Hispanic LA zoom cameras were turned on in Los Angeles, California, and from Chile appeared Marco Enriquez Ominami, the charismatic political leader who, in an hour and a half meeting, spoke about the challenges facing Latin America and, among other topics, about the US elections.

“It is evident that the Trump administration has not been a stabilizing factor in Latin America and the Caribbean…” said Enríquez Ominami, founder of the Puebla Group and former Chilean presidential candidate.

Recalling that the Donald Trump administration, unlike that of Barack Obama, cut off the dialogue with Cuba and Venezuela and started a trade war with China, he emphasized the consequences for the region.

“Latin America and the Caribbean established an open relationship with China and… the North American trade war… affects us directly. We need foreign investment… ”, he stressed.

Intercontinental meeting

In a twenty-minute presentation, and with an audience that included politicians, journalists and academics from Argentina to Canada, Enríquez Ominami explained the important role that the Puebla Group, a non-institutional organization that includes presidents, former presidents, presidential candidates, and ministers.

The meeting was moderated by the signer, Néstor Fantini, editor of Hispanic LA, and featured a panel of renowned journalists and academics of the American Latino community. Among them, Gabriel Lerner, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles daily La Opinion; Dr. Raúl Hinojosa Ojeda, professor at the University of California; María Luisa Arredondo, founder of LatinoCalifornia; Eileen Truax, journalist and ´Fellow´ from the University of Michigan; and Ricardo Corzo Moreno, Venezuelan consultant and co-organizer of the event.

The event took place on September 11, the anniversary of the Chilean coup and the attack on the Twin Towers; which motivated the Reverend Walter Contreras to convene a moment of reflection for the victims of these historical events.

Elections in the USA

Only fifty-three days before the US elections, Enríquez Ominami commented that “elections are coming in this part of the world that are controversial… We believe in the self-determination of the peoples, we do not believe in foreign intervention in any country ”.

He added that, if asked on a personal level, some members of the group’s parliamentary or legal wing could participate as observers in the US electoral consultation. He clarified that « we do not intend to replace anyone. »

But Enríquez Ominami distanced himself from other potential observers such as the Organization of American States (OAS), which he harshly criticized for its interference in the Bolivian conflict months ago, which led to the overthrow of President Evo Morales, stating “…our rejection of the OAS being once again an observer in Bolivia since there is sufficient evidence that he participated in a report that was without substance and that, in addition, in an inopportune manner, was published to generate the crisis that broke Bolivian democracy …  »

The US elections are not only historically relevant to the United States, but their outcome will have an impact on the region and the world. « We are concerned about what is happening in the United States because it affects Latin America and the Caribbean … » said the Chilean leader. “Expressing this with my utmost respect for national political processes, the Puebla Group observes with concern simply the practical consequences of a democratic delay in the U.S… »

Regarding the candidates of the two major parties, he said that “(A) personal title I have great hope that Biden will play a role in replenishing the mainstream of politics. Politics is basically talking, if you don’t talk, what are the political parties for? « 

The Puebla Group has already had six meetings. The first, and founding, was between July 12 and 14, 2019, in Mexico, in the historic city of Puebla. Four months later they met in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since then, due to the crisis generated by COVID-19, the following meetings were all virtual.

Venezuela

As in other meetings of this nature, the polarizing issue of Venezuela could not be absent. Enríquez Ominami, who is the coordinator of the Puebla Group, recalled that the organization supports the diplomacy promoted by the Mexican and Argentine Foreign Ministry.

« The isolation of Venezuela is useless and I, personally, I believe that it is essential to accompany the Venezuelan process and not forget that Chavismo is a force of electoral influence and that it exists … » Enríquez Ominami commented. “And what they are trying to do is a whole political dialogue, in Venezuela, that ignores Chavismo. That has no destination. Chavismo is an important, popular, organized force, it is a democratic force… ”

And faced with the threat of a possible military intervention that was suggested by the Trump Administration, he said: “The correct way is to accompany the process and not isolate yourself. Whoever subtracts from that problem does not help. And whoever proposes military interventions helps less … what is required is dialogue« 

HispanicLA.com, organizer of the event, is an opinion, politics, literature and art site that reflects, from a progressive perspective, the Latino community of Los Angeles, United States, and is open to works that expand the international dialogue of the Latin American diaspora.