Cuba/Cuba Solidarity

June 25 Actions: ‘Remove Cuba from U.S. List of State Sponsors of Terrorism’

By Pete Seidman

MIAMI — Fifty people attended an event organized by the Miami Caravan Against the U.S. Blockade of Cuba here on June 25.

The crowd included a mix of longtime veterans of the fight against the blockade with young activists newly organizing for a common struggle.

Importantly, a group of Colombian activists came to support the demand that Cuba be removed from the U.S. State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. They spoke eloquently of how, far from exporting terrorism, Cuba has helped advance the fight for peace in their country. This was the first such connection made between the caravan and activists from the 250,000-strong Colombian population here in Miami.

A delegation of Colombian activists joined the June 25 action in Miami. (Photo: Courtesy Pete Seidman)

The event was one of many across the nation in support of a national march in Washington demanding the removal of Cuba from the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The national action was organized by the National Network on Cuba and endorsed by more than 70 organizations. Estimates of the size of that action range from 300 to 500.

Speakers in Miami included Lowell Iporac, a recent doctoral graduate at Florida International University who reported on his participation in a May Day delegation to Cuba; Didier Ortiz, a teacher working to organize a Jose Marti Youth group; Pete Seidman, a caravan leader who explained efforts to organize a fight to defend free speech in Miami, calling out local officials who have turned a blind eye to threats and provocations against earlier caravans from rightist supporters of the blockade; and Max Lesnik, a leader of the Alianza Martiana, a longtime veteran of the fight against the blockade who roused the crowd as he reported on the call for the Fourth Conference of the Nation and Emigration, to be held in Havana, Cuba, in November.

Longtime Miami caravan activist Didier Ortiz reports on work to organize a Jose Marti youth group. (Photo: Courtesy Pete Seidman)

There was also a video greeting from Puentes de Amor [Bridges of Love] leader Carlos Lazo. Talks were translated into Spanish or English.

During a discussion period following the program, one of the Colombian participants reiterated their opposition to the blockade. There were also remarks from Rachele Fruit, representing the Socialist Workers Party, and Paul Namphy, a leading Haitian activist here.

Afterwards, a livestream of the Washington, DC, action provided a backdrop as participants enjoyed food, drink and conversation at a local restaurant.

Miami event projected live stream of June 25 action in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Courtesy Pete Seidman)

The event was the 35th organized by the Miami caravan. It was another step in rebuilding the unity and confidence of the movement here against the blockade, following a successful action in May. These last two actions stood in contrast to several difficult caravans in the three previous months that faced disruptive violence from pro-blockade opponents.

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