Youth defy U.S. blockade of Cuba

‘Free the Cuban Five,’ chant the travel ban challengers of the 39th Venceremos (We Shall Overcome) Brigade, the U.S.-Cuba Labor Exchange and the African Awareness Association on July 14 in Buffalo, N.Y.
‘Free the Cuban Five,’ chant the travel ban challengers of the 39th Venceremos (We Shall Overcome) Brigade, the U.S.-Cuba Labor Exchange and the African Awareness Association on July 14 in Buffalo, N.Y.

Chanting, shouting and raising their fists in triumph, the travel ban challengers of the 39th Venceremos Brigade, the U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange and the African Awareness Association marched across the Peace Bridge from Fort Erie, Ontario, into Buffalo, N.Y., in open defiance of the U.S. blockade of Cuba.

They returned to the U.S. on the same morning that Pastors for Peace travel challengers came back from Cuba across the border from Mexico into Texas.

A spokesperson for the Venceremos Brigade pointed out that because of the determination of travel challengers, groups organizing the challenges and people in the streets asserting the right to see socialist Cuba for themselves, the government has backed off. For the moment, he said, an end to individual enforcement of the travel ban has been won.

After a two-week work and study program in Cuba, the challengers came back bursting with determination to heighten the call for freedom for the Cuban Five, political prisoners serving long prison terms in the U.S. for trying to prevent terrorist acts against Cuba committed by right-wing Cuban exile organizations based in Florida.

While the group was in Cuba, 56 members of Canada’s parliament signed a letter demanding justice for the Cuban Five.

—Report and photo by Ellie Dorritie

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