Latin American leaders hail Greece's 'no' to austerity


Supports of the 'no' vote celebrate in Athens on the night of July 5.

Leaders of Latin American left-wing governments have congratulated the Greek government and its people after Greece's historic July 5 referendum. Voters rejected debt austerity proposals by Greece's European lenders.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “The ‘no’ vote in Greece is a victory against the financial terrorism carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

Bolivia’s left-wing President Evo Morales said: “I congratulate the great Greek people for the victory of 'no' … which is a defeat of European imperialism. It is the beginning of the liberation of the European people.

“My respect and admiration for the historic Greek people, the birthplace of democracy. The Greek people have defeated the harshest capitalism.”

Cuban President Raul Castro also sent a message to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, saying: “I extend sincere congratulations on the victory of the No vote in the referendum ... that result shows the majority support of the Greek people for the courageous policy of your government. I reiterate my highest consideration and esteem.”

Ecuador’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino said the overwhelming vote against the proposed austerity measures by European creditors represented “solid backing” for Greece’s Tsipras-led government.

Ecuador, like Greece, held a debt audit that found the country’s debt illegal and illegitimate and that later led to the South American nation substantially reducing its repayments to creditors.

Ahead of the vote, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said Greece should ignore the advice of the IMF and international financial bureaucracies.

Former Cuban president and historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro praised Greece for fighting back against austerity.

In an open letter to Tsipras on July 6, Fidel said Greek voters inspired “admiration”, saying: “I warmly congratulate [Tsipras] on his brilliant political victory.”

Fidel said his nation shares characteristics with Greece, saying: “Greece is very familiar to Cubans. They taught us philosophy, art and the science of antiquities which we studied in school.

“Your country, especially your courage during this current juncture, inspires admiration among the people of Latin America and the Caribbean … to see how Greece defends its identity and culture against external aggression.”

Fidel concluded his response by wishing “the greatest success” to Tsipras, who the former Cuban leader described as an “esteemed colleague”.

“In the current political situation on the planet, when peace and survival hangs by a thread, every decision should be carefully taken, so there is no doubt as to its honesty and sincerity.”

[Compiled from TeleSUR English.]

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