Pastors for Peace Caravan in Boston

Friday, June 29, at 7:00 pm — First Baptist Church, 633 Centre St., Jamaica Plain

The July 26th Coalition is hosting a gathering in honor of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO)/Pastors for Peace, based in New York City, a group that has long worked throughout the country and the world to end the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba. Since 1992 has taken yearly Friendshipment Caravans to Cuba without a license as a protest and conscious act of civil disobedience.

Journalist ​Cheryl LaBash, one of the chairpersons of the National Network on Cuba, will introduce Dare to Dream: Cuba’s Latin American Medical School, a new documentary about Escuela Latino Americana de Medicina (ELAM), the training facility that provides free medical education and graduates over 1000 new doctors every year, from countries all over the world including the United States. Cheryl works in Michigan with Doctors 4 Detroit supporting the ELAM scholarship program, Detroit area students and graduates. A recent graduate of ELAM, now doing her residency in Boston, has also been invited.

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Coming Thursday, July 26, 7:00, Encuentro 5: Claudia Kaiser-Lenoir has confirmed as speaker for July 26th annual Cuban independence day celebration and will present on the 2018 May Day Brigade in Cuba. Claudia is the co-founder and co-director of the Latin American Studies program at Tufts.

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IFCO/Pastors for Peace Caravan Coming Up

cuba-caravan-2018An Invitation from IFCO/Pastors for Peace:  Join the 29th Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba this July, May 1 Deadline

This year the Caravan will spend 11 days in Cuba following a three day orientation in Toronto, primarily in Santiago, with day trips to Guantanamo, and participation in the July 26th celebration of the 65th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks, the beginning of the Cuban revolution. The cost of the full two-week program is $1650 plus travel to Toronto and back; the application is due May 1st.

The Caravan visit to Cuba will be preceded in late June by 10 days of Caravan vehicles traveling to public events throughout the US on five routes; the Boston visit is set for Friday June 29th. The schedule, application and additional information are available on the IFCO/Pastors for Peace web site here.

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Rally to Close Guantanamo and Return It to Cuba

Saturday, February 24, 2018, 1:00 pm, at Park Street Station

Guantanamo 2018-2-24 1+2+3Photos above by Susan McLucas (click to enlarge); see also story by Kaylie Feslberg in the Boston University Daily Free Press and MIT radio segment with Chuck Rosina.
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February 23 is the 115th anniversary of the US seizure of Guantanamo from Cuba as a result of the provoked Spanish American war.  Join us, as part of this nation-wide protest (click photo for a closer look).  Organized by the Committee for Peace and Human Rights; No Bases Coalition; United National Antiwar Coalition; United for Justice with Peace; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Boston branch; the July 26th Coalition; and Brookline PAX.  Rally flyer, more info here.

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May Day Brigade Webinar February 5th

Supplementing the earlier “Travel to Cuba” information posting, there is a webinar about the upcoming May Day Brigade Monday, February 5th, at 8:00 pm. Highlights of the trip include participating in the May 1 International Workers Day mobilization in Revolution Square in Havana and the International Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba the following day. The webinar features people from the U.S. who have participated in past brigades and the opportunity to ask them about their experiences.

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A Cultural History of Cuba and the Literacy Campaign of 1961

Two Programs:  Thursday and Friday, February 1 & 2 — and a Sunday addition. (Scenes from the Friday program here.)

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Alan West-Durán, A Cultural History of Cuba, book launch — reading, discussion, Q&A — Thursday, Feb 1, noon-2:00, Northeastern University, Department of Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies, 310 Renaissance Park, 1135 Tremont St., across from the Ruggles MBTA station and parking garage, #63 on the campus map. Alan will host the Friday program.

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Friday, Feb 2, 7:00 at Encuentro 5. Griselda Aguilera Cabrera was a seven-year-old teacher in Cuba’s 1961 Revolutionary Literacy Campaign, one of nine women featured in “Maestra,” the award-winning documentary whose synopsis begins: “250,000 volunteer teachers joined the national literacy campaign. Almost half of them were under 18 and over half of them were women. Together they taught a nation to read and write – and their lives would never be the same.”

Now retired from her career as an educator, Griselda works with the Cuban Psychology Society’s Working Group on Identity and Diversity.  We plan to show the 32-minute documentary at the beginning of the program. Griselda will talk on Cuban education then and now and entertain questions about a wide range of topics.  Encuentro 5/E-5 is located at the Park Street T Station, next to the Orpheum Theatre at 9A Hamilton Place. Cuba travel information from the notice below will be available. This program is co-sponsored by the Boston Latino International Film Festival.

Griselda will also be doing a short “seven minutes on a Sunday” presentation at the Community Church of Boston, at Copley Square, on Sunday, Feb. 4th at 11:00 a.m. before the main program. Details here.

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Travel to Cuba

National Network on Cuba travel webinar Tuesday January 16, 2018, 8:00-9:30 pm (Eastern time zone) with Bob Guild, from RESPECT, the travel providers organization promoting respectful travel to Cuba.

Witness for Peace (WfP) Cuba Delegation: Arts, Culture and Social Programs, March 30-April 9 — $1,995 + airfare and visa fee. Application and $150 deposit due Feb 15. Trip infoother WfP Cuba delegations.

NNOC International May Day Brigade, April 22-May 6, 2018. Full two week land package $675 (current round trip fights from Boston in the $350-$400 range). Registration until March 16. More InformationProgram / Itinerary / ScheduleApplication.

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Politics and Culture after Padura

capote4PEMcrThere’s barely a break in the action into November. Hurricane and storm destruction, films and culture, Trump and hot politics in DC, Seattle, and at the UN.

Following the week-long Leonardo Padura festival —on the heels of the Boston Latin International Film Festival, bliff.org, with three full length and three Cuban shorts and the Trump Cuba melt down and unfounded fit over “sonic attacks” on US state department personnel in Havana, complete with new visa restrictions, staff removals and Cuban diplomat expulsions — the calendar of political-cultural events includes the National Network on Cuba annual national conference in Seattle, organizing for local rallies and support actions for the November 1st UN Assembly’s annual vote to condemn the U.S. Blockade and Embargo on Cuba, the upcoming premiere of a documentary about 1,300 Cuban teachers at Harvard summer school in 1900, and the continued exhibition of Yoan Capote’s monumental steel sculpture of Fidel Castro at the Peabody Essex Museum, undercut by the museum’s prejudiced, politically-slanted publicity.

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