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. 

Venezuela Solidarity Event in Portland, OR (+video)

In case you weren’t able to catch WfPSW on tour in October, please catch this entire presentation captured on film from Portland, OR. Here, speakers Maria Gabriela Del Pilar Blanco and Paola Martucci Gomez speak to the current political, social and economic challenges facing the Bolivarian Revolution including a recent opposition led attempt to coup democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro!

Videos, Pictures and Links to: WfP Southwest 2016 Speaker’s Tour w/ Venezuelan Organizers

In October, Witness for Peace Southwest toured with organizers Maria Gabriela Del Pilar Blanco and Paola Martucci Gomez of the Revolutionary Sex and Gender Diversity Alliance (ASGDRe) from Venezuela. These two young queer women shed light on the current political, economic and social conditions facing Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution. We toured five states across the West including: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. We stopped in eleven cities and towns and hosted events with dozens more organizations, autonomous spaces and universities. Check out some pictures from our speaker’s tour! You can also review here 20+ videos of greetings from across the Southwest with organizers and organizations we visited in addition to SW’s reflections during the tour. Shortly, we’ll be posting a list of resources, other materials and actions that you can take to stand in solidarity with the people of Venezuelan and larger Latin American liberation movements. FMI: jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com

WfPSW 2016 New Year’s Message!

Happy New Year!
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

We are organizing for a world where many worlds fit, as the Zapatista movement has echoed since January 1, 1994. Their uprising, launched on the New Year, marked another chapter in Latin America and the Caribbean’s revolutionary spirit with the likes of the Cuban and Haitian Revolutions. As we too begin another new year, we remember their legacies and continue to tread along shared paths.

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“I am Latin America…a people without legs that marches on…”

At Witness for Peace Southwest, we usher in 2016 with renewed hopes for a more just and humane world. We move forward while we reflect on another year of hard work in the struggle to change US policy actions in Latin America and to strengthen our growing solidarity. Changes have been underway here in the SW and we know we are better for them!

In 2016, join us on our international delegations to Cuba and Venezuela over the summer and for New Years. Exchange with grassroots organizations domestically along the Mexico-U.S. border and in Puerto Rico this March and November. Become a trained delegation coordinator or design your own customized delegation for your school, church, community or organization!

In 2016, work with WFPSW to organize speaker’s tours events in your area, host local WFPSW chapter meetings and congressional visits on key issues facing Latin America and the Caribbean. Also, consider submitting materials for our newsletter.

Contact me, Jeanette Charles, your Regional Organizer, directly at jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or (805) 669-VIVA to get involved, ask questions or simply to build community.

And finally, please consider making a donation to WFPSW. Our work is sustained by the commitments of individual activists, believers, teachers, workers, students, freedom fighters, organizers and everyone in between across the Southwest. Checks can be made out to Witness for Peace Southwest and mailed to PO Box 1781 Ojai, CA 93024. You can make secure tax deductible donations here. And consider becoming a monlthy sustainer supporting peace, freedom and justice in the Americas.

 
In peace and solidarity, 

JeanetteCharlesBioPic

Jeanette Charles
WFPSW Regional Organizer

PS. Remember to like our Facebook page and join our group

WfPSW Welcomes a New RO!

WFPSW welcomes a new Regional Organizer!

Introducing Jeanette Charles!

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Jeanette comes to WFPSW with loads of Latin America and Witness for Peace experience. For 2 years now Jeanette has served on the Witness for Peace Southwest board of directors. Jeanette is a journalist, organizer, popular educator and queer woman of color raised in working class Black and Brown Los Angeles. The basis of her continued work draws from histories of resistance and revolution across the Americas especially from the legacy of the Haitian Revolution and other Black maroon led rebellions. Members of Jeanette’s paternal family left Haiti during the Duvalier dictatorship as part of a great exodus of Haitians in the 1960s and 70s. Jeanette self-identifies as Black/African descent and specifically as a daughter of the Haitian diaspora. Jeanette is fluent in English and Spanish and grew up in a largely Mexican/Central American neighborhood. In the last five years Jeanette has lived in Venezuela and has extensive travel and cross cultural experiences throughout the Americas.

Most recently, Jeanette worked as a journalist for the Latin American based international news channel, teleSUR in Quito, Ecuador. Much of Jeanette’s analysis is attributed to the delegations and political exchanges she has organized with the Chiapas Support Committee to Haiti, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras with grassroots movements. Jeanette’s senior thesis was on the Honduran Resistance to the Coup in 2009-2010 where she spent several months on the ground researching and establishing relationships with organizers and community leaders documenting people’s struggles. Jeanette is currently pursuing a PHD from the Bolivarian University of Venezuela.

In the United States, Jeanette’s work has focused primarily on building Black and Brown unity and organizing against mass incarceration as well as state violence.

Jeanette is starting off as part time staff with Witness for Peace Southwest until funds are raised to increase Jeanette’s hours as a full time organizer. Jeanette is exited to plan a full calendar of events, delegations to Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Honduras and Cuba and bring speakers from Latin America in 2016. The board of directors of WfPSW welcomes Jeanette!

Feel free to welcome her and ask her how you can get involved. Jeanette’s email is jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or call 805-669-VIVA.