Throughout the days of debate and work at the People’s Summit held parallel to the third CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States)-EU Summit, trade union activists, community leaders, left political leaders, artists, and students from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe ratified the importance of spaces for democratic and plural debate among equal partners. The summits occurred simultaneously in the Belgian capital of Brussels from July 17-18 after an eight-year pause.
The People’s Summit, held at the Free University of Brussels, was organized by a broad coalition of over 100 organizations, collectives, unions, political parties, and movements. The organizers included: ALBA Movimientos; Intal Globalize Solidarity; CELAC Social; the International Peoples Assembly; Jornada Continental for Democracy Against Neoliberalism; the Network of Intellectuals, Artists, and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity; and the Party of the European Left.
Panel discussions were held during the two days of the summit on topics like Latin America as a zone of peace, strengthening the movement in solidarity with Cuba and against the blockade, ecological transition, decolonization and de-patriarchalization, migration and exile, and new forms of dirty war.
On the evening of July 17, over 1,000 people gathered in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium in the Festival of Cultural Solidarity between Latin American, Caribbean, and European Peoples to celebrate Latin American music and dance and hear from special invitees Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, Colombian President Gustavo Petro, Bolivian President Luis Arce, Venezuelan Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez, leader of La France Insoumise Jean-Luc Mélenchon, President of the Workers’ Party of Belgium Raoul Hedebouw, and others.