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      The Time is NOW! Upcoming Conference in New York City Calls for the Full Normalization of U.S.-Cuba Relations

      By Alison Bodine

      On December 17, 2014 the United States took a first step towards normalizing its relationship with Cuba by restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries. However, in the two years since this historic event, relations between the U.S. and Cuba are still anything but normal. Mainly, the most fundamental criminal aspects of the U.S. blockade have been maintained. The U.S. military has also continued its occupation of Guantanamo and US-backed regime-change programs persist.

      In response to continued United States policy against Cuba, activists from the U.S. and Canada have joined together as the U.S.-Cuba Normalization Committee to organize a “National Conference for the Full Normalization of U.S.-Cuba Relations.” This important conference is taking place at Fordham University Law School, from March 26-27, 2017.

      Over 140 organizations and individuals from the U.S. and Canada have endorsed the conference, which will include workshops, plenary sessions, a large public meeting with prominent Cuba speakers and cultural events. During the conference, there will also be special emphasis on how people can take action in their own cities and communities to demand the US government normalize relations with Cuba. This means an end to all U.S. economic, financial and travel sanctions against Cuba, a return of the Guantanamo territory to Cuban sovereignty and stopping U.S. funded covert ‘regime-change’ programs against Cuba.

      As the call to action for the Conference states - “Cuba says it is prepared to discuss anything and everything with the United States, including ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights.’ This national gathering March 25-26 will be an opportunity to bring activists together from across the United States and Canada to discuss and act on these questions back at their home base and local area.”

      Along with activists in solidarity with Cuba, the US-Cuba Normalization Committee is also working to bring together youth, students, workers, immigrants and everyone that may be new to Cuba and the history and current state of US-Cuba relations. The conference will be open anyone who would like to learn more about Cuba and to work towards truly normalized relations between the US and Cuba.

      In Vancouver, Canada, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) and Friends of Cuba Against the US Blockade – Vancouver (FCAB-Vancouver) have both endorsed the conference and joined the US-Cuba Normalization Committee.

      Especially as close neighbors of the United States, people in Canada have the responsibility to do whatever we can to fight for normalized relations between the US and Cuba. VCSC and FCAB-Vancouver encourage people and organizations in Vancouver, BC and across Canada to get involved in this important and exciting initiative.

      For more information about the conference visit: www.nationalcubaconference.org

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