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This coming Sunday, May 30, a car and bike caravan calling for an end to the US economic blockade of Cuba will leave from the Mitchell Park Domes, 524 S. Layton Blvd., after a short send-off at 1 PM. These caravans, generally held on the last Sunday of the month, are part of a larger movement started by Cuban-Americans in Miami to end restrictions on their ability to see or assist their relatives, and has expanded throughout the US and worldwide. In Milwaukee, the demands will include justice for all Latinx immigrants and their families.
At the last rally on April 25th, Olive Lewinski Albanese, a Milwaukee native currently studying at Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) said “During the past seven years, we’ve seen firsthand so many ways that this blockade is hurting and killing the Cuban people. The shortage of essential medicines to control high blood pressure causes complications such as stroke and heart attacks. This is just one example. We could tell you thousands more . . . On this other side, Americans suffer from the blockade too…because the blockade prevents not only the exchange of goods and services but also the exchange of truth and ideas.”
Ms. Albanese is one of two students from Milwaukee who are scheduled to graduate this year from ELAM 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. “We are beneficiaries of an incredible and wonderful gift given to us by the Cuban people — a scholarship to study medicine and become doctors of science with conscience.”
Prominent Cuban-born Milwaukeean Dr. Raul Galvan also spoke of the harm caused by our continued restrictions which were sharply escalated by the last administration and are still fully in place today: “It’s time President Biden’s Administration resumed dialogue with the Cuban government to normalize relations with the island country. The 60-year Embargo continues to inflict harm on the Cuban people and has failed to overthrow the Cuban government.” He also encouraged people to support this movement in Milwaukee.
At 1pm on Sunday a send off rally will feature speakers including medical students directly from Havana who are from Wisconsin and Palestine, and from sponsoring groups including Voces de la Frontera, Los Brown Berets and the Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba.
For more information, contact the Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, www.wicuba.org, email: [email protected], and Facebook (facebook.com/WisconsinCubaCoalition, FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/329053485230326).