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Sunday’s Caravan and County Board Call for Normal Relations with Cuba
This Sunday, April 25, Milwaukee will join a rapidly spreading movement of car and bike caravans calling for an end to the US economic blockade of Cuba, beginning at the Mitchell Park domes at 1 PM. This movement was initiated by Cuban-Americans in Miami to end restrictions on their ability to see or assist their relatives, and has expanded throughout the US and Canada, Latin America, Africa and Europe, held on the last Sunday of each month.
On April 22, the Milwaukee County Board overwhelmingly adopted a resolution similarly calling for normal relations between the US and Cuba. County Board Chair Marcelia Nicholson joined supervisor Steven Shea and others in sponsoring the resolution, and shared her personal story how a Cuban born schoolmate suffered because she could not visit her relatives in Cuba.Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez cited the potential benefits to county residents, including jobs and access to Cuban medical breakthroughs, such as in the field of infant mortality; she noted that Cuba’s universal system of preventive medicine has resulted in life expectancy similar to the U.S. but at a small fraction of the cost.
Dr. Raul Galvan, a prominent member of the Cuban-American community, who was born in Havana, welcomed the move: “It’s heartwarming to hear that the Milwaukee County Board has gone on the record urging President Biden and Congress to support the Cuban people by eliminating the Embargo and normalizing relations.”
Dr. Galvan and others will speak briefly at a send off rally for the caravan, which is also expected to hear from two Wisconsin women studying tuition free in Havana, who are scheduled to graduate this year as debt-free doctors. This is part of Cuba’s affirmative action program, which has educated 200 U.S. students, mostly women and overwhelmingly people of color, free of charge, in return for their promise to return home and work in an under-served setting. Other Caravan supporters including Los Brown Berets will also speak.
For more info contact the Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, www.wicuba.org., or contact Art Heitzer, 414 628-2547. For information on the April 25th caravan see https://www.facebook.com/events/284870236755332/.
The County Board resolution is here: https://milwaukeecounty.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=9310829&GUID=13052F04-6190-4616-9E25-5A688A1B32A6