Conversatorio sobre Cuba, Venezuela y México, 15 de enero de 2017 (+ volante en español)

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Más de 200 Zapatistas participaron en el Encuentro Internacional (Con)ciencias en San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas para interrogar y retar a la comunidad científica y también buscaron cómo infundir a sus tradiciones ancestrales con estrategias científicas para vencer los efectos negativos del cambio climático en sus comunidades y el mundo (Radio Zapatista).

Procesos revolucionarias por las Américas – volante oficial

Evento bilingüe

DOMINGO 15 de enero de 2017

4:00 a 6:00pm, las puertas abren a las  3:30pm

La Casa Roja, 1251 S St. Andrews Place Los Ángeles, CA 90019

*Donación sugerida de $5 a 20, nadie será rechazadx por falta de fondos *

*Libros, artesanía & más a la venta* & *Refrigerio* 

Bienvenidxs a nuestro primer evento de 2017 con charlas sobre los procesos revolucionarios en Cuba, Venezuela y Chiapas, México. Aracely Barboza Cabral es una mujer de color y queer de Los Ángeles del Este con raíces mexicanas y 14 años de experiencia de organización. El noviembre pasado, Aracely participó en una delegación de personas de color a Cuba con WFP. Aracely y otrxs delegadxs aprendieron sobre los logros de la isla y su movimiento en los contextos de justicia social, educación, salud y su transición del capitalismo a otra economía más justa basada en el pueblo. También, lxs delegadxs asistieron eventos con el pueblo cubano de luto después del fallecimiento físico del líder revolucionario Fidel Castro. Este evento celebra el espíritu revolucionario de Cuba.

Jeanette Charles, organizadora regional de WFP, volvió recientemente de Venezuela y Chiapas, México donde los movimientos están combatiendo al capitalismo e intervención estadounidense. El pueblo venezolano sigue definiendo la Revolución Bolivariana y Socialismo del Siglo XXI en sus propios términos a pesar de los ataques de la oposición derechista apoyada históricamente por los EEUU. Las comunas, cooperativas y colectivos trabajando a nombre de la soberanía alimentaria, iniciativas dirigidas por trabajadorxs y en pro de prácticas populares y no capitalistas siguen creciendo en todo el país.

El 1 de enero, 2017, el Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI) y el Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) anunciaron su nueva campaña para crear un gobierno paralelo y lanzar una campaña presidencial independiente para el 2018 con una mujer indígena como su vocera. Estas noticias llegan 23 años después del levantamiento del EZLN y marca un capítulo nuevo en su proceso autónomo y en su construcción del poder popular. El EZLN organizó también un encuentro internacional, (Con)Ciencias lo cual retó directamente a científicxs a nivel global a buscar soluciones para resolver los efectos del cambio climático y cambiar la ciencia y tecnología actualmente sometida al sistema capitalista y militarizado.  

Para más información: Jeanette Charles, 805.669.8482, jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.comwfpsw@witnessforpeace.org

Report Back Event on Cuba, Venezuela & Mexico, Jan. 15th, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA (+ English language flyer)

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More than 200 Zapatistas participated in the (Con)ciencias International Gathering in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas to interrogate and challenge science while also looking to infuse their ancestral ways with scientific strategies to overcome the negative effects of climate change in their communities and the greater world (Radio Zapatista).

Revolutionary Process in the Americas (English language event flyer)

Bilingual Event (English/Spanish)

SUNDAY January 15, 2017

4:00-6:00pm, doors open at 3:30pm

La Casa Roja, 1251 S St. Andrews Place Los Angeles, CA 90019

*Suggested donation of $5 -10, no one will be turned away for lack of funds*

*Books, Artisanal Goods & more for sale* & *Light refreshments will be provided*

Join Witness for Peace Southwest for our first 2017 event with a special night of report backs focusing on the revolutionary struggles in Cuba, Venezuela and Chiapas, Mexico.

Aracely Barboza Cabral is a queer woman of color from East LA with Mexican roots & 14 years of organizing experience. Last November, Aracely participated in a people of color delegation to Cuba with Witness for Peace. Aracely and other delegates learned firsthand about the island nation’s achievements in social justice, education, healthcare and the transition from capitalism to another, more just people based economy. Delegates also mourned alongside the Cuban people after physical loss of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.  This event celebrates Cuba’s revolutionary spirit.

Jeanette Charles, Witness for Peace Southwest regional organizer, recently returned from Venezuela and Chiapas, Mexico where movements are challenging capitalism and US intervention. Venezuelans continue to define Bolivarian Revolution and 21st Century Socialism on their own terms amidst historically US supported right wing opposition attacks. Communes, cooperatives and collectives based on food sovereignty, worker-led initiatives and focused on people rather than profit have taken shape across the country.

On January 1, 2017 the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) made an historic announcement to create a parallel government and launch an independent 2018 presidential campaign with an Indigenous woman as their representative. This news comes 23 years after the EZLN uprising as well as this new chapter in their autonomy and people’s power. The EZLN also organized an international gathering, (Con)ciencias (With the Sciences/Consciousness) which posed a direct challenge to scientists globally to find solutions the world needs to resolve climate change and militarized, capitalist science and technology.

For more information: Jeanette Charles, 805.669.8482, jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or wfpsw@witnessforpeace.org

Press Conference for Justice in Future Relations with Cuba + (video)

Press Conference Calls for Justice in Future Relations with Cuba

Thursday, December 1 2016

Los Angeles/Harbor Area, (San Pedro) California

Transcript:

Thank you for coming this evening, on the occasion of the death of leader Fidel Castro, to discuss our future relations with the government and people of Cuba. My name is Rachel Bruhnke and I am on the Board of Directors of Witness for Peace Southwest.

Witness for Peace is a national organization begun over 35 years ago during the Reagan Wars against Central America. (It was begun in order) to defend the poor farmers of Central America who were struggling to create a just system in their countries and who, unfortunately, were bombarded by U.S. Military might and were unable to create the change in their system that they were trying to do.

So Witness for Peace (Southwest) has been in existence ever since and we invite you all to look at our website and join us in the struggle for what used to be seen as separate continents, but now with the immigration issue in the United States becoming so front and center I think it is very, very important that we make the point that in so many cases, and the American people need to understand this, it is U.S. wars abroad that create immigration into this country. People fleeing their countries’ economic and political violence in order to come here.

We are here to help the American people, the Cuban people, and the World. Fidel Castro died this week, and the press that was made in the United States is not the press that the rest of the world saw. So we are here, people of goodwill, of truth, of peace and of justice, to make our own press.

We believe that it is an historic opportunity that can produce true understanding in the population of the United States of the important role that peace with Cuba can play for ourselves, for the Cuban people, and as a model of peaceful and constructive dialogue so needed in the world today.

Some may call us Communists. So be it. If goodwill, and truth, and peace, and justice are labeled Communist, then it is not we, but the name-callers who have a lot of explaining to do.

The American people today are facing extreme hardships by not having affordable and adequate education and health care, secure neighborhoods and communities, affordable housing, lives not burdened with crushing debt, uplifting rather than debasing culture all around us, nor environmental protection. Nor do we have peaceful international relations with all nations, or constructive media coverage. Because of this, it is incumbent upon citizens of all levels, including in media, to participate and assist their government and their communities in solving these pressing problems.

All of the above-mentioned hardships, faced in one way or another by the over 300,000,000 in the United States, have been positively addressed by Cuba and its people for over 55 years. The American people need to be free to share in the open and constructive discussion of problem-solving with any and all people of the world. We should not be oppressed in our desperate need to meet our own human needs.

So we, local stakeholders in U.S. healthcare, education, trade and labor, environmental protection and community democracy are meeting here tonight to express our support for improved relations with Cuba, and to reject the uninformed reaction and bellicose threats of Donald Trump and his advisors.

We, on the steps of the San Pedro Courthouse, call for justice in our future relations with the government and people of Cuba…

I would like to introduce a few of our speakers today. The first one, his name is Caney Arnold, running (as a Green Party Candidate) for local office, and his main issue that he is going to speak to tonight is the problem of homelessness in the Harbor Area. Caney…

CANEY ARNOLD:

Thank you, Rachel. Thank you for inviting me here to speak for a few moments. As Rachel said, my name is Caney Arnold. I am a candidate for Los Angeles City Council here for District 15, which includes San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City, the Gateway and Watts, and in all those areas, economic and social justice is a major issue.

Since we’re here in San Pedro the one thing that I’d like to talk about is the issue of homelessness, as Rachel mentioned, a major economic and social justice issue that is not being adequately addressed by our City today. Most areas around the country have understood now that “Housing First” and affordable housing are the ways to solve the homelessness issue that Los Angeles seems to not to be able to come to grips with.

We see huge numbers of homeless here in San Pedro and throughout Los Angeles, and instead of using a more humane and empathetic approach, what we see is people being moved from encampment to encampment, pushed from one area to another, spending huge amounts of money that instead could easily be spent on housing, on drug addiction and on alcohol abuse addiction rehab, bringing people up, uplifting them, giving them job training, being able to then put them into affordable housing or even public housing. (It’s) a much simpler approach. More humane approach. More empathetic, and actually less expensive than the current approach. That’s one of my major platforms, and I just want to be able to say again, thank you Rachel for having me here to speak on this today.

RACHEL BRUHNKE

Thank you. There are many things that the Cuban people may not have, or have to do, and one of them is to have to step over homeless people on a daily basis. There are no homeless people in Cuba. While there are over 200 million people who are homeless every day on Earth, not one of them is homeless in Cuba.

It’s very important to have affordable housing, and one of the first things they did back in 1959 was to lower rents in the cities and to also begin to secure housing for all of the people of Cuba. We would now like to call up Julia Scoville, who is a (95-year old!) retired nurse to speak on health care issues, here, and what she has seen in Cuba also.

JULIA SCOVILLE

I’m a retired registered nurse, and I had the opportunity to visit Cuba several times. I was very impressed with the health care. First of all, the World Health Organization has indicated that Cuba has a lower infancy death rate than the United States, which is something when you consider the scientific efforts that we have here.

The other factor that impressed me was their generosity in sending medical help wherever it is needed around the world, whether it is earthquakes, floods or whatever. They offered to send help to Louisiana during the floods several years ago, and they were rejected. They could have really helped because a number of people died after that.

The other thing that impressed me was that the medical staff lives right among the patients, among the people they serve. Usually, when we were travelling, if anyone in our group was ill, they would send a whole group of people, medical staff to take care, and in just a few minutes because they were right nearby…

The other thing, and I don’t know if many people know this, but they also help to train medical students from the United States, medical students who are refused entrance to (cannot afford) the U.S. medical schools. If they qualify, they get free medical education and can work wherever they’re needed.

The other factor about their health care is their generosity in sending medical people to different parts of the world. They were very active in many of the tragic situations that occurred. One of the things that they worked on was the (West Nile) mosquito Virus. They go right in and take care of it.

So I think we should be working together in cooperation because we each have something to learn.

(Cheers and clapping from crowd members…)

RACHEL BRUHNKE:

Yeah!…The United States Government, in all its cynicism toward Cuba, has often said that those international attempts to help around the world is just a form of “Cuban propaganda” to get people on their side, and in the beautiful Cuban way, their answer to that is, “Then the United States should do better propaganda than us. It would help more people.”…Now I’d like to introduce Dave Arian, who is President and Founder of the Harry Bridges Institute to speak on the history of labor relations between the United States and Cuba, and we are calling for a complete end to the U.S. Embargo against Cuba, and to open and fair trade between our nations.

DAVE ARIAN

Thank you, Rachel. You know, the Harry Bridges Institute was founded on the principles that Harry, who was the founder of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union stood for, and one of the main things he talked about was the support for international workers everywhere.

In 1948 there was a coalition between the ILWU, who had sugar workers and farm workers in Hawaii, along with the sugar workers in Cuba and a series of other countries. And that coalition was fighting for better wages and conditions for sugar workers worldwide. At that moment that regime that was in Cuba, assassinated the head of the sugar workers in 1948. The ILWU came to the defense of his wife and his kids and stood strongly with the workers in Cuba. The ILWU has had a close relationship with the Cuban workers from that day to this, and has always said that we need to open up trade, that we need to be supportive of worker to worker. We’ve been there a number of times, and let me give you just one, short story.

After Fidel came in, he understood that in order to move the country forward he needed to educate the people, and he needed to be able to ensure that people had jobs, and ensure that they had housing. When you go outside, right outside of Havana, you’ll see a housing area that has high-rise housing, and there are seven of them, and one of them is dedicated to all of the individuals who work on the waterfront. In other words, you go to work on the waterfront, you’ve got medical care, you’ve got housing, you’ve got the basics that are taken care of in terms of what you need. And you see this. The next set of housing belongs to the steelworkers and so forth and so on.

But you know, there was an understanding from day one, the government had to play a role, not only in putting people to work, providing medical care, housing and education. It would be a great advancement in America if this country was committed to the same thing. But it’s not. (Applause) So I’d just like to say, I’d like to thank Rachel and I think the key question here is opening up trade with Cuba. I think, you know, it’s on the verge of doing that. It’s in the interest of the Cuban people. It’s in the interest of the American people and it’s in the interest of workers throughout the world. So again, thank you Rachel for pulling this thing together.

(Applause)

RACHEL BRUHNKE:

Thank you, Dave. One more note on trade that I would like everyone to maybe research for yourselves is the current trade paradigm we always here is “free trade, free trade”, and what we need to understand when we here free trade, it’s actually really about unregulated trade. And what we’ve been finding, and even the people of the United States of America, who have lost out because of these quote unquote free trade agreements, are coming to understand: that we need a different paradigm of trade.

Let me offer to you a paradigm that Cuba and Venezuela began almost 20 years ago. It’s called ALBA. It’s a Spanish acronym which basically means the “Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America”. So if you would look that up. It’s A-L-B-A, and it’s a beautiful paradigm that talks about “fair trade” between nations. That the purpose of trade between two countries should be to uplift, uplift both countries, especially if they are poor. So it’s not just how we trade, but it’s what we trade, and for what purpose.

They quantify-economically-cultural and sports trade and travel between people that has nothing to do with products. And if we can start “valuing” people sharing together in cultural events, and sporting, or international conferences or cooperation as Dave mentioned, then we start to truly “value” peaceful international relations in a quantifiable sense. So it’s very, very important that we also change our trade paradigm and Cuba is already beginning that throughout Latin America.

I would like to read a couple of quotes. Two people who could not be here, but about 15 years ago, we (Global Exchange/Eco Cuba Exchange) held another press conference in Washington D.C. It was specifically between United States and Cuba in the area of Sustainable Development and in Environment. Many of us had been going for many years to Cuba, working in areas of energy, and agriculture and water especially. And these people got up on the halls of Congress and were able to share their experience as American experts in these very important resource issues, and their experience, therefore, in Cuba.

And I have to tell you that after these three people got up and spoke on energy, on water issues and on agriculture, a young man came up to me at the end of the press conference, stunned, and he said, “I work in the international development community. Everyone in the international development community should have been here today to hear this.” And I said, “I know.”

The world needs to understand that there are other models of developing.

So I want to share from Laurie Stone. She is an engineer who works for Solar Energy International and has been many, many times to Cuba, working with renewable energies with those countries. She says:

“Cuba has a goal to produce 24% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.” Just 14 years from now. “And has already made incredible progress in energy efficiency. While the U.S. is in drastic need of an energy transition to efficiency and cleaner sources of electricity, it is imperative for these neighboring countries to work together to both advance towards a cleaner energy future.”

It’s very interesting to be in a country where oil is not for profit. It makes it a lot easier to transition away from it.

And while we’re here tonight, I would like to please “represent” also for Standing Rock and for the people right now who are suffering through a snow storm trying to protect all of our waters, and trying to shout out, loudly to this country, America, that we must transition away from fossil fuels and towards greater efficiency and greater renewable energies. (Applause) Their lives are on the line. We must begin to transition in our own lives.

And secondly, my dear friend and advisor when I was at Humboldt State University. His name is Bob Gearheart. He is a water engineer, and a biologist. He has been several times to Cuba and he’s also been around the world to many, many poor countries, working often with Peace Corps volunteers who invited him to their villages where they are living to work on water treatment systems. Biological, low impact, low cost in areas that have no money. And so he has seen around the world the way that water systems and wastewater treatment needs to happen in order to save lives.

And when he was in Washington DC with us at that conference he said that “Cuba does it exactly right.” That in terms of their wastewater treatment, their top, top priority in terms of water-is Public Health, and that if we come from a perspective of Public Health, then we begin to make water decisions wisely. And this is what he has written for me to read:

In the several trips to Cuba over the last decade I have had the opportunity to experience the strength and determination of Cubans’ human spirit to prevail and to sustain their culture and development in spite of serious injustices imposed upon them by the United States. There is now an opportunity to engage and innovate in a reciprocal manner for the betterment of all of us.”

(Applause)

…And I’m just going to say a few words before we hear from our final person….I grow food. I’m very much into sustainable agriculture and local agriculture. And Cuba is world-known for urban agriculture, organic agriculture and a transition away from what they used to have, which was more of a large farm, export model, like we have. Entire states in the United States are corn fields, and we have lost, especially since the 1980’s, tens of thousands of family farms.

The irony, and I just need to speak to the rural population of America, is that the irony is  (sigh, pause) your great hero, Ronald Reagan, was greatly responsible for the loss of tens of thousands of family farms throughout the 1980’s, and that the transition to corporate agriculture during the 1980’s and since, has been an incredible loss to the American rural way of life, and we need to start recognizing that.

I’m going to bring up Carrie but I want to just say also is that if you know of the organization the World Wildlife Fund. They are the one with the cute panda logo. Ten years ago in 2006 they did a study. They were looking for the nations in the world that could be called sustainable or close to sustainable. And so what they did is they took the United Nations “Human Development Index” (HDI) that showed life expectancy, infant mortality, education rate and basically said, ‘Who in the world, what country in the world, their people are pretty well off in terms of human development, yet also perhaps have a low carbon footprint.’ And when they put those two sets of data together, only one country in the world scored positive, according to the World Wildlife Fund-not a Communist front-in both of those, and that country was Cuba. So they declared Cuba, by their records, to be the only sustainable country in the world at that time…and now Carrie, who works very, very hard to create citizen participation here in the Harbor Area, is going to speak of her experience.

(Applause)

CARRIE SCOVILLE

Good evening. My name is Carrie Scoville and I, too, have been to Cuba, twice. Once in 1988 and again in 2007 and the difference was striking, because in 1988 Cuba was able to obtain oil from the Soviet Union. After 1992 they were no longer able to, and they had to go off oil, and they had to become sustainable, as Rachel mentioned. They went to organic farming because fertilizers, by and large, are made with oil, with chemicals derived from petroleum products. They went to organic farming. They brought, they had to bring trained people out of their (work) fields and back to the farms to conduct agriculture, to be able to feed the nation. They couldn’t import food, they had to sustain themselves.

And so I want to talk about that a little bit, because they had to go to fully rechargeable batteries, much sooner than we did. Solar power resources, much sooner than we did. They had to go through it all, much sooner than we did. And they made it, and they sustained themselves. In spite of the Embargo. The Embargo was very, very difficult in Cuba. They had a lot of hunger during that time, during the Embargo, but they overcame it, they grew their own food. Now they have organic food, organic markets. In every community there’s a farmers market along with recipes on how to cook this new organic food, which they didn’t eat before and didn’t know how to prepare. So there’s a mass education program on how to prepare this food, and why it’s good for you, and why it’s good for the country.

Also, I had the privilege of being able to go to other countries with Cubans, and see how they are beloved throughout the world. The world loves the Cubans, and that’s what we don’t realize here in the United States. Why do they love the Cubans? Because the Cubans don’t send drones. They send doctors. They send literacy brigades. They teach countries how to train their own people to teach people how to read, so people are literate. We could use that here! That’s all I want to say, and thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

RACHEL BRUHNKE:

World Peace in a nutshell!…And lastly before we end the press conference I want to draw attention to another of the signs we have here is calling for the U.S. Military to leave Guantanamo. Guantanamo is known as a U.S. Military base, a terrorist prison by the American people, but what it is, is a harbor. And it’s Cuba’s second largest harbor and most important harbor, and it was taken over by us Americans, with our tax dollars, over 100 years ago, and they want it back. They have wanted it back ever since. So not only have we defiled it with our military base and our torture prison, but it is their harbor. So we ask you, in the Harbor Area to consider how if our entire Los Angeles Harbor were to be taken over by a hostile power for over a century, how would we feel? So we must have solidarity between our harbor areas and between our countries.

Please consider the words we have spoken here tonight, and again, we are asking for “Justice in our future relations with Cuba.” Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)…

Viva Fidel

Thursday, December 1, 2016 San Pedro Courthouse

On Fidel’s Passing…Words of Solidarity, Words of Hope and Words for the Future

Please find a message from one of Witness for Peace Southwest’s Regional Board members on the physical passing of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and how we in the United States can continue his legacy for justice and humanity. *

“But the ideas of Cuban Communists will remain as proof that on this planet, if you work hard and with dignity, you can produce the material and cultural goods human beings need.” Fidel Castro, Presente

 

Dear Friends,

This is an enormous day, an inevitable day, a sad day, and yet, like Fidel himself embodied….It is also a very powerful day.

When 9/11 happened, and the [US] American people were bewildered, lied to and bamboozled into being clueless to world events. I said, at the time, that when Fidel Castro died, it would be the same. An event of the same enormity has occurred, and sadly, the ignorance and lies in our “media” only distort. They will not clarify nor truly teach.

The whole world’s people will know what just happened. Except the [US] American people.

Fidel Castro, the man, is no longer living. But, he has now with his parting, spread inevitably and profoundly even more deeply into the hearts-and most importantly for communists-into the ACTIONS of millions upon millions of people, in [the] America[s] and all over the World.

Derided as “bleeding hearts” during Ronald Reagan’s wars against poor farmers in Central America, we will humbly, yet proudly answer, Yes. That is called human, to care for, and to bleed for others. Humus. Earth. Connected, without apology or equivocation.

Che’s words of revolution, of humanity ring clear to me now: “Y seremos millones”…and we will be millions…That we are, today. No lies, no mendacity, no fascist, cruel bullsh**t will be allowed in our spaces. We will stand up to it all. We will study war no more. Ever.  

We do not argue with the arguers. We do not appease the fascists, anywhere, in any heart or in any action. We will name you. We will out you. We will resist you. And we will build and show Another Way. Because we have seen it.

And we will all win because:

People, in the end, can’t drink fracked water.

People, in the end, can’t survive the endless murder of each other.

People, in the end, can’t eat radioactive food.

People, in the end, can’t thrive on hate.

People, in the end, have to answer to their children.

People, in the end, will choose survival over lies.

Life, you will see, will [defeat] Trump Capitalism. Amen.

And of course, too, people in the end cannot do what Nature does: Sustain us all on this gorgeous Planet, in this gorgeous space called Life.

Nature Bats Last.

Fidel knew that. In his last, lovely years his focus was on Planet Earth, and on what we as people need to do to survive on [the earth]. He focused on three main themes, as I saw it: Nuclear war, climate change, and…growing food. In fact, in several of his last meetings with world leaders, sustainable (ie, life-sustaining) agriculture was his main concern and topic of conversation. Imagine that. What a terrorist.

Fascism is derived from the Italian word meaning division. There is no division on Earth, only Unity. That was Fidel’s magic, to see that unity and to fight for it until his last, lovely god-given breath. Yes, god, little g…a “g” that belongs to all of us, that excludes no one.

Fidel, history has absolved you. You left a country that is a beacon of resistance and hope and humanity that, despite the Empire’s blockade, too many of us have seen with our own eyes…and the cat, as they say, is out of the bag…

We have been teaching, and we will continue to teach, to “red” and “blue” alike. And, we are unstoppable.

In my master’s thesis on Cuba’s Energy Transition, I quote philosopher Emmanuel Kant: The Actual Proves the Possible. Cuba’s example has proven to us:

Another World is Possible.

So I do not lose heart. I am sad today, of course. But emboldened and very, very grateful for my understanding, my knowledge and my ability to serve.

Never Fear, Fidel Was Here

Fidel, Presente!

Paz

Rachel Bruhnke

Founder, CUSSP Cuba-US Sustainability Project

Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Board Member

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Fidels-Last-Speech-20161126-0005.html

*All images can be found on On Cuba’s facebook page. 

WfPSW Announces 2016 Delegations

Consider joining Witness for Peace Southwest on one of our international and national delegations in 2016!

Delegation fees cover all set-up preparation, 2 meals per day, housing accommodations, interpreters, transportation within the country and a trained delegation coordinator. The feel also covers extensive reading and activist tools before and after the delegation. Limited space is available—Apply early!

For more information and an application please contact: Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Organizer Jeanette Charles at 805-669-VIVA or jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or Malia Everette at 415-735-5407 or malia@altruvistas.com. For additional information about scholarship opportunities and fundraising assistance contact Jeanette Charle or Tanya Hartley at southwestwfp@gmail.com.

WfPSW has experience organizing delegations to countries throughout the region including Honduras, Colombia and Mexico. If you would like to organize a delegation for your organization, school or community group through Witness for Peace Southwest, please contact Jeanette Charles, Tanya Hartley or Malia Everette (information provided above).

 

MEXICO-U.S. BORDER March 19-26, 2016: Impacts of US War on Drugs on the Mexico/US Border

Learn more about the Impacts of the US War on Drugs in Southern California and along the Mexico-U.S. border. We will meet with organizations challenging the prison industrial complex, fighting against massive deportations and creating alternatives to free trade. Contact Jeanette Charles for more information regarding this delegation’s overall cost.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by January 18, 2016

 

CUBA April 24- May 3,  2016: Celebrate May Day in Cuba:  Labor and Community Organizing from the Ground Up

Join the Cuban people on International Worker’s Day in Havana, Cuba! Join us for what promises to be a remarkable time to celebrate Cuba’s revolutionary spirit, past and present!

Cost: $2350 without international airfare and $2950 with airfare included from Miami.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $200 is due by February 28, 2016.

 

VENEZUELA  May 21-30, 2016: Afro-Venezuelan History and Culture    

May is Afro-Venezuelan history month and is full of events marking the significant political, cultural and social contributions of the African Diaspora and the specific struggles of Afro-descendants in Venezuela. Learn how Afro-Venezuelans have secured significant rights with the Bolivarian Revolution and continue to build an anti-racist Venezuelan society today.

Cost: $1950 excluding international airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by March 14, 2016.

 

VENEZUELA  July 21-31, 2016: The Bolivarian Revolution: From Simon to Hugo  

From Simon Bolivar to Hugo Chavez, the Bolivarian Revolution has evolved into building an inclusive society where all Venezuelans participate. Delegates will learn first-hand the ways and means of Venezuelan democracy, providing a unique opportunity to witness how public policies and grassroots organizing come together.

Cost: $1950 excluding international airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by May 16, 2016.
PUERTO RICO  Nov. 4-12, 2016:  Boricua: The Hidden Colony $1850 

Their status as a U.S. commonwealth leaves them without a vote and voice in their nation’s political future. Stand in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico as they continue their fight for their independence against US occupation and militarization.

Cost: $1850 excluding airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by August 15, 2016.

 

CUBA  Dec. 27, 2016-Jan 4, 2017: New Years in Havana:  Cuban Socialism and Cultural Resilience  

Learn about the Cuban people’s revolutionary history and cultural resilience while also celebrating the New Year! Expect to learn about the importance of arts and culture in Cuban society and its revolutionary development.

Cost: $2850 without international airfare and $3450 with airfare included from Miami.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $200 is due by  September 26, 2016.

Eyewitness Reports this week in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Venezuela, Honduras and Cuba

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Download event flyers: sf event flyer nov 20, 2014LA event flyer nov 22, 2014

Eyewitness Reports this week in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Venezuela, Honduras and Cuba

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Thursday Nov 20, 2014 730-930pm
518 Valencia St San Francisco, CA

 

diputadas Honduras-military policeSaturday Nov 22, 2014 330-430pm
220 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles, CA

 

In the past year Witness for Peace Southwest has sent 37 delegates on fact finding solidarity delegations to Venezuela and Honduras. Join us to hear this eyewitness testimony as we build solidarity with resistance movements in Honduras challenging US funded repression and as we stand for sovereignty of the Venezuelan people as they face US sanctions. In addition you will learn about travel opportunities to Cuba, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries similarly affected by US policies, in 2015, as we continue the struggle for an end to the US blockade on Cuba and Freedom for the Cuban Five and the sovereignty of all peoples

Venezuela: Three delegations traveled to Venezuela in May, June and July this 2014 in the aftermath of violent opposition led street protests and one year after the passing of Venezuela’s beloved President Hugo Chavez. Delegates learned about the Afro-Venezuelan movement and identity, met with Venezuelan doctors practicing universal healthcare, mingled with Venezuelan students attending free universities, and conversed with campesinos and urban farmers maintaining their country’s food security.

Honduras: WFPSW sent election monitors to Honduras in November of 2013 for Honduras’ historic elections and another delegation in August of 2014 to accompany communities facing violence at the height of the child migration crisis. Delegates heard first hand testimony of the roots of the migration crisis. Delegates will report on the fraud that took place during the elections and the violent repression of Honduras’ new resistance party in the elections aftermath. We will hear delegate reports from the Afro-Honduran, Indigenous and campesino communities fighting for land rights against international mega-projects, oligarchs and drug traffickers.

San Francisco Panelists:

Venezuela Delegates
-Jeanette Charles- May delegation leader and Telesur English writer
-Claudia Chaufan- June delegation co-leader and Associate Professor UCSF
-Tanya Cole- May delegation and Witness for Peace Southwest organizer
-Tim Tendick -July delegation and Travel blogger

Honduras Delegates
-Tanya Cole-Election observer, August delegation and Honduras Solidarity Network member

Cuba
-Malia Everette- Cuba travel coordinator for Altruvistas and WFPSW

Los Angeles Panelists:
-Jeanette Charles- Venezuela delegation leader and Writer for Telesur English
-Rachel Bruhnke- Delegate to Cuba Solar Conference Havana, Cuba
-Tanya Cole- Honduras Delegation Leader

Enjoy music, refreshments and good company!

sponsored by Witness for Peace Southwest.

SF event Endorsed by Altruvistas, Taskforce on the Americas, Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition (BALASC), Honduras Solidarity Network, Alliance for Global Justice.

LA Event Endorsed by the Honduras Solidarity Network and the Alliance for Global Justice.

SF Facebook event

LA Facebook event

More info contact: 805-669-VIVA or southwestwfp@gmail.com. Www.wfpsw.org

http://www.facebook.com/wfpsw


 

Informes de Venezuela, Honduras y Cuba.

Jueves, 20 de noviembre de 2014
7:30pm-9:30pm
518 Valencia St San Francisco, CA

sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2014 3:30pm-5:30pm
Multicultural Artists United (MCAU)
220 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Bajen volantes:

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El año pasado Acción Permanente por la Paz Sudoeste ha enviado a 37 delegados en las delegaciones de solidaridad a Venezuela y Honduras. Únase a nosotros para escuchar este testimonio de los delegados como crear solidaridad con los movimientos de resistencia en Honduras y como defendemos la soberanía del pueblo Venezolano. Además usted aprenderá acerca de oportunidades de viajar a Cuba, Venezuela y otros países latinoamericanos, igualmente afectados por las políticas de Estados Unidos.

Venezuela: Tres delegaciones viajaron a Venezuela en mayo, junio y julio este 2014 durante las protestas violentas de la oposicíon y un año después de la muerte de amado presidente Hugo Chávez. Delegados aprendieron acerca del movimiento Afro-venezolano, reunieron con los médicos venezolanos practicando atención médica universal, se mezclaron con los estudiantes venezolanos que asisten a las universidades gratis y conversaron con campesinos y agricultores urbanos que están mantenimiento la seguridad alimentaria de su país.

Honduras: WFPSW envió observadores electorales a Honduras en noviembre de 2013 para que las históricas elecciones de Honduras y una otra delegación en agosto de 2014 para acompañar a las comunidades enfrentando a la violencia del estado y de grandes terratenientes. Delegados escucharon testimonios de las raíces de la crisis de la migración. Los delegados presentará un informe sobre el fraude que llevó a cabo durante las elecciones y la violenta represión de nuevo partido de resistencia Honduras tras las elecciones. Escucharemos delegados con informes de los Afro-Hondureños, las comunidades indígenas y campesinas que luchan por el derecho a la tierra contra la mega-proyectos internacionales, los oligarcas y los traficantes de drogas.

Cuba- informe sobre la protección del medio ambiente y energía en Cuba. También aprendan sobre las oportunidades de viajar a Cuba en 2015.

San Francisco Panelistas:

Delegados de Venezuela
-Jeanette Charles- Líder de la delegación en mayo y escritora de Telesur Inglés
-Claudia Chaufan-co líder de la delegación de junio y profesor asociado de UCSF
-Tanya Cole-delegación en mayo y organizadora de WFPSW
-Tim Tendick-delegación de julio y blogger de viajes

Delegados de Honduras
-Tanya Cole-Observadora electoral en 2013,co-líder de la delegación en agosto y miembro de la Red de solidaridad con Honduras (HSN)

Cuba
-Malia Everette – Directora de Altruvistas y WFPSW y coordinadora de viajes a Cuba y Venezuela

Los Angeles Panelistas confirmadas:
-Jeanette Charles- Líder de delegaciones a Venezuela Y escritora para Telesur Inglés

-Rachel Bruhnke- Delegada a Conferencia de Cuba Solar en Habana

-Tanya Cole- Honduras Delegation Leader

Disfrute de música, refrescos y buena compañía!

SF Facebook evento

LA Facebook evento
Más info contacto: 805-669-VIVA o southwestwfp@gmail.com. http://Www.wfpsw.org, http://www.Facebook.com/ wfpsw

San Francisco Patrocinado por Witness for Peace Southwest/Acción Permanente por la Paz Sudoeste (WFPSW). Apoyado por Altruvistas, Grupo de trabajo sobre las Américas (MITF), BALASC, Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN, Alianza para la Justicia Global (AFGJ).

Los Angeles Patrocinado por Witness for Peace Southwest/Acción Permanente por la Paz Sudoeste (WFPSW). Apoyado por Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN, Alianza para la Justicia Global (AFGJ).

Cuba: New Year’s in Havana

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Cuba: New Year’s in Havana

December 27, 2014- January 4th, 2015

Deadline to apply Friday Nov 7, 2014

Community Engagement and Sustainable Development in Cuba For more information and an application please contact Tanya at tanya@wfpsw.org or Malia@altruvistas.com. Malia Phone: 415-735-5407 or Tanya 805-669-VIVA Greetings to you! We wanted to extend a special invitation to you to join us in Cuba to learn about the Cuban reality today while celebrating New Years with your social justice community. This special journey explores the the innovation Cuba has demonstrated in all fields of sustainable human and environmental development. Learn about the “fruits of the Revolution” as you visit social institutions like schools and hospitals. Engage with organic farmers, community organizers, architects, social workers, educators and more. Explore what the US embargo has meant to the Cuban people and what US/Cuban relations might look like in the future. Examine how Cuba organizes its social, political and economic system. Develop a deeper understanding of social and economic changes in Cuba today as you hear from the Cubans what there hopes and aspirations are for the future as you travel from Havana to outside provinces, and explore both urban and rural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And, yes, celebrate New Years in Havana from a rooftop with live salsa band! The delegation cost starts from $2475-2675 (for a group of 15-18 and 10-14) and includes Cuba Visa, Compulsory Cuban Health Insurance, Double Room Accommodations in 3 star hotels, Two Meals a day, Transport by AC motor coach, a Full Time Cuban guide and translator, Full Program, Entrance and Program Fees, Honoraria, Donations and a rooftop New Years Eve party with live salsa band!. The price does NOT include airfare, one meal a day, gratuities, travel insurance or personal expenses related to travel. Airfare from Miami to Havana roundtrip including the $65 Cuban visa is available for $550. Single rooms are available for an additional $350. Contact us for a tentative itinerary or for a list of FAQ’s. This is a legally licensed people to peole travel delegation to Cuba. This journey is powered by Altruvistas and organized by Obtenga World, a licensed Travel Service Provider. Witness for Peace Southwest is an advocacy organization that is actively working to end the US embargo and travel ban against Cuba. Anyone interested in learning about Cuba is welcome! Draft Itinerary: Dec 27 Arrival into Havana We will be staying at the Hotel Capri, it has a great location. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147271-d6353319-Reviews-NH_Capri_La_Habana-Havana_Cuba.html It just was renovated. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/havana-mob-hotel-capri-reopens-after-renovation Orientation meeting and welcome cocktail. Welcome dinner and Evening meeting at the home of the renown photographer, Robert Salas for a pictorial overview of the Cuban Revolution. Dec. 28th. AM Briefing and exchange with architect, Miguel Coyula. Here you will learn about the history, development and future trajectory of Cuba’s Capital, Havana. Am Guided walking tour of old Havana and many of its beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will journey through history and visit the four main colonial plazas and meet with Cubans from artists to entrepreneurs that inhabit these bustling streets. Lunch la imprenta Visit to community project benefiting from tourism like Convento de Belen (social, education and health care development project serving elders and children). Here we will learn about community development and meet with locals. City tour continues. PM Exchange with the Muraleando community at a special development arts project, and learn about how art and social enterprise have transformed a neighborhood. Eve -Free for cultural activities ( Casa de Musica in Miramar for salsa dancing). Dec. 29th. Am Meeting with the FMC the Federation of Cuban Women to learn about the advancements of gender equity in Cuba today. AM Travel to the community of Alamar-exchange with Miguel, the founder of a wonderful urban agriculture farm at Vivero and meet with other local farmers. Learn about urban agriculture, organics and modern food security issues and how local food production benefited the urban population. PM Visit to the Forteleza, Che’s command center and then the Museum of the Revolution. Dinner EVE Free for Cultural options ( Palacio de la Rumba traditional cuban music) Dec. 30th. AM Visit with FANJ-Fundacion de Antionio Nunez a wonderful NGO in Cuba dedicated to sustainable development and environmental protection. Here will will learn about sustainable community development in Cuba. Optional visit to learn about contemporary Cuban Artes at the Bellas Artes Musuem Lunch at the Casa de Amistad PM Briefing by ICAP, the Cuban Institute for the People for a discussion of current US/Cuban international relations. Discuss the impacts of the US embargo and travel restrictions on Cuban society and its national development. PM Enjoy a private rooftop concert as we enjoy a musical overview (Grupo MEZCLA reserved ) Dinner at a local paladar and Eve free for cultural activities Dec. 31st AM Literacy Museum and meeting with a representative from CENEXEX to discuss literacy advances, gender rights, LGBYT community rights, and the future of Civil Rights in the Cuban revolution. City Tour of Havana continues by bus to important sites like the Revolution Square, the University of Havana, and other sites. Free time in Old Havana or to rest for the evening. Eve NYRS Dinner and Celebration! Rooftop party with live salsa band and lots of Cuban friends! Jan. 1st AM check out of hotel to leave for the Zapata Peninsula a UNESCO bioreserve, located in Matanzas. Depart for Playa Girón. We will visit an environmental reserve, Bermejas Preserve, which took the brunt of Hurricane Michelle in November 2001. Local conservationists have been assisting the natural recovery process here under park supervision. PM We will check in to a local hotel on Playa Larga. We will receive a lecture outlining the history of the reserve and current projects and after they will have an opportunity to share in small group discussion with volunteers working on the reserve. Jan. 2nd Am Optional morning biodiversity hike for birdwatching. Perhaps you might see the smallest bird in the world, the bee humming bird. Exchange with local naturalists from CITMA. Am Visit to the Play Giron Bay of Pigs Museum and learn about this important historic event from the Cuban perspective. PM Visit to the Caleta Buena and enjoy the marine ecology. EVE Meeting with a local CDR-the Commites for the Defense of the Revolution Jan. 3rd. AM Visit to “Central Australia” and the Memorial Library “50th Anniversary of the Carbonera Dinner with Fidel”, in Batey Soplillar, with an exact replica of the huts where the President of Cuba, Fidel Castro Ruz, shared the dinner (on Christmas Evening ) December 24th Day 1959, with the Charcoal cookers area. AM Return to La Havana. Check back into the hotel. PM Meeting with a specialist on Climate Change in Cuba. Dialogue about sustainable trends, resource conservation and the impacts of climate changes in Cuba with The National Centre for Protected Areas and how this will impact Cuba’s economic future and coastal populations. Farewell Dinner at La Torre with invited speakers on Youth in Cuba. EVE Free for optional cultural activities . Jan. 4th AM Breakfast. Wrap up meeting For more information and an application please contact Tanya at tanya@wfpsw.org or Malia@altruvistas.com. Malia Phone: 415-735-5407 or Tanya 805-669-VIVA

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1440830556180863/

FAQS: https://wfpsw.org/faqs-about-travel-to-cuba/

Dear Colleague Letter on Freedom to Travel to Cuba-signed by 59 Reps!

Did you hear about Jay Z and Beyonce’s recent visit to Cuba to celebrate their 5 year wedding anniversary? Cuban American Republican congresspersons Ileana Ros-Lehtinin and Mario Diaz-Balart wrote to the US Treasury Department criticizing Beyonce’s and Jay Z’s visit and calling for an investigation of the super star couple’s trip to Cuba.

Are you tired of a small minority of Cuban-American congressperons holding us all hostage when it come to US policy towards Cuba? President Obama has made some forward strides to loosen travel to Cuba but we have much further to go. Rep Sam Farr (CA) has authored a Dear Colleague letter addressed to President Obama asking the President to use his excecutive authority to grant general licenses for ALL purposeful travel to Cuba.

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Bird-Dog the New Congress! Take a look at our “How To” guide.

Bird-Dog Your Representatives

Bird-dog (bûrd’-dôg), v. To follow, monitor and/or seek out a subject of interest, such as a public official, with persistent attention to get answers to questions or influence the subject.

Bird-dogging is a tactic that many organizations, and concerned citizens, use to pressure public officialsto take a public stance on an issue, or to question a stance that a candidate has already taken.It usually consists of one or more bird-doggers who go to a public event where a public official will appear. The bird-doggers ask the candidate pointed questions about issues they care about in order to elicit a response. Because members of the media often attend candidate events, bird-dogging plays an important role in getting candidates’ positions “on record.” This is a vital part of holding politicians accountable to their constituents after the elections.

The highest office in America is at stake. Now is the time to ask the candidates what they are going to do about the issues we care about.

Tips for Successful Bird-Dogging

• Know where they stand. Before you bird-dog, check for the latest information about the candidates. Have they taken a stance on the issue? The more you know about where the candidate stands the more specific your question can be. To find out their voting record on certain issues go to www.votesmart.org

• Be assertive. Candidates have very busy schedules and may only take a few questions from audiences during public appearances. In order to be heard, be sure to get in line or raise your hand immediately when it’s time for questions. You also don’t have to wait for public speeches or town hall events. Try for a quick question during a meet-and-greet session or other public appearances.

• Be polite. Most candidates will not take rude people or questions seriously.

• Be direct. Don’t give a long explanation of your question. While you will want to set up your question, the goal of bird-dogging is to force a candidate to respond to an important issue on the record.

• End with a very specific question. Politicians love avoiding difficult issues, so make sure to ask a clear and specific question to ensure that they address the issue you are interested in. Ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no answer. If you feel like your question was not answered, politely ask it again. Here are some sample questions:

Cuba: 

It is estimated that lifting the travel ban on Cuba could create as many as 20,000 new jobs and over 1 billion in revenue for the U.S, and that two-thirds of all Americans including Cuban Americans support lifting the travel ban on Cuba. Will you support efforts in congress to lift the Cuba travel ban and work to normalize relations with our island neighbor?

Trade:

It is estimated over 600,000 U.S jobs were lost after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement while two-thirds of all undocumented migrants in the U.S today came as a result of NAFTA. In the last 2 years during one of our worst recessions the US congress passed 3 more NAFTA style free trade deals. Now a new trade deal is proposed under the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement including 8 pacific rim countries. How will you vote on this next new free trade deal and will you work to re-negotiate the trade agreements we already have?

Drug War:

This year alone the U.S will spend 52 billion on the War on Drugs, mostly on military aid to corrupt foreign governments like Mexico and Colombia and on incarcerating drug addicts here in the U.S. With this strategy we have only seen more drugs on our streets, more drug cartel violence and more people in prison. While 20 million Americans needed drug treatment last year and never received it.  In the next congress will you work to shift Drug War spending away from corrupt foreign militaries and domestic prisons and spend more money on curtailing the demand side of drug abuse by providing community services, drug treatment and de-crimilization of drug addiction?

Work in teams of two or more people and disperse. Bird-dogging can sometimes make people nervous so it’s best to go in teams of two or more for support. Also, if you have two people in a team, one can ask the question while another writes down the response. It’s best if you can get the candidate’s response on camera, but either way, get an accurate quote of what was said so you can pass the information on. The website http://www.birdogger.org is a good place to post candidate responses.

When you ask a question, be prepared with a follow up question – you might just get the opportunity to ask it. And, this way if someone else asks your question you’ll have a backup. If you have a group of people at the event, split them up. Dispersing at the event might allow everyone in the group to ask a question.

Keep it cordial. You are likely to get more of a response from candidates, and make a positive impression on the media, if you are calm and respectful in your demeanor. Hardly anyone is 100 percent opposed to your views, so try and come up with a compliment on a candidate’s position that you can mention before you ask your question.

For a list of congressional races and how much money they have raised go towww.thegreenpapers.com

To find out who contributes to their campaigns go to www.opensecrets.org

For Bird-dogging help contact southwestwfp@gmail.com or call (805) 421-9708.