Fifty years ago, hundreds of young militants overcame U.S. government obstacles and repression to forge the very first international solidarity brigade with the Cuban revolution, named the Venceremos Brigade. Over the years, literally thousands of people from the U.S. have traveled to Cuba with the VB, ignoring and confronting the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba.
Applications at VB4Cuba.org are now available for the 50th Anniversary Venceremos Brigade, which will take place July-August 2019. Applications are due March 1 but the application fee is waived for applications filed before Feb. 1.
Although direct flights from U.S. airports give the general public an illusion of normalized relations between the U.S. and Cuba, the U.S. economic, financial and commercial blockade is very much in place. Even basic medical supplies and parts ― allowed under U.S. law ― are unavailable for purchase abroad because corporations and banks refuse any transaction with Cuba, fearful of U.S. fines.
The steadfastness of the solidarity movement — alongside the millions of Cubans committed to self determination for their island nation ― has brought these victories: a Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C.; a U.S. farm bill that includes funding, albeit limited, to promote trade with Cuba; and Cuban baseball players who no longer are forced to choose between their homeland and a major league baseball contract.
The Cuban Revolution cannot be erased and their accomplishments must not be hidden from workers and oppressed people in the U.S.
VB50 promises to be a special experience where you can witness what Cuba has built over the difficult decades, together with brigadistas, as they remember those early cane cutting days.
In spring 2019, the Pastors for Peace project of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) plans to hold educational meetings across the country to discuss current events with Cuba, ending the blockade, travel restrictions and getting the U.S. out of Guantánamo. If your organization wants to host a speaker with information about the Cuba Caravan, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is also a historic project. When the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc fell in 1989, the danger of U.S. aggression against Cuba spiked. In response, the late Rev. Lucius Walker proposed solidarity caravans to the Cuban island. Every year and sometimes more than once per year, sometimes via Mexico and other times through Canada, IFCO built an annual international solidarity action.
14th International May Day Brigade
The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples has invited supporters from around the world to join them for May Day, the International Workers Day, from April 21 to May 5. The program, which includes travel and events outside of Havana, accomodations with three meals daily for 15 days, is $650 per person. You are responsible for your travel to Havana and the cost of a Cuban visa.
All the information about this exciting opportunity can be found at the May Day Brigade tab on the National Network on Cuba website, NNOC.info. Space is limited. The deadline for applications is March 15. For more information write to ICanGoToCuba@nnoc.info
Let’s go to Cuba and see it for ourselves. Millions of people from around the world do it, why can’t we!
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