In mid-October, a nongovernmental organization in Iran called the House of Latin America, or HOLA, invited several anti-imperialist organizations from North America to Tehran with the goal of building the movement against war and sanctions against Iran. Among those who attended were representatives of the International Action Center, ANSWER Coalition, Toronto Coalition Against the War, and the American Iranian Friendship Committee.
HOLA was started about five years ago to promote solidarity with the peoples of Latin America. Its activities have included organizing solidarity trips to Nicaragua and Venezuela, hosting a talk by Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, translating a book by Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, and facilitating a visit to Iran by the son and daughter of Che Guevara to participate in a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Che’s death.
The book launch of Enghelab-e Venezuela, the Persian translation of Hugo Chávez Frías: un hombre, un pueblo (Marta Harnecker’s interview with Chávez) by the House of Latin America in Iran
Now, as a result of the aforementioned meeting with North America-based activists, HOLA has set up a new campaign called Solidarity with Iran (SI) and initiated an English-language international appeal, detailing U.S. threats to Iran and defending Iran’s right to develop nuclear power for peaceful energy purposes. U.S. progressives who want to add their voices to the movement to oppose war and sanctions against Iran can sign onto HOLA’s appeal at www.ipetitions.com/petition/si-dfje among other sites.
Phil Wilayto is a longtime community and anti-war activist based in Richmond, Virginia. He is editor of The Virginia Defender newspaper and author of In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation’s Journey through the Islamic Republic (available at www.DefendersFJE.org/dpi). He can be reached at <DefendersFJE@hotmail.com>.