Chicago to host national Cuba meeting

cuba_0312The National Network on Cuba, an umbrella organization of Cuba solidarity, travel, social justice and anti-imperialist groups, will hold its national meeting at the University of Illinois in Chicago Nov. 18-20. It is the first national meeting in many, many years outside of New York City or Washington, D.C., where participants will hear directly from Cuban diplomats and representatives of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples.

Sandra Ramirez, director of ICAP’s North American division, and Leima Martinez, also from ICAP, are traveling from Cuba. A representative from the U.S. Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., will also participate. Pictures taken by renowned Cuban photographer and videographer Roberto Chile of Cuba’s historic revolutionary leader Fidel Castro will be displayed in celebration of Fidel’s 90th birthday this year.

Chicago was chosen for its active and longstanding organizing in solidarity with Cuba and its vibrant labor, Black Lives Matter, Puerto Rican liberation and anti-war movements.

The new diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and Cuba officially begun on Dec. 17, 2014, means new challenges and opportunities for building the bonds of friendship with Cuban leaders and the Cuban people. The return to Cuba of the last three imprisoned Cuban 5 heroes, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, and Antonio Guerrero, who joined previously released René González and Fernando González, is an indelible symbol of what a united global movement can achieve.

Included in the agenda are informational panels on such topics as updating the current fight to stop the Internal Revenue Service from revoking the 501(c)(3) nonprofit status of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, parent of the Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravans plus many other progressive social justice projects, and upcoming caravan plans; the defense of Floridian Albert Fox, who is facing a $100,000 fine for travel to Cuba; discussion of ethical travel and Cuba; participation by U.S. doctors who graduated from Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine; Venceremos Brigade ‘responsables’; and much more. A business meeting with co-chairs, elections and acceptance of new member organizations is also on the agenda.

Please spread the word about the public event on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m., which will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center East, Room 302, 750 S. Halsted.

More information about the NNOC is available at There is a registration fee for representatives of member organizations and visitors.

For membership information or questions, write to [email protected].

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