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Cuba has not failed to demonstrate global solidarity in light of COVID-19 and despite the US’ harmful blockade. Here is a list of resources on the Brigades, Cuba’s healthcare system’s readiness to act, and the measures being taken despite a comparative lack of medical supplies:

[Click on the subject for the link]

[Image provided by CRLN intern Daisy Hernandez from her visit to Cuba through a Delegation, December 2019]

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Joint Statement of the

National Council of the Churches of Christ in USA and the 

Council of Churches of Cuba

La Habana, Cuba – Washington, DC, USA — March 26, 2020

On either side of the river is the tree of life
with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit  each month;
and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.                     

 –Revelation 22:2 NRSV

We are only days away from Easter 2020, the most important celebration of Christianity, and the world is going through a crisis of inestimable implications that affects all edges of life on the planet.

The Council of Churches of Cuba and the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA have worked closely together for many years for the right to life, health, and welfare of all the inhabitants of this world. It is the love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, that unites us and demands that we raise our prayer to our God for the countries and the families that suffer today because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This suffering intensifies and worsens due to inequalities and injustices; the enormous gaps between the rich and the poor; differences among regions; lack of inclusion; gender injustice and migratory and climate justice problems.

  • We solicit the government of the United States for the immediate lifting of the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed on Cuba for over 60 years as well as that imposed on other nations.
  • We request the cessation of all manipulation and use of political and economic interests in the face of the current global health crisis, worsened and visualized by the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • We request the international ecumenical movement; all churches and faiths in the United States and in the world; governments; the United Nations and all people of goodwill to come together in a global effort to petition for the immediate lifting of the blockade and the cessation of all sanctions on any country or region. Especially now, these genocidal policies hold back and limit the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • We salute and congratulate the Pastoral Letter of the World Council of Churches on March 18; the Joint Statement of the ACT Alliance and Religions for Peace on March 26; especially the Call of Church World Service on March 24 in relation to the blockade and the sanctions. Other initiatives and efforts are coming into being as a global campaign in favor of collaboration, unity, and peace in the search for appropriate responses and solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic and world crisis.

We are grateful for the thousands of Cuban doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals who are selflessly providing lifesaving assistance throughout the world.  Therefore, it is imperative the blockade and coercive sanctions are lifted so they would be able to save lives during the pandemic.

We know that goodwill between Cubans and Americans will help the entire world in this moment.  We pray our call will be heard.

Jim Winkler
General Secretary and President
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA

Rev. Antonio Santana Hernandez
President
Council of Churches in Cuba

Rev. Joel Ortega Dopico
Executive Secretary
Council of Churches in Cuba

Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer
Governing Board Chair
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA

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“From Havana To Harvard: Producer Pablo D. Herrera Veitia On Connecting Cuba To The U.S. Through Hip-Hop”

Herrera Veitia is a known pioneer of Afro-Cuban hip-hop, who has brought noteworthy artists to the island for collaboration. Veitia has dedicated much work to production and major-international hip-hop festivals while connecting the work to academia. He is working on a doctorate in social anthropology. His dissertation brings to light how Havana’s distinct sounds, music and loudness are a form of citizenship.

Because Americans are not as concerned with Afro-Cuban hip-hop as Cubans are with American hip-hop, his lyrics confront race and race relations in Cuba and celebrates the genre’s overall contribution to hip-hop culture. “Veitia’s life and work as an artist speaks to the resistance and resilience of U.S. and Cuban musical and social connections both in the past and present, despite political and economic restrictions. “The connections that we have as people [through music] is above and beyond politics,” he says.”

Read about how political and social consciousness and movements drove American and Afro-Cuban artists alike. The rappers in both countries voice parallel social issues. Cuba’s proximity to the U.S. provided Cuban rap artists with access to hip-hop played on Miami radio stations, through word of mouth, and through efforts of community hip-hop fanatics at house and street parties.

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The capital city of Havana, Cuba, will celebrate its 500th anniversary this year. To commemorate, a contribution to the XIII Bienal de La Habana Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) launched five shows which display Cuban art, history, and culture. These rarely seen works of art are presented as “world class exhibits,” as “an irrational genealogy of Cuba’s mythic identity” and “an anarchic tour of the Cuban subconscious.”

You can get a glimpse of the iconic pieces and description of the significance following the link below:

https://cubanartnews.org/2019/07/10/rethinking-cuba-cubanidad-museo-nacional-de-bellas-artes-havana/

The following article also broadcasts contemporary art as presentations of the frictions between races and where the theme of racism is evident.

https://cubanartnews.org/2019/06/19/in-havana-a-look-at-race-racism-in-cuban-art/

In Havana, a Look at Race & Racism in Cuban Art

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Some prospects for change in U.S.-Cuba relations arise in spite of the current “chill” represented by the recurring travel restrictions. Read about what José Ramón Cabañas, Cuba’s ambassador to the United States, has put forth to increase ties between the countries.

Collaboration includes joint efforts to save coral reefs throughout the Caribbean and inviting U.S. mayors to the island to celebrate Havana’s 500th Anniversary. Follow the link below:

https://www.tampabay.com/news/cuba/us-cuba-relations-strain-again-but-ambassador-hopes-for-stronger-tampa-ties-20190625/

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Fair.org introduced an interview with Netfa Freeman on Cuba sanctions and the history of the US’ perpetual restrictions on Cuba. The conversation includes economic legislation effects, how Cuba exercising self-determination has been negated, US polls demonstrating favorability towards normalizing relations between the two countries, and an articulate perspective on the Cuban’s reactions as well.

Read through the interview published June 11, 2019:

https://fair.org/home/the-us-has-no-real-moral-authority-to-talk-about-freedoms/

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We provide links to articles published on Trump’s recent efforts to decimate Cuba’s economic prosperity. The following overview the current state of the Western Hemisphere and the US’ involvement:

prweb.com published June 6, 2019: https://www.prweb.com/releases/medicc_decries_added_us_restrictions_for_travel_to_cuba/prweb16361650.htm

Chicago Tribune article published June 5, 2019: https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/steve-chapman/ct-perspec-chapman-mexico-tariffs-cuba-venezuela-trump-20190605-story.html

Commondreams.org published on June 5, 2019: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/05/travel-cuba-falls-victim-john-boltons-wrath

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