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      Let’s Find Out What Cuba Can Offer You!
      Calixto Garcia Brigade Inspires New Brigadistas to Travel to Cuba!

      By Janine Solanki

      More than one million people travel from Canada to Cuba every year, enjoying Cuba’s beautiful beaches and rich culture. However, there is much more to see and experience in Cuba – from the history of Cuba’s wars of independence and the Cuban revolution, to the ongoing process of the Cuban revolutionary project visible in every aspect of Cuba. Cuba is not only a place for us to defend against the cruel U.S. blockade, regime change programs and negative mass media campaigns. Cuba is also a place to learn from as they work to build a better and more just world based on human needs instead of profit.

      On Saturday September 28, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) held an event to report back from the 2018 Calixto Garcia Brigade to Cuba. VCSC coordinator Tamara Hansen and organizer Mike Larson traveled to Cuba on this brigade, a unique way to visit Cuba and to be immersed in Cuban history, culture, and vibrant daily life over a two-week program.

      The event opened with an Indigenous welcoming by Coast Salish elder and activist Kelly White and Vivian Sandy, and elder of the Shuswap and Northern Diné Nations, who led a full house in song and calls of “Viva Cuba!” Next in the program, the audience viewed video clips about Cuba which highlighted the recent fuel shortages, a result of new U.S. government steps to tighten the inhuman U.S. blockade.

      Tamara Hansen and Mike Larson then shared their experiences from the Calixto Garcia Brigade to Cuba, with their anecdotes alongside video clips and photos. The exciting account of their travels in Cuba prompted many questions in the discussion period, especially from those interested in traveling on the upcoming 2019 Calixto Garcia Brigade!

      Following the presentation, VCSC organizer Janine Solanki provided a preview of an essential brigade experience – a Cuban salsa lesson! Participants got out of their seats and learned the steps, with the promise that those travelling on the brigade will have much more salsa dancing in Cuba.

      For more events information on Cuba, visit www.vancubasolidarity.com or follow on Facebook or Twitter @VanCuba_VCSC. For more information on the Calixto Garcia Brigade to Cuba, email calixtogarciabrigade@gmail.com.

      Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki

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