Open Letter to Obama on Iran
8th U.S./Cuba/Mexico Latin American Labor Conference
The 8th U.S./Cuba/Mexico Latin American Labor Conference took place in Tijuana, Baja California, within sight of the U.S. border, December 2-4, 2011.
Some 80 participants attended from the U.S., Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and Uruguay.
It was preceded by a three-day Worker's School for some 26 intercontinental labor activists, taught by Heriberto González del Valle, a youthful professor at the Lázaro Peña National School for Union Cadres in Havana, Cuba.
For U.S. attendees the conference offered a rare opportunity to interact with Cuban counterparts.
The opening panel featured Dr. Raymundo Navarro Fernández, member of the Secretariat of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba, who spoke on the effect of the global economic crisis in his country.
With some 8 million affiliated members, the Central dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras do Brasil is but one of six trade union councils in South America's economic powerhouse, Brazil. The Tijuana conference also heard from João Batista, an officer of the CTB and of the Encuentro Sindical Nuestra América.
According to participant Eric Gordon of Los Angeles;
- For those of us in the U.S., it was gratifying to hear Batista confirm that the Occupy movement has brilliantly shown the world that "U.S. imperialism" also affects the 99 percent at home. Latin American growth rates in the last decade are directly tied to greater autonomy from U.S. banks and financial institutions.
A UAW member from Detroit, Martha Grevatt, spoke movingly about the U.S. domestic crisis, citing her hometown as "the poster child for a sick capitalist society that puts profit before human needs."
Other presenters, including the Cananea miners' strike in Mexico and the Mexican electricians union, both now under heavy attack, filled out the program. Cuba's Gilda Chacón, represented the CTC and the World Federation of Trade Unions.