Contributors to the book
Arnold August has an MA in political science from McGill University. The Montreal-based writer, journalist and lecturer is the author of Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections (Editorial José Martí, 1999). He has also contributed a chapter entitled “Socialism and Elections” to the edited collection Cuban Socialism in a New Century (University Press of Florida, 2004, Contemporary Cuba series edited by John Kirk). In 2013, he was presented with the Distinción Félix Elmuza, Cuba’s highest journalism award, by the association of Cuban journalists (UPEC) for outstanding work carried out by journalists. Between 1999 and 2012, he wrote more than 40 articles for alternative websites on Cuba, the Cuban Five and Latin America, many of them also in Spanish and French. His latest book is Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion (Fernwood Publishing/Zed Books, 2013). It is also published in Spanish and Korean. www.democracycuba.com
Keith Ellis (Jamaica, 1935) is Professor Emeritus, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Toronto and Professor of Merit, University of Havana. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has been honoured with Cuba’s Distinction for National Culture and was made an honorary member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba. He was granted the title Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Havana and was the first awardee of the Dulce María Loynaz International Prize. He was also awarded the Andrés Bello medal by the Ministry of Culture of Venezuela and the medal of the city of Poitiers. He taught Latin American Poetry until his retirement, publishing many books and articles in this area and in others. His poetry has appeared in several books and journals and in several languages. He has been involved in Cuban solidarity work since 1959.
Tamara Hansen was born in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, and became politically active in high school. From 2006-2010, she served as an executive member of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) and from 2008-2010 was also co-chair of the network and the national coordinator of the Ernesto Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade. She was a founding member of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) and the Vancouver International Che Guevara Conference. Tamara has been the coordinator of VCSC since 2005 and has travelled to Cuba 13 times. Tamara has written extensively on Cuban politics since 2003, including the book Five Decades of the Cuban Revolution: The Challenges of an Unwavering Leadership (Battle of Ideas Press, 2010). Tamara is a high school teacher of French with a B.A. in French & First Nations Studies and a B.Ed. in Environmental Education. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.
Elizabeth Hill is a founding member of the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto established in 1977; she is currently its President. She helped organize CCFA activities, such as Film festivals, tours for Cuban musicians, demonstrations and meetings calling for the release of the Cuban Five, and the annual Toronto-Cuba Friendship Day at Toronto City Hall Square. In 1988 Elizabeth was elected a public school trustee on the Toronto Board of Education and served for 6 terms until 2006. She is currently a co-chair of the Canadian Network on Cuba. She received the Friendship Medal from the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba in March 2011 in recognition of her solidarity work.
Wendy Holm is an award-winning Canadian Agrologist, columnist, author and professional speaker. Her outspoken columns in defence of Canada’s farmers and sustainable public policy for our farm sector have won her seven national journalism awards since 2002. Wendy holds an honours B.Sc. in Business Administration (Long Island University, 1970), a M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics (UBC, 1974) and is currently a Graduate Student in the Master of Management, Cooperatives and Credit Unions program, Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax (2nd year). Editor and contributing author of the book Water and Free Trade (1988), Wendy was named a Distinguished Alumni of UBC in 2008, has received two Queen’s Medals for her “contribution to community” and was named Agrologist of the Year 2000. In 2008, Wendy was the Western Canada recipient of Farm Credit Canada’s Rosemary Davis Award for passion and commitment to farming.
John M. Kirk
John M. Kirk is professor of Latin American Studies at Dalhousie University. He is the author/co-editor of 13 books on Cuba, ranging from the political thought of José Martí to the role of the Catholic Church in Cuba. In recent years his work has focused on Cuban medical internationalism, and he is the co-author of Cuban Medical Internationalism: Origins, Evolution and Goals (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). He is a member of the editorial board of Cuban Studies and The International Journal of Cuban Studies, and is the editor of the Contemporary Cuba series of the University of Florida Press.
Lisa Makarchuk arrived in Cuba in June 1961, the Year of Literacy. She worked as a newscaster, writer and translator at a long wave English-speaking radio station, and later at Radio Havana Cuba, the shortwave station broadcasting out of Cuba. She was part of the team that produced the first issues of the Cuban newspaper Granma in languages other than Spanish for the benefit of delegates attending the First Tricontinental Conference of Solidarity with the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, which took place in Havana in 1966. Involved in solidarity work in favour of freedom for political prisoners in Spain and in Portugal at the time of their dictatorships, she also took part in campaigns for nuclear disarmament, ending the war in Viet Nam and, later, freeing the Cuban Five. She is one of four Canadians to be awarded the Medal of Friendship by the Cuban Council of State through the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).
Claude Morin (Ph.D., Université de Paris-X and École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris) taught Latin American history at Université de Montréal from 1973 to 2006. He was editor and co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (1980-88). He authored or edited six books, wrote close to 30 articles and chapters for journals and collective works. Most of his research has dealt with colonial Mexico and Peru, contemporary Cuba, Central America, international relations and revolutionary politics in the Caribbean Basin. He was and still is a regular commentator in francophone media about events and processes in the area. He has been travelling extensively all over Latin America for more than forty years, with many sojourns in Cuba. He is now leading cultural tours in the region.
Nino Pagliccia, Editor
Nino Pagliccia received his political formation and university degree in Economics in Venezuela where he lived for 24 years. After his postgraduate work at Stanford University he moved to Canada where he has been a Research Statistician at the University of British Columbia (UBC) since 1986. He has managed Cuba Research Projects in collaboration with Cuban partners with a particular focus in Social Organization and Global Health.
Nino has been the vice-president of the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association in Vancouver and founding co-chair of the Canadian Network on Cuba. He has lead groups to do volunteer work in Cuba for over 12 years. He has travelled often to Cuba and within Cuba where he has participated extensively in fieldwork both as a researcher and as a volunteer. He has authored or co-authored many peer-reviewed journal articles and has contributed chapters to edited books mainly related to Cuba.
Isaac Saney is on faculty, College of Continuing Education, Dalhousie University, and an adjunct professor, Department of History, Saint Mary’s University, both in Halifax, Canada. His work has been published in several highly respected journals and magazines. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Cuba: A Revolution In Motion (Zed, 2004), and has lectured on Cuba across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean and in Africa. Saney is currently co-chair and national spokesperson for the Canadian Network On Cuba, the national umbrella organization for the Canada-Cuba solidarity and friendship movement.
Brian Gordon Sinclair
Brian Gordon Sinclair is considered to be the foremost dramatic interpreter of Ernest Hemingway in the world. He is the author of a seven-play epic detailing and illuminating the life and literature of Ernest Hemingway. The plays are written under the overall title of Hemingway On Stage: The Road to Freedom and each play provides an intimate insight into the circumstances which shaped the famed author’s life and inspired him in his writing. Performed internationally and in support of the Cuban Five, they are must see productions for anyone intrigued by the life and death of Ernest Hemingway. Brian is also the Patron of the Estrellas de Gigi, the children’s baseball team at Museo Hemingway. He is currently editing and revising a collection of stories about the original 1940’s team. The book is to be called, The Homerun Kid: The True Story of Ernest Hemingway’s Baseball Team.
Heide Trampus is an Early Childhood Educator by profession. As a Labour and Peace activist she participated in a “Fact Finding Mission” to El Salvador and Nicaragua in 1986. Her involvement with Cuba Solidarity goes back to the late 1970’s and she is the present coordinator of the “Worker to Worker, Canada-Cuba Labour Solidarity Network”. She has received the “Enrique Hart” distinction from the National Union of Public Administration Workers (SNTAP) in Cuba and the “Lázaro Peña” medal from the Cuban Workers Central (CTC). Heide has attended eight out of the nine “International Colloquiums Against Terrorism and for Justice and Freedom for the Cuban Five” in the city of Holguin, Cuba and attended the “Five days for the Five” activities in Washington, DC. She was instrumental in forming the “Friends of the Five Committee” and organizing the conference “Breaking the Silence, Justice for the Five, Peoples Tribunal and Assembly” in Toronto in September 2012.
Ali Yerevani (Izadi-Kharrazi), was born to a Tatar-Turk family in Gorgan, Iran. In high school he joined the underground movement against the U.S. puppet monarch. He moved to the U.S. in 1975 and became active in the Iranian students’ movement. He returned to Iran in 1979 to join the Iranian revolution as a revolutionary socialist organizer. He left Iran in late 1984 and since then has been a social justice organizer in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. He has been involved in organizing, leading, initiating and a founding member of dozens of social justice organizations such as the Free the Cuban 5 Committee –Vancouver, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, Battle of Ideas Press, Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice and the Vancouver International Che Guevara Conference. Ali is the political editor of Fire This Time Newspaper and Battle of Ideas Press. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.
Diane Zack has been active in the Canadian solidarity movement with Cuba since the mid-1990s. She has served as president of Manitoba-Cuba Solidarity Committee since 2001. Diane also served on the executive of the Canadian Network on Cuba from 2004 – 2008 as both co-chair and co-chair of projects and campaigns. She was co-chair for the CNC for the Breaking the Silence conference on the Cuban Five held in November 2007 in Toronto. She is a semi-retired teacher, currently teaching English to newcomer adults in Winnipeg, including an occasional Cuban.