May 4, 2013
We have the upcoming five days for the Cuban 5 in Wash DC. Danny Glover, Dolores Huerta, Glen Ford, Angela Davis, Ramsey Clark will be there. If you cannot go, you can encourage others to go, you can publicize it, you can encourage your contacts in the DC area to go, you can donate to make it a success. The International Committee to Free the 5 now has a $5000 matching fund, so every dollar you donate is doubled. The whole series of events is expected to cost $30,000.
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Letting Rene Gonzalez stay in Cuba is a victory like getting Mumia Abu-Jamal off death row. It shows some pressure on the government is having an effect, and we have noticed it as early as 2005. Yet it is not what we want. Another of the Cuban 5 is due to be released next February.
The Obama administration has recently ruled out exchanging the Cuban 5 for Alan Gross. After the US Supreme Court ruled out giving them a fair trial, at the instigation of the Obama administration, this seemed the most likely method for them to gain their freedom.
The Cuba solidarity movement here in the US has been lacking in defending the Cuban 5. We have yet to build a broad, national movement to free the Cuban 5. There have been important activities by different groups and individuals, but that is not the same as a national movement. To get the government to feel real pain for their crimes requires building a powerful national and international force. There is not even division among elected officials or in the corporate media about the case. No national representative has spoken out about the case.
Latin America has changed in the last 15 years, but the Latin America solidarity movements have not adjusted to this change. The time of building solidarity movements with one or another nation in Latin America: Cuba, Venezuela, El Salvador, Colombia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Honduras has passed. Latin American nations are rising as a collective group. Now, if we want to defend one, we need to defend the others. Intervention in Colombia would seriously threaten Venezuela. A coup in Venezuela would have a disastrous effect on Cuba , Bolivia, Ecuador.
Building solidarity with Cuba and the Cuban 5 means not restricting ourselves to Cuba, but working in and building the movement with all the nations of the Americas that are rising up. Otherwise, we artificially limit ourselves and isolate ourselves from natural allies.
In addition, the Cuba movement should play a more active role in the anti-war movement struggles. It has tended to isolate itself from these other movements, so that when there were opportunities to build new allies, these were not taken up. As an example, the struggle to defend the hunger strikers and political prisoners in Guantanamo, in Cuba, has not met with the active participation of the Cuba solidarity movement.
What are upcoming activities of the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5?
We will be working with others to protest the presence of Colombia’s ex-Pres Uribe in Chicago Friday, May 10
Event on Venezuela since the elections with two local Venezuela groups, Thursday, May 16 DePaul. With Bert Hestroffer and Lee Artz
Day of Action to Shut Down Guantanamo Friday, May 17, 4:00pm until 6:00pm Federal Plaza
Report back on North Korea, Thursday, May 23 DePaul.
The DPRK is the victim of sanctions and blockade like Cuba, the government not recognized by the US.
Speaking at ALD May 24 and 25 at U of C and Winnie Mandela HS.
Be at the LASA conference and Cuban 5 days in DC
Workshop at the Left Forum in NYC with the Cuban Mission and Arnold August
A event about Cuba in conjunction with other groups at the NOW conference, July 5-7
Pastors for Peace caravan party in July
And what will be significant, Working with other groups to bring Mumia Abu Jamal: Long Distance Revolutionary to a commercial theater in Chicago