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Citizens of the world, Ecuadorians:
By constitutional mandate Ecuador is a territory of peace and her soil cannot be used to establish foreign military bases. Her armed forces founded on democratic principles have the mission to protect citizens’ rights, liberties and guarantees, as well as to defend the territorial sovereignty and integrity of the Republic.
Therefore, in the name of the Ecuadorian people and my government I endorse, with absolute conviction, the clamour of millions of human beings, regardless of origin, ethnicity, language, belief, culture, age or gender, who identify with the same aspiration of a world of peace and who have taken the initiative to lift up their voices and affirm their presence in the first World March for Peace and Nonviolence.
This event, unprecedented in history, promoted by the Humanist Movement is proposing to travel all the roads and paths of the world, to ask all the world’s powers for complete nuclear disarmament and to proscribe the construction and use of weapons of mass destruction; the immediate withdrawal of troops from any country where they are found on foreign territories against the will of the peoples who live there; progressive and proportional reduction of conventional weapons; the signing of non-aggression treaties; renunciation by governments of the use of force or the threat thereof to resolve conflicts or impose actions that go against the dignity of human beings, their identity, their free expression; and the rejection of all forms of violence, simultaneously awakening a universal consciousness in favour of peace.
My government, in solidarity with the unanimous will of Latin America, supports this proposal evoking the memorable and fundamental Tlatelolco Treaty, through which our continent was constituted into the first region of the world free of nuclear weapons over 40 years ago. Moreover, our pacifist vocation, our conviction of the absolute value of peace has led us to set in motion a radical process of change under the same sign of peace.
Therefore, our citizens’ revolution is developed through the channels of dialogue and participation, terminally excluding any non-peaceful resource, with the joy of a people who sing without fear for their victories and for their hopes.
It is worth remembering that in the whirlpool of violence that Latin America has suffered, Ecuador is the most peaceful country of the region. It is a sovereign and proud country that will never again allow, as proved by the Government of the Citizens’ Revolution, the installation of foreign military bases that throughout the history of the Continent were generators of violence, injustice and interventionism.
The aspiration of my people and of my government consists in definitively eradicating from Ecuadorian territory, all forms of violence, as much those that were cruelly practiced by the State during the dark neoliberal night, as those that have been confronted by some citizens against others, bloodying fields and cities.
It is necessary to understand that peace is not only the absence of violence but rather, and fundamentally, the presence of justice. As said by Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Populorum Progressio, development is the new name of peace, a thesis that expresses an alliance of solidarity between human beings, that determines the universal destiny of resources and the need to conjoin solidarity and economic growth, with preferential option for the poor and disenfranchised of the Earth.
We know that many forms of violence have their roots in the perverse exclusive systems that trample on the fundamental rights of mankind and the citizen and sacrifice all values on the mean altar of the Market. And we also know that the dreamed of goal of peace, liberty and law can only be reached through the paramount basis of justice and mutual respect; moreover, when speaking of Latin America, the most inequitable continent on the planet, victim of expressions worse than bullets that are shown every time that dominant groups radiate power and opulence, truly shameful in front of hunger and misery of the vast majority. This definitely has to change because now history will have to count on the poor of the American continent.
With this certainty and with the unbreakable will to tirelessly fight for this objective, on the 18th of December, the Ecuadorian people and my government will open our arms to receive the masses of the March for Peace in the heart of Quito, in our fond Plaza Grande that has been the setting for fundamental events in our history, to say to the whole world that we are also Marching and that we will continue marching until January 2010 when this singular pilgrimage reaches its destiny in Punta de Vacas, in our brother Republic of Argentina.
Finally, I want to make a call to all political, social, cultural and religious leaders of Ecuador, of the Andean Region, of the whole of the Continent and in all latitudes of the world, to demand their endorsement and their support for this exemplary citizens’ initiative, that has caused the first unanimous mobilisation of humanity and that this gigantic march repeats in a choir of solidarity the old and still relevant poem by Rafael Alberti:
“I shout it here: Peace! And I shout it
You fill your cheeks with the cry
Peace, on foot! Peace! Peace, on knees!
Peace unto the end of the infinite!
No other word, no other accent
Nor other trembling between hands
Only Peace! Peace Brother!
Love and Peace as sustenance”
Until victory, always, comrades!