Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Reports from U.S./Cuba/Venezuela/Mexico Labor Conference

The fourth U.S./Cuba/Venezuela/Mexico Labor Conference held in Tijuana, Mexico on the weekend of Dec. 7-9, 2007 continued to build solidarity between workers across borders. This year the conference, in addition to the analysis presented by the three representatives from the CTC and ICAP, had many special high points which are briefly outlined below.

Please add your observations, reports, comments, suggestions for next year (tentative dates, Dec. 5, 6, 7, 2008) - things we did well and suggestions for improvement - to this blog. If you planned to attend the fourth conference in December and were told the hotel didn't have rooms, please let us know.

Note the action item
- open letter - below so we can begin 2008 acting to let our union leadership know we won't let anyone get away with Cuba bashing in the name of working people.

Spare a few dollars to help with this work. Please use our
or send a check or money order to:
Labor Exchange, P.O.B. 39188, Redford, Michigan 48239

  • A special evening session on Friday was dedicated to the struggle to Free the Cuban Five. Irma Sehwerert, mother of Rene Gonzalez represented the families of these five heroes unjustly held in U.S. prisons. Silvia Lozano, member of the Cuban National Assembly, who is an expert on the case of the Five also presented. With the assistance of the International Committee to Free the Cuban Five, the program included a special screening of the excellent film, "The Trial." Until Ramon, Rene, Gerardo, Antonio and Fernando are returned to their families and the people of Cuba, a "Free the Cuban Five" component will be featured in all future conferences.
  • Two representatives from Venezuela brought up-to-date news of the progress of the revolutionary process in the Bolivarian Republic, including an analysis of the referendum held just the week before.
  • Elvira Arellano, the courageous woman who has become the face of the struggle for immigrant rights in the United States through the sacrifice of deportation and separation from her son, Saulito, participated in the conference along with Emma Lozano from Familia Latina Unida in Chicago.
  • An open letter calling on union members to tell their international affiliates with the AFL-CIO or the International Trade Union Confederation to stop supporting the U.S. government backed slander campaign against Cuba; to tell the U.S. to end the blockade of Cuba and the trade and travel ban; to join the campaign to free the Cuba Five from U.S. jails; say "No" to the threat to Cuba's sovereignty embodied in the so-called "Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba." (For a copy of this letter and current signers or to volunteer to circulate it, write to: laborexchange@action-mail.org)
  • Tributes to Luis Miranda, and Chuck Drury who died this past year began the conference.