The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 16      April 24 2017


Chicago event raises funds for May Day brigade to Cuba

CHICAGO — “We’re planning this trip to build solidarity with the Cuban Revolution,” said Michael Jabari at an April 8 fundraiser to support participation in the 12th May Day International Brigade to Cuba. Brigade members will join hundreds of thousands of Cubans at the annual May Day march in Havana, take part in voluntary work in the fields and attend an international meeting to discuss building solidarity with the revolution. They will meet members of women’s, union, youth and other mass organizations and visit workplaces and surrounding cities.

Jabari spoke following a showing of “Maestra,” a documentary about the 1961 mass campaign to wipe out illiteracy in Cuba. The campaign “epitomized what the revolution is about — the day-to-day work of the people,” he said.

The film features interviews with some of the tens of thousands of women who volunteered as teenagers to teach others to read and write. It gives a glimpse of how the revolution opened the door to millions of working people transforming themselves and their society through solidarity in action.

About 30 people attended the event. On May Day, brigade members will carry a banner reading, in English and Spanish, “End the embargo now! U.S. out of Guantánamo now! End the regime change programs now!” explained Dan Fein from the Chicago Cuba Coalition, which is organizing the U.S. component of the brigade.

They will also witness the effects of the decadeslong U.S. embargo of Cuba. In their last week in Cuba, some brigadistas will travel to Villa Clara and Cienfuegos to learn how the revolution unfolded there.

Others will participate in the Fifth Seminar for Peace and for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases in Guantánamo province. Since 1898 Washington has occupied Cuban territory at Guantánamo in order to intervene in the affairs of Cuba, Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Today it is the location of Washington’s most notorious prison. Seminar participants will discuss how to expand the fight for U.S. Out Now!

“I think capitalism is not good for your mental health,” Rosalyn Chernka, a psychiatrist from Chicago who is going on the brigade, told the Militant before the program. “Capitalism is about getting things; socialism is about doing things” to advance human solidarity, she said, explaining why she wants to learn more about revolutionary Cuba.

Steve Eckardt, co-coordinator of the Chicago Cuba Coalition said the group will organize public meetings for participants in the brigade to speak about the revolution and their experiences in Cuba when they return.

“I definitely will be speaking when I come back, informing everyone I can about what I learn,” Jabari said.

For further information contact the Chicago Cuba Coalition at (312) 952-2618 or email: .
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US, Canadian socialists, Cuban youth discuss US class struggle
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