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

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 has some major involvement in the upcoming renamed “International Conference on US-Cuba Normalization,” still at 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. 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

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 — — 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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Fall Program News and Notes

Cuban film at the 2019 Boston Latino International Film Festival, BLIFF.orgBakosó: Afrobeats of Cuba –- Thursday,  September 26, 8:00, Harvard University, Tsai Auditorium at CGIS, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge. Documentary by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, 50 mins, that shows the technology, culture and landscape that shape this new genre of African-Caribbean fusion. Preceded by “Nowhere Bastards” by Mario González Jiménez, 11 mins, the story of three Mexican rappers who have found a shelter from adversity in hip-hop.

Music Workshop / Síntesis: Una visión de la herencia musical afro-cubana, Friday, October 4, noon, Harvard University, Library Theater in McKinlock Hall (Leverett House), 25 Mill Street, Cambridge. Síntesis, whose music pioneered the fusion of Afro-Cuban musical traditions with contemporary jazz and rock in the late 1970s, will be sharing their creative process.  This Music Workshop will be held in Spanish with consecutive translation and moderated by Yosvany Terry, Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of Harvard Jazz Bands 

Saturday afternoon, October 5, 4:00Dr. Jourdy James Heredia, Subdirector, Global Economy Research Center in Havana, “An Economy Under Siege: Building Socialism and Solidarity with Cuba Today.” Witness for Peace “Solidarity Collective” tour, Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. For the full schedule, see the tour events page. Note that an audio of Dr. James’ talk is available on our web site here.

“Meet the Real Cuba: Travel for the Adventurous and Creative, Laura Quincy Jones, Brookline Adult and Community Ed at Brookline High School on the Green Line, Thursday, October 10, 7:00-8:30, $6.00.

The National Network on Cuba (NNOC) is holding its annual conference Friday through Sunday, October 18-20, at the Institute for Policy Study with two additional days of Congressional visits and advocacy for those interested in meeting with elected representative and staff, especially around the new travel bills.  Basic overview here; updates available in the NNOC mailings archive.

Cuba Exhibition at the Montserrat College of Art in Beverlythrough October 12. Adrián Fernández Milanés built the massive multi-media installation “Pending Memories” over a recent two-week period.

“A Tuba to Cuba: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, with Yusa and Special Guests,” Friday, October 25, 8:00 pm, Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, special program.

A few openings still available for the NNOC Oct. 30 to Nov. 5 trip to Havana for the Anti-imperialist Meeting of Solidarity, for Democracy and against Neoliberalism.  Info on the conference, agenda, and costs and other ways to attend available here.

November/early December presentation by Boston reps of this year’s Cuba May Day Brigade. Details to follow.

Late 2019/early 2020 Witness for Peace “Solidarity Collective” trips to Cuba can be found here.

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Revolution Day 2019

The July 26th Coalition presents

The Cuban Revolution 60th Anniversary Celebration

Monday, July 29th, 7:00-9:00

Fenway Community Center
1282 Boylston St. at Jersey St.
a block south of Fenway Park, handicap accessible

Nalda Vigezzi and Wally Sillanpoa ; Mavis Anderson; Jessica Borges.

Program Introduction by Margaret Witham Moderated by Nalda Vigezzi
Greetings from Rep. Jim McGovern

Jessica Borges, graduate student, Clark University; Policy Specialist, Cuba Ministry of Foreign Relations; Intern, Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples, Living and Working in Cuba as a Young Revolutionary

Wally Sillanpoa, political activist, July 26th Coalition, 20+ years experience in Cuba: “LGBT Issues in Cuba: Personal Narrative of a Gay Northamerican Comrade”

Mavis Anderson, Senior Associate, Latin America Working Group,  “A DC Strategy in the Current Era of U.S.-Cuba Relations”


Program flyer.

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The Cuba Caravan Is Coming

The July 26th Coalition of Boston is hosting
The Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan
Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 7:30 pm
First Baptist Church Of Jamaica Plain
633 Center Street

  • Featuring
  • Gail Walker, Executive Director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, “The Case for Ending the US Blockade Against Cuba”
  • Rachel Domond, PSL Boston, on “The Recent Boston Urban Farmers Delegation to Cuba”
  • Lee Schlenker, Witness for Peace New England, “Recently Returned: Update on Venezuela”

Facebook Event   —    program flyer   —   —

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May 24 and 25: Two Opportunities to Meet Visiting Cuban Scholars

The July 26 Coalition is hosting up to 20 Cuban scholars participating in the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) annual conference at Marriott Copley. Miguel Fraga, the First Secretary of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. is also invited.

  • Saturday, May 25, 2019, 8:00-10:00 pm
  • Lenox Hotel’s City Bar reception room
  • 1st floor, wheelchair accessible
  • Complimentary appetizers, Cash bar
  • RSVP: Margaret Witham, – (617) 905-9510


    • “Imperialist War on Cuba and Venezuela: Afro-Caribbean Socialist Women Fight Back”
  • Friday, May 24, 7:00 pm
  • Encuento 5, 9A Hamilton Pl. (near Park St. T station)

Join the Boston branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Witness for Peace New England, the Boston Venezuela Solidarity Committee, and the July 26th Coalition for a special panel discussion on empire, race and socialism in Cuba and Venezuela. With

  • Jourdy James Heredia, subdirector of the Global Economy Research Center in Havana;
  • Gisela Arandia, president of the Cuban chapter of the Regional Articulation of Afro-descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean; and
  • Jeanette Charles, international solidarity liaison with

This event will be held in both English and Spanish; interpretation services will be provided. Food and drink will be served; unfortunately encuentro5 is not wheelchair accessible. Additional information about the presenters is in the full posting, along with a photo of the event. Continue reading

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Cuban filmmaker Eric Corvalán Set for April 22 – CANCELLED

Unfortunately filmmaker Eric Corvalán had to cancel plans for this trip at the last minute. We’ll try to get a copy the movie and show it at a later date.  

Award-winning Cuban filmmaker Eric Corvalán Pelle will introduce his 35-minute documentary Race (Raza): A Cuban Documentary in Colors (2009) on Monday, April 22, at 7:00 at Encuentro 5, 9A Hamilton Place, next to the Orpheum Theatre at the Park Street MBTA Station.     Continue reading

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The New Year — Good News, Bad News

Amidst new year tributes on the Cuban Revolution’s 60th anniversary, foreboding reports about Venezuela

New year congratulations and tributes to the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution have been posted from around the globe — e.g., from the National Network on Cuba (NNOC), the African Awareness Association, Let Cuba Live, the Republic of South Africa, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.   There are celebrations occasioning the 50th anniversary of the Venceremos Bridge and invitations to join it in July — — and for IFCO/Pastors for Peace’s 38th Friendshipment Caravan also in July. 

Mixed with these announcements, Havana was hit at the end of the month by a destructive tornado (note the link for support) — and foreboding reports about Venezuela.

What makes the Venezuela reports so worrisome is the complicity of so many seemingly progressive voices in U.S. aggressive militarism and avoidance of U.S. responsibility for the country’s destabilization.  FAIR (and more generally here), Democracy Now, NACLA have been especially informative in both providing thoughtful and detailed analyses of media complicity in U.S. aggression as well the on-going struggles there.

Notable is the special February 4th weekly Resumen Latinoamericano English Edition (on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as well as at, issue 302, devoted entirely to Venezuela.

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