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Cuba in Focus 2012 a Huge Success and
a Powerful Defense of the Cuban Revolution

Video of the event is posted below

May 23, 2012

San Francisco, May 23 – A standing-room only crowd of 130 people filled the offices of the ANSWER Coalition and the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, and another 150 watched online, as a distinguished panel of speakers from Cuba, Canada, and the United States spoke about the situation in Cuba today and delivered a powerful defense of the Cuban Five and the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban panelists were in San Francisco as part of a 70-person delegation of Cuban aritists, historians, scientists, and other scholars representing Cuba at the annual conference of the Latin Americas Studies Association.

The forum was sponsored by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, ANSWER Coalition, the FMLN/North California, Marin Interfaith Task Force, and Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition.

Two nights later, a special reception for the Cuban delegates to the LASA conference was held in San Francisco. Read about that reception, and watch the video, here.

Speakers (in the order that they spoke) were:

Michelle Schudel, an activist with the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, opened the event.

Gloria La Riva, the coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, moderated the event.

Keith Bolender, a Canadian author who spoke about the history of terrorism against Cuba, much of it unknown to audiences in the United States, as recounted in his book "Voices from the Other Side, an Oral History of Terrorism against Cuba" (read a review of his book here, or click here to purchase a copy). Bolender's book provides an important context for why the Cuban Five were in the United States

Isaac Saney, a Canadian professor who emphasized Cuba's internationalism, and reminded the audience of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the decisive battle of Cuito Cuanavale, the battle which turned the tide against South African apartheid and which led to its downfall.

Miguel Barnet, a Cuban novelist, poet and ethnologist, and President of the Cuban Union of Artists and Writers (UNEAC). Barnet spoke of his conversation with René González by phone the day before. "We are going to win this struggle."

Juan Luis Martín, a member of Cuba's Academy of Science, who spoke about the many changes being undertaken in Cuba today, and the key challenges Cuba faces as it goes forward.

Camila Piñeiro, a professor in the Center of Studies on the Cuban Economy at the University of Havana, who also spoke about developments in the Cuban economy.

Maria Isabel Dominguez, the director of Cuba’s Center for Psychological and Sociological Studies, who spoke about youth in Cuba today.





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