Saturday, August 26, 2023

Here's your Cubabuzz Friendshipment Caravan Edition

Your Weekly Cuba Digest
IFCO's CubaBuzz
33rd Friendshipment Edition 
This year we traveled to Santiago to celebrate the 70th Anniversary on the attack on the Moncada Barracks which signifies the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. We enjoyed music, art, and culture as we took a deeper look at the social systems Cuba has created to provide healthcare, housing and education for everyone despite the blockade and criminal actions imposed by the U.S. government.
Harlem's IFCO leads 33rd caravan to Cuba

The 33rd IFCO/Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan to the island nation taking place from July 15 through July 29.

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U.S. Tourism to Cuba Is Illegal – But You Can Still Go
Belly of the Beast
The New York Times and Trip Advisor recently recommended Cuba as a top tourist destination, but the U.S. government prohibits U.S. citizens from visiting the island as tourists.Despite the barriers, Diana and Kevin, two U.S. history professors who recently visited Cuba, say there are still ways to go there legally in 2023. "I would really encourage folks to come to Cuba and then from that experience…come to your own conclusions about what Cuba is like as a country," says Diana.
Many of our caravanistas hiked the 6 hour journey of the Sierra Maestra. There they saw the hideouts and encampments used by Fidel and other revolutionaries as they propelled the work of the July 26th Movement forward.
History will absolve me – the July 26, 1953, attack on Moncada Barracks, Cuba 

By Katrien Demuynck and Marc Vandepitte Sometimes reality surpasses fiction. In a way, this is the case with the Cuban Revolution. Seventy years ago, a few dozen young rebels stormed a barracks. Even though the attack failed completely, it was...

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Caravanistas volunteered side by side with our Cuban friends at a new health center under construction in the municipality of Gibara in the eastern province of Holguin. The facility will be a general hospital for the residents of Gibara and the surrounding communities.
Cuba reaffirms socialism while it reckons with its private sector

Despite facing an intensified blockade and a severe economic crisis, Cuba has remained firm with its commitment to guaranteeing rights for its people

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We also visited the private sector and learned more about how individuals run their businesses in cooperation with the planned economy and got to hear from artist on the importance and true ability of free artistic expression in Cuba.
Cuba Marks the Anniversary of the Devastating Matanzas Fire with Tribute to Victims

By Alejandra Garcia on August 3, 2023 On August 5, 2022, an explosion ripped through the Matanzas Supertanker base disrupting the city on what had been a rainy but apparently calm night. One of the eight oil tanks in the reserve was struck by...

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We visited hospitals and learned about Cuba's preventative healthcare model. Cuba has a higher life expectancy that the U.S. even though the blockade prevents Cuba from purchasing vital raw materials to manufacture necessary medicine. Cuba not only provides this human first healthcare approach to its own citizens but also sends doctors all over the world to aid countries who are often left behind by the west.
After 21 Years, the Harms of Guantánamo Bay Are Still Unending

A recent U.N. report calls for a way forward that directly addresses the crimes of the past, including the need for public apology, compensation to former detainees, and the shutting down of that infamous prison.

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We traveled to Guantanamo Bay and learned about the illegal occupation that the U.S. has held since the passing of the Platt Amendment in 1902. Guantanamo is more than a jail or naval base owned and operated by the U.S. government. It is a historic province in Cuba whose people should have access to its waters and not have to combat the mass pollution generated by the U.S. occupation. It should not be associated with horrors committed by the U.S. torture facility and blamed by popular U.S. propaganda. The people of Guantanamo celebrate life and beauty that comes with socialist revolution and denounce the terrorism committed illegally on their soil. When we come back to the U.S. we are not just fighting for the end to the blockade and the State Sponsors of Terrorism designation, but als0 the removal of the U.S. occupation of the Cuban province of Gauntanmo and its waters.
Throughout our travels we visited churches, engaged in cultural performances, listened and discussed the realities of life in Cuba. The direct exchange with our Cuban friends and family cannot be fully captured and expressed in pictures. We learn so much from our countless cups of coffee and conversations around the day to day. We know that U.S. people showing up and bearing witness to the resilience and love Cuba offers the world is a life changing experience. If you are interested in joining us next year, email!
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