Trade unionists from UK and Latin America gather for London solidarity event

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Latin American students on free medical scholarships in Cuba celebrate May Day in Havana

Trade unionists from Britain and Latin America will be among the 55 speakers to gather at the TUC’s Congress House for the seventh annual Latin America Conference on Saturday 3 December.

Since 2005, these conferences have brought together unionists, writers, politicians, activists, artists and environmentalists over 30 countries discussing and sharing their experience of developments in the Caribbean and Latin America. Thousands of delegates from across the country and abroad have attended to join the discussions.

Speaking about the gatherings, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “TUC is proud to support the annual Latin America conferences and proud too of the close bonds that trade unionists in Britain have forged with their brothers and sisters in Latin America. They are a welcome reminder that there is an alternative to neoliberalism, that globalisation can have a human face, that countries can succeed by putting people before profits.”

While Europe and the United States sink into structural crisis and long term austerity, in much of Latin America, wages are being increased, welfare and health provision expanded, free education extended, pensions raised, and cheap housing made available to the poor.

These achievements are under threat from conservative forces who want to return wealth and control back to the elites and multinational companies. Latin America 2011 will look at the struggles of Latin American people to free themselves from the hegemony of US domination, the battles to gain control of their resources and the fight to defend the gains they have made.

Some of this year’s 55 contributors feature from Latin America: Alberto Juantorena, Cuban double gold Olympic Medal winner and Vice Minister for Sport, three mothers of the Miami 5, trade union leader Egle Sanchez and Alvarez MP from Venezuela, recently released political prisoner and Colombian trade union leaderRosalba Gaviria, Ernesto Narvaez, from the Alianza PAIS in Ecuador, representatives from the Brazilian People Party and Nicaragua.

British trade unionists include general secretaries Billy Hayes (CWU), Sally Hunt (UCC) and Bob Crow (RMT) plus Frances O’Grady deputy general secretary of the TUC.

Workshops include sessions on women and equality in Latin America, education, the legacy of slavery in the Caribbean, Guantanamo Bay, film and music in Cuba and Latin America, live blogs and footage filmed by student protesters in Chile this month, the media representation of Latin America and much more.

Rob Miller, director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign one of the founding members and organisers of the conference said: “The Latin America Conferences give us the understanding and enable us, here in the UK, to get involved, and join the struggle through our solidarity work.”

As well as plenary sessions and workshops there are stalls, films, music during the day, followed by an evening fiesta with live Latin music, food and rum cocktails for those who still have the energy for dancing and partying afterwards.

Full details of speakers and how to book at www.latinamericaconference.org.uk

LatinAmerica2011 Adelante! Making a better world possible

Saturday 3 December 2011, 9.30am-5pm

Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

Tickets £10 waged £6 unwaged Tel: 800 0155

Organised by Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, SERTUC and a coalition of solidarity organisations and Trade Unions.


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