‘I’m going to see Cuba because system here isn’t working’

By Brian Williams
March 12, 2018

I want to go to Cuba “to see another model for doing things as this system here is not working,” Lou Murrey, 27, told the Militant Feb. 19. She decided to go on this year’s April 22-May 6 May Day Brigade to Cuba after hearing about it during the recent East Coast tour of Griselda Aguilera, a veteran of Cuba’s 1961 literacy campaign. Murrey works with the Stay Together Appalachian Youth project in Tennessee.

Aguilera’s tour in the Midwest and the East Coast inspired a number of young people to join in the brigade.

Organized by the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), the brigade will provide participants with an opportunity to see the Cuban Revolution firsthand, how workers and farmers made their revolution in 1959 and the example it provides for working people throughout the world today. The National Network on Cuba is coordinating efforts to sign up people in the U.S.

Participants will join Cuban farmers in agricultural work; meet with representatives of student, trade union, women’s and other mass organizations; visit factories and speak with veterans of some of the historic battles of the revolution. They will join with hundreds of thousands in the May Day march in Havana and participate in an international conference of solidarity with the socialist revolution the next day.

The three-day Tennessee leg of Aguilera’s tour “helped arouse curiosity about the Cuban Revolution,” Samir Hazboun from Knoxville, Tennessee, told the Militant Feb. 26 by phone. “We have six people committed to go and another three to four working out job and financial challenges to make it.” Hazboun said plans are in the works for a fundraising party March 3 “with bands and political education to help pull money together for the trip.”

“I was so inspired by her life,” said Raven Powell, 20, after hearing Aguilera speak Feb. 21 at Pellissippi State Community College. “That’s what I want to do too!” She signed up to find out more about the May Day Brigade.

The cost of the brigade, including meals and lodging in Cuba, is $675. Air travel, which costs extra, is being coordinated with the Marazul Travel Agency.

The deadline for getting in applications and initial payments is March 16, with full payments due a week later. Applications and the full schedule can be downloaded at www.NNOC.info. Email: ICanGoToCuba@nnoc.info.

Janice Lynn from Atlanta contributed to this article.