(From L to R) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro and Bolivian President Evo Morales react during the final day of the Sao Paulo Forum, held in Havana's Conventions Palace, Cuba, on July 17, 2018. The annual meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum aims to build consensus on the future action for the left-wing political parties and organizations in Latin America. (Xinhua/Joaquin Hernandez)
HAVANA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia and El Salvador on Tuesday paid tribute to the legacy of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in Havana, calling for unity.
The heads of state spoke at a plenary session, chaired by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, to some 600 representatives of regional leftist parties and movements on the closing day of the annual meeting of Sao Paulo Forum.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recalled the days when this "space for unity" was founded in 1990, thanks to a "wonderful idea" put forward by Castro, who he described as a "genius and visionary of humanity," along with Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
"When we review these 28 years of the Sao Paulo Forum, we see the greatness of the task carried out by the revolutionary forces to roll back the hegemony of the neo-liberal model," said Maduro.
Bolivian President Evo Morales echoed his Venezuelan counterpart.
"The best tribute to Fidel is the unity of Latin American countries. The best tribute is not to give up or doubt our revolutionary principles," said Morales.
El Salvador's President Salvador Sanchez Ceren said Castro's beliefs were "more needed" now "due to the challenging situation the region is going through."
"Fidel's call to strengthen unity is today more compelling than ever. The left in Latin America must persevere with strength and with Fidel's spirit of victory against the right-wing offensive."
The annual meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum aims to build consensus on the future action for the left-wing political parties and organizations in Latin America.
During the three days of this year's forum, participants discussed the emergence of the right in Latin America and strategies to counter U.S. domination of mainstream media across the Americas.