News Alerts


University of New Orleans

October 12-13

Conference Organizers: Aviva Chomsky and Steve Striffler

The Fifth Anniversary Empire and Solidarity in the Americas Conference will be held at the University of New Orleans, October 12-13.  The conference explores the meanings, forms, histories, and futures of North-South solidarity in the Americas.  What kinds of transnational ties have groups from both sides of the North-South divide established with each other?  What kinds of strategies have they used, and toward what ends?  How have these political projects varied across time and space?  In what ways have cross-border solidarities shaped and been shaped by imperial power?

Previous conference themes have included Solidarity and Consumption, Post-Central America Solidarities, and Latin American Visions of Solidarity, with paper topics ranging from cross-border labor alliances and human rights solidarity to fair trade and immigrant rights activism.  For our Fifth Anniversary Conference, we welcome submissions on any aspect of Empire and Solidarity in the Americas.  We are particularly interested in submissions that address issues of solidarity with respect to development and sustainable development, Haiti and other parts of the Caribbean, and the role of NGOs in solidarity, both historically and in the present.

Paper proposals should include a 100-200 word abstract and a 1-page cv, and be submitted to and by April 1.

The Empire and Solidarity in the Americas Conference is a working conference.  Attendees are expected to read all conference papers (about 8) and participate in intensive discussion of each paper.  If your paper is chosen, you will be an invited guest with conference expenses paid by the University of New Orleans.

New Paper Finds IMF Lending Still Requires Harmful and Inappropriate Economic Conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) released a new paper today that finds that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is still prescribing inappropriate policies that could unnecessarily worsen economic downturns in a number of countries. The paper, “Empowering the IMF: Should Reform be a Requirement for Increasing the Fund’s Resources?” examines conditions tied to the IMF’s new lending to El Salvador, Pakistan, Ukraine and other countries and finds the IMF is requiring macroeconomic conditions that can unnecessarily exacerbate the effects of the global economic recession on these countries.


In Haiti today, hundreds of political prisoners are jailed under the most inhumane conditions.  Arrested during or after the U.S.-orchestrated coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, most of these prisoners have never been charged or tried. The United Nations occupying forces, charged with enforcing “law and order,” has been a full participant in these illegal detentions, as has the Haitian government of President Rene Preval.

Haiti and Cuba Need Our Help In Aftermath of Deadly Storms.

Over the last four weeks, Hurricanes Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike all hit Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.  Hanna left the towns of Gonaives and Les Cayes under water.  According to Senator Yuri Latortue, who represents Gonaives, as of 9/7 there were 200,000 people who had not eaten in three days because of the hurricanes. In Cuba, “Nearly one quarter of the Cuban population had to be evacuated.

For further information and a list of organizations (tax-deductible) which would appreciate your support.

“You Have To Have Power In Order to Change It.”

Five Hours with Chávez

The Venezuelan president’s meeting with members of the “In Defense of Humanity” network”

By Pascual SerranoRebelión &

April 16 — – Translation: Machetera

This past April 12th, some hundred intellectuals and artists met with Venezuela’s president during the international conference convened by the network of networks, “In Defense of Humanity” under the theme “Armed With Ideas.”

Over five hours, during which intellectuals posed a variety of questions, Hugo Chávez, in military dress following his participation in a military parade, spoke of the coup d’etat six years prior, the situation in Colombia, in Venezuela of course, their political principles and many other subjects.



Daniel Ortega was inaugurated as President of Nicaragua on January 10.  What difference does it make to Nicaragua to have a progressive left-wing president instead of a reactionary right-wing president?

Destroying democracy at home and abroad

by Chuck Kaufman
Co-Coordinator, Nicaragua Network and National Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice. Talk in Rochester, NY, Febuary 29.

The United States spends hundreds of millions of US taxpayer’s dollars each year on so-called “democracy building” programs. Everyone is in favor of democracy, right? We’d like to see it spread to every country in the world.  I know I would.  So how do these programs work?  Let me lay out a couple of imaginary scenarios.

Representing Moussad

Protesting the Guantanamo Concentration Camp at the Supreme Court —
A Direct Action Organized by Witness Against Torture [] By Ed Kinane

On 11 January, the fifth anniversary of the opening of the U.S. concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, dozens of us solemnly assembled inside Federal District Court in Washington, DC. While we were allowed to do a liturgical program there, we were arrested for refusing to remove our bright orange Close Guantanamo T-shirts.  (Shouldn’t T-shirt slogans be protected speech?) Just outside the court building that day many other demonstrators, some in orange jump suits, were also arrested.