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Understanding the Cuban Reality: Michael Ratner
Our own Michael Ratner returns from Cuba and dispatches this update. The United States officially takes Cuba off the terrorist list. Cuba was placed on the terrorist list years ago along with Iran, Syria and Sudan. Getting to Cuba is easier now that travel restrictions have decreased. Michael explains the importance in how Cuba maintains its fundamental economic rights in a non-capitalist government structure. Cuba also represents solidarity with the oppressed around the world. He shares his personal experiences at Revolution Square in the early ’70s. As the economic embargo continues to impact many facets of life for the people of Cuba, Michael Ratner points out the specific trade restrictions lifted by the Obama Administration were goods going from the United States to Cuba, and not Cuba selling to the United States. The goal of every U.S. administration was to choke off and kill the Cuban Revolution. Lastly, Michael asserts that Cuba won’t become a U.S. neo-colony with IMF austerity plans privatizing state run enterprises.
US-Cuba Relations: What Does “Normalization” Mean?
In December, Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced that the United States and Cuba would restore diplomatic ties and the remaining three of the Cuban Five prisoners would be freed. This panel, with leading experts on US-Cuba relations, will look at what’s behind the new policy, what it means on a political and economic level as well as for people-to-people relationships, political prisoners in Cuba, and Cuban support in the African Diaspora.
Speaker – Sandra Levinson, founder and Executive Director of the Center for Cuban Studies in New York City and Director of the Center’s Cuban Art Space. Sandra has traveled to Cuba more than 300 times, often as consultant to major news organizations. Sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild, NYC and NYU Chapters and International Committee.