National Network On Cuba Members Conference Call 7/8/15

Jul 15, 2015 by

National Network On Cuba Members Conference Call 7/8/15

 

A NNOC member’s conference call was held on Wednesday, July 8. There was participation of about 30 people representing about 25 groups.

 

The meeting began with a review of the April 29, 2014 NNOC meeting in Havana and the Action Plan that was presented and approved at the April 29 meeting. Both reports are available on the NNOC webpage: www.NNOC.info.

We also noted with great appreciation the opportunity to participate in the May Day and International Solidarity Day actions and the opening of the photo exhibit documenting the first days of the return home of the final members of the Cuban 5. The NNOC members were honored to be part of some many activities with the Cuban 5 and the chance to see all of them together with their families and their generosity of time and spirit.

From September 16-18, there will be a conference and advocacy actions in Washington DC coordinated by the International Committee and Pastors for Peace. The NNOC has endorsed the actions, posted the preliminary information on the webpage and sent to the NNOC list. All members are urged to take part in the events.

We then presented some information about the fall NNOC meeting including possible dates and venues. Kenia Serrano, ICAP President and Leima Martinez of the Americas division of ICAP are in the process of planning a November visit to the United States pending visa approval. We will also send a letter of invitation to ICAP. The news of the visit was enthusiastically received. Suggestions were made to expand their visit to the Midwest and “prairie states” where the economics of trade, travel, and agriculture present opportunities for the Cubans. There was an additional proposal that the Cuban Ambassador and other members of the diplomatic corps speak to U.S. audiences.

Comments concerning the Action Plan included a question about the appropriateness of an action on December 17 as that is San Lazaro day. Also the 500 the anniversary of the founding of Santiago de Cuba and questions about activities around that and use of facebook page to publicize actions.

The nomination of the Cuban International Medical Program for the Nobel Peace Prize was discussed; the full details of the nomination will be forwarded and put on the webpage. An idea was presented to start a Facebook page to increase awareness and “buzz” around the nomination. Letters to the editor, discussion of the importance of the Cuban international medical programs, etc. were suggested.

Arnold August, author of “Cuba and Its Neighbors-Democracy in Motion” has offered to speak to audiences in the United States about his research. The idea was well-received and the NNOC will formulate a proposal for this. Suggestions for topics include the concept of “democracy”, recent municipal elections in Cuba, democracy and human rights, and gender and human rights.

Member suggestions included developing a better mechanism for the member groups to communicate with each other and share ideas. Possibility of creating a separate email group for member dialogue, communication, and announcements was mentioned and will be investigated.

The NNOC was urged to take steps on Kenia Serrano’s visit and to use the opportunity to show solidarity with Cuba and strong support for Cuban sovereignty.

A gallery show of Antonio’s works will take place in NYC at the Hudson gallery. Information about this was sent to NNOC and posted on website.

A suggestion was made to make better use of technology and resources.

An update of the current Pastors for Peace caravan was offered with appreciation to the many participants, supporters, and organizers in the route cities. Thanks to Gail for calling in from the caravan.

Another suggestion was made to work with WOLA/LAWG on lobbying and to support the idea of a bill in Congress to cease all funding for National Endowment for Democracy regime change and “democracy building”.

The African Awareness Association will sponsor a delegation to Cuba on December 18. Info will be posted to webpage.

Finally, the NNOC Treasurer and the co-chairs urge members to pay their dues timely and for non-members and former members to become supporting participants in the NNOC by completing application process and making regular dues payments.

Thanks to all who called in, participated, offered ideas, and continue to offer their long time support, solidarity, and work to defend Cuban sovereignty. The NNOC and the co-chairs, continue to welcome all and again reminds us that there is still much work to do and recommits to working for our shared goals.

 

NNOC co-chairs

Nalda Vigezzi

Banbose Shango

Alicia Jrapko

Cheryl LaBash

Franklin Curbelo

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