Who are we: We are rank and file teachers and strike captains (Valerie 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 Richard Berg, a CTU charter organizer.
Why are we going: In the CTU, we passed a resolution in support of Venezuela and to oppose the USA invasion. We are going on this teacher delegation to Caracas, Venezuela to connect with the Venezuelan teachers, trade unionists and other Venezuelans around how we can support them and learn from their struggle. On our delegation, we would like to learn about the situation on the ground in Venezuela, so we can do a report back in the USA on what is really happening. Frequently, news in the USA promotes propaganda that is false and promotes the imperialist USA policies.
Also, CTU is not paying a penny for our trip, so we are fundraising it all. We are also all going on our own vacation time.
Here's the resolution: CTU RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE THE INVASION OF VENEZUELA
WHEREAS, the principal of “sovereign equality” is a fundamental notion of the UN (United Nations) Charter of Nations and the UN has stated in this document’s Preamble that nations come together in that body “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest ...”; and
WHEREAS, Article 2 (4) of the Charter of the United Nations states that, “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations”; and
WHEREAS, the current Trump administration, various European nations, and the Lima Group in South America, has recently made menacing pronouncements against the sovereign state of Venezuela by discrediting the result of the May 20, 2018, Venezuelan presidential election of Nicolas Maduro, and have backed the self- declared “Presidency” of Juan Guaido, President of the National Assembly of Venezuela; and
WHEREAS, President Trump’s current Special Envoy to Venezuela, Elliot Abrams was involved in the April 11, 2002, attempted coup in Venezuela that removed then Venezuelan Hugo Chavez from power for less than 48 hours before a popular uprising put him back in office; and the current National Security Advisor John Bolton has accused Venezuela of being part of a “troika of evil” that includes Cuba and Nicaragua; and another major actor in this U.S. foreign adventure, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo along with Elliot Abrams was a key player in the so called “dirty wars” in Latin America 1980s that involved Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Chile; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. has recently attempted to provoke a border incident with the Maduro government by moving $20 million worth of “aid” to Venezuela after it has frozen the foreign assets of that country, discouraged other countries from doing business with Venezuela, and imposed sanctions that increase the poverty and misery of the general population by costing the Venezuelan government billions ever year; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations, the International Red Cross, and other international relief organizations refused to work with the U.S. on delivering this “aid” to Venezuela, which they say is politically motivated; and the Venezuelan government considers a Trojan Horse for an eventual military invasion’; and
WHEREAS, U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolden and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have all explicitly stated that U.S. corporations should control the oil resources in Venezuela, which implies that this will be a war for oil; and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the elected Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro’s “days in office are numbered”; and
WHEREAS, the world is still reeling from the war for oil in Iraq, which has left that country in shambles and continues to destabilize the middle east to this day; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) publicly states its opposition to any military invasion of the sovereign state of Venezuela, and insists on dialogue, diplomacy, and negotiation as the means to resolve this crisis; and
RESOLVED, that the CTU advocate for the suspension of the current sanctions against Venezuela, and for the U.S. to cease all threats, military mobilization, and interference in the economic and internal politics and affairs of the Venezuelan people; and respect the right of self-determination of this sovereign nation in accordance with U.S. stated commitment to the rule of law; and be it finally
RESOLVED, the CTU stands in solidarity with the Venezuelan labor organizations Sindicato Nacional Fuerza Magisterial (SINAFUM), Colectivo Clasista de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras de la Educación, “Carmen Conzoño” y al Frente Nacional de Lucha de la Clase Trabajadora (FNLCT), and other organizations that oppose the interference in Venezuela’s sovereign affairs and the consequent threat of military intervention.