1. #1

    Chicago Teachers Union group’s trip to Venezuela, praise of socialist leader slammed

    The recent trip to Venezuela by a group calling itself a Chicago Teachers Union delegation has upset some union members and expats who question the point of the tour and take issue with the group’s praise of the country’s disputed government.

    The four travelers, who crowdfunded the July trip under the banner of the CTU, met with Venezuelan government officials and educators, visited a commune and were featured in local media.

    They wrote online about wanting to connect with Venezuelan teachers, students and unionists, criticized U.S. economic sanctions against the South American nation and wrote admiringly of its socialism, its communes and high literacy rates.

    But critics say the group glossed over Venezuela’s ongoing political and economic crises and were excessively complimentary of President Nicolás Maduro, whose administration has been accused in recent United Nations reports of “grave” human rights violations and violence against dissenters.

    “I am appalled a delegation representing themselves as CTU went to Venezuela, not to support striking teachers, not to object to human rights violations, but to go on what appears to be a state-chaperoned propaganda tour," said Karen Moody, a teacher and union member.

    And though the four travelers regularly called themselves a “CTU delegation" online, the union representing close to 25,000 people has sought to distance itself from the trip, stating the CTU did not endorse, sponsor or fund the trip.

    Asked on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” last week about “some controversy” surrounding the excursion, union President Jesse Sharkey said: “Members go all kinds of places in the summer. This was neither an official trip nor something that was funded by the union. This is a group of people who are members of the CTU who decided to go to Venezuela.”

    CTU also retweeted another post by teacher Sarah Chambers, one of the travelers and a member of the CTU executive board, which read: “While staying in #Venezuela, we didn’t see a single homeless person. USA is the richest country in the world; yet, there are homeless people everywhere. Over 17k CPS students are homeless... This is why @CTULocal1 is fighting for fair housing #CTUAgainstVezIntervention."

    That prompted a rebuke from another Twitter user: “What the Delegation fails to acknowledge is they used the CTU name to raise the funds, to set up meetings, to blog their ‘findings.’ This was never voted on. They don’t get it. Irresponsible and reckless.”

    She added in her tweet: "Have you visited Venezuela & spoke to 100s there? As a teacher, I teach my students to be critical thinkers, to get primary sources, listen to ppl’s stories & do research before just believing any news. I suggest you do the same.”

    When contacted by the Tribune, Chambers deferred to the group’s blog, Radical Educator Collective. The three who traveled with her — two other educators and a union organizer — did not respond to interview requests. Online, the group was clear the union wasn’t helping pay for the trip. At least 55 people donated to a GoFundMe campaign titled “Send CTU Strikers to Venezuela," an apparent reference to their involvement in the CPS charter school strikes last school year.

    In the photo accompanying the campaign, the three educators are wearing CTU hats. In comments, some donors expressed solidarity. One $50 donor wrote of admiration for his colleagues: “Proud of the CTU for their brave and visionary anti-imperialist resolution and enactment of ‘teacher-to-teacher’ solidarity between Chicago and Venezuelan teachers!”

    A July 9 blog post titled “Introduction to CTU Delegation to Venezuela" states, “This blog represents the members delegation of the Chicago Teacher’s Union that are currently in Venezuela to learn from educators and activists on the ground. We are three rank and file charter school teachers and one CTU organizer. We organized this delegation ourselves and fundraised for the trip independent of the CTU.”

    In the latest post, one member of the group wrote that she’d wanted to observe a method for teaching reading that combines numeracy and literacy skills. She was also curious about if and how educators incorporated the country’s social movements into their curriculum, she wrote.

    They visited a commune and talked to educators involved with Misión Robinson, a social welfare program to improve literacy started under former President Hugo Chavez.

    Ana Gil-Garcia, who co-founded the Illinois Venezuelan Alliance and teaches in the College of Education at Northeastern Illinois University, said the trip was unacceptable, though it would be different if they’d gone on their own, without using the CTU brand.

    “Once you go there as a delegation of a very powerful union like the Chicago Teachers Union, it’s questionable,” Gil-Garcia said, adding the trip could come off as the union endorsing the Maduro regime, which she said has killed and imprisoned opponents and contributed to widespread food shortages in the country.

    “That’s what makes me really upset about it," she said. "The Chicago Teachers Union should be very objective because the membership is formed by people with different ways of thinking.”

    Adding its own spin, the conservative Breitbart News picked up the story using the headline, “#RedforEd Activists from Chicago Teachers Union Go to Venezuela in Support of Maduro’s Socialist Regime."

    “Through major economic hardships, Venezuelan President Nicolás 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," Chambers said in the story for Fight Back! News, a publication that bills itself as “News and Views from the People’s Struggle."

    Maduro and his supporters have claimed that Guaidó's attempts to declare himself president were part of a U.S.-led effort to oust Maduro, and the resolution passed by the CTU House of Delegates echoes that sentiment.

    The resolution calls out the Trump administration and other world leaders for “menacing pronouncements against the sovereign state of Venezuela by discrediting the result of the May 20, 2018, Venezuelan presidential election of Nicolás Maduro, and have backed the self-declared ‘Presidency’ of Juan Guaidó."

    “Both the resolution and the trip reflect the personal politics and world view of (CTU) leadership and their inner circle — not the majority of rank-and-file teachers,” Moody said.


    Saying she’s not anti-socialist and leans “pretty far left” politically: "What I personally object to is not the word socialism — but the support of an extremist anti-democratic autocratic lunatic who rules by fear. "

    Testa-Ryan said she recently returned from a trip to her native Panama, where she “had the chance to speak to many Venezuelans about the horrific conditions” there. Noting her own family had to endure the dictatorial rule of Panama’s Manuel Noriega, she said the Venezuela trip was disrespectful to Latino people and their history. She also took issue with the union resolution.

    “CTU has no business involving themselves in foreign policy,” she said, adding that should be left to groups like the United Nations "and experts who have a handle with what is occurring on the ground in Venezuela.”

    As a union member, Testa-Ryan said, “I did not vote for this type of representation nor am I comfortable (with) delegates supporting a dictator."

    Gil-Garcia, who moved to the U.S. 25 years ago, said she visits family in Venezuela twice a year. She wrote a letter to CTU leadership detailing her concerns with the delegation and questioning how the travelers got Venezuelan visas.

    “The Illinois Venezuelan Alliance demands from Chicago Teachers Union an objective position concerning Venezuela and its humanitarian crisis," Gil-Garcia wrote. “In Chicago Public Schools, there are Venezuelan teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, staff and many children who are members of the imposed Venezuelan diaspora. It is our expectations that CTU respects not only the views of the delegation ... but also the views of hundreds of well-informed teachers who oppose the use of CTU forces and energies to support anti-democratic and criminal regimes.”
    Source: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...sr4-story.html

    Idk, I agree with some of the teachers here. Ive seen some of the venezuelan refugees and they all agree that Venezuela is in a pretty bad shape, so the apologetics come off as out of touch, specially if you have members that are venezuelan. The CTU shouldnt have involved itself in this, but I guess its a disconnect from the most ideologue members and the rest of the members.
    Your problem is that you’re more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.

  2. #2
    union President Jesse Sharkey said: “Members go all kinds of places in the summer. This was neither an official trip nor something that was funded by the union. This is a group of people who are members of the CTU who decided to go to Venezuela.”
    Why is this a thread?
    "As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
    -H.L. Mencken, 1920

  3. #3
    I am Murloc! unfilteredJW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Seaside, FL
    Posts
    5,340
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    Why is this a thread?
    Cause fuck reading that’s why
    Quote Originally Posted by Destroyer of Leftism View Post
    He destroyed nothing. His posts are nothing but lies, strawman and degeneracy.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    Why is this a thread?
    Becease vuvuzula. Its been a while since Mittens made a thread about it.

  5. #5
    Over 9000! Grimbold21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Azores, Portugal
    Posts
    9,557
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    Why is this a thread?
    If only most organisations responded in the same manner as the said president.

  6. #6
    There doesn't seem to be anything here.
    Synek - best rogue in the world


  7. #7
    Nothing to see. Someone actually visited country instead of relying on "news", challenged western media propaganda and now being shunned for speaking up.

    They forgot they live in "democracy" where they can't speak up against media narrative or they risk lose funding, get mobbed on social media and might lose job.
    Bow to your Gnomish Overlords! Attempting to take over Azeroth since 2005.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BoltBlaster View Post
    Nothing to see. Someone actually visited country instead of relying on "news", challenged western media propaganda and now being shunned for speaking up.

    They forgot they live in "democracy" where they can't speak up against media narrative or they risk lose funding, get mobbed on social media and might lose job.
    No one cares that they went and 'spoke up'. These people made their association to CTU widely known from crowdfunding all the way through the end of the trip even though it was not a CTU trip. By doing this, they're misrepresenting CTUs position, that's the problem.

  9. #9
    I am Murloc! Saninicus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Iron city of Dis
    Posts
    5,248
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    Why is this a thread?
    Why Venezuela of all places? Not sure what the situation is currently but you'd figure they'd pick something more...stable.
    http://imgur.com/gallery/TlpXLjJ i got banned from twitter for this. Lol

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •