New Guantanamo Film

July 18, 2016

July 26 Cuba holiday premiere at the Coolidge Corner Library

Peter Miller

The Boston-area premiere of the recently-released documentary “All Guantanamo is Ours” (37 minutes), with guest presenter and discussion, will take place at the Coolidge Corner Library, Tuesday evening, July 26, 6:45-8:30.  The event is cosponsored by Brookline PAX and the July 26th Coalition along with the National Network on Cuba and the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity.

July 26, a major Cuban holiday, commemorates the beginning of the Revolution, the 1953 rebel attack on the Moncada army barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The date was adopted by Fidel Castro as the name of the movement and organization that developed — Movimiento 26 de Julio or M-26-7 — and led to the Revolution’s victory over the corrupt and dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista more than five years later on New Year’s Eve 1959. The date gives its name to the Boston-area Cuba solidarity organization. It was the day after Revolution Day last year that the U.S. and Cuba opened embassies in each other’s capitals for the first time since 1961.

Prior to the Revolution, May 20th was celebrated as Cuban Independence Day, marking the date in 1902 when Cuba gained formal independence from the United States, following up American intervention in the Cuban War of Independence against Spain and the Spanish-American War in 1898. Since the Revolution, May 20th has been viewed more critically as a key moment in Cuba’s history as a neocolony of the United States. This classic case study in neocolonialism —Lenin described the Hispanic-Cuban-American war as the first imperialist war in the history of humanity — begins with Cuba’s exclusion from the peace negotiations in 1898, U.S. army and governmental occupation, regulation and oversight of Cuban elections and conditions for official withdrawal, and subsequent policies of control including the establishment and forced acceptance of the naval base at Guantanamo and its detention camp and prison.

The film “All Guantanamo is Ours” by filmmaker and journalist Hernando Calvo Ospina, produced by Resumen Latinoamericano and the International Committee, in Spanish with English subtitles, presents the perspective and sentiment of the Cuban people, particularly those living in the towns around Guantanamo, about the ongoing occupation of the U.S. Naval Base and shows what the occupation looked like before and after the revolution.  The trailer is available at http://theinternationalcommittee.org/new-film/.

Brookline has been selected for this showing as it is the first municipality on the East Coast to pass a resolution to End the Embargo/Blockade on Cuba which will be briefly discussed.   Nancy B. Kohn with the International Committee will talk about the recent conference she attended in Guantanamo dedicated to its return to Cuba. In her talk there, she summarized the long distance we still have to go to realize the promise of normalized relations jointly called for by Presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro over a year and a half ago, on December 17, 2014:

“The illegal blockade of Cuba still exists as strong as ever. Banks dealing in dollar transactions with Cuba continue to be fined; State Department regime change programs continue to be funded; the budget of Radio and TV Marti has expanded as they create new spurious programming against the leadership of the Revolution; U.S. citizens still cannot travel to Cuba without a license; Cuba still cannot export products to the U.S.; Cuban officials and professionals are still routinely denied visas into the U.S.; progressive organizations like IFCO/Pastors for Peace are still being harassed by OFAC [the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control] and the IRS for challenging the restrictions on travel to Cuba; and of course, the most outrageous thing of all is that the torture center here in Guantanamo Province continues and the land it sits on is still occupied by the U.S. military.”

July 26th at the Coolidge Corner Library promises to be an informative occasion.

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Peter Miller was a prime petitioner of the resolution adopted by this spring’s Town Meeting calling for an end to the U.S. economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba and writes about Cuba at www.peterbmiller.wordpress.com/cuba-project

This article was published as a guest column in the July 21st edition of the Brookline Tab.

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