All posts by favabean

Cafe Simpatio: Haiti Betrayed

Friday March 24th

Cafe Simpatico invites you to a documentary film viewing of Haiti Betrayed by Elaine Briere, internationally acclaimed photographer and filmmaker.

Q&A and discussion with filmmaker to follow.

Paul Phillips Hall, Fernwood Community Association 1923 Fernwood Road

Doors open 7pm

Event starts at 7:30pm

Presented by the Victoria Central America Support Committee

Refreshments and fair trade Nicaraguan coffee available.

All welcome – donations gratefully accepted

After Arrival: Victoria Premiere Oct 28

You are invited to Cafe Simpatico for the Victoria premiere of an exciting and thougthful new documentary film: After Arrival.

Launched as part of the World Refugee Day events in Canada, in 2021 this film showcases the incredible journey of three LGBTQIA+ refugee claimants who have become leaders in our community. It gives a glimlpse into the experience of Dennis Juarez, Kristi Pinderi (he/him), and Norma Lize.

These remarkable individuals all arrived in Canada as refugee claimants and they each made significant community impact through their leadership.

Thanks to the Coalition for Survivors of Torture for the film see: The film will be followed by a discussion adn Q&A session with local activists.

Friday October 28th
Doors: 7pm
Film: 7:30pm
Paul Phillips Hall, Fernwood Community Association, 1923 Fernwood Road.

Refreshments and Nicaraguan Organic Fair Trade coffee available.

All welcome. Admission by donation.

Come see old friends and familiar facts.

Presented by the Victoria Central America Support Committee (CASC)

If you live in Victoria or nearby Saanich, Oak Bay, or Esquimalt and need a ride to Cafe please call Robbie at 250-383-0674.

Cafe Simpatio April 29, 2022: Canadian Tourism in Cuba

You are invited to Cafe Simpatico – Live, in person and on location!

Friday April 29

Doors open at 7 pm. Live music with “Dancing on a Pony Keg.”

Presentation at 8 pm:

Canadian Tourism in Cuba with Robbie Clarke, local community and international solidarity activist.

Refreshments and Fair-Trade Organic coffee available. Admission by donation.

Paul Phillips Hall, Fernwood Community Association, 1923 Fernwood Road

The Victoria Central America Support Committed acknowledges that this event will be held on the unceded territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations.


Café Simpatico March 25,2022

Café Simpatico March 25,2022

Café Simpatico on Zoom: NEW DIRECTIONS for CHILE

Time: Mar 25, 2022 07:00 PM PDT

Recording available:

Presenter: Francis Valveerde

Francis Valveerde

Francis lived in exile in Canada from the Pinochet regime with her family and returned to Chile in 1980 to attend university. She worked with the Human Rights commission. Four decades later she continues to work for Human Rights in Chile. She focussed on the rights of children through many organizations including the UN, in education at the grassroots level, part of the team writing the reports to the Human Rights UN Committee, working with the people whose human rights were violated (tortured, families of the disappeared), and young people in the poblaciónes.

She has been president of ACCION, the Chilean Association of NGOs; member of the board of the National network of children and youth NGO and a member of the Participation National Council, created by President Bachelet, that for a year worked on changes in laws on civil society participation. Since 2012. she has been one of the Block for Children spokespersons, a national network of approximately 100 children’s organizations and institutions. She continues to dedicate her passion for rights action at the grassroots level. Her presentation will be followed by a discussion and a Q&A.

Arpillera of women dancing
with photos of their missing loved
ones during Pinochet regime.
Demonstration in Chile

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 846 8385 2972

Cafe Simpatico on Zoom: Honduras Today

Feb. 25 at 7pm PST

Presenters: James Phillips, Ph.D. and William Feyrer

Phillips is a cultural anthropologist at Southern Oregon University. His book Honduras in Dangerous Times: Resistance and Resilience was published in 2015.

Feyrer, of Victoria, is speaking in hims many hears of involvement with Honduran market women and their families.

Join Zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 863 5882 7550

Engler, Yves. WE STAND ON GUARD FOR WHOM? A People’s History of the Canadian Military.

Black Rose Books, 2021 Montreal QC
ISBN 978-1-55164-755-5

Review by Theresa Wolfwood

“Is Canada a force for good in the world?”

In Stand on Guard for Whom? — A People’s History of the Canadian Military, Engler answers his own question in this revealing history of why we have a military and who it serves. Not surprisingly, as thousands of Canadian men and women die, not to defend Canada but to serve the needs of imperialism. First, we served the British empire with our training of only white males. Engler states that until a few decades ago the Air Force and the Navy only accepted white males. The right of women to be in the military is also recent and as we are learning, women are frequently abused and treated with contempt in a male hierarchy.

Engler explains our inflated military budget – along with many other military expenditures hidden in other departments. This now serves the interests of the United States of America imperialism; as we have seen in Afghanistan.

Canada has a dark history in the development of chemical and biological weapons; this reviewer remembers many actions around the research station at Suffield, Alberta. Canada continues to be one of the top three uranium producers and exporters in the world, starting with our providing the uranium for the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This book is one of Engler’s longest ad most detailed works; it should be in every library and read by all Canadians. It seriously challenges our prevailing myths about good Canada “defending democracy”.
Even if it tried as Engler shows a racist, sexist hierarchy – a killing machine – is incapable of such a task.

It is shocking to learn that DND (Department of National Defense) owns more land and assets than any other government department. Engler writes that, DBD has “approximately 125,000 active soldiers, reservists and DND employees spread across 20,000 square kilometres of land. DND has the country’s largest PR machine and intelligence-gathering capacities. “

This book is a wide-ranging critique of the colonial and racist institution we support with our taxes, yet we can house and care decently for our own citizens.

At a book launch he started that the inherent sexism in the “toxic male” world of the military with its racist and colonial roots which we can still see in action from Oka to Israel.

Engler documents that the military produces more than 50% of the federal government’s carbon emissions, yet military environmental damage is exempt from all climate change negotiations and commitments.

There is much more to learn from this easy to read, carefully documented book. You can also get a sense of this work by viewing Engler’s book launch where he discusses some highlights of this important work, and what is most importantly, an urgent call for action. See:

And finally, Engler leads us to question the role of a military institution in a so-called democracy. His evidence is damming. Throughout writing this review I hear Buffy St. Marie singing ‘The Universal Soldier” and her conclusion, “This is not the way to put an end to war.”

As Engler says, “One part of making the world a better place is to seek out non-military means to solve international and national problems. To do so we need to dismantle the military-industrial complex”.
A formidable task, but if we want to save and better humanity, we had better get at it.

CASC was pleased to present Yves Engler on Café Simpatico ZOOM in December.

January 28, 2022 Café Simpatico on Zoom: Peru

The Victoria Central America Support Committee invites you to join the January Café Simpatico on ZOOM:

Jan 28, 2022 06:30 PM Pacific Time

Guest Presenter: Rosa María Leyzaquía Vargas of Peru

The promises and challenges presented by the election of a left-leaning rural school teacher to the presidency.

Rosa Maria is the National Secretary for Gender Equity for the Union of Education Workers of Peru (SUTEP), which represents teachers and other workers in Peru’s public education system.

She & SUTEP were active in the campaign last year to elect teacher Pedro Castillo as president of Peru.


SUTEP – Peru (Sindicato Unitario de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras en la Educacion del Peru – Union of Peruvian Education Workers)

For more information see: Facebook: @Sutep.Peru

Licda. Rosa María Leyzaquía Vargas

Zoom Link to Café:

Meeting ID: 881 3939 6845

For information about CASC see:



Cafe Simpatico Dec 3: Yves Engler’s “Stand on Guard for Whom?”

If you missed Yves Engler in person on the island recently, here is your chance to hear and see him talk about his latest book,

Yves is one of Canada’s most knowledgeable progressive writers. He does amazing research and documents our political landscape clearly and honestly. He is the author of many earlier books, including “House of Mirrors” about Trudeau’s foreign policy.

Don’t miss this in-depth and scathing revelation about Canada’s military.

For more information see:
Join Yves other activists for his talk and discussion after.
Do share thus event notice with your networks.

Café Zoom Meeting
Friday, Dec 3, 2021 at 07:00 PM Pacific Time

Meeting ID: 816 7636 5962

Presented by Victoria Central America Support Committee
For more information on Victoria’s dynamic solidarity organization see:

cafe simpatio sept 24 Holding Canadian Mining Companies Accountable for human rights violations

Friday, September 24, 2021 at 07:00 PM Pacific Time

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here 

Meeting ID: 870 7832 4527 Passcode: 50021

Matt Eisenbrandt is the Victoria-based Director of Transnational Investigations for CFM Lawyers, a class action law firm that has brought some of Canada’s most important lawsuits on behalf of victims against Canadian mining companies for alleged human rights abuses connected to their overseas operations.

Matt will talk about two of these cases:

CFM represented four Guatemalans who were shot by mine security personnel while protesting the presence of Tahoe Resources’ silver mine, now owned by Vancouver-based Pan American Silver.

CFM represented a group of Eritrean refugees who alleged they were forced labourers at the Bisha gold and copper mine in Eritrea, then owned by Nevsun Resources, also based in Vancouver.

Matt will discuss the process of putting these cases together, challenges in litigating them, and some lessons learned from the experiences.

Presented by Victoria Central America Support Committee (CASC –
Co-sponsored by Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC –

CafÉ Simpatico on Zoom: HONDURAS and the Canada Commotion

April 30 at 7 pm PDT

This Café Simpatico presentation is now available on YouTube.

Our presenters have worked in human rights solidarity in Honduras and will discuss the context of Honduras as one of the most dangerous places in the world for rights defenders. Canada has many mining companies exploiting resources in Honduras.

Phil Little

Since 2013 he has traveled a number of times to Honduras to accompany his friend, Fr. Ismael (Melo) Moreno who has received numerous death threats because of his work as director of a Radio Station and a human rights center in Honduras

Dr. Janet Spring

She co-formed the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor Committee to advocate for the release of her son-in-law and human rights defender, Edwin Espinal, arrested during the post electoral crisis in Honduras. She has travelled to Honduras to support political prisoners and advocate for their rights.

We look forward to their presentations, followed by Q&A which all are invited to participate in.

In Solidarity, your CASC planning committee

Join Zoom Meeting April 30 at 7 pm PDT

Meeting ID: 926 3986 3101