Six Lessons for Obama on How to Improve Relations With Cuba

William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh on September 30, 2014


Raul Castro- Reuters“We’ve been engaged in a failed policy with Cuba for the last fifty years, and we need to change it,” Barack Obama declared as a presidential candidate in 2007. Just last November, Obama reiterated to his Cuban-American supporters in Miami: “The notion that the same policies that we put in place in 1961 would somehow still be as effective…in the age of the Internet and Google and world travel doesn’t make sense.” For six years, President Obama has been saying that US policy toward Cuba needs to change, but for six years he’s been unwilling to take the political risk of sitting down at the negotiating table with the Cuban government to make it happen. Continue reading Six Lessons for Obama on How to Improve Relations With Cuba

Keeping Faith with the Future

“we have to be creative. And we have to be thoughtful. 

And we have to continue to update our policies” 
–President Obama, Miami, November 2013

Tumultuous events in the Middle East and Washington’s political and media anxiety have pushed President Obama to act like a hawk despite credible alternatives and public disquiet.

In contrast, events in the Americas and Hemispheric politics offer an opportunity to renew the change we believed in and the reason for his Nobel Peace Prize. Continue reading Keeping Faith with the Future

Video: International Solidarity with the Cuban Five on Cuban TV

Representantes de los diversos movimientos solidarios con los Héroes Antiterroristas cubanos presos injustamente en EE.UU, comparecieron en la Mesa Redonda, 12 septiembre 2014.

Tamara Hansen, coordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC), was one of the invited guests on the national nightly CubanTV show ‘Mesa Redonda’.

Tamara and Ali Yerevani wrote a chapter on the solidarity work for the liberation of the Cuban Five on our book “Cuba Solidarity in Canada”

World Solidarity must be the Future

Fernando being interviewed

We demand the inclusion of solidarity in our foreign policy.

Nino Pagliccia

Havana, 18 September 2014

I have recently attended the Tenth International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Cuban Five and Against Terrorism in Havana, Cuba, 11-12 September 2014. The event gathered more than 300 delegates from 48 countries. The goal of the meeting was to advance new ideas leading to the liberation of the three Cuban prisoners still remaining in U.S. prisons, Gerardo, Antonio (Tony) and Ramón. Continue reading World Solidarity must be the Future

Claude Morin about Cuba Solidarity in Canada book

“Through a lively blend of personal accounts and scholarly analyses, different voices and experiences concur in telling the multifaceted story of Canadian solidarity toward revolutionary Cuba. This book is evidence of the ways people can connect despite their belonging to two contrasting systems.”
—Claude Morin, professor (retired) of Latin American history, Université de Montréal.

Former Canadian MP endorses book on Cuba Solidarity in Canada

"My recollections of Cuba and the Cuban people started as a young girl growing up in Grenada. In 1993 I chose to join the Canada-Cuba Parliamentary Group visiting Cuba for conversations with Cuban Parliamentarians and officials.  This book is a reminder of why annually I show up at functions and activities of the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association to show respect and love for the people of Cuba. The Essayists’ range of experiences, long-standing commitment and engagement with Cuba then and now deserves the attention of all Canadians."

—The Hon. Jean Augustine, Privy Council and Member of the Order of Canada

Arnold August: Writing and speaking about democracy in Cuba is solidarity

Writer and activist Arnold August in Chapter 9 of "Cuba Solidarity in Canada – Five Decades of People-to-People Foreign Relations" also gives us a first-hand view of a very effective type of solidarity in the form of scholarly publications and public speaking that highlight Cuba’s unique distinctiveness. In reference to his recent book on democracy in Cuba (August 2013), he says, “Writing and speaking about democracy in Cuba is a specific type of solidarity that differs from much of the conventional collective solidarity actions that I have participated in since the early 1990s.” 

Endorsement: “This excellent work exposes the heart of solidarity.”

“This excellent work exposes the heart of solidarity.  Pagliccia and the other authors clearly show that the relations Canadians have with Cubans go far beyond the beach.  We are bound in the most intimate realms of friendship, solidarity, and, dare I say, 'love' of the belief that a better world free of hegemony is possible.  This book provides a compelling example of alternatives to traditional diplomacy.  The authors show that solidarity involves engagement and commitment that values friendship and love above pressure and force.  In times of apparent hopelessness the importance of solidarity between people demonstrates a political force of hope and love that overcomes fear and despair.”

—Robert Huish, Dalhousie University

Author Keith Bolender endorses book “Cuba Solidarity in Canada”

“An insightful and valuable examination of the continuous relationship Canadian organizations have maintained in support of the Cuban socialist experiment, founded on unselfish, people to people experiences. Told through an impressive assembly of many of the most important organizers involved in the solidarity movement, this collection is an important contribution to understand the unbroken respect these nation-wide groups have for Cuban self-determination and its attempts to forge a new society.”

—Keith Bolender, author of Cuba Under Siege and Voices From the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism Against Cuba.