March 26, 2019
Association of Latin American and Caribbean Students, the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, the Political Economy Research Institute, Social Thought and Political Economy, the Venezuela Solidarity Coalition, and the departments of Afro-American Studies, Communications, History, Philosophy, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
UMass Integrative Learning Center, room N151
650 N. Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA
As Venezuela confronts a grave economic crisis, the Trump administration has responded by imposing harsh sanctions, threatening war, and supporting a right-wing coup attempt. Venezuelan American activist Héctor Figarella and economist Mark Weisbrot discussed the roots of the Venezuelan crisis, the impacts of U.S. intervention, and how we can influence U.S. government policy.
Héctor Figarella is a Venezuelan American activist and EMT. He started organizing around food justice issues while working at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and continued his work in Holyoke, MA through efforts to connect community gardens to schools. He has taught bilingual Worker Rights Trainings at the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and has done environmental justice work with Neighbor to Neighbor around the now closed coal plant in Holyoke. Héctor is on the Board of Directors for the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice and is a member of the Venezuela Solidarity Coalition.
Mark Weisbrot is Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is author of the book Failed: What the "Experts" Got Wrong About the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 2015), co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and almost every major U.S. newspaper, as well as in Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo. He appears regularly on national and local television and radio programs. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.