A Summary Article by Andi Kocsondi

This year’s Adelante Latin America Conference took place on Saturday, 27th January in London. The GFTU was represented by Gawain Little (GFTU General Secretary), Sarah Woolley (GFTU President and General Secretary of Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union) and Andi Kocsondi (GFTU Executive Committee and member of the National Association of Probation Officers).

The conference included various seminars focusing on Latin-American countries, and the specific changes their elected progressive governments have made in recent years.

Mass movements across the continent are leading the fight against the Global North’s exploitation and oppression, particularly against the continued sanctions and blockades imposed by the United States.

Under the leadership of Gustavo Petro, the Colombian government invested in expanding educational, environmental and healthcare resources in the most under-developed areas of the country to create a shift towards a more equal society. These investments provide young, low-paid and marginalised workers with a diversion from illegal economies to further education, agricultural and tourism related employment.

Barbaba Montalvo (Cuban Ambassador) spoke proudly of the support Cuban healthcare workers provided to other countries all over the world during the pandemic, and the training facilitated to Palestinian doctors in the past. Cuba has done this despite the continued economic, commercial and financial blockade by the US that is preventing the import of essential goods.

The conference clearly highlighted the inspirational work Latin-American countries are doing with many more examples from Honduras, Venezuela and Nicaragua, and it brought together activists from all corners of the world.

The GFTU is supporting two young members from affiliated unions to attend the May Day Brigade in Cuba this May. Keep an eye out for their full report later this year.

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Andi Kocsondi in the middle with Garwain Little, GFTU General Secretary and Sarah Woolley, GFTU President