Introducing New Organization in Vancouver
FRIENDS OF CUBA AGAINST THE U.S. BLOCKADE
Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade-
Vancouver, formerly the Free the Cuban 5
Committee-Vancouver, upon celebrating
the historic victory of the freedom of all 5
Cuban Heroes began to reorganize themselves in a new organization to respond to
new challenges in defence of Cuba’s sovereignty and against the U.S. blockade. With
10 years of experience through activities in
defence of the 5 Cuban Heroes, the group
decided alongside many around the world
to focus their efforts on ending the cruel
Just as they had done to protest for the
freedom of the Cuban 5, FCAB-Van has
committed to protest every month in front
of the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver. The
group has chosen the 17th of each month
as the date marking the day the Cuban 5
Heroes returned home.
Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade-Vancouver demand:
- End the Blockade on Cuba Now!
- Return Guantanamo to Cuba Now!
- US Government Stop the Campaign of
‘Regime Change’ in Cuba and Immediately
Stop Interfering in Cuba’s Sovereignty and
For more information visit:
Vancouver Activists Organize
Picket Action and Other Activities
Against U.S. Blockade of Cuba
Although diplomatic relations between
Cuba and the U.S. have been restored with the
opening of their respective embassies, many of
the U.S.’s criminal policies against Cuba are
still in place for more than 50 years.
On Thursday September 17th, 2015, the
newly formed group Friends of Cuba Against
the U.S. Blockade-Vancouver (FCAB-Van)
and Vancouver Communities in Solidarity
with Cuba (VCSC) co-organized their first
monthly protest to end the U.S. blockade in
front of the U.S. Consulate. This action was
also called to coincide with events taking
place in Washington DC, Toronto and Montreal as part of an International period of action demanding an immediate end to the U.S.
blockade of Cuba.
Dozens of friends of Cuba gathered in front
of the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver chanting
loud and clear, “Lift the blockade on Cuba
now,” “Cuba Si, Bloqueo No!”.
During the protest and in between energetic rounds of picketing, participants heard
from a variety of local Cuba solidarity activist. The protest also received greetings
from the Friends of Cuba Against the U.S.
Blockade-Toronto as well as a phone greeting from FCAB-Van delegates participating
in the Days of Action Against the Blockade in Washington DC organized by the
International Committee for Peace,
Justice and Dignity for the Peoples.
Forum Against Blockade
The highly motivated and energetic
participants in the picket moved
across Vancouver to Joe’s Cafe for a
public forum and discussion titled
“Reestablishing U.S./Cuba Relations & the Necessity of Lifting the
U.S. Blockade on Cuba “. The forum
featured Nino Pagliccia, long time
Cuba solidarity activist and editor of
the new book “Cuba Solidarity in Canada”,
as well as Tamara Hansen, coordinator of
Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with
Cuba and writer of the book “Five Decades
of the Cuban Revolution: The Challenges
of an Unwavering Leadership.” An excerpt
from the presentations of Tamara and Nino
at the forum are available to read in this issue
of Fire This Time.
Fundraising for Cuba Solidarity Activities
The following day, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) held a
dance and a fundraiser night with live music,
dancing, and delicious food! The night began
with a live Latin American guitar and flute
performance by El Trabador Beto Fuentes.
The audience then took to the dance floor
enjoying the tunes played by DJ Carlitos
Tunes Tunes and DJ Don Julio.
Proceeds from the event were shared and
donated with the “Initiativa Rumbo a Cuba”
campaign to bring a freezer truck and tractor
to the ‘Julio Antonio Mella’ Volunteer Work
Camp (CIJAM) in Caimito, Cuba and towards the Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) campaign to end
the U.S. blockade on Cuba.
Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade-Vancouver (FCAB-Van) and Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba
(VCSC) vow to continue organizing against
the cruel U.S. blockade against Cuba. Join us
at our second monthly protest on October
17 4pm in front of the U.S. Consulate in
International Days of Actions
against the U.S. Blockade in
Cuba solidarity activists from across the
United States, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Canada gathered in Washington DC to participate in the International Days of Action
against the Blockade. The days of actions
took place between September 16-18 and
were organized by the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity for
the Peoples, IFCO - Pastors for Peace, the
National Network on Cuba, the Institute for
Policy Studies and the Venceremos Brigade.
The actions started with two days of visits
and meeting with members of the U.S. Congress, emphasizing the negative impact of the
blockade on both Cuba and the U.S.
The following day participants gathered for
an ecumenical cultural evening celebrating
the return of the Cuban 5 heroes. The evening
included a musical performance by the well
known Hip Hop duo Rebel Diaz.
The celebration of the freedom of the Cuban 5 continued with the opening of a photographic exhibit dedicated to them. Several
Cuban photographers contributed to the exhibit as well as North American photographer
Bill Hackwell who also curated the exhibit.
A delegation from the executive of Friends of
Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade-Vancouver
(FCAB-Van) participated in the celebration
of the freedom of the Cuban 5 and the actions
in Washington against the blockade.
The final day of the actions was an all day
conference titled “The U.S. blockade Against
Cuba: why it’s wrong and what we must do
to end it”. Conference participants heard
from different local and international Cuba
solidarity activists. Speakers included Canadian authors Arnold August and Stephen
Kimber. The highlight of the conference was
the arrival of José Ramón Cabañas, the new
Cuban Ambassador to the United States. The
ambassador thanked friend of Cuba for their
solidarity and continuous struggle against the
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