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International seminar against foreign military bases concludes with support from nearby Cuban community

By Kait McIntyre |
November 29, 2015
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Caimanera, Cuba - On Nov. 25, the fourth International Seminar for Peace and Abolition of Foreign Military Bases concluded its gathering by sharing its final declaration with the residents of Caimanera, the town closest to the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo province.

Hundreds of locals came out, including students, teachers, parents, and young children, to hear the statement and to greet the delegates when they arrived in Caimanera to meet with local officials about the effects of the military base on the people. Upon hearing the statement, there were cheers from the crowd and several kids scrambled to collect the names and contact information of the young adult delegates.

Earlier that day, conference participants enjoyed a performance from Guantanamo province’s world-renown children theater company la Colmenita. This performance served as an important reminder that closing down the Guantanamo naval base and ending the economic blockade against Cuba is not only about ensuring justice is served in the present, it is also about ensuring that generations to come value collaboration, creativity and spreading joy.

After the performance, delegates had an opportunity to see Guantanamo naval base from a tower in a local hotel, illustrating that the shadow of Guantanamo naval base is not just an abstract injustice; it is tangible and can be felt throughout the region.

Yet, as the seminar reiterated, it is not just Guantanamo that needs to be shut down. All foreign military bases imposed against the will of the people must be closed and the land returned. It is with this sentiment and energy that the participants of the conference will return to their home countries to continue this important struggle.

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