PANAMA CITY —“What we are doing here is what all Latin American countries should do!” shouted Pedro Silva, a Panamanian activist with the group Warriors against Social Oppression, as he helped his friends string up an American flag and douse it in kerosene. “The U.S. for years has abused our people, our indigenous citizens, our blacks brought here from Africa.”
Silva said his group’s issue is not with the United States, which he said has “brave and working-class people.” Instead, the group, known by the acronym CAOS, is against United States’ “oppressive government” that “shoots at its own African American population and shoots at Latin America.”
“The countries of Latin America are unified,” Silva told Fusion, his voice crescendoing for dramatic effect. “And now they are threatening Venezuela; and if you threaten Venezuela you threaten all of us. And that’s why we’re burning this flag, damn it!”
A video posted by Tim Rogers (@bajopatas) on Apr 9, 2015 at 4:15pm PDT
The flag-burning put an exclamation point on Thursday's “anti-imperialist march” through Panama City to show Latin America's solidarity with Venezuela. The march finished at the University of Panama in time to inaugurate the so-called Summit of the People, a civil society event held parallel to the Summit of the Americas.
Leftists and social activists from across Latin America marched under their various flags, shouting a mix of old and new revolutionary chants, including a new one that not-so-politely tells Obama where he can shove his recent decree against Venezuela.
A video posted by Tim Rogers (@bajopatas) on Apr 9, 2015 at 4:28pm PDT
Homage was paid to revolutionary icons Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.
A video posted by Tim Rogers (@bajopatas) on Apr 9, 2015 at 4:21pm PDT
A video posted by Tim Rogers (@bajopatas) on Apr 9, 2015 at 4:34pm PDT