Boston: July 26 Cuba Today – a long term visitor’s perspective

Jul 25, 2017 by

On Wednesday, July 26, Cuba’s Revolution Day holiday, the Boston area July 26th Coalition is sponsoring a program on community development in Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations featuring Brookline’s Lee Schlenker.

Lee Schlenker, who has been living in Cuba working with Witness for Peace for the past year, is a graduate in Latin American Urban Studies at Middlebury College, is a dynamic, bilingual researcher, community organizer and international solidarity activist currently based in Havana as an International Team member with Witness for Peace. He is a strong believer in grassroots solidarity work, participatory neighborhood planning, worker-owned cooperatives, and the ongoing construction of an urban commons. “In his free time,” according to Lee’s biographical note, “he pretends he can dance salsa, tries the spiciest thing he can find, and beatboxes until his throat is dry.”

Wed. July 26th  7:00 PM

Encuentro 5 Community Center 9A Hamilton Place, next to the Orpheum Theatre, across the street from the Park Street MBTA station.

The July 26th program will address both ongoing issues in Cuba and the more recent changes involved surrounding President Trump’s announced changes to the Obama-Castro rapprochement including new restrictions on trade and on travel, especially person-to-person travel, the specifics of which are due to be announced in mid-September. In addition to looking at new contexts and strategies for ending the embargo, the program will also address other areas relevant to normalizing relations including the return of Guantanamo to Cuba and additional matters involved with respecting Cuban sovereignty, especially ending U.S. government-supported “regime change” programs. The program will also address and help plan two major Cuba programs coming this fall.

The July 26 program announces the reactivation of Witness for Peace’s work in New England, and will be followed up with regional gatherings on August 12th and a fall speaking tour with Cuban popular educator, media producer, and poet Marcel Lueiro Reyes in October. Marcel is a specialist in the fields of popular communication, culture and the arts in Cuba. His poetry collections have won national literary prizes. Marcel has traveled to many countries as both a popular educator and a journalist and will focus on community-based experiences in the struggle to create a more inclusive and democratic socialism. Marcel is eager to discuss the perception of US policies on the island as well as the influence of people from the US on aspects of Cuban life such as baseball, music, and film.

The program is being co-sponsored by Brookline PAX and Witness for Peace.

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