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[EVENT this sunday] The Dangers of Debt

The Dangers of Debt: A Conversation with Martin Sanchez of the Venezuelan Consulate

When: Sunday May 31, 2pm
Where: Portland Jobs with Justice, 6025 E Burnside St., Portland

"They got bailed out! We got sold out!"

That was the cry of workers protesting the closing of Republic Windows and Doors at the Bank of America headquarters in downtown Chicago in December 2008.

As American workers face the weight of crushing personal debt and as the US economic recession is forcing hundreds of thousands of workers out of their jobs, the question that sits on the minds of many workers is, "if workers didn't cause this recession, why is the government handing out billions of dollars in bank bailouts that we will be forced to pay for in the future?" What conditions will be imposed in the name of financial austerity? As politicians play the shell game, the social safety net threatens to unravel. And while we wonder what lies ahead, we must remember, our situation is not unique. This has all been done before.
In February 1989 the city of Caracas, Venezuela ground to a halt. Cars and building burned and bodies piled up in the aftermath of an uprising triggered by the financial austerity conditions of an International Monetary Fund loan. Now 20 years later, the new Bolivarian government has wiped out illiteracy, achieved universal access to healthcare, and has eliminated foreign debt.

Come join us in a conversation with Martin Sanchez of the Venezuelan Consulate for a unique perspective on the US economic crisis and the lessons learned from Venezuela's struggle to overcome the impacts of IMF imposed financial austerity programs and to repay its foreign loans. Also hear about the history of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution, and the social and economic transformations that have come about as a result of Venezuela's experiments with alternative economic models.

Lunch will be provided, translation will be available. $5-10 sliding scale donation, no one turned away.

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