Dear comrades and friends,
Let me start with a very good news:
the Ortega/Murillo dictatorship released yesterday 222 political prisoners who could fly out to Los Angeles, amongst them our comrade and UNAMOS party leader Suyen Barahona. We share the emotion of her family and comrades! We are also aware that the exile is not what they would have chosen and we will continue to stand alongside with our comrades to support their fight for democracy, free and fair elections! This is our international solidarity!
TURKEY and SYRIA
However besides the good news from Central and North America we remain all shocked by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria and have expressed our solidarity with the victims in both countries and our member parties CHP and HDP. After the immediate urgency and relief actions there will be need for the political confrontation and to see how far the incredible impact is not due to the lack of preparation and anticipation, and whose responsibility this is.
In any case the tragedy shall not offer the opportunity to Erdogan to reduce even more the political and civic space, to continue attack on democratic political forces and our sister parties in particular.
In this emergency situation, we invite you to support emergency relief organisations linked to our political family in Germany and Austria: our board member Katarina Barley from SPD is President of ASB Germany (Workers Samaritarian Organisation) which has already sent specialised staff to the region of this catastrophy.
We invite you to donate and give financial support to their emergency action: https://www.asb.de/en/donate
PA and SI
We had the opportunity to congratulate Pedro Sanchez (President) and Benedicta Lasi (Secretary General) for their election at the Congress in November as new leadership of Socialist International. Last weekend, on invitation of PS France who hold their 80th congress in Marseille, both SI Secretary General and PA Global Coordinator intervened for the very first publicly in the same international panel.
As discussed and formally agreed in the last board meeting, taking into account the mandate given to me, I will engage talks with SI leadership to seek possibilities and opportunities for common approaches and coordinated agenda. PA board and our member parties will be informed by me on progress made.
In line with our calendar decided in the last board meeting, we envisage to hold the next board meeting in May/June in Europe (place to be confirmed) and hold our next Convention by the end of the year where my mandate will finally end. As soon as planning becomes more concrete, I will keep you updated.
Unfortunately, the talks on our upcoming seminars are still not finalised: the plan is to hold 2 conference on Peace & Security as challenge for progressive policies in Asia and Central Africa in April/May.
Furthermore I have accepted the invitation to PA of FEPS President, Maria Joao Rodriguez, to join their Global Governance Programme. Details will follow.
And finally, I am pleased to announce that our Mexican member FEPESP has gathered several Foundations from Latin America to create the Progressive Foundation of las Americas by the end of this month.-