PCV), and political movements including the Bolivar-Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ), the Francisco de Miranda Front (FFM) and the International Solidarity Committee (COSI).

At the congress, Maduro announced new investment to complete the halted construction of two oil tankers, the Juana Arzuduy and the Eva Peron, which were commissioned for construction in Argentina in 2005.

Maduro reportedly heard of the incomplete project after speaking with two Argentine trade unionists who informed him of a local funding deficit preventing the ships’ completion.

“There is a new governor [in Buenos Aires] and a new president [in Argentina], and Venezuela is ready to invest,” he said from Havana.

The Venezuelan leader did not offer any further details concerning the amount of the investment or timetables for completion.

The tankers, which are being built at Buenos Aires Rio Santiago shipyard, were supposed to be operational in 2009, but bilateral bureaucracy, local labor disputes, and deteriorating bilateral relations halted the project, with the Eva Peron tanker allegedly 98 percent completed.

Recent US-led sanctions have targeted third-party shipping firms in a bid to deter them from filling up at Venezuelan ports. The resulting bottlenecks in crude stockpiles have forced Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and its joint ventures to reduce or cease production altogether, further crippling the country’s crisis-ridden economy.


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