NNOC Members Spring Conference Call Report

Apr 6, 2016 by

NNOC Members Spring Conference Call


The spring 2016 NNOC members conference call took place on Sunday, April 3, 2016. Groups participating included: 5 co-chairs also as representatives of their local organizations, Chicago Cuba solidarity, Cuba Solidarity New York, Socialist Workers Party, Albany NY Cuba Solidarity, Washington DC Metro Committee in Solidarity With Cuba, Communist Party USA, Maine Let Cuba Live, July 26th Coalition of Boston, Council on Latin American Relations Chicago, National Lawyers Guild Cuba subcommittee, Wisconsin Cuba Coalition. (Please forgive any mistakes in names of groups)

Discussion of Obama’s recent trip to Cuba:

Comments and observation included that this was a new way to overthrow the revolution, that the U.S. was forced to recognize Cuba’s achievements, that Obama’s comments were an insult to the Cuban people, hypocrisy of the statements, blockade continues, Guantanamo has not been returned to Cuba, and regime change efforts remain in place.   Also, that Obama was effective in representing U.S. policy of creating opposition and expanding capitalism; the issue of appealing to those who don’t understand the relationship of investment and exploitation, Cuba remains occupied by the U.S. (Guantanamo) The visit presented an expanded opportunity for media coverage and community events also to reach out to sectors such as agriculture/dairy. Push local and state legislation taking anti-blockade positions and then moving these resolutions to federal level. Lots of media misrepresentation of Cuban reality, we need to put human rights in context of infringement of our rights to demonstrate and abuses of first amendment. We need to expand the idea of what Obama can do and hasn’t yet done and what needs Congressional action. Negotiations are not happening in a meaningful way. Raul’s speech and Fidel’s article make it clear that Cuba will not compromise on basic principles and issues. The failure and delay of issuing visas to Cubans to come to the U.S., the tactics that require privatization in order for investment from U.S. enterprises to be permitted.

Art Heitzer commented on Hilary Clinton’s remarks on executions and disappearances; so far no response to his letter which was also sent by the NNOC to the Clinton campaign demanding factual proof of her claims or a retraction. Art will follow up and NNOC will circulate any additional correspondence.





West Coast tour including Bay Area and Seattle; lots of college visits reaching people who didn’t know anything about Cuba hearing first hand from Miguel Fraga representing the Embassy.   In New York there was a major event coinciding with the visit of the FMC to the United Nations; 200 people in attendance. New York is bringing a diverse group to Cuba for May Day including families of victims of police killings and is also planning a conference in spring of 2017. Pathfinder Publications has a new book of interviews with the Five of their experiences in the United States and in U.S. prisons; continue to have showings of Antonio’s prison paintings.


Discussion of political campaigns/ electoral actions/lobbying and advocacy. The Network incorporates different points of view and respects those differences and different ways of working.


April Days of Action: April 18-22 in Washington DC


Will include grassroots advocacy with small groups meeting with elected officials to express our experiences and demands to lift the blockade, travel ban, and return Guantanamo to Cuba. Opportunity for a briefing to Congress by two Cuban medical professionals who have worked in Africa and Venezuela. Public event “Through Cuban Eyes” with Cuban ambassador and Cubans who are awaiting U.S. visas: Vladimir from ICAP, Luisa Campos of the Literacy Museum, and young journalist, Jorgito who is subject of film “Power of the Weak”. Also presentations at universities with Jorgito will take place. Washington DC groups are helping to distribute flyers promoting the Days of Action. Info on website of International Committee (theinternationalcommittee.org) Days of Action are co-sponsored by NNOC and network members Institute for Policy studies (IPS), Venceremos Brigade, and IFCO/ Pastors for Peace.


Jorgito video: Available to NNOC members for $20 by contacting International Committee P.O. Box 22455, Oakland, CA 94609. Jorgito will be in DC and NYC where he was invited by the NY Womens’ Collective. Will be traveling with filmmaker Tobias Kriele and both will participate in Days of Action.


Luisa Campos: Director of Havana Literacy Museum. Will discuss film “Maestra”, literacy campaign, Cuban international literacy method, “Yo Si Puedo” etc. She expects to be in U.S. through early June and is interested in meeting with educational institutions, etc. Several speaking engagements are confirmed in PA, MN, KY, IN. Contact is Catherine Murphy: catherine@theliteracyproject.org.


Social Media: Not a substitute for one on one communication, but another way of reaching out. NNOC utilizing webpage, new mailchimp email account, twitter, facebook. All are up to date with latest info; co-chairs post to all almost daily. We need ideas, feedback, and help. NNOC would like to work better in utilizing streaming of major events and make them available through video.


Webinar: proposal that NNOC host webinar in late June with several panelists discussing new reality since 12/14. Topics to include legal aspects travel, what can be done, etc. We will follow up with possible presenters, and webinar host organization.


Fall Meeting/Conference Proposals: Chicago would like to host meeting; has the ability and interest to do so. Several active members can facilitate; they have a history of successful Cuba events. Would very much prefer that it take place after the November elections possibly first weekend in December.


Continental Meeting in Solidarity With Cuba will take place in Dominican Republic from July 28-30. NNOC will participate and will send more info to members.







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