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      Fidel & the Cuban Revolution: How Far We Have Come

      By Tamara Hansen

      On Friday January 21, 2017 Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice organized a free public forum, “Fidel & the Cuban Revolution: How Far We Have Come.” The forum reflected on the life, legacy and accomplishments of Comandante Fidel Castro two months after his passing. It was also a chance to review some of the accomplishments of poor and working Cubans throughout their triumphant and ongoing revolution. Forty people gathered at Joe’s Café on Commercial Drive in Vancouver to participate in this important community forum.

      The event began with videos highlighting Cuba’s response to the passing of Comandante Fidel and the importance of his leadership to the Cuban people. At the same time, recognizing the world context, videos were also shown about on the gains of Cuban women through the revolution and the future of U.S.-Cuba relations. MC, Alison Bodine, a member of the Fire This Time Newspaper Editorial board, explained that this was based on the understanding that the forum took place on the same day as the historic women’s marches in Vancouver and around the world for women’s rights in the face of U.S. president Donald Trump’s inauguration the day before. Alison also remarked that many were wondering about how President Trump might change U.S. government policies towards Cuba, so that was also included in the program.

      Alison then introduced Tamara Hansen, the coordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) and author of the book “Five Decades of the Cuban Revolution the Challenges of an Unwavering Leadership” (Battle of Ideas Press, 2010). Tamara spoke about the importance of Comandante Fidel Castro’s leadership in the Cuban revolution, as well as some of the threats U.S. President Trump had uttered about U.S.-Cuba relations during his presidential campaign and the importance of increasing Cuba solidarity work in Canada and around the world.

      Following Tamara’s talk there was a lively discussion with questions and comments on everything from the controversial aspects of the Cuban revolution to personal anecdotes about the passing of Comandante Fidel.

      The forum wrapped up with Tamara reminding everyone about the 7th International Che Guevara Conference coming up in Vancouver October 27-29 2017 with the theme of "From the Russian Revolution to the Cuba Revolution: The Question of Leadership & Implementing The Socialist Project & Where We Are Today". Tamara encouraged everyone to get involved in supporting this project and helping to bring the spirit of Comandante Fidel and the Cuban revolution to Canada!

      Follow Tamara Hansen on Twitter:@THans01

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