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      Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba Celebrates the
      Revolutionary Women of Cuba and Venezuela for IWD 2016!

      Introduction by Alison Bodine

      Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) with a cultural and political evening on March 9, 2016 held at the Roundhouse Community Centre in downtown Vancouver. This event brought together people from many different communities to hear a dynamic line-up of international and local speakers discuss the great achievements made by the women of Cuba and Venezuela, revolutionaries who are leading the world-wide struggle for women’s rights.

      We here in Venezuela say. We are sovereign and independent, we are not a colony of anybody. Below is a report on the evening re-printed from the website of the Venezuelan Consulate in Vancouver, http://www.consulvenvancouver.org. For completeness, it is important to add that additional to what is written in the below report, the program also included words from Azza Rojbi, a young women social justice organizer originally from Tunisia and the co-coordinator of Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade – Vancouver, who spoke about the important example of the Cuban and Venezuelan women for people organizing for women’s rights in Canada and around the world. There was also beautiful original poetry from representatives of the Latin American poetry collective Proyecto Cultural Sur Lucy Ortiz and Frida Marzolina, as well as a poetry reading by Marieta Marin, a Cuban researcher from Camaguey studying in Vancouver.

      Plan "Mama Rosa" was presented in Vancouver during the celebration of International Women's Day

      Gender Equality in Venezuela

      Vancouver, B.C., 09.03.2016

      Report by Aitzanid Molero
      Translation by Alison Bodine and Macarena Cataldo

      The Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC), a member of the Front of Solidarity with Venezuela, celebrated the International Women's Day last March 9.

      First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba, Miraly González González, opened the event giving her congratulations to all revolutionary women present at the event through video conference from the city of Ottawa. During her speech she explained the achievements in gender equality during the Cuban Revolution and gave as an example the high percentage of women who are currently hold positions in government.

      Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che Guevara also greeted the meeting in a letter to all women fighters and activists. The reading of this letter was reciprocated with warm applause.

      For her part, the Second General Consul of Venezuela in Vancouver, Aitzanid Molero, welcomed the interest by the organizers to hold an event in honor of the revolutionary women of Venezuela and Cuba. She noted that the international socialist women's movement was the forerunner of the International Women's Day, and highlighted the results of the Bolivarian Revolution in this matter. In addition, she described Venezuela’s Plan for Equality and Gender Equity "Mama Rosa" 2013 -2019, and also distributed a brochure on this plan to all attendees. She ended with a quote from the Eternal Comandante Hugo Chavez:

      "... Without the true liberation of women, it would be impossible for the full liberation of peoples and I am convinced that a true socialist must also be a genuine feminist".

      Macarena Cataldo, a member of the Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) spoke about the dictator Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. She recounted the repression exerted on the Mirabal sisters who bravely faced him and, despite being killed, were the inspiration for his overthrow and death.

      Later a video from Venezuela by Luz María Escarrá was presented, detailing the background of the Bolivarian Revolution and women, explaining their participation in the politics today and their role in the construction of popular power.

      To end, Kelly White member of the first nations of Canada, and Alison Bodine, a member activist organization, sang in honor of the revolutionary women.

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