Links to new Cubana 455 documentary, Belly of the Beast new video, African People’s Socialist Party defense, LA Cuba activities

By Mark Friedman, associate member, International Association of Machinists Local 1484, LA Hands Off Cuba Cttee

 As part of nationally coordinated demonstrations in 30 cities, including a Washington, DC rally of 300, a coalition of Los Angeles organizations held a spirited protest at the west side federal building. Some highlights of some speakers follow.

Los Angeles Tenants Union– Atom “We were part of the delegation to the union internship, Pasantia, sponsored by the CTC (Central Trabajadores Cubana) organized by LA Hands-off Cuba committee (LAHOC). On returning, we organized a citywide report back of 100 tenants’ rights activists to inspire them by learning about tenants’ rights in Cubans.  The take away was to learn about the impact of the blockade and sanctions on Cuba.”

Anakbayan– UCLA.  “As a Filipino coalition, we stand in solidarity with the movement to take Cuba off the SSOT.  U.S. imperialism, with the Marcos government, carries out repression in the Philippines, represses activism and the U.S Government is using tax dollars to repress the people of Cuba, Philippines and Palestine.”

Lavender Guard Jordan David – “Our wish is to end this country’s attack on the Cuban people and take them off the SSOT list. While LGBTQ people are attacked by the police in LA, in Cuba they have full rights especially under the new family code”

Inland Boatman’s Union (ILWU marine division)- Michael Vera, IBU and LA Hands-Off Cuba Committee activist sent a message. “The Inland Boatman’s Union passed the resolution to take Cuba off the SSOT. We denounce US policy regards to Cuba and look with the critical eye at the hypocrisy of this designation as a sponsor of terrorism. I recently was afforded the opportunity to travel to Cuba myself with activists in the Hands-off Cuba committee. I learned the Cubans are proud, resilient and gracious. Our fight for the people of Cuba and the working class continues; it will require political courage that we just do not see in our leadership today.”

International Association of Machinists Local 1484-Dan McIntyre “We recently passed a SSOT resolution. I want to read excerpts from an article in Trabajadores, the newspaper of the Cuban trade union movement, that saluted the Machinists for their stand and solidarized with the goals and structure of the LAHOC… The IAM Local 1484 union has just joined the LA Hands Off Cuba Committee, which also has among its purposes to remove the largest of the Antilles from the spurious list, as well as to end the blockade and all economic, commercial and travel sanctions on that nation.’

African People’s Socialist Party– Mwezi Odom “Our Hands Off Uhuru! Hands off Africa campaign is fighting an attack by the FBI on our organization. The arrest and indictment of three of our members and supporters, including whites, is an attack on all progressive groups. The defense is an international effort that we must win. African people stand in solidarity with Cuba as an example of workers in power and we stand with the LAHOC and its efforts.  Cuba does not need charity, it needs solidarity.”

 La Raza Educators -Alfred Mendoza brought support explaining that “This nation claims that Cuba is terrorist, however, they should look in the mirror. How does this terrorist nation state decide who is the terrorist nation.”

LA Hands Off Cuba Committee– Mwezi Odom “We need to focus on the three demands: Removal of Cuba from SSOT, ending the travel, trade bans and the blockade. We are building a committee of more than 50 organizations, prominent people and official unions. Join us in this united and democratic effort.” New Belly of the Beast short video interviews of delegation members.

ALSO.   For all their terrific videos:      

Codepink– Isabel Gonzalez gave a fund pitch for medical aid for Global Health Partners; raising money for anesthesia machines. “During the pandemic Cuba solidarity groups nationally raised $650,000 to send 6 million syringes to Cuba, showing our gratitude to Cuba for the help and solidarity they have given to so many people worldwide. Over the last 56 years, 400,000 Cuban doctors and nurses provided medical aid in 164 countries. It is our turn to stand up and help Cuba as they have helped the world.”

Black Alliance for Peace– Carlos Sirah co-chaired the event and discussed their organization’s solidarity with Cuba, Haiti and others fighting for their liberation. Their campaign to make the Americas a ‘Zone of Peace’, free from imperialism and foreign intervention follows a call from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in 2014, declaring the region a Zone of Peace.

Pacific Asian Nuclear Free Alliance– Tsukuru Fors “I am from Hiroshima and recall that in 1959 Che secretly, against his host’s desires, went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to express his anger on the US bombing. On principle I refuse to accept sanctions and blockades against Cuba and North Korea.”

 All African People’s Revolutionary Party– Pam Belli “What Cuba means to the rest of the world Cuba as the first friend to Africa. Che Guevara put the blood of the Cubans on the line to liberate Africa and to build medical clinics as well as offering free medical school education. Cuba is a shining representative of the future.”

Cubana 455 producer Enrique Garcia “This documentary is about the downing of the Cubana airliner, October 6, 1976 with civilians from Cuba, Guyana and Korea. Financed and supported by the CIA, ex-CIA agents placed bombs onboard. They were never charged with terrorism; so, to put Cuba on the terrorist list is ridiculous. The U.S Government has done everything to destroy Cuba but the Cuban people believe in their government. October 6 is a national day against terrorism called by Caribbean countries in CARICOM. The movie is free until June 30th! @ Festival Internacional Cinematográfico del Atlántico, Barranquilla, Colombia. After that view it on:

Other speakers represented Union del Barrio, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Harriet Tubman Center; with statements of support from the Socialist Workers Party, Communist Party, Socialist Unity Party, and others

Mark Friedman

By Mark Friedman

Mark Friedman is a veteran trade union activist of the International Association of Machinists and the California Teachers Association unions. As a former marine science teacher in an inner-city LA high school he developed a program to hook inner-city Black and Latinx youth in science through unique Marine biology courses and club.