With Jan. 1 marking the 62nd anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the National Network on Cuba and local coalitions have laid out a program of solidarity actions over the next several months demanding: End the U.S. embargo against Cuba! U.S. out of Guantánamo now! and End U.S. travel restrictions against Cuba!
As part of this schedule, street actions, meetings and press conferences were held in several cities Dec. 17 marking the sixth anniversary of the agreement reached between the U.S. and Cuban governments to reestablish diplomatic relations, which Washington had cut off in January 1961.
The actions also marked the freedom of the last three of the Cuban Five the same day. The Cuban Five had been framed up in the U.S. for their actions to defend Cuba from counterrevolutionary attacks launched from the U.S. They were imprisoned for up to 16 years.
Holding signs against the U.S. economic war against Cuba, 30 people picketed and rallied with signs alongside Interstate 94 in Minneapolis. “Cars passing by honked in solidarity,” reported participant Helen Meyers. The action was called by the Minnesota Cuba Committee.
“The U.S. uses its economic and political power to undermine Cuba’s right to national self-determination, and that goes against everything that I stand for,” Nick Neeser, 22, a woodworker, told the Militant. This was his first protest in support of the Cuban Revolution.
“The Cuban Revolution has inspired all of us,” said David Rosenfeld of the Socialist Workers Party, who spoke at the rally, “by its internationalism, medical care and education system. Above all, Cuba has something to teach us: It is possible to make a revolution.”
A picket was organized at a busy intersection in Chicago on the same day by the Chicago Cuba Coalition. Participants reached out to passersby with informational flyers about the Cuban Revolution and the need to oppose Washington’s economic war against it.
In Washington, D.C., a news conference was held at Busboys and Poets featuring greetings from José Ramón Cabañas, Cuban ambassador to the U.S.; Sandra Ramírez, North American director of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP); and Gail Walker from the National Network on Cuba. Busboys and Poets is a restaurant, bookstore and frequent venue for political and artistic meetings.
The NNOC plans to organize similar public solidarity activities on the 17th of each month.
A resolution passed at the recently concluded meeting of the NNOC projects a series of actions in 2021 for member groups to participate in. They include a “Solidarity Caravan Against the U.S. Anti-Cuba Blockade” for Dec. 27, with plans to organize these on the last Sunday of every month.
A successful such action took place in Miami Nov. 29, with over 100 people in more than 80 cars and on bikes participating in a caravan around the city, including in Little Havana.
Bay of Pigs, literacy brigades
In April, activities will be organized to mark the 60th anniversaries of two important developments in the Cuban Revolution — Cuba’s decisive defeat of the U.S.-backed mercenary invasion at Playa Gíron (Bay of Pigs) April 19, 1961, and the launching of the national literacy campaign. In what Cuba’s revolutionary government declared the “Year of Education,” hundreds of thousands of Cubans, overwhelmingly youths, were mobilized from cities into rural areas to wipe out illiteracy on the island. This involved millions more fully in strengthening the revolution.
The NNOC will also be building the May Day brigade to Cuba, where participants can learn firsthand what the revolution is all about. ICAP has issued an invitation for people in the U.S. and around the world to join in the brigade. This annual brigade, had been put off in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Cuba’s community-based health care system — a product of the revolution — has meant everyone on the island is visited and aided in beating back the coronavirus. And the Cuban government plans to vaccinate everyone in the next few months.
Also being projected are brigades organized by IFCO/Pastors for Peace, the Venceremos Brigade and the Che Guevara Brigade, a project of the Canadian Network on Cuba.
On May 21 the United Nations General Assembly is scheduled to hear debate and vote on a resolution demanding the U.S. government end its brutal economic embargo of Cuba. The NNOC is projecting organizing protests at the U.N. in New York, in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., and in other cities.
For more information contact the National Network on Cuba at NNOC20012002@yahoo.com.