Carolfrances Likins • Sly Rivers • Rachel Bruhnke • Nadir Romo
Our panelists have all travelled to Cuba and have experienced the Revolution in formal and informal gatherings with the Cuban people. We have also seen how the tremendous gains created by the people have been stifled by the oppressive U.S. policy. We will discuss current realities in Cuba and the importance of working to end the US blockade/embargo, and to return Guantánamo to Cuba. Bring us your passions about justice, peace, and the environment; be ready to ask us how Cuba stands in that area, as well as how lifting the blockade would advance that struggle about which you care so deeply.
This panel is initiated by the Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP).
Carolfrances Likins (moderator) is an activist, screenwriter, poet and retired teacher. She learned much of what she understands about the world today from teaching in elementary schools in Watts, traveling extensively to Cuba, Nicaragua, Palestine and other places where the people have risen up, interacting with diverse people here, as well as reading. She was a founding member of the Coalition in Solidarity with Cuba in the nineties. She has been to Cuba nine times, including this year with IFCO/Pastors for Peace.
Sylvester Rivers is an activist, journalist, voice-over artist, and musician. As a journalist he has produced and hosted radio documentaries, morning and drive-time evening news cast, music programs, talk shows and special radio events. As a producer, his passion always leans toward progressive and revolutionary ideas that lend an alternative viewpoint to establishment rhetoric. As a musician he’s played guitar for several LA based groups, covering such genres as jazz, reggae, rock and R & B, always looking for a political edge in his music. As a self-employed entrepreneur, he continues to merge economics with activism, information, health and prosperity. As a voice-over artist Sly has voiced TV and radio commercials, locally and nationally. He travelled to Cuba on this year’s Venceremos Brigade.
Rachel Bruhnke has been active in the Latin America Solidarity Vmovement since the 1980’s. She lived in South America, and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras in the 90’s. She has been researching sustainable development in Cuba for 20 years, writing a M.S. thesis focused on Energy Transition in Cuba, and coordinated the Eco Cuba program at Global Exchange. She founded Berners Against Militarism and LA Harbor Peace Week to oppose the military’s “Fleet Week.” She teaches Environmental Resource Engineering and lives on an urban farm with her daughter, partner and animals in San Pedro. She was coordinator of Eco Cuba at Global Exchange, and has taken folks there as a graduate student and as a board member of Witness for Peace Southwest. She has been to Cuba 25+ times.
Nadir Romo has been organizing against the blockade on Cuba and lifting the travel restrictions since 2011. As a member and leader of the Venceremos Brigade, Nadir has been on the Brigade four times and helped organized other trips as well.