Vancouver Celebrates 48 Years of the Cuban Revolution
Jan. 4, 2007
by Noah Fine
January 1, 2007 marked the 48th anniversary of the victory of the revolutionary forces in Cuba. To celebrate, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) held its 2nd annual New Years Eve Party, co-organized this year with the Free the Cuban Five Committee Vancouver. Throughout the night over 200 people came to celebrate this exciting New Years at the local Vancouver venue - Our Community Bikes!
The evening began with the film Bloqueo, an interesting film about the 2001 Pastors for Peace caravan to Cuba and the effects of the US blockade against Cuba. Next, MCs Tamara Hansen, Jolene Borrelli, and Estéban Gonzalez welcomed everyone. Tamara told a story about the victory of the rebel fighters in Cuba in 1959, getting the crowd in the mood for an evening of revolutionary celebration.
One of the goals of the evening was to raise funds to help at least 15 people from Vancouver to volunteer in Cuba next summer with the Che Guevera Volunteer Work Brigade and the Pastors for Peace Caravan. The first speakers, Kira Koshelanyk and Jane Ivanova spoke about their experiences in Cuba on the Che Brigades, encouraging everyone to come next summer!
Following Kira and Jane, Colleen Glynn, President of the Richmond NDP and VCSC organizer, spoke about the gains of the Cuban revolution, and how we must continue to defend them. John Waller, coordinator of the Pastors for Peace Caravan spoke next, about the US blockade of Cuba. Noah Fine, the coordinator of the Free the Cuban Five Committee Vancouver, followed John, giving a dynamic explanation of the case of the five Cuban Heroes, and how their fight for freedom is a continuation of the fight of Cuban revolutionaries of 48 years ago.
After Noah spoke, the crowd enjoyed the melodic Latin guitar music of Beto and Nicanor. This was followed by Randy Caravaggio, who brought a solidarity greeting from Victoria Goods for Cuba. MC Estéban Gonzalez was joined by VCSC organizer Thomas Davies on stage, they introduced a new idea to the night, which was the positive changes happening in Latin America today and how Cuba is leading the way for countries like Venezuela, Bolivia and others. Next up, Liz Kendler brought warm solidarity greetings from the Coop radio's "America Latina al Dia." From there, the room was swept away by the beautiful music of Joaquin Ernesto, who organizes Coop radio's "Romantic Tango."
Getting everyone on their feet and turning up to volume, DJ Su Commandante started to spin records and favourite dance hits. He kept everyone dancing until midnight, when a shower of balloons, a sea of waving Cuban flags and cheers of "Viva Cuba!" images of the revolutionary forces entering Havana played and the spirit of the Cuban revolution filled the room!
Dancing, chatting and eating delicious food until the early hours of the morning, every one who attended agreed- we can't wait for next year!