On May Day and More
Click to enlarge; download flyer here.
The anti-Cuban bias of U.S. mainstream media has been documented throughout this website’s pages. Posted. We publish this related letter to the Boston Globe by July 26th member Calla Walsh to demonstrate our concerns and encourage their further expression. For other examples see the page on “July26.org Member Letters to the Boston Globe and Elsewhere.”
Published in Opinion, p.8 in the print edition and online with the above photo from a previous Marathon by Allison Dinner/NYT and quote: “Runners from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon, the race organizers said on Wednesday, April 6.” Text edited out in red.
The letter drew 39 comments. Calla is a senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. Note, too, the March Globe article on the attention her social media comments were receiving at www.bostonglobe.com/2022/03/22/metro/cambridge-high-schoolers-homework-assignment-list-positive-effects-imperialism-goes-viral/ —
When I saw that the Boston Athletic Association is banning Russian athletes from the Boston Marathon as punishment for “the invasion [of Ukraine] and subsequent atrocities wrought by Russian armed forces” (”BAA: Russia, Belarus runners out,” Sports, April 7), my first thought was: Does this mean that all American athletes are also banned from the marathon for the hundreds of invasions, war crimes, and atrocities committed by the United States throughout its existence?
Or does the B.A.A. not value the lives of Iraqis, Afghans, Palestinians, Yeminis, and other recent victims of U.S.-led or funded atrocities as much as they value Ukrainian lives? There is a racist double-standard when it comes to which groups the West sees as worthy victims, and it has been evident across the Western media, with networks like the BBC broadcasting remarks such as, “It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed.”
Banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from the marathon does nothing to support Ukrainians, promote diplomacy, or move the world toward peace. It only promotes Cold War xenophobia, manufactures consent for military escalation with Russia, and exposes the hypocrisy of the American war machine.
Sergio Reyes, political prisoner in Chile and exiled in the U.S., was an organizer, activist, and performer in Boston for 30 years (e.g., from www.sreyes.org), several of them as a leading member of the July 26th Coalition. He moved back to Chile a few years ago and will give us his impressions of the profoundly democratic process happening over the past few years from the 2019 revolt to the rewriting of the Pinochet era constitution to the present presidential election.
The partial selection of posts from Walter Lippmann’s CubaNews leading up to the demonstrations being planned for Monday, November 15, in Cuba (see below) give some useful evidence of the disruptions and media war going on since the July 11 protests. Planned for the day when Cuba opens up for tourism, the new school year begins, and the IFCO/Pastors for Peace Friendship Caravan lands in Havana, they illustrate the troubling failure of many of those who previously looked with a critical eye and grasped the role of U.S. government subversion as part of its embargo/blockade (El Bloqueo) regime change policies and practices.
Two pieces from this collection in particular clarify the U.S. role in instigating these disruptions: The US Army Training Circular TC18-01 on Unconventional Warfare cited and linked in the piece on “The United States government is the true organizer and promoter of the provocation mounted for November” and the recent postings from the Cuba Money Project. Continue reading
The Boston-Cuba Solidarity Coalition is joining with our comrades, colleagues and allies in the Boston May Day Coalition and inviting the cosponsors of our recent Boston/IFCO Program to join us at another stand-in in support of Ending the Embargo on Saturday, October 30, from 1:00-2:00 at the Park St. MBTA station on Boston Common near the State House.
The rally is in solidarity with the growing Caravan movement calling for an End to the Blockade that is taking place across the country on the last Sunday of the month. For those not within close distance, local actions on the weekend are encouraged.
We’ve attended Stephen Lewis’s Cuba Poster shows in the past, covered most recently at the beginning of this year at the Walpole Library with some good examples. The October 17 mini-caravan gathering in Westborough, MA, to attend the Sunday public library exhibition demonstrates how the national End the U.S. Embargo Caravan movement is expanding in its outreach and the scope of Cuba-related occasions for delivering its message. Stephen’s overview provides a useful overview of the showings.
A Virtual presentation and Q&A exchange for Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine
Aviva Chomsky — author, A History of the Cuban Revolution and co-editor, The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics
Gail Walker of IFCO/Pastors for Peace — A report back direct from two weeks in Cuba
A Fundraising Program for IFCO/Pastors for Peace — The Proposed Boston City Council Resolution to End the Embargo and Other Actions You Can Take
Sponsors: The Boston-Cuba Solidarity Coalition/July26.org and IFCO/Pastors for Peace
Cosponsors: Greater Hartford Cuba Solidarity Committee, Let Cuba Live (Maine), First Baptist Church Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts Peace Action, Peace Action Maine, Boston May Day Coalition, New Hampshire Peace Action
Program flyer here.
Also, Thursday, July 22, 7:00 ET, live, interactive conversation about urgent solidarity work with Cuba and Haiti cosponsored by July26.org (video here)
A rally in support of Cuba’s sovereignty amidst recent demonstrations there and U.S. responses will take place Saturday, July 24 at the Park St. MBTA station at 1:00, in solidarity with the anti-embargo/blockade caravans taking place across the country on Sunday, and Monday July 26’s anniversary of the origin of the Cuban Revolution. July 24th is also a National and International Call from Brazil to be on the streets again demanding Out Bolsonaro. The open mic program is also in solidarity with Haitian self-determination in the face of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. The International Action Center, Massachusetts Peace Action and the Boston May Day Coalition are among the co-sponsors (full list here); other co-sponsors are welcome.
The Boston-Cuba July26.org Solidarity Coalition has signed on to the Massachusetts Peace Action Coalition Emergency Response to the Crisis in Cuba. This, the statement and basic analysis by Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, and other recent statements amplify the analyses and commentaries in our May 31 post preceding the overwhelming condemnation of the Embargo/Blockade by the UN General Assembly last month. These recent essays include the following, Marilyn Frankenstein, Eli “Marty” Schotz, Judy Robbins, Arnold August, Walter Lippmann contributors:
Together they promote “A Vaccine Against the Virus of War Propaganda.”
Increased disapprovals of Biden’s failure to follow-up his campaign condemnation of Trump’s oppressive Cuba sanctions and promise of a reversal are being voiced across the political spectrum. Left solidarity groups are mobilizing against the blockade with a focus on the annual overwhelming denunciation of the U.S. Embargo by the United Nations General Assembly. July 26.org is a part of these efforts.
EngageCuba.org, a broad-based, mainstream group, announced “56 groups urge the Biden-Harris administration to take immediate action to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations” back in February, as did the diversely-supported Latin America Working Group in its own press release. The libertarian Future of Freedom Foundation issued a call to “Lift the Embargo on Cuba” in March. At the end of this month, the Miami Herald published a story about how “Republican Sen. Jerry Moran hopes to lift embargo on Cuba to boost Kansas farmers”; William LeoGrande, Dean of the American University of Public Affairs, wrote asking “Will Joe Biden Continue America’s Delusional Cuba Policy?” for The National Interest, whose Center’s honorary chairman is Henry Kissinger, and another about “Hunger as a Weapon: How Biden’s Inaction Is Aggravating Cuba’s Food Crisis” for the progressive-oriented Common Dreams. Just days ago a recorded webinar on “Right to Live Without a Blockade: Impact of US sanctions on the Cuban population & women’s lives” discussed the findings of a recently released Oxfam report of the same name.
Radical, Soldarity journalistic outlets and activist groups are growing more emphatic. Witness the May 29th Resumen editorial on “Cuba: The Murderous Blockade” — the round-up of text and photos of May 30 Caravans against the Embargo from more than 70 countries, including 19 cities in the U.S.* A good summary of it all is the basis for Medea Benjamin’s call to “Make Normalizing Relations with Cuba a Priority.” Branko Marcetic on “The US Blockade on Cuba Must End” is also a good historical analysis that explains why “blockade” rather than “embargo” is an appropriate characterization of US policy.
With leadership from US-CubaNormalization.org including the Saving Lives Campaign and the National Network on Cuba, some of the key activities taking place during the Week of Action leading up to the June 23 UN General Assembly vote include:
July26.org has signed onto the initiative shared with us by the NNOC co-chairs from the Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE) for an organizational sign on letter addressed to the Biden administration and the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
ACERE told its members, allies and supporters, “This vote is a nearly unanimous expression of solidarity with the Cuban people against the outdated and punishing policies of the United States, which have proven to lead to international condemnation of the U.S., not Cuba. We are sending President Biden a letter asking him to abstain in the vote, as his predecessor President Obama did, and to use the occasion to announce his administration’s plans in moving towards normalization with Cuba.”
The deadline for signing was Friday, May 28. The letter can be found here and includes 114 national and local sign-ons. A practically identical letter for individuals to sign onto, hosted at CODEPINK, is still open and can be found here. Please join us.
Our major event during the week of action will be Saturday, June 19th/Juneteenth, 1:00-2:00, at the Park Street MBTA station at the corner of the Boston Commons (a Facebook event to share here). As this is Juneteenth, we’re hoping to build on the lessons from the two webinars on “Why There Are No George Floyds in Cuba” — the US-CubaNormalization Program in July 2020 and the more recent IFCO/Pastors for Peace Program this past April, both with August Nimtz, co-chair Minnesota Cuba Committee, professor of Political Science, African American and African Studies, University of Minnesota, and author of the essay by the same name. More information to follow.
* Albany, NY; Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA; Bloomington, IN; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis, MN; New Haven, CT; New York City, NY; San Antonio, TX; San Diego,CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Tampa, FL; Washington, DC.
“Belmont World Film’s 19th Annual International Film Series: Family Ties” concludes with a six-day showing of “Agosto” that includes an online discussion on Monday, May 10, at 7:30 pm. Continue reading