US and Cuba Normalization Relation

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Dear Friends of Cuba:

We are inviting organizations and individuals to help organize an inclusive, broad conference in New York City March 25-26, 2017 focused on US-Cuban relations. The National Conference will be held at the Fordham Law School and will bring together longtime Cuba solidarity activists, opponents of continuing US sanctions against Cuba, as well as representatives from many organizations and cities. We invite you to participate in planning and organizing the National Conference, which will include highly educational and informative workshops, presentations, cultural performances, and films, with the political purpose of promoting an agreed action agenda for the real normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, and to expand activity around these ends across the United States.

The Electoral College triumph of Donald Trump, and the retention of a Republican majority in the US House and Senate, underscores, more than ever, the need for an independent movement to advocate and fight for the full normalization of US-Cuban relations. During the election campaign Trump publicly pledged to reverse the modest Executive Orders easing ongoing US anti-Cuba sanctions, implemented by President Obama. He has stopped short so far from supporting the termination of the July 2015 restoration of US-Cuban diplomatic relations, a precondition for full normalization. This question, along with many other burning domestic and international issues, will be posed sharply from the first day of the Donald Trump Administration and the transition to it. The National Conference for the Full Normalization of US-Cuban Relations will be one of the first national protest and solidarity gathering under the new Trump regime.

The current Republican House and Senate leaderships in the last years of the Obama Administrationshowed no inclination to bring before the Congress several existing bills that would end or significantly ameliorate the ongoing US economic and financial embargo against Cuba and also strike down remaining US legal barriers to freedom of travel to Cuba from the United States.

Following the December 17, 2014 announcements by US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro, the United States and Cuba moved to the establishment of diplomatic relations. Despite President Obama using some of his executive powers, this relationship remains far from “normal.” Fully ending ongoing US sanctions against Cuba will require a formal act of Congress. The notorious Helms-Burton legislation, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, took that right and ability out of the
Executive Branch of the US government.

In one of its last acts before the November 8 election, the Obama White House directed the US United Nations Mission to abstain in the annual vote in the UN General
Assembly to condemn, now unanimously 192-0, “the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.” For over 20 years the vote has registered near unanimous political isolation for Washington in the “international community.”

Normal relations will mean increased political and people-to-people exchanges as more people from the US visit the Caribbean island and more genuine representatives of Cuban society, trade unionists and Afro-Cubans, women’s rights and LGBT rights activists, artists and intellectuals, scientists and doctors are able to travel and speak in the United States.

The undersigned propose that the organizers of the National Conference reach out and work closely with organizations in Cuba, such as the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) to bring a number of prominent Cuban personalities to take part in the 2017 Conference.
Cuba says it is prepared to discuss anything and everything with the United States, including “democracy” and “human rights.” This national gathering March 25-26 will be an opportunity to bring activists together from across the United States to discuss and act on these questions back at their home base and local area. The National Conference will have plenary sessions, dozens of workshops on Cuba and international themes, and proposals for action to demand full and real normalization of US-Cuban relations. In addition to Conference sessions and workshops, we will also hold a major public event in a large space with prominent speakers, including from Cuba, cultural performers,
and special video greetings.

This invitation to hold a conference registers a spirit of unity and a perspective to reach out broadly, across different points of view, to all who are opposed to the continuation of hostile US policies toward Cuba, the fundamental obstacle to normalized relations between the two governments. We look forward to you coming to New York City in the Spring of 2017! We must organize to change US anti-Cuba policy!

Signatures for Invitation to Spring 2017
National Conference on US-Cuba Relations


Updated 12-8-2016

Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Amadi Ajamu, December 12th Movement
S.E. Anderson, Black Left Unity Network, Author Black Holocaust for Beginners
Arnold August, Author and Journalist (Canada)
Tom Balanoff, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, Chicago*
Iris Baez, Anthony Baez Foundation
Nellie Bailey, WBAI Radio, Host and Producer Behind the News
Clever Banganayi, Deputy General Secretary, Friends of Cuba Society, South Africa
Fr. Luis Barrios, John Jay College of Criminal Justice – CUNY
Nancy Cabrero, Casa de las Americas
Leslie Cagan, Peace and Justice Organizer
Joe Callahan, Minnesota Cuba Committee
William Camacaro, Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle
Fritz Edler, former Local Chairman, Brotherhood of Locomotive engineers and Trainmen Division 482, Washington, DC, Rail workers United (RWU)*
Mariela Castro Espin, Director, Cuban National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX)
Greg Clave, Co-Chair, National Network on Cuba
Omowale Clay, December 12th Movement
Jason Corley, July 26 Coalition
Tim Craine, Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba
Jodi Dean, Professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
James Early, Institute for Policy Studies Board, Former Director Cultural Heritage Policy
Steve Early. Author and Journalist, Trade Union Organizer
Smithsonian Institution Center Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Steve Eckardt, Chicago Cuba Coalition
Howard Ehrman, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Family Medicine and Public Health, University of Illinois Chicago
Mark Emanation, American Federation of Musicians Local 14*
Bryan Epps, Director, Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center
Malia Everette, Founder and CEO, AltruVistas
Erin Feely-Nahem, LMSW, Cuba Solidarity New York
Jon Flanders, Former President International Association of Machinists, Local 1145, Retired
Franklin Flores, Casa de las Americas
Jane Franklin, Author: Cuba and the U.S. Empire: A Chronological History
Pat Fry, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
Martin Garbus, Attorney
Joan P. Gibbs, Esq
Margaret (Peggy) Gilpin, WBAI Cuba In Focus
Piero Gleijeses. Professor of United States Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins University
Stan Goff, Author and Anti-War Activist, US Special Forces (Retired)
Robert Grace, Former Executive Board Member, New York State Public Employees Federation
Bob Guild, Marazul Charters
Teresa Gutierrez, International Action Center
Larry Hamm, Chairman, People’s Organization for Progress
Tamara Hansen, Author, Cuba solidarity activist, Coordinator, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity
Tarik Haskins, Universal Zulu Nation
Dr. Alberto Jones, President, Caribbean American Children Foundation
Alicia Jrapko, Co-Chair, National Network on Cuba
Stephen Kimber, Professor, School of Journalism, University of King’s College, Halifax, Canada, Author, What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five
Dequi Kioni-Sadiki, Chair, Malcolm X Commemoration Committee
Steve Kramer, Vice President 1199SEIU, 1199SEIU Caribbean and Latin America Democracy Committee
Michael Krinsky, Attorney
Cheryl LaBash, Co-Chair, National Network on Cuba
Gloria La Riva, Coordinator, Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee
Dr. Eloise Linger, Professor Emerita, SUNY Old Westbury, former leader in the section for scholarly relations with Cuba, Latin American Studies Association (LASA)
Jeff Mackler, National Secretary, Socialist Action
Esperanza Martell, Professor, Hunter College
Chris Matlhako, General Secretary, Friends of Cuba Society, South Africa
Luis Matos, World Organization for the Rights of the People to Healthcare
Brother Shepard McDaniel, Universal Zulu Nation
Dr. Rosemari Mealy, Author: Fidel and Malcolm X – Memories of a Meeting
Bob Miller, July 26 Coalition, Sheet Metal and Rail Transportation (SMART) Union Local 60
Peter Miller, July 26 Coalition of Boston
Rafael Cancel Miranda, Puerto Rican Independence Fighter
Anne Mitchell. Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
Roberto Monticello, Cuban-American Filmmaker, part of US delegation with President Obama in Cuba
Radhames Morales, Fuerza de la Revolucion
Luci Murphy, Art for the People, Washington, DC
Omari Musa, DC Metro Coalition in Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution
Ike Nahem, Cuba Solidarity New York, July 26 Coalition
Estevan Nembhard, New York District Organizer, Communist Party USA
August Nimtz, Professor of Political Science and African American and African Studies, University of Minnesota
Sally O’Brien, WBAI Cuba In Focus
Vijay Prashad, Author and Journalist, Professor of International Studies, Chair in South Asian History, Trinity College
Benjamin Ramos Rosado, New York Cuba Solidarity Project
Suzanne Ross, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)
Pepe Rossy, Albany (New York) Cuba Solidarity
Azza Rojbi, Journalist, Coordinator, Friends of Cuba Against the Blockade, Vancouver, Canada
Ursula Rozum, Green Party, Central New York
Malcolm Sacks, Venceremos Brigade
Angelica Salazar, AltruVistas
Cesar Sanchez, July 26 Coalition
Isaac Saney, Co-Chair, Canadian Network on Cuba, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
Bob Schwartz, Disarm/Global Health Partners
Joel Schwartz, Civil Service Employees Association*
Banbose Shango, Co-Chair, National Network on Cuba
Michael Steven Smith, Attorney, Law and Disorder Radio
Stansfield Smith, Chicago ALBA Solidarity
Johnnie Stevens, Workers World Party
Jan Strout, US Women and Cuba Collaboration
Heide Trampus, Coordinator Worker-To-Worker, Canada-Cuba Labour Solidarity Network
Walter Turner, President, Board of Directors, Global Exchange
Bandele Tyehimbe, Pan African Connection, USA Revolutionary Party, Dallas, Texas
Akwete Tyehimba, Pan African Connection, USA Revolutionary Party, Dallas, Texas
Estela Vazquez, Vice President, 1199SEIU
Frank Velgara, ProLibertad Freedom Campaign, Frente Socialista de Puerto Rico – Comite de Nuevo York
Nalda Vigezzi, Co-chair, National Network on Cuba
Jennifer Wager, Professor, Essex County College
Gail Walker, IFCO/Pastors for Peace
Michael Warren, Attorney
Mary-Alice Waters, Socialist Workers Party
Aminifu Williams, People’s Organization for Progress
Anthony Williams, All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC)
Louis Wolf, DC Metro Coalition in Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution, Co-Editor Covert Action Information Bulletin
Juanita Young, Longtime fighter against police brutality and killings, Mother of Malcolm Ferguson, murdered by NYPD

* Organization Listed for Identification Purposes

Fordham Law School Student Organizations

Latin American Law Students Association
National Lawyers Guild Chapter
Universal Justice

Additional Endorsing Organizations

ANSWER
2017 NYC Voter Campaign For Community Control Of The Police
City College of New York Guillermo Morales-Assata Shakur Community and Student Center
Jericho Movement
Party for Socialism and Liberation
Universal Zulu Nation
Safiya Bukhari-Albert Nuh Foundation

National and Local Cuba Solidarity Organizations

Albany Cuba Solidarity
July 26 Coalition of Boston
Chicago Cuba Coalition
DC Metro Coalition in Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution
Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba
Minnesota Cuba Committee

About July 26th Coalition

What became the July 26 Coalition began when supporters of the Cuban Revolution in New York and New Jersey joined together in 2003 to organize a major, united event to mark and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953.
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