Along with the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students taking place in Sochi, Russia, Oct. 14-22, the brigade will be an important way for anti-imperialist fighters and supporters of the Cuban Revolution to learn how to better prepare to engage in politics today.
The Che brigade, organized by the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 death in combat of Ernesto Che Guevara, one of the central leaders of the Cuban Revolution. In late 1966 Guevara led a detachment of Cuban internationalists to Bolivia, where they joined with revolutionists from Bolivia and Peru in a guerrilla movement to overthrow the U.S.-backed military dictatorship there. Wounded and captured by the Bolivian army in a CIA-organized operation on Oct. 8, 1967, Guevara was murdered the next day.
The 14-day brigade includes trips to several Cuban cities where Che led combatants during the 1956-58 Cuban revolutionary war and participation in events celebrating Che’s legacy.
Brigadistas will visit Santa Clara, where Che led a column in the final offensive against the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista dictatorship. They will meet with Cubans who fought with Che in Las Villas, as well as with veterans who traveled with him to the Congo to join the struggle for independence from colonial rule there.
“Six people have put in their applications for the brigade from the Hartford, Connecticut, area,” Tim Craine, a member of the Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba, told the Militant Aug. 1. “We’re organizing a picnic Aug. 15 and contacting people to raise $1,000 for the trip.”
“I feel like the Republicans and Democrats will not change anything here. I can go to Cuba and learn and bring it back to America and make our system better,” Bridgete Burke, 33, from Denver, told the Militant, explaining why she is going on the brigade. “America isn’t going to change politically until individuals open our minds to something different.”
Some 20,000 delegates from over 120 countries are expected at the World Festival of Youth and Students this year. It provides an opportunity to discuss, share experiences and learn about social struggles worldwide.
“We will be part of the debates and workshops in the Americas region that includes North, South and Central America and the Caribbean,” Jacob Perasso, a member of the National Preparatory Committee organizing U.S. participation in the youth festival, told the Militant. He said that over 100 people will be going from the U.S. “There will be discussion on how we can work together to defend the Cuban Revolution and defend Venezuelan sovereignty against U.S. imperialist interference.”
To sign up for the brigade, contact the Chicago Cuba Coalition at (312) 952-2618 or ICanGoToCuba@gmail.com.
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Youth organize to build Oct. World Festival in Russia
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