[act-ma] 7/26 Cuba Today - a long term visitor's perspective

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Thu Jul 20 04:52:07 PDT 2017

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 26^th 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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