Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
The Venceremos Brigade has announced their 40th Anniversary Contingent Travel Challenge to Cuba that will be a trip to Cuba from July 19 to August 3, 2009.
It is designed to defy the US travel restrictions on Americans’ rights of travel to Cuba and there are only about 25 spaces left for participants out of 100.
What is the Venceremos Brigade?
Formed in 1969 to express solidarity with the Cuban Revolution, the Venceremos Brigade is a unique educational project that has sent thousands of people to Cuba . Their goal is to give US citizens an opportunity to learn first hand about Cuba, its people and La Revolucion referring the the 1959 Revolution where Fidel Castro and others took over the Cuban government by force.
Who are the Brigadistas?
Brigadistas are active in a broad range of movements for social change involving high school students, college students and workers for peace, housing, health care, education, labor and cultural rights. Their participants are multi-racial and range in age from 16 to 90. They are committed to fighting racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination and to recognizing and respecting the differences among people.
The Venceremos Brigade experience in Cuba is a GROUP experience, with an organized program of work, political and cultural activities and travel. All Brigadistas are expected to FULLY participate in the program and no individual arrangements will be accommodated. All members of the Brigade must travel to and from Cuba together. Brigadistas are not tourists and must stay in work camps in Cuba. The final program is dependent on ICAP and other Cuban institutions.
What does the Venceremos Brigade do in Cuba ?
The purpose of the Brigade trips to Cuba is to enable U.S. activists to have meaningful exchanges with Cubans and to experience the day to day realities of Cuban life. Brigadistas live and work alongside Cubans for two weeks each year. Their program in Cuba includes:
- Agricultural, construction or factory work
- Visits to schools, factories, clinics and hospitals
- Musical and other cultural programs
- Informal visits and discussions with Cuban citizens
The Venceremos Brigade has never asked for permission (i.e. a ‘license’ from OFAC) from the U.S. government to travel to Cuba. Since 2003, they have joined with Pastors for Peace in openly proclaiming their constitutional and human right to travel to Cuba.
The 40th Anniversary Contingent of the Venceremos Brigade is an education project hosted by the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).
The Venceremos Brigade is a political education project that, since 1969, has directed its efforts toward developing solidarity with the Cuban Revolution. Despite the U.S. blockade against Cuba, the Brigade has sent more than 9,000 people from the U.S. community and student groups, political organizations and trade unions. It works to raise consciousness around issues related to Cuba such as democracy and social justice. The Venceremos Brigade considers travel to Cuba to be a right of US citizens and has never requested a license from the U.S. government.
Apply to travel to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade
You must fill out an application in order to travel to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade. All applicants must be US citizens and are interviewed before being accepted into the program. The cost for the trip which includes airfare, meals, museums, lodging etc is $1550 from New York or $1450 from the west coast. This cost includes transportation (bus from/to NYC, round trip air from Toronto to Havana, food and lodging while in Cuba. The first payment of $900 is due on April 1, 2009 and final balance is due no later than May 15. 2009.
If you decide to participate your signature on the application will confirm your understanding that the Venceremos Brigade neither seeks nor accepts a license from the U.S. Government to travel to Cuba and that you understand the limitations of the Brigade’s legal liability related to this trip. This trip openly and explicitly challenges the United States restrictions on travel to Cuba so the Venceremos Brigade will produce press releases and conferences and acknowledging to government officials that they are traveling to and from Cuba.
For more information
PO Box 5202, Englewood, NJ 07631
“...one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”—Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
—————————————- Havana Journal Comments—————————————-
The Havana Journal does not endorse illegal travel to Cuba but we do support the concept of defying US Cuba sanctions in order to affect change in US Cuba policy that eventually allows freedom of travel to all Americans.