NEW YORK — Milagros Rivera, president of the Cuba Solidarity Committee of Puerto Rico, will be in New York City Oct. 27 to 29 on a speaking tour to strengthen the fight against FBI harassment of opponents of the U.S. economic war on Cuba, and to join in a solidarity march demanding the end of Washington’s sanctions against Cuba.
On Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. Rivera will be the featured speaker at a public meeting at the First Spanish United Methodist Church (The People’s Church) at Lexington Avenue and 111th Street in East Harlem. She will also speak at Hostos Community College in the Bronx Oct. 27.
On Saturday, Oct. 29 she will join hundreds of others on a march calling for an end to U.S. sanctions on Cuba, sponsored by the International U.S.-Cuba Normalization Committee Coalition. The action takes place a few days before the United Nations votes on a motion demanding an end to the U.S. embargo of Cuba, an annual vote that has passed overwhelmingly for over 30 years.
Protesters will gather at Times Square at 12 noon and march to the U.N.
FBI agents called or visited nearly 60 people in Puerto Rico in late August, claiming they were investigating the violation of “federal law.” Most of the people the U.S. political police tried to interrogate were in Cuba for a month in July on the Solidarity Committee’s 31st annual Juan Rius Rivera Brigade. In September the FBI contacted at least six people in the U.S. involved in opposing the embargo as well.
The Solidarity Committee held a press conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, publicly denounced the harassment, and let brigadistas know there is no reason to talk to the U.S. political police. To show it would not be intimidated, it began inviting people to sign up for next year’s brigade to Cuba, which will be part of celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks, led by Fidel Castro, that marked the opening of the Cuban Revolution. It also marks the 125th anniversary of the U.S. occupation of Puerto Rico and its transformation into a U.S. colony.
The FBI has an over 80-year history of going after freedoms and constitutional rights of unions, opponents of U.S. war moves, supporters of Black rights, fighters for the independence of Puerto Rico, the Socialist Workers Party and others.
The FBI is targeting the Cuba Solidarity Committee “because even though we live in a U.S. colony, we dare to give solidarity to Cuba and the Cuban people,” Rivera told the Militant in September. “We’re going to keep telling the truth, that Cuba is an example for the whole world.”
BY SETH GALINSKY