Facebook bans Cuba solidarity conference

Facebook bans the event page for a conference featuring ambassadors, doctors, scholars, elected officials, labor and religious figures.

What is Facebook afraid of?

Even in the time of a COVID pandemic, when Cuba has been recognized for its leading humanitarian role, apparently in some circles discussion of U.S.-Cuba relations is unacceptable. Unfortunately, Facebook joined a politically motivated disinformation campaign when it removed the National Network on Cuba’s event page for the Nov. 14-15 conference. 

From Friday, Nov. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, hundreds from across the U.S., Canada and around the world will join together for a virtual concert and conference for the full normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations. Under President Trump, the embargo against Cuba has been tightened, leading to many day-to-day challenges for the Cuban people. Trump has also restricted U.S. travel to Cuba, undermining the ability of people in the U.S. to see Cuba with their own eyes.  

“We know that whether the next president of the United States is Donald Trump or Joe Biden, we will need to strengthen our campaign to push Washington to end the over 60 years of the cruel embargo against Cuba,” explains conference spokesperson Cheryl LaBash. “This dynamic 3-day event combining arts, culture, speakers and discussion will remind us that while the U.S. economic blockade has reached unprecedented levels, never has the possibility of ending it been closer.”

The weekend will kick off with a colorful and vibrant concert on Friday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. Eastern time. “We will bring together artists of all ages and backgrounds from Cuba, the U.S. and Canada,” explains conference spokesperson Tamara Hansen. “We are honored to be featuring the talents of two-time Grammy winners El Septeto Santiaguero and the U.S.-Cuba collaboration of jazz, afro, rock and salsa of Pablo Menéndez and Mezcla.”

On Saturday, Nov. 14, the first session at 2 p.m. Eastern time will feature José Ramón Cabañas, Cuba’s ambassador to the United States, and Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s ambassador to Canada. They will speak alongside politicians from the U.S. and Canada to discuss the importance of the full normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations.

The second session, at 7 p.m. Eastern time, will discuss Cuba’s leading role in combating the global COVID-19 pandemic both within Cuba and internationally with the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade. It will feature Dr. Andy Coates, a physician in Albany, N.Y., on the frontline of treating COVID-19 patients, and Dr. Samira Addrey, a graduate of Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine, along with other prominent panelists.  

The final session, on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. Eastern time, will be dedicated to planning and building a campaign to effectively end the U.S. embargo against Cuba in 2021. This will feature a variety of speakers from across the U.S. and Canada, including Cuban Americans and speakers from Puerto Rico and Quebec.  

This campaign is a united effort between the U.S.-based National Network on Cuba, Table de concertation et de solidarité Québec–Cuba and the Canadian Network on Cuba

Find registration and full conference details on our website:

us-cubanormalization.org

Media contacts for interviews or more information:

  • Cheryl LaBash (US) +1 313-999-1376
  • Tamara Hansen (Canada) +1 778-882-5223
  • Sean O’Donoghue (Quebec/French) +1 514-721-4527
  • Email: [email protected]

Additional supporters of US-Cuba Normalization:

Alison Bodine, Fire This Time, Movement for Social Justice, Vancouver

Alicia Jrapko, co-chair of the Cuba Nobel Prize Committee

Bob Schwartz, vice president, Global Health Partners

Catherine Murphy, founder, The Literacy Project

Cheryl LaBash, co-chair, National Network on Cuba 

Chuck Kaufman, Alliance for Global Justice

Cindy Domingo, chair, U.S. Women and Cuba Collaboration

Clever Banganayi, Friends of Cuba Society (South Africa)

Danny Glover, actor and activist

Diane Stradling, delegation coordinator, Witness for Peace

Don Rojas, director of Communications and International Relations, Institute of the Black World

Erin Feely-Nahem, LMSW, domestic violence advocate

Frank Velgara, Call to Action on Puerto Rico

Gail Walker, executive director, IFCO/Pastors for Peace  

Ike Nahem, organizer, U.S.-Cuba International and 2nd National Cuba conferences

Isaac Saney, Canadian Network on Cuba

James Early, assistant secretary for Education and Public Service, Smithsonian Institution, retired

Joe Lombardo co-coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

Rev. Jim Winkler, president and general secretary, National Council of Churches

Joan P Gibbs, attorney at law, NY-NJ CubaSí

Jocelyn Velázquez, Jornada, Se Acabaron Las Promesas, Puerto Rico

John Waller, Seattle Cuba Friendship Committee

Jon Flanders, Railroad Workers United

Michelle Ellner, Latin America campaign coordinator, CODEPINK 

Medea Benjamin, co-chair of the Cuba Nobel Prize Committee

Malcolm Sacks, Venceremos Brigade

Margaret Gilpin, LCSW,

U.S.-Cuba Health Exchange (former president), producer, Cuba In Focus, WBAI Radio

Mark Friedman, organizer, U.S. delegation to MarCuba, Cubambiente International Environmental Conferences

Milagros Rivera, presidenta, Comité de Solidaridad con Cuba en Puerto Rico

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, former president, National Lawyers Guild

Robert Miller, Cuba Solidarity Campaign UK

Dr. Rosemari Mealy, author, “Fidel and Malcolm X: Memories of a Meeting”

Sharon Wrobel, board president, ProximityCuba

Shepard McDaniel, executive director of Universal Zulu Nation–World Department Of Community Affairs

Tamara Hansen, coordinator, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity With Cuba

Rev. Tom Warren, United Church of Christ, North Carolina

Wayne Smith, Former chief, U.S. Interests Section in Havana

 

Plus solidarity and U.S.-Cuba normalization coalitions in

Albany, N.Y.; Boston; Chicago; Detroit; Halifax; Hartford, Conn.; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; Minnesota; Montreal; New York-New Jersey; San Francisco; Seattle; Toronto; Washington, D.C.; Wisconsin; and Vancouver.