by Merri Ansara
Cuban Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera visited metropolitan Boston June 28 to July 1, accompanied by her 2nd Secretary Juliette Tain Dominguez.
Over four days, the Ambassador and 2nd Secretary met with the Cambridge City Council, the Boston City Council and Mayor Wu, Brookline town meeting and select board representatives, other elected officials in city and state institutions, local business and biotechnology leaders, artists and playwrights, members of humanitarian and cultural organizations involved in Cuba, university professors and scientists, members of the local Cuban American community, and members of area solidarity groups. There was a large meeting of the latter called by the July 26th Coalition and Democratic Socialists of America in collaboration with Massachusetts Peace Action.
The visit was coordinated and hosted by Massachusetts Peace Action and a team from its Latin America/Caribbean Working Group’s Cuba Subcommittee.
The visit was the first opportunity for renewal and re-engagement between Cuban representatives in Washington and those in metropolitan Boston seeking connection after a long hiatus during the years of Trump and Covid. In the interim, the cities of Cambridge and Brookline had passed resolutions calling for an end to the US Embargo of Cuba and a return to collaboration. Boston was poised to pass a similar resolution, with a public hearing July 11 and a vote expected by the end of July.
Throughout her visit, the Cuban Ambassador stressed the importance to Cuba of engagement and dialogue and called for those who wish to engage with Cuba to visit the Island and see for themselves the Cuban reality, as the best way to counter the negative and doomsday narrative that is dominating the US media. She stressed as well that the world won’t see what Cuba really is and is capable of until the US Embargo is lifted.
MAPA’s decision to host a visit of the Cuban Ambassador follows an exploratory trip to Cuba by MAPA leadership in April of this year and formation of a Cuba subcommittee of our Latin America/Caribbean Working Group.
MAPA is now starting the plans for a full visit to Cuba next Spring, a visit that will include not just MAPA members but representatives of the broader community as represented in this June’s visit by Ambassador Torres Rivera.
— Merri Ansara leads MAPA’s Cuba Subcommittee and serves on our Executive Committee and on the Western Massachusetts Peace Organizing Committee.