CHICAGO – Black Lives Matter Chicago is flying a planeload of students to Cuba to participate in an International Solidarity Brigade for May Day.
“Chicago Cuba Coalition & #BlackLivesMatter heading to participate in the International Brigade & MayDay in Cuba!” BLMChicago posted to Twitter a week ago Sunday, along with the picture of several adults smiling with fists raised.
— BLMChicago (@BLMChi) April 23, 2017
Two of the crew held a sign that read: End U.S. economic embargo against Cuba now! Return Guantanamo to Cuba now! End all subversive programs against Cuba now!
On Monday, BLMChicago posted “the second half of our delegation is on the way to Cuba for May Day and the international solidarity Brigade!” accompanied by a picture of several students under a banner that read “BLMChi is Cuba bound!”
— BLMChicago (@BLMChi) May 1, 2017
“This important monumental trip is happening on the 50th anniversary of Che’s assassination in Bolivia by the CIA. We are in a historical moment where international solidarity is crucial and young burgeoning activist (sic) need the opportunity to connect with people who have engaged in revolutionary struggle for over 50 plus years,” according to a description of the trip posted to Eventbrite.com.
The goal, apparently, is to take in all of the supposedly great ideals of communism and implement them in the Windy City, where Black Lives Matter activists have campaigned relentlessly against police-involved shootings of black criminals.
“This will be a hands on learning experiance (sic) for the travelers who will be able to work on agricultural projects, find out about community ran cooperatives, and free health clinics,” the Eventbrite description explained. “The goal is to bring this information, experiences and skills back to Chicago to implement in our communities. We are bringing families impacted by police violence and intracommunal violence with us on this trip.”
The Eventbrite page solicited financial assistance to help send the Black Lives Matter crew to Cuba.
And while it’s unclear whether the trip was endorsed by Chicago Public Schools, or whether students will receive excused absences for the “hands on learning experiance,” Black Lives Matter’s affection for Cuba and its recently deceased dictator is well-established.
After ruling Cuba for a half-century, Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016 at the age of 90. Castro, his brother Raul Castro and “revolutionary” Che Guevara overthrew the Cuban government in 1959 to establish a one-party communist government aligned with the Soviet Union that oversaw scores of human rights abuses, a mass exodus of citizens, economic collapse and routinely imprisoned, tortured or otherwise silenced dissidents.
On November 25, Black Lives Matter posted a letter to social media asking followers to “come to the defense of El Comandante” by overlooking his “flaws” and learn from his “vision of freedom.”
“We are feeling many things aw we awaken to a world without Fidel Castro. There is an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety,” the letter read. “Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante.
“And there are lessons that we must revisit and heed as we pick up the mantle in changing our world, as we aspire to build a world rooted in a vision of freedom and the peace that only comes with justice. It is the lessons that we take from Fidel.”
Presumably, those are the same lessons Chicago students will learn when they participate in the May Day event today.
BLM also gave a special shout out to Castro in November for harboring “Mama Assata Shakur,” a Black Panther Party member who was convicted of murder in the killing of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Forerster in 1973. Shakur escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba in 1984, where she received political asylum.
Shakur is considered a domestic terrorist by the FBI, which listed her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List with a $2 million reward.
“As a Black network committed to transformation, we are particularly grateful to Fidel for holding Mama Assata Shakur, who continues to inspire us,” BLM wrote in its ode to Castro, according to the Daily Wire.