Carolfrances Likins • Fanny Ortiz • Sly Rivers Rachel Bruhnke
Four recent visitors to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade and the Pastors for Peace friendhipment will discuss current realities in Cuba and the importance of working to end the US blockade/embargo, and to return Guantanamo to Cuba.
Carolfrances Likins is a board member of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, and works with Pastors for Peace/IFCO to support the friendshipment caravan to Cuba and to build support for and participation in ELAM, Escuela Latinamericana de Medicina, the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba, which provides a free medical school education to up to 10 people from the US every year (after which they return to the US to practice medicine in under-served communities).
Fanny Ortiz recently went to Cuba with the 50th Venceremos Brigade for three full weeks along with her teenaged daughter, visiting Havana, the Sierra Maestra and Guantanamo, along with many facilities and other locations and talking with Cubans from various walks of life and many “”civil society”” organizations, such as the Federation of Cuban Women. She is a member of Left Roots, a multi-tendency US organization that is a majority of women and people of color.
Sylvester (Sly) Rivers is a long time Black radio journalist and activist who has broadcast on KPFK and other outlets. He was also a recent participant in the 50th Venceremos Brigade to Cuba along with about a dozen others from the L.A. area, staying for the full three weeks, working alongside Cubans on various projects and recording many of the presentations by Cuban speakers.
Rachel Bruhnke has been active in the Latin America Solidarity movement 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 w her daughter, partner and animals in San Pedro, Ca.