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Dallas: Cuba and Venezuela solidarity forum leads to new coalition

By Cassandra Swart |
May 10, 2019
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Pan-African Connection owner Akwete Tyehimba addressing the forum.
Pan-African Connection owner Akwete Tyehimba addressing the forum. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Dallas, TX - About 20 people came to Pan-African Connection in Oak Cliff, Dallas, May 9, to show solidarity with Cuba and Venezuela, and brainstorm ways to organize against imperialist threats against them from the U.S. government. Akwete Tyehimba of Pan-African Connection hosted the forum. Many of the participants were from local socialist groups but others said they were unaffiliated.

Starting off the forum, George Chalmers of the Socialist Workers Party discussed his recent trip as part of a delegation attending May Day celebrations in Havana. Chalmers spoke on the strong support of socialism in Cuba among the Cuban people, and the strong support given to Venezuela by Cuba.

Tom Burke of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization skyped into the forum from Michigan to discuss his recent trip to Venezuela as part of a Freedom Road delegation to Caracas. Burke spoke on his meetings with Blanca Eekhout, Venezuelan Minister of Communes, and Jacobo Torres, a leader of the Central of Bolivarian Socialist Workers. Burke discussed the massive May Day rally he participated in alongside hundreds of thousands of working-class Venezuelans.

Burke also spoke in depth about American mainstream media's distortion of the depths of the food crisis in Venezuela, describing his astonishment at the availability of a large amount of basic staple foods in Venezuelan's homes. Burke discussed how workers in Venezuela had started taking control of their workplaces with the help of the Bolivarian revolutionary government, giving the examples of a plant owned by Kellogg seized by its workers after they closed their factory suddenly, and electrical workers who worked to restore power after hackers shut down the country's national electrical grid. Burke also discussed the recent failure of the coup in Venezuela, and the lack of the support for Guiado among working-class Venezuelans.

Kyle Joseph of the Party for Socialism and Liberation discussed American mainstream media, such as CNN's false news coverage of the attempted coup in Venezuela, and the effort to defend the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC from pro-Guaido protesters, who were supported by the Washington DC police.

After the speeches, the participants discussed what could be done to organize against the aggression against Cuba and Venezuela. This was followed by a call by Akwete Tyehimba to establish a coalition to protest U.S. interference against Cuba, Venezuela and any other progressive force in the region. The new coalition plans to meet monthly at Pan-African Connection.