[act-ma] This Thur! Cuba Report Back, 6:30, Coolidge Corner Library

Amy Hendrickson amyh at texnology.com
Tue Aug 14 15:43:54 PDT 2007


CUBA NOW!

Report back from Pastors for Peace 2007 Visit to Cuba



Marty Schotz, MD & Jane Crosby LICSW





Thursday August 16, 6:30



Coolidge Corner Library, 31 Pleasant Street, Brookline

(From Coolidge Corner, one block down Beacon towards downtown Boston,

one block up Pleasant Street, you'll see the library)



Sponsored by Brookline PeaceWorks and July 26 Coalition for Cuba Solidarity



Their presentation will contain a multifaceted display on the Cuban reality--including Cuba's history and its developments in education, its contributions to health care & sports throughout the world, its green movement and its political culture-- 



Questions and Answers encouraged!



 




     
      Farmers at the Organiponico de Alamar, a neighborhood agriculture project in downtown Havana, weed the beds. Today an estimated 50 percent of Havana's vegetables come from inside the city, while in other Cuban towns and cities urban gardens produce from 80 percent to more than 100 percent of what they need. In turning to gardening, individuals and neighborhood organizations took the initiative by identifying idle land in the city, cleaning it up, and planting.


     



Previous Reports Back from Schotz and Crosby:
 
No child left behind 
By E. Martin Schotz and Jane Crosby,  
Granma International, Feb 27 2001

FOR the past two weeks we have been
traveling through a developing third world country where no child is
left behind. From one end of the country to the other, in cities and
in the countryside, as part of a Boston College Course in Comparative
Social Policy, we talked with government officials, teachers,
doctors, artists and writers as well as people on the street and
children. 


Not a single malnourished child anywhere. But more than that, the
children are happy, healthy and calm. They walk down the street arm
in arm, chattering away, laughing, in their smart looking school
uniforms. Every child has a teacher, and every teacher has graduated
from a five-year university program. 

In every city neighborhood and every town, no matter how remote, a
doctor is living there providing health education and primary care,
all in coordination with national public health campaigns. These
doctors are a direct link to polyclinics and more specialized care.
Life expectancy throughout the country is now 76 years and the infant
mortality rate is comparable to the best in the world.  

And all of this at first glance defies imagination when you consider
that ten years ago this country lost its major trading partner
overnight. The nation responsible for 80% of this country s trade (at
rates far below "world market prices") disappeared and left this
country to fend for itself. 

How did they do it? Critical housing projects had to be put on hold.
Food was and is rationed. But no day care center, school or clinic
was closed. "We had very little, but what we had we shared." "With it
all, children remained our privileged citizens." It hasn't been
accomplished simply with words - "Leave no child behind." And it
certainly hasn t been accomplished with "free market" mechanisms and
tax cuts for the wealthy. It has been accomplished through a
nationwide system of universal free health care and education and a
very complex process of social organization in which the society's
unwavering priority has been the health, education, and welfare of
the entire population. If you want to see how it can be done, see
Cuba. 

On returning from their Pastors for Peace trip to Cuba in 2005:

As American citizens we have been increasingly dismayed for some time
at the policies of our government. "Lawlessness" - domestic as well
as international - seems to be the basic thread which unites these
policies - whether it is the violations of the United Nations
Charter, the flouting of international agreements against torture and
arbitrary detention, the theft of elections, or the undermining of
constitutionally guaranteed civil rights.  To make matters worse this
has been taking place with very little opposition from the Democratic
Party.  In such a situation we could not escape the feeling that even
the limited democracy, which had existed in the United States, has
been disintegrating. How could we respond? When established political
institutions cease to care for people, there is no alternative but to
take matters into one's own hands. We had read about Pastors for
Peace, and we admired their humanitarian efforts toward Cuba-- a
direct action challenging the US blockade of Cuba.

Now we are back in the US and are continuing our struggle against the
government which is threatening to sanction us for our travel to
Cuba.  As we write [2005] we are witnessing the terrible images of
poor people, the vast majority people of color, stranded and dying in
New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, because of the
neglect of the U.S. government.  The death toll is now predicted to
run into the thousands.  We are mindful that last September a
Category 5 hurricane not unlike Katrina struck the island of Cuba.
Over a million people were evacuated before the storm hit, as well as
equipment, animals, even refrigerators, and not a single Cuban died
in this storm.  Could there be any more glaring example of why we
need to break this vicious and immoral blockade?  

For it is not only an economic blockade against the Cuban people, it
is a blockade against the minds of the people of the United States
preventing them from knowing that a different kind of society is
possible - a society in which children, elderly and people of
limited means are protected, and a world in which there is an
understanding of our interdependence as human beings. It is a
daunting task to counter the propaganda of the empire, but the
example of Cuba is an inspiration and calls on our conscience to do
whatever we can to contribute to this better world.

E. Martin Schotz, MD, and Jane Crosby, LICSW, are members of the
Family Services Clinic, South End Community Health Center, Boston,
Massachusetts. Dr. Schotz is also a staff psychiatrist at the
Children s Community Support Collaborative and the Lakeside School.
Both are longtime activists and have been to Cuba a number of times.
In July, 2005, they participated in the Pastors for Peace
Friendshipment caravan, which each year challenges the U.S. economic
blockade of Cuba. 

Send email to warner at scn.org for additional information on Pastors
for Peace. 

Sponsored by Brookline Peaceworks, 
peace at texnology.com  617/738-8029 and 
July 26th Coalition for Cuba Solidarity www.july26.org

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