Delegation to Venezuela
- We are rank and file teachers and strike captains (Valeria Vargas, Fabiana Casas and Sarah Chambers) from the historic Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) charter strike in May. We are going on a teacher delegation to Venezuela with Maria Moreno, the Financial Secretary of the CTU, and Richard Berg, a CTU charter organizer.
Chicago Teachers Union organizer Richard Berg, Javier Castillo, Special Education Teacher Sarah Chambers, English Teacher Fabiana Casas and Math Teacher Valeria Vargas were part of a delegation of members from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) arrived in Caracas, Venezuela mid-July 2019.
- Their goals were to learn what they could from Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, exchange views on effective education and to show solidarity with the students, teachers and social movements of Venezuela.
- The trip falls on the heels of a union resolution that was passed by the CTU Executive Board and House of Delegates. The resolution calls for an end to U.S. intervention in Venezuela. Delegation member and CTU Area Vice President Sarah Chambers explains, “Through major economic hardships, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro never closed a single public school or a single health clinic. This stands in stark contrast to our experience in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 public schools and several mental health clinics in a single year.”
The teachers’ delegation met with leaders from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Communes, Ministry of Education, Adult Education Teachers, and students, as well as on-the-ground activists.
One important meeting was when the delegation sat down with Vladimir Castillo, the Venezuelan Director of International Affairs. They learned that Chavez started to talk about socialism in 2005, at the World Social Forum in Brazil, and that a few years after 2007 and 2008, community councils emerged as a result.
"International Women's Day with Rasmea Odeh"
Special guest Rasmea Odeh. Her courage and strength as she faces ongoing persecution by the U.S. Dept. of Justice has made her a symbol of the resistance by women in Palestine and in the struggles for national liberation all over the world.
Other guests included Mariame Kaba, founder of the NIA Project in Chicago, and one of the members of We Charge Genocide, the group that appeared before the UN Committee on Torture to expose the Chicago Police, Sarah Chambers, a member of the bargaining committee of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) that led the strike in 2012, and co-chair of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, leaders in CTU, Kait McIntyre, a leading anti-war activist in Chicago, and a member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!.
Those indicating they would attend on Wherevent included Nadine Darwish, Lisa Grown Johnson, Bonnie Coyle, Kait McIntyre, Yiska Schwartz, Nancy Hammond, Charlotte Kates, Rima Isam Anabtawi, Sarah Wild, Julia Mearsheimer, Ahndrea Nicole Sprattling, Nick Suess, Gofraidh Westberry, Abdullah Al Bayyari Amara, Joe Iosbaker, Alfonso Casal, Timmy Rose, Abdul Rahman Al Sayed-Taha, Richard Reilly, Amoo Sam, Mike Siviwe Elliott, Benjamin Cline, Zach Taylor, Bill Chambers, Jeff Pickert . 
- [https://orinocotribune.com/chicago-teachers-union-ctu-delegation-to-venezuela Orinoco Tribune Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) Delegation to Venezuela June 16, 2019 ]
- Wherevent "International Women's Day with Rasmea Odeh"