Gilda Chacon Bravo

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Gilda Chacon Bravo

Gilda Chacon Bravo , is a leader of the former Soviet front, and still communist controlled, World Federation of Trade Unions.

U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange Tour March 17, 2011 - April 1, 2011

Flyer from New york City detailing the event

An 11-city national visit of Latin American union leaders culminated on April 1, 2011 in Wisconsin, the touchstone of the fight against union busting in the U.S. Within one day the delegation met with immigrant rights community organizers at Voces de la Frontera in Milwaukee and young militants in Madison who had spurred a recent three-week Capitol occupation, and spoke at a public meeting at Madison’s Labor Temple.[1]

The U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange, Union del Barrio and the International Action Center initiated the tour, which was also supported by the World Federation of Trade Unions - Americas Region.

Gilda Chacon Bravo from Cuba represented the WFTU throughout and was joined by Humberto Montes de Oca Luna and Pipino Cuevas Velasquez from the Mexican Electrical Workers (SME). The U.S. denied a visa to Mexican teachers’ union leader Jorge Cazares, who was scheduled to appear.

In city after city, the SME leaders told the story of their 44,000 members, who together with their families were deprived of their livelihood in a night, forced from their jobs by the police and marines on Oct. 9, 2009. This attack was part of the neoliberal agenda of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who wants unions and any restrictions on capitalist profit eliminated and all regulations “liberalized.”

The tour’s theme was, “Workers struggle beyond borders, uniting the people of nuestra América (our America),”.

Gilda Chacon Bravo invited everyone to participate in the fourth “Union meeting of Our America” planned in Managua, Nicaragua, for August. She characterized this event as a space open to all workers and social movements in the Americas — from Alaska to Patagonia — to discuss the common challenges facing the working class. Then Dec. 2 through 4 the discussion will continue in Tijuana, Mexico, at the Eighth U.S.-Cuba-Venezuela-Mexico Labor Conference.

During the tour Chacon said the following at her speeches:

“One of the main objectives of our tour is to have an exchange on labor issues here, and introduce the federation to the North American labor movement so we can support and show solidarity with your struggles. What is happening in Wisconsin and other parts of your country are opportunities that the U.S. working class should not miss” .
“The most important result of these conferences is that attendees come to the conclusion that the current economic system can no longer offer us what we need and thus we must find other alternatives. If you ask me what system that would be, as a Cuban, I would say it is socialism.”[2]

Locations and dates of public meetings and known people what attended each event

Cuban representative of the World Federation of Trade Unions, Gilda Chacon Bravo, with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire. The Cuban representative spoke at UAW Local 600 on March 20, 2011. (Photo: Cheryl LaBash) a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
From left, Pipino Cuevas Velasquez and Gilda Chacon Bravo in San Diego

Thursday, March 17, 2011 Westminster Presbyterian Church 400 I St. SW Washington, D.C. 20024 6:30 pm

Friday, March 18, 2011 UAW Local 1005 5615 Chevrolet Blvd. Parma, OH 44130 5:00 - 6:15 pm - Reception 6:15 - 8:15 pm - Presentation

Saturday, March 19, 2011 Farm Labor Organizing Committee 1221 Broadway Toledo, OH 43609 6:00 pm

Sunday, March 20, 2011 UAW Local 600 10550 Dix Ave. Dearborn, MI 48120 1:00 pm. Gilda Chacon Bravo met with members of the united Auto Workers Union and members of the pro Cuba/North Korea Workers World Party, including local leader Abayomi Azikiwe. No stranger to foreign visitors, Azikiwe was one of several W.W.P. activists to attend September 21, 2010, New York meeting, with President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [3]

Monday, March 21, 2011 Workers United Hall 333 S. Ashland Chicago, Il 60607 6:30 pm

Friday, March 25, 2011 World Beat Center2100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Gilda Chacon Bravo is shown on the Workers World website in a photo meeting with Pipino Cuevas Velasquez

Saturday, March 26, 2011 Southern California Immigration Coalition Conference Santee Educational Complex 1921 Maple Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90011 Noon - 4:00 pm

Sunday, March 27, 2011 Workers United 920 S. Alvarado Los Angeles, CA 90006 6:00 pm

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 SEIU Local 1199 330 West 43rd. St.7th Floor New York, NY 6:30 pm Chacon met with Victoria Cumes,Chris Silvera of Teamsters Local 808; Ike Nahem Cuba Solidarity NY and SEIU Local 1199; Teresa Gutierrez IAC, May 1st Coalition; Roberto Meneses Jornaleros Unidos de Woodside; Lucy Pagoada UFT Delegate HondourasUSAResistencia; Mike Gimbel American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 375; [4]

8th U.S./Cuba/Mexico/Latin America Labor Conference

Conference participants

The 8th U.S./Cuba/Mexico Latin American Labor Conference concluded Dec. 4 in Tijuana, Mexico. This meeting, and the three days of classes that preceded it, amplified an Encuentro Sindical Nuestra América initiative to unify the union and working-class social movements throughout the Americas. ESNA coordinators Juan Castillo from Uruguay, João Batista from Brazil, Oliverio Reyes from Mexico and Raymundo Navarro from Cuba guided the discussion throughout the week in Tijuana.[5]

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.

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, a Communist Party USA affiliate from 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. .[6]

Mexican Electrical Workers International Secretary Humberto Montes de Oca and Sergio Tolano, president of the Cananea, Mexico, miners union, participated. International Longshore and Warehouse Union member Clarence Thomas addressed the positive interaction of the Occupy Wall Street movement with port workers. World Federation of Trade Unions-Americas representative, Gilda Chacon Bravo, outlined the organization’s history, revitalization and relation to today’s struggles. Cristina Vasquez, Western representative of Workers United, and Alicia Jrapko, U.S. coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, urged a greater union voice to free the Cuban Five, who have been unjustly held in U.S. prisons for more than 13 years. The final panel debated views of the migrant/immigrant struggle.[7]

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