Latin America solidarity conference: Supporting rebellion, challenging empire

Issue 

Pat Denny

On September 30, the Research Initiative on International Activism at the University of Technology, Sydney, will host the Fourth Latin American Solidarity Conference with the theme "The Empire's Weakest Link: Venezuela, Cuba and the Rebellion in the Americas". The conference is being organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network and the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society.

It will draw together solidarity activists and special guest speakers for plenary talks, cultural events and workshops aimed not just at educating people about the revolutionary wave sweeping Latin America, but also at strengthening this people's power upsurge by strengthening the solidarity movement in Australia.

In a message to the conference, Nelson Davila, Venezuela's charge d'affaires in Australia who will participate in the conference, explained: "In an age of increasing imperialist aggression and continuous wars, international solidarity is more than ever the key to people's power and real democracy in action."

Davila added that he recommended the solidarity conference to anyone "wanting to understand events in the region, and urge everyone to attend and bring your friends. May it be an important step forward in building Australian solidarity with the peoples of Venezuela and Latin America as a whole."

John Cleary, an activist in the Electrical Trades Union and an organiser of a trade union solidarity brigade to Venezuela, said that what is happening in Venezuela "is an example for the rest of the world and it is something the trade union movement should take note of". "There are dramatic changes occurring in regards to the rights of workers, where workers are now beginning to play a real role in running companies", he explained

"To visit Venezuela as part of one of the solidarity brigades is a truly unique experience." He told Green Left Weekly that he encourages people to come to the conference, which will be "an important step towards the December solidarity brigade, which is timed to coincide with the presidential elections".

[For more information on the conference, or to register, visit <http://venezuelasolidarity.org> or phone Kiraz on (02) 9690 1977 or 0432 335 030, or Tamara on 0423 169 687.]