The 6th World Social Forum being held in Caracas, Venezuela, plans to tackle questions like war, imperialism, and militarization around the world.
At this juncture, given the presence of US military bases in nearly all the countries of South America, regional leaders are once again debating the need to bolster coordination among their armed forces.
Outside influence is also revealed in situations such as the recent US veto on sales of Brazilian military aircraft to Venezuela.
At a trilateral meeting held last week in Brasília, capital of Brazil, the presidents of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and Argentina, Néstor Kirchner, discussed the possibility of creating a multilateral organization in the sphere of defense. In Chávez’ view, it could be similar to the Euro-American North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Among the organizers of the Forum, there are various ideas about where civil society should stand regarding this issue. For the Venezuelan social scientist, Edgardo Lander, it won’t be for a long time that the countries of the region can relax their guard against US designs.
In South America, he points out, defending the Amazon is a typical case. "If the Amazon is left without protection and surveillance, it won’t be just prospectors and other threats, but representatives of transnational interests that will occupy and use this territory for their own purposes."
According to the organizing committee, there are over 50,000 people enrolled in the 6th Forum. They represent 2,177 organizations from civil society and governments from all over the world.
So far, also according to the committee, over 3,000 journalists have been accredited to follow the event. Over 2,000 activities are planned over the course of the week.