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Montevideo, December 12th 2018 - 08:28 UTC

Cristina Fernandez, Jose Mujica and Dilma Rousseff in a Critical Thinking forum

Monday, November 12th 2018 - 07:30 UTC
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Cristina Fernandez, Jose Mujica and Dilma Rousseff during a Mercosur event Cristina Fernandez, Jose Mujica and Dilma Rousseff during a Mercosur event
Fernando Haddad and Manuela Davila, the defeated PT presidential ticket in Brazil  Fernando Haddad and Manuela Davila, the defeated PT presidential ticket in Brazil

Several Latin American presidents and political activists are scheduled to hold the First Forum of Critical Thinking next week in Buenos Aires, just a few days before the G20 summit which this year in being hosted by Argentina and will convene the world's leaders.

Among the names mentioned at the Forum are Argentina's Cristina Fernandez, Uruguay's Jose Mujica, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, Colombia's Ernesto Samper, Bolivia's current vice-president Alvaro Garcia Linera. The event is organized by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences, CLACSO, with main offices in Rio do Janeiro and its current director Argentine born Pablo Gentilini.

Among the speakers are Fernando Haddad and Manuela Davila, the Brazilian Workers Party (PT) presidential ticket which lost to president elect Jair Bolsonaro.

Given the list of participants and their clear ideological inclinations, edging with populism, the meeting has been criticized as a kind of “counter G20” with the purpose of making things difficult for Argentine president Mauricio Macri, however organizers said that the event had long been scheduled and is mainly academic.

Haddad from the PT and Ms Davila from the Brazilian communist party will be talking about the recent electoral and political experience in Brazil while on November 19, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will address “Capitalism and Neoliberalism. The democratic crisis, the South American experience”.

Other figures attending the event include Estela de Carloto, head of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, the chairman of the Spanish group Podemos, Pablo Iglesias and several Argentine trade union leaders aligned with Kirchnerism.

The coming Critical Thinking event recalls the 2005 Presidents of the Americas Summit in the Argentine seaside resort of Mar del Plata when then US president George W Bush and his Mexican counterpart Vicente Fox tried to convince their peers to agree on ALCA, a free trade area of the three Americas.

Opposition was strong from Mercosur members mainly Argentina and Brazil, then ruled by Nestor Kirchner and Lula da Silva but also Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who simultaneously organized a parallel counter summit to torpedo the Bush administration effort.

Chavez convened tens of thousands in a Buenos Aires stadium to condemn “the economic policies of the US empire and its puppets”.

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