Third Hemispheric Forum Against the FTAA

On January 26, more than 1,000 delegates from 32 countries convened the Third Hemispheric Forum Against the FTAA in Havana, Cuba. The forum was hosted by the Cuban chapter of the Continental Social Alliance and included representatives from peasant organizations, indigenous peoples, students, parliamentarians, jurists, trade unions, political parties and others from across the continent.

This year's meeting, which aims at coordinating the actions of all forces opposed to FTAA, is taking place at time when the 2005 deadline for completing the FTAA is approaching.

In addition to exposing the disastrous effects of the economic program of neo-liberalism and capitalist globalization, speakers summarized some of the advances of the social movements opposed to the FTAA.

Speakers pointed to the new dangers arising from the new U.S. tactics of trying to use bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to push through the same anti-national, anti-people provisions as contained in the FTAA program. These bilateral and multilateral agreements imposed by the United States were labelled as different heads of one hydra that have to be cut off.