On April 24, 2023, over 150 young leaders from social movements and organizations in the United States will travel to Cuba to exchange with labor unions, grassroots activists, artists, and youth organizations, and take part in Cuba’s May Day celebrations. This delegation is the largest group of young leaders to travel to Cuba in decades. It will forge people-to-people relations on the island which for over six decades has faced the impact of a blockade by the United States government.
The 10-day delegation is organized by the International Peoples’ Assembly (IPA) and will include leaders from organizations such as Black Men Build, Black Lives Matter Grassroots, the Palestinian Youth Movement, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the People’s Forum, amongst others. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center, a grassroots organization based in Havana, Cuba dedicated to solidarity work and popular education will be hosting this historic visit.
Throughout their time in Cuba, members of the youth delegation will have a chance to learn directly from the Cuban people and organizers about their experience confronting climate change, fighting for LGBTQI+ rights, building grassroots participation in politics, strengthening food sovereignty, achieving scientific and technological advances, and making culture accessible.
Manolo de los Santos, co-executive director of The People’s Forum and an organizer of the delegation commented that “As young leaders in the United States we want to affirm our right to learn, exchange, and build with the Cuban people who live under cruel sanctions and are kept on the list of State Sponsors of Terror for no credible reason.” He added, “this historic delegation will renew the historic bonds of solidarity between people of Cuba and the United States despite Biden’s aggressive foreign policy.”
This delegation comes at a crucial moment when public opinion in the United States about the U.S. blockade against Cuba is shifting and young people have been raising key questions about why Cuba faces the wrath of the US government.