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UK-Nicaragua solidarity news Sept

NSC News | Monday, 11 September 2017 |

US threats of sanctions against Nicaragua

In a measure opposed by all sectors of the Nicaragua population and the Organisation of American States (OAS), US politicians are threatening to approve legislation that could cut off loans to Nicaragua from international lending institutions. Running at US$250 million annually, these loans are being invested in education, social programmes, electrification, roads and other infrastructure initiatives. If approved, the Nica Act could severely destabilise not only Nicaragua but the whole region and undermine widely praised progress by the government in reducing poverty.

NSCAG and NSC actions: liaising with Nicaraguan partner organisations and the US Nicaragua Network, disseminating regular updates, continued lobbying of the UK and international trade unions movement.

Our thanks to everyone who signed up to our statement on this Act and/or donated to our appeal. If you haven’t already donated but would like to contribute see link below. Your contributions are vital to our ongoing work.

Further information: http://nicaraguasc.org.uk/news/article/250/us-threatens-nicaragua-with-sanctions

To donate: http://www.nicaragua.org.uk/donate

NSCAG rebuttal of Amnesty International (AI) Report on Nicaragua and the proposed interoceanic canal

In August AI published a report outlining allegations related to legal issues, lack of consultation with those likely to be directly affected, and human rights abuses. NSCAG has raised concerns about the accuracy and political nature of some of the allegations, and queried why AI is taking up this issue at a time when relations with the US are so sensitive. The interoceanic canal project is a proposal that is at a standstill pending at least twenty more studies recommended in the Environment and Social Impact Assessment published two years ago. Until these are completed no financing will be forthcoming and the project will remain at a standstill.

Further information: http://nscag.org/news/article/200/nscag-rebuts-amnesty-international-allegations

Changes in NSC presence in Nicaragua

In order to ensure the future financial viability of NSC, the Board of Trustees has decided with much regret to end the post of NSC representative in Nicaragua. This means that Liz Light’s contract came to an end on 31 August.

Liz organised an event on 25 August in Managua that marked this transition. It was attended by six former NSC workers in Nicaragua and representatives from partner organisations of NSC, NSCAG and twin towns.

To mark the occasion Liz designed and presented mugs to everyone with the slogan: ‘Solidarity is an expression of mutual love and respect between peoples.’

Our thanks to Liz for everything she has contributed to UK-Nicaragua solidarity over the past eleven years. In future NSC and NSCAG work in Nicaragua will be carried out through direct communication between partner organisations and London staff, and through volunteers and others who may contracted on a freelance basis in Nicaragua as required.

Teacher Exchange: the National Union of Teachers (NUT) delegation has returned to the UK after a very successful three-week exchange visit with Nicaraguan teachers' union ANDEN. An article on the visit will be published in the autumn edition of Nicaragua Now and a full report on the visit will appear on the NSCAG website in the near future.

FESITUN (Nicaragua higher education trade union) Visit:-We are delighted to announce that Mercedes Sanchez, Women's Officer of FESITUN will be visiting the UK from 27 September - 8 October at the invitation of the West Midlands Region of UNISON. During her stay, Mercedes will be visiting a number of universities in the region and will also meet with the TUC, UNISON International and other UNISON regions. She will also be speaking at an international seminar in Birmingham on 30 September - details here:-

http://www.nscag.org/news/article/199/nicaraguan-trade-unionist-to-speak-at-international-seminar-in-birmingham

NSC is looking for communications and events volunteer

NSC is looking for a one day per week volunteer to help out with communications and events for the next three months. If you are interested in Nicaragua/Latin America and looking for experience working with a campaigning organisation please get in touch with Helen on campaigns@nicaraguasc.org.uk Deadline for applications: 21 September.

Further information: http://nicaraguasc.org.uk/news/article/254/nsc-looking-for-communications-&-events-volunteer

NSC turns 40 in 2018, how should we celebrate? NSC was founded as the Nicaragua Co-ordinating Committee in September, 1978 after the visit to the UK of a representative of the Sandinistas (then a guerrilla movement fighting to overthrow the Somoza dictatorship) the previous year. We’ll be setting up a group to come up with ideas and proposals on how we should celebrate, if you have suggestions and/or you would like to join the group please let us know. Contact Helen at campaigns@nicaraguasc.org.uk

Opportunities to visit Nicaragua

Wales NSC is organising a Fair trade and Co-operative Economy trip to Nicaragua for two weeks in January/February, 2018. Further information: https://walesnicaragua.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/nicaragua-2018/

Sheffield delegation to their twin town of Estelí 2018, the programme will be shaped according to the interests of participants but will involve experiencing life and visiting projects in urban and rural communities. It’s a Sheffield delegation but they would welcome participants from other parts of the country. Further information: https://sheffieldestelisociety.org.uk/news/

Learn Latin American Spanish

New 10 week Latin American Spanish classes start organised by NSC starts 11 September. Three levels from beginners to intermediate. Classes are held at the NSC's offices, 86 Durham Road, London N7 7DT (nearest underground: Finsbury Park. Do get in touch if you have any questions either by phone on 0207 561 4836 or by email to Stella on nsc@nicaraguasc.org.uk

Forthcoming events

Fridays, 15 September, 20 October & 17 November. Pub Quiz to raise funds for pre-school in Managua: 7.30pm Upstairs room, The Calthorpe Arms, 252 Grays Inn Road, WC1X 8JR, (tube: Russell Square, Kings Cross, Chancery Lane). Entry costs £5 per person. Organised by Islington – Managua Friendship Association, see http://www.imfa.org.uk

Saturday, 16 September. Nifu Nifa records fundaiser for Education Plus, a charity working with children and young people in the El Pantanal barrio of the Nicaraguan city of Granada. Live music, street art, children’s workshops, auction, DJs. Midday ‘til late. Number 177 Bar and Kitchen, 177 Hoxton St, London N1 6PJ (tube: Old Street)

Further information: http://nifunifarecords.co.uk/events/nifu-nifestival/

Monday, 25 September. Defending Rights Defenders in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, short talks, case studies & discussion on building support for rights defenders in countries where they are threatened, attacked, imprisoned and murdered because of their work. Speakers: Martin Mowforth, author of ‘The Violence of Development’; Doug Specht, Director of Voz; Emily Spence, Peace Brigades International. Followed by music from the Pengenista samba-reggae drum band. 6.30 – 11.30pm Tattershall Castle (it’s a boat on the Thames!), Victoria Embankment, SW1A 2HR (Embankment)

Organised by Environmental Network for Central America (ENCA) https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/defending-rights-defenders-tickets-35957175881

Wednesday 27 September. Sheffield University. Volcanoes, tourism and geothermal power. Speakers: Dr Tom Pering, Department of Geography, who has worked on an active lava lake at Masaya volcano & monitored the volcanoes of Nicaragua; Guisell Morales-Echaverry,Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UK,on the importance of volcanoes for geothermal energy and tourism.

3pm, Lecture Theatre 6, Arts Tower, University of Sheffield.

Organised by Sheffield – Esteli Society https://sheffieldestelisociety.org.uk/ and Students for Esteli

Saturday, 7 October. Keep Trump out of Latin America – Solidarity with Venezuela against US Intervention! Eyewitness accounts from Latin America following Trump's extension of sanctions against Venezuela and his refusal to rule out military action against Venezuela.

Speakers: Venezuelan Ambassador Rocio Maniero; Nicaraguan ambassador Guisell Morales; Tony Burke (Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union); David Raby (author, Democracy & Revolution); Dr. Francisco Dominguez (VSC); Mickey Brady (Sinn Fein MP & Venezuelan elections observer). Followed by a panel discussion on resisting Trump and building links and solidarity between Europe and Latin America.

1.30pm Discus Room, Unite House, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8TN (Tube: Holborn)

Register here http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/vsc-agm-2017-registration or by cheque with your details (£8/£6) to Venezuela Solidarity Campaign c/o Unite, 33-37 Moreland Street, London, EC1V 8BB.

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY….Saturday, 2 December. Latin America 2017, 10am – 5pm. Congress House, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3LS. This will be the 10th annual conference featuring contributions by campaigners, politicians, trade unionists, journalists and academics from Latin America and the UK. Further details to follow.