Restore U.S. – Cuban Relations Resolution before MPS

Resolution 2021R-023
By Directors Peterson and Baez
On COVID, Education, Culture and the Normalization of Relations with Cuba


1. WHEREAS, As of January 2021, the United States has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths
in the world --25 million infected, and deaths exceeding 420,000, with these deaths and disabilities
falling disproportionately on Black and Latino/a communities, seniors, and increasingly among our
youth; and
2. WHEREAS, This disease has caused severe disruption in our efforts to educate our children and has put
teachers, staff, and students at serious risk; and
3. WHEREAS, This crisis demonstrates the importance of international cooperation and solidarity in the
fields of public health as well as education for the common good; and
4. WHEREAS, In 1960, the US government adopted a policy intended “. . . to bring about hunger,
desperation, and overthrow of the government” in Cuba resulting in the longest and “. . . most
comprehensive set of US sanctions [imposed] on any country . . . ” and
5. WHEREAS, The Trump administration severely tightened the constraints against Cuba, enacting more
than 40 new restrictive measures in 2020 alone, including restrictions on the right to attend
professional conferences and other curbs on our right to travel, all of which was a reversal of the
policies enacted by President Obama, who visited Cuba; and
6. WHEREAS, This policy of hostility has provided no benefits to the people of the US and has cruelly
impacted the standard of living of the 11.3 million Afro-Latino/a people of Cuba; and
7. WHEREAS, Cuba, a small and poor nation, has prioritized education and universal healthcare and is
currently providing free medical education to students from all over the world, including the US,
one whom is Alexandra Skeeter, a 2010 graduate of Rufus King High School; and
8. WHEREAS, In 2017 Cuba sent medical experts to Chicago to work with public health authorities in
addressing the high rate of infant mortality on its southside, a serious public health issue we also
face in Milwaukee; and
9. WHEREAS, Cuba’s biomedical research has produced many medicines, including one used successfully
by a West Bend, Wisconsin resident to treat his stage three lung cancer (who traveled illegally to
receive treatment), and one that reduces the need for amputations among sufferers of diabetes,
which disproportionately affects people of color in the US; and
10. WHEREAS, Cuba has responded to the COVID pandemic by implementing public health measures that
have limited fatalities to 194 deaths among its over 11 million people [Johns Hopkins University],
compared to Wisconsin with over 6,000 deaths among half that population; and
11. WHEREAS, Cuba has shared its expertise all around the world by sending 4,000 medical practitioners
to 38 countries to assist their local efforts to fight COVID; and
12. WHEREAS, Cuba has also shared its methods for advancing literacy in many countries, including here
in Milwaukee, where Cuban teachers have made presentations to our teachers and families; and
13. WHEREAS, Cuba’s educational system has been recognized by the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Laboratorio Latinoamericano de la Calidad de la
Educación, and in numerous studies and by educational scholars—including U.S. scholars—for its
investments in education, its consistently high academic performance, its focus on cultural
inclusiveness, equity, and student engagement—all things that U.S. educators could benefit from
through cultural exchanges; and
14. WHEREAS, All MPS students, staff and families, particularly those of Cuban heritage would benefit
from closer ties to educators in Cuba; now, therefore, be it
15. RESOLVED that the Milwaukee Board of School Directors call on the Biden administration and all other
appropriate political, health, and educational authorities to promptly invite negotiations with their
Cuban counterparts to explore mutually beneficial cooperation, as a step toward normalization of
relations between our countries.

January 27, 2021

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No War on Iran Rally Jan. 10, 2020 at the Milwaukee Lakefront

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No F-35 in Wisconsin

Workers, Peacemakers, Justice Advocates, Environmentalist, Anti-Militarism Unite

Rally to Stop the US Air Force F-35 Fighter Jet from being based in Madison,

Thursday, August 29th Noon, on the sidewalk outside of Senator Baldwin’s office, 30 W. Mifflin on the Capitol Square

 

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Action Alert: Call Out biased WUWM Venezuela coverage; #HandsOffVenezuela


To WUWM & NPR: Tell Both Sides on Venezuela

If you listen to WUWM, what you’ve been hearing there daily on the political
crisis in Venezuela has been one sided at best and grossly inaccurate at the
worst. The implicit message has been to undermine Venezuela’s progressive
government and support US calls for violent regime change. There has been an
international call for action to hold the media to a higher standard on April
19-20, but you can and should call any time its distorted reports air.

Tell WUWM:


• Air local pieces for balance. WUWM produces shows like “Lake
Effect” which can help counter the opposition-heavy reports from
the national NPR news desk. Why not interview local solidarity or
peace activists, visiting experts, or have a phone interview with
UN Investigator and Human Rights Rapporteur on Venezuela, Alfred de
Zayas? See https://youtu.be/ii5MlQgGXyk?t=173

• Avoid using loaded shorthand in summaries. Labels matter. It is not
honest reporting to call Venezuela a “regime,” or Juan Guaido
“interim president.” Most of the world recognizes Nicolas Maduro
as the duly elected leader of a democratic republic, and it isn’t
the media’s job to conclude for us otherwise.

• Get the message to NPR. WUWM calls itself “Milwaukee’s NPR,”
and needs to tell NPR that it doesn’t want biased or inaccurate
news. Its listeners don’t want it, Its underwriters shouldn’t
want it. UWM shouldn’t want it. And WUWM should tell NPR that its
listeners here, like nationwide, are tired of selective reporting that
sets the stage for more U.S. intervention in Latin America.

Talk to someone at WUWM: 227-3355
Leave comments: 270-1220
Email: [email protected]
Call NPR: (202) 513-2000 

#HandsOffVenezuela #NoWarNoSanctionsNocoup !

NPR coverage of VZ
Morning Edition
March 6, 2019

Host Steve Inskeep, interviewing the Latin America Program Director for the
International Crisis Group began by stating as a supposed fact that there
has been “Twenty years of steady Venezuelan decline under a socialist and
populist government.”

But according to the United Nations Development Program, human development
in Venezuela began rising faster than peer nations after 2000, and continued
upward until 2016, amid worsening US sanctions. Life expectancy and
education continue to improve as of the most recent data (2018). The UN
FAO reported hunger had dropped to US levels by 2012. The CIA Fact Book
summarizes: “Social investment in Venezuela during the Chavez Administration
reduced poverty from nearly 50% in 1999 to about 27% in 2011, increased school
enrollment, substantially decreased infant and child mortality, and improved
access to potable water and sanitation…” [Emphasis added.]

Fresh Air
April 2, 2019


Dave Davies’s guest for the hour was Nicholas Casey, a New York Times
reporter who never mentioned U.S. sanctions at all, a key contributor to the
shortages. One of the “highlights” of the hour, linked to from the NPR
webpage, was a recap of his recent reporting that “Maduro forced visiting
Cuban doctors to use access to medicine as a way to gain votes for Maduro”
for example by threatening to take away care if Maduro lost (the report did
not mention that the opposition has openly called for removing the doctors.)

This very article was ripped by the watchdog group FAIR.org (Fairness and
Accuracy in Reporting) for its “pathological deceit.” Some rumors Casey
passed on were impossible. In the New York Times version, witnesses reported
stuffing of “ballot boxes” even though Venezuela votes electronically,
no ballot boxes exist, and the election was internationally certified. Casey
uncritically quoted a Human Rights Watch executive whose work was so shoddy
and one-sided that over 100 experts wrote to rebuke it.

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