On This Month’s Webinars & Current Cuba Films


For the three U.S. -Cuba Normalization Webinars being held this month:
* On Cuban trained doctors – confronting COVID-19 in Cuba, abroad and in the US
* Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of President Fidel Castro’s Historic NY Visit
* Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Cuban Women’s Federation and 20 years of the US Women and Cuba Collaboration
see the bottom of the Zoom Support Page.


(click to enlarge, l to r) René González of the Cuban Five, from Hubert Sauper’s Epicentro, iconic singer/songwriter and Cuban Literacy brigadista Silvio Rodriguez, Eliades Ochoa of the Buena Vista Social Club, from El Último Balsero (The Last Rafter), Author and Poet José Lezama Lima

* Interview with René González, a member of the Cuban Five who spent 13 years in a US prison and whose real life experience inspired the Netflix film The Wasp Network.                  “A very good interview.” — John Waller

* Epicentro — The blurb reads: “Epicentro is an immersive and metaphorical portrait of post-colonial, ‘utopian’ Cuba, where the 1898 explosion of the USS Maine still resonates. Continue reading

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July Programs

Programs preceding this event with information and registration links:
•  2 Day Concert For Cuba, Sat-Sun, July 18-19, 8:00 p.m.
•  Race Relations in Revolutionary Cuba: A Personal Story, Ths, July 23rd, 7:30 p.m.
•  An American Baptist in Cuba with Rev. Allan McClendon, Sun, July 26th, 11:00 a.m.

Honoring Cuba’s Achievements:
Ending the Blockade and Saving Lives Together
[Recording here]

a July26.org/Pastors for Peace OnLine Meeting
cosponsored by the First Baptist Church of Jamaica Plain
Tuesday, July 28, 7:00-8:30 pm
Register here

Featuring Stephanie Sarantos, Dr. Emily Brown, Merri Ansara (updated 7/23)
Hosted/Moderated by Lee Schlenker, July26.org & Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective
and Gloria Caballero, Ph.D. in Spanish & Portuguese Studies,UMass/Amherst, and presenter of the Tuesday, July 23, 7:00 webinar on “Race Relations in Revolutionary Cuba: A Personal Story,” cosponsored by July26.org.

This fundraising event for Pastors for Peace combines a rescheduling of our previously postponed March PfP Caravan program, our annual July 26 Cuba Revolution Day Anniversary event, and the premiere announcement of the campaign for a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Resolution to End the Blockade and Save Lives in light of Cuba’s medical achievements in combating the Covid-19 Pandemic around the world.

For our friends and those interested in the Boston area, in Massachusetts, in Connecticut and Maine and throughout New England. Featuring:

  • Stephanie Sarantos, updated IFCO/Pastors for Peace spokesperson, former Registered Nurse and improvisational dance instructor. Stephanie has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and is a founder and current staff member at The Clearwater School near Seattle, a radical model of education governed through student-staff participatory democracy.  Stephanie became a strong advocate for the people of Cuba through traveling on several Pastors for Peace caravans.
  • Emily Brown, MD, graduate of Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM) in Cuba and currently a second year resident in the UMass Medical School Family Medicine Program in Fitchburg. Emily was one of the presenters in Left Berlin’s May program on “Coronavirus and Internationalism: Solidarity á la Cuba.”
  • Merri Ansara, member of the first Venceremos Brigade to Cuba in 1969 and long-time Cuba activist, having worked there as a journalist, translator, urban planner and teacher. She was a founding member of July26.org and director and founder of Common Ground Education & Travel Services. Recently in Cuba, Merri is a leading organizer for a Massachusetts resolution to End the Blockade and Support the Saving Lives campaign.

Please register in advance for this meeting —
First time Zoomers welcome — help available.

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NNOC on Police Murders

National Network On Cuba Statement on Police Murders

We share the anger and outrage over the murder of George Floyd and the murders of countless other people of color by an out of control and militarized U.S. police system.  The majority of these murders have taken place without being filmed and the majority of the names we will never know.  But we do know that they were victims of an unjust and racist system.  The United States has a violent history starting with the genocide of the Native population; a people who up to the present endure racist U.S. policies in areas of economic, health, and cultural well-being.

We stand with those seeking justice in the streets and note the multi-racial, multi-age, gender diverse make-up of the protesters.  We stand with those most impacted by the unjust criminal “justice” system, the unjust economic system, and the unjust health system.  It is people of color whose communities are negatively affected by decades of environmental racism leading to poorer health, by inferior educational systems, by lack of employment opportunities, by absence of transportation, as well as the well documented policy of police brutality.

We stand with those taking to the streets and condemning the United States government policy of encouraging violence by issuing statements threatening to unleash vicious dogs, to shoot looters, telling police to “not be nice”, to use the unlimited power of the military, to encourage people to use their 2nd amendment rights, etc.

We note the moral bankruptcy of a government that professes outrage at violence resulting from centuries of racism yet supports the presence of protesters with automatic weapons in the State Capital of Michigan, that ignores the terrorist attack on the Cuban Embassy in Washington by an individual with an assault rifle who is connected to the anti-Cuban reactionaries in the U.S., and that at every opportunity dehumanizes people of color.

The whole world is watching and reacting to the ugly reality of life for people of color in the United States.  While the U.S. imposes sanctions and blockades on countries such as Cuba; it deprives its own populace of the right to a peaceful, just, and equitable society.  Compare the streets of the United States with those of Cuba.  In the U.S., streets full of police in riot gear and weapons, in Cuba streets full of medical personnel testing and caring for their neighbors.  Compare the U.S. international presence threatening, sanctioning and waging war with Cuba’s international presence of hundreds of medical workers offering healing to nearly two dozen countries combating Covid-19.

We can all do more.  It’s not enough to not be racist; we must work toward becoming anti-racist. Again, we commend the crowds in the streets across this nation and join their demands for justice for all victims of U.S. perpetrated racist abuse.

June 1, 2020

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Late May News and Events

Lee Schlenker at the Community Church of Boston, Cuba and Africa webinar, more

The July26th Coalition is looking into local resolutions relating to Cuba.   Check out background information about this campaign.  We’re also talking with IFCO/Pastors For Peace about scheduling a Zoom Event in place of the postponed March 31 program. Contact us at info@july26.org if you are interested in getting involved.

Check out and link to The July26.org Facebook Event Page for updated information from the Boston-Cuba Solidarity Coalition and Activist Massachusetts for a calendar of related news and events.

Art above and below by Chaz Maviyane-Davies / maviyane.com
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July26.org — Online Nationally and Locally

Lest the postings below appear too abbreviated, this update clarifies our activities during this Coronavirus crisis period when the vast majority of our work and activities is taking place online, both nationally and locally.

In the national arena, members are involved in the activities surrounding the organizing of the US-Cuba Normalization Conference and the webinars and campaigns following up its postponement to the fall, including the previously-posted links to resources for local campaigns and Zoom support for people who need assistance attending the webinars, and serving in the leadership of the National Network on Cuba and the Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective.

Upcoming webinars include a May 2 May Day celebration: “Solidarity, not sanctions or blockades, in the struggle against Covid-19” and a May 19 offering on “Cuba, Africa, and the Caribbean.” Check out the three organizational web sites for additional information and activities.

Locally, we have begun holding our regular second Wednesday of the month meetings online and recently discussed the US-Cuba-Canada campaign against Covid-19, local initiatives in Boston and surrounding municipalities to support the ending of the blockade, recruiting volunteers to help with Zoom support and other Solidarity movement technology needs, and opening up and promoting a portion of our online meeting time to wider regional list subscribers. For questions or further information, contact us at info@july26.org.

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Resources for the US-Cuba Normalization Webinar(s)

Local Campaign Resources and the New York City Campaign Resource Tool Kit

https://july26.org/local-resolutions/   —  https://july26.org/nyc-campaign-tool-kit/


Zoom Help

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March Events Update

NYC Conference Postponed — Online Session(s) a Go

The long planned-for US-Cuba Normalization conference in NYC has been postponed and in-person activities for the weekend of March 21-22 are being replaced by teleconferencing of the main plenary and some of the panels — see updates as they’re posted at us-cubanormalization.org

The Pastors for Peace events have been cancelled.

IFCO/Pastors for Peace has cancelled the whole tour.  The 2020 International May Day Brigade has been postponed until the last half of November

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March Events and Upcoming Deadline

March: NY Conference Update and Pastors Caravan in Boston;
April 3 deadline for May Day Brigade

JL26.org has some major involvement in the upcoming renamed “International Conference on US-Cuba Normalization,” still at www.us-cubanormalization.org where updates first appear, Friday-Sunday, March 20-22, mostly at Fordham University Law School, 150 W. 62nd St., Columbus Circle/mid-uptown Manhattan. Free/low-cost housing is being arranged by US-Cuba solidarity groups in NY and NJ. July26.org is helping with transportation; for those in the area wishing assistance with travel to NYC and those driving who are able and interested in ride-sharing, contact info@July26.org.

Tuesday, March 31 — the Pastors for Peace Caravan, featuring Luis Barrios, is coming to Boston, 7:00-9:30, First Baptist Church Of Jamaica Plain, 633 Center Street. The Caravan travels to Cuba July 17-30! Mark you calendars for Tuesday evening.

Friday, April 3 — deadline for the 15th May Day International Brigade of Voluntary Work and Solidarity with Cuba, April 26-May 10, $725. Details in the announcement/call, including link to the application; program and scholarship application available.

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Second national US-Cuba Normalization Conference in March

Planning is now underway for the second national US-Cuba Normalization Conference — www.us-cubanormalization.org — to be held in New York City, March 21-23, 2020.

With the venue not yet finalized due to visa restrictions on Cuban visitors by the U.S. government, the conference will open with a Friday evening reception at the Cuban Mission. Saturday will feature:
•  An opening plenary with a key Cuban speaker explaining the current impact and workings of the embargo/blockade and an organizing committee member on the political purpose of the conference and the schedule.
•  Two sessions, each with three major panels and follow-ups — on ending travel restrictions; Cuba’s medical internationalism; the Canadian and US solidarity movement; the impact of the blockade on people in the US; Cuba, the Caribbean and Latin America; and municipal, state and national anti-blockade campaigns.
•  An early evening rally at the Malcolm X Center.
Sunday will be dedicated to a Plenary Session to develop an Action Plan preceded by brief report-backs from panels on conclusions and proposals.

Updates will be posted on the conference web site as they develop.

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May Day Brigade Presents

Join us for an Eyewitness Account of
Life in Cuba in 2019 and
the Effects of the U.S. Blockade!

The July 26th Coalition of Boston is hosting
Representatives from this year’s Cuba May Day Brigade:
Judy Freiwirth, Bob Mulcahy, and Aba Taylor
Also hear about the results of the November international solidarity conference in Havana from Al Foster

Thursday, December 5, 2019, 7:00 pm
First Baptist Church Of Jamaica Plain
633 Center Street

Event flyer here.

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