ASI 2006 – Union del Barrio Solidarity Statement – Benjamin Prado

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Uhuru! On behalf of Union del Barrio, I’d like to express a deep appreciation for having been invited to participate in this conference. On behalf of the Central Committee and the organization as a whole, I would like to also recognize the historical significance of this conference in relationship to the liberation of our people and to our nation.

Our organization, Union del Barrio was founded in 1981. It was founded by a group of activists who came out of the Chicano Movement, which was a movement to reclaim our own identity as a people.

For 500 years — since the coming of the Europeans to the Americas, the illegal occupation of the Americas and the settlement of what is known today as the United States of America — we have struggled to reclaim our own identity.

The conditions under which our people have been held for 500 years are the same conditions that have been imposed on Africa and African people. We understand that that the same enemy that had colonized and kidnapped African people is the same enemy that had occupied our lands.

So the struggles of the Chicano Movement for the basic needs of our people — the basic right to have an education, the basic right to have health care, the basic right to have shelter and to have our ability to express our own identity on our own terms — was a struggle that had been militarily defeated by imperialism and white power during the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Our organization has continued to struggle, and we evolved in 1981 to recognize the need for national liberation. And when we talk about national liberation, we’re talking about a geographical territory. We’re talking about an area that we have termed Atzlan or Occupied Mexico that had been stolen from us in 1848 by U.S. imperialism.

So we come here to this conference to learn much of the understanding that you have come to in your struggles for national liberation of Africa and African people everywhere.

We think that this is significant and important because today what is happening around the world with national liberation struggles, from Asia to the Americas to Africa to the Middle East, is the same struggle against the same enemy for our basic right to exist as a people.

The struggle against colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism and capitalism is a struggle against this parasitic white power that has sucked the very life out of our peoples for too long. This year, 2006, marks 15 years of collaboration and fraternal organization between Union del Barrio and the African People’s Socialist Party and we want to recognize that at this conference.

We believe that the struggle that is happening here for one Africa, one nation is going to be one of the blows that is going to destroy imperialism and white power and their ability to live off of our backs.

“We believe that the struggle that is happening here for one Africa, one nation is going to be one of the blows that is going to destroy imperialism and white power and their ability to live off of our backs.”

We recognize the historical parallel that exist between the discussions of uniting Africa under a solid economic platform that will create better social and political conditions for Africa and African people and what is happening in Latin America.

There is also an attempt to unify Latin America, its resources and its people. It’s called ALBA (La Alternativa Bolivariana para las Americas).

This ALBA — which in Spanish is translated into “a new day” — is attempting to do precisely what is being planned here for Africans and the African continent.

It is an economic relationship that challenges capitalism’s ability to exploit its resources, and it challenges it very frankly and very directly. The leader of that process in Latin America in this particular point in history is Hugo Chavez Frias.

The billions of people around the world that have been excluded will one day reclaim their land, reclaim their resources, reclaim their humanity to challenge and destroy white power imperialism.

So today, that’s why we want to unite with this most historic and significant conference that attempts to destroy and abolish that which is attempting to destroy and abolish us. This is a struggle for survival. This is a struggle between what is today the inhumanity that has been imposed on us and what we want to build as a new future.

One of the things that we’ve learned from here is the need for this theoretical weapon that we call Yeshitelism. We say it because it’s something that has allowed us to grow as an organization and has armed us with the necessary weapons to wage this struggle.

One of the things we have come away with is our ability to produce our information. So I invite you to take with you one of our publications, La Verdad, which is very similar to the Burning Spear. We’ve learned a lot from the struggle of the Burning Spear to be able to provide our communities with that theory that will guide us to the next level of struggle.

We are here in unconditional solidarity, and we say unconditional solidarity because there cannot be solidarity when you place conditions on how people are going to wage their struggles.

We believe in the struggle for socialism. We believe in the struggle for a united Africa, a united Latin America, and a united world because that is what’s going to bring the final deathblow to imperialism and build our communities based on our terms and our needs. Uhuru!

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