You may never have heard of the Foro de SãoPaulo, as Western media tend to ignore it, but it is the world’s largest and most impactful Marxist international organization. Its latest gathering demonstrated how pro-China and pro-Russia this radical body is, and how it retails its winning blueprint throughout the world.
Rubbing elbows at the June 29-July 2 gathering in Brasilia, Brazil’s capital, were members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Cuba’s Communist Party, and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the party of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Jamaal Bowman, and Cori Bush.
A DSA member attending the conference, Estefania Galvis, assured the main television station of Venezuela’s Marxist government, TeleSur, that her party was “fighting inside the heart of the empire.”
So we don’t read that at this year’s Foro, Brazil’s President Inacio Lula da Silva, the host along with Brazil’s Communist Party, bragged about how proud he was to be called a communist. At his opening speech, Lula said his enemies “accuse us being communist, thinking that this will offend us. But that does not offend us… To call us communist or socialist will never offend us. Never. On the contrary, it makes us proud. The people know that we deserve to be called that.”
The enemies of communists, he said, were the narratives of “family, tradition and patriotism.”
The conference routinely lambasted the United States and defended and praised China, Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela. The group’s opening declaration said Foro members would deepen their ties to the CCP.
Joe Biden and other Western leaders have done nothing but coddle Lula and the region’s other Marxist leaders, while treating the Foro as a debating society.
But the Foro is the world’s largest grouping of Marxist governments, political parties, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), third part groups, guerrilla groups, and terrorists. Their actions affect Americans and Europeans, through drug trafficking, targeted immigration, the financing of political parties in the West, and support of violent groups such as Black Lives Matter, whose leaders attend Foro conferences and meet with Foro leaders.
The Foro was formed in 1990 by Cuba’s long-time communist tyrant Fidel Castro and Lula da Silva, then the leader of Brazil’s Socialist Party.
There were two main reasons for forming a Hemisphere-wide network of communists. The first was that, aside from of Cuba, communists had failed to win power the traditional Marxist way—violent revolution followed by state terror—so another approach was needed.
The other reason was that the Soviet Union—the paymaster of all communists since its inception in 1917—was collapsing. Someone else was needed to bankroll revolution.
Its key strategy after switching from bullets to ballots was for Marxists to run for office not as Marxists per se, but as populists, reformers, or anti-corruption crusaders. Then, after winning, they would change constitutions and society.
The Foro’s annual summits, frequent workshops, and smaller gatherings became platforms for planning and sharing “best practices.” At his speech, Lula reminded his audience that it was the Foro that introduced the electoral strategy, “and you know we’ve had a lot of victories.”
Using this political DYI kit, Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998, instantly putting that country’s enormous oil revenues—and rapidly growing narcotrafficking earnings—at the disposal of the Foro’s other communists. Lula was elected in 2002 and ruled for eight years, being elected again in 2022. Evo Morales followed suit in 2005 in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in 2006 in Ecuador.
All except for Lula have been accused by the U.S. government of engaging with terrorist Marxist guerrillas and drug cartels. Colombia’s FARC guerrilla group (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and ELN (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional), as well as Peru’s Maoist Shining Path guerrillas have taken part in Foro meetings.
A second wave of Marxists have been elected since the Foro’s last conference in 2019—in Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Peru, and of course, Brazil. The far-left organization NACLA boasts that 80 percent of the region is now in the control of the left.
A recent addition to the Foro’s winning strategy has been to use social media to incite and organize street protests in free societies, and then electorally use the resulting discontent to place Marxists in power. BLM-style street riots in Chile and Colombia paved the way for the election of their Marxist leaders. As the closing declaration put it, this mayhem has been translated into “electoral victories.”
All of these leftist governments are opening the region to China. The Foro’s opening declaration was as praiseful of China as it was contemptuous of America.
“The U.S. project of domination over Latin America and the Caribbean is facing an environment marked by threats to its hegemony,” said the document. “The dispute with China, and the growing presence of progressive or leftist political forces in regional governments … constitute an important challenge to a country affected by multiple crises that are manifesting themselves in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres.”
“Cooperation between China and Latin America is not new, and will grow in the future,” the document said. “China represents a factor for stability and balance in the region …. There are no conflicts of interests between China and Latin America, as the People’s Republic of China has never attacked or illegally occupied any Latin American territory.”
The U.S. is trying to “reverse its decline and recover its previous hegemonic status, a desperate effort putting world peace at risk.” Cuba, which has not known democracy or freedom for more than 60 years, was declared a “universal patrimony of dignity” by the final declaration.
It’s time we took these people seriously, even our “leaders” do not.
This piece originally appeared in Disenso