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Solidarity Tour! First Stop: Havana - Immense Support with the People of Iran

When the campaign “Solidarity with Iran – SI!” was initiated in mid October 2010 through an appeal under the same name, the initiators – House of Latin America (HOLA), an NGO based in Iran - were confident of the promising prospect of the campaign.  Now, the campaign's success in a short period to gain the support of 100s of activists and 10s of organizations involved in the international peace movement indicates the correctness of such assessment.

Encouraged by the campaign's support at its initial stage, Amir Tafreshi and Hamid Shahrabi as members of a delegation from HOLA started a tour to Latin America on November 17, 2010, to further mobilize world public opinion in defense of the Iranian people at a time that Iran is faced with intensified aggressions by hegemonic powers, manifested by new rounds of economic sanctions and war threats.  The countries that will be visited in this solidarity tour are: Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and Brazil.

The first stop was Cuba, whereat the representatives of major mass organizations endorsed the appeal of “Solidarity with Iran – SI!”, which demands: Lift economic sanctions against Iran; Recognize the right of Iran to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes; and, Stop military threats against Iran.  The appeal is posted at: www.solidaridad.ir

Cuban organizations that supported the SI appeal include:

-       Committees for Defence of the Revolution (CDR) with 8 million members, representing 92% of Cuban population above 14 years of age.

-       Federation of Cuban Women, with 4,200,000 members, representing 88% of Cuban women population above 14 years of age.

-       Continental Organization of Latin American & Caribbean Students.

-       Union of the Communist Youth.

-       Federation of University Students; Federation of High School Students.

-       Organization for Solidarity among the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL).

-       Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples.

-       Cuban Movement for Peace and Peoples' Sovereignty.

-       Hermanos Saiz Association (Association of Young Artists).

-       Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Centre.

The above list indicates the fact that almost the entire people of Cuba are in line with the position of the leader of that nation, Fidel Castro, and fully support the Iranian people in their struggles for peace, justice and national sovereignty.

The Coordinators of “Solidarity with Iran – SI!” campaign visited Cuba at a time that the 6th International Colloquium in solidarity with 5 Cuban antiterrorist patriots who have been imprisoned in the United States for more than 12 years was also taking place in the island’s eastern city of Holguin, from November 18 to 22.  Participation of the SI Campaign Coordinators in this event, in which over 350 delegates from 56 countries of 5 continents were present, provided a chance for them to express their solidarity with the Cuban 5, while being able also to ask for the support of other delegates for the campaign in solidarity with the people of Iran.  All those approached responded positively to this request and the result was the endorsement of the “Solidarity with Iran – SI!” appeal by solidarity groups and peace organizations from 28 countries listed below:  

Argentine, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Guadeloupe, Laos, Lebanon, Palestine, Peru, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam, United States.

With the above supports, a partial list of prominent supporters of the “Solidarity with Iran – SI!” campaign on the date of dispatching this report is as follows:

Adolfo Perez Esquivel, winner of Novel Price for Peace; Ramsey Clark, the former Attorney General of US; Cindy Sheehan, the distinguished anti-war activist; Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations; Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman; Rev. Raúl Suárez Ramos, Director of the Martin Luther King Jr, Memorial Center and member of Cuba's Parliament (Congress of Peoples Power); James Cockcroft, writer, lecturer, poet; Father Geoffrey Bottoms, Catholic Priest from United Kingdom; Kenia Serrano, President of Cuba Institute of Friendship with Peoples; Father Roy Bourgeois, the Founder of the SOAW (School of Americas Watch); Jose R. Rodriguez Verona, President of Cuban Movement for  Peace and Peoples’ Sovereignty; Alfonso Fraga Perez, General Secretary of Organization for Solidarity among the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL); Sara Flounders, Co-director of International Action Center; Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition; Eva Golinger, lawyer and the winner of the International Award for Journalism in Mexico (2009); Altilio Alberto Boron, economist, author and university professor, Argentine; Ramón Labañino and Fernando González, on behalf of Cuban 5 anti-terrorist heroes; Gloria La Riva, Coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five; Alicia Jrapko, National Coordinator of the International Committee for Freedom of Cuban 5; Phil Wilayto, Editor of The Virginia Defender and Author of "In Defense of Iran"; Anwar Jassin from Lebanon who was imprisoned for 17 years in Israel; Zafar Banghash, Director of Islamic Society of York region; Ferial B. Diab, Chief of External & Diplomatic Relations of Tayyar Al-Tawhid, Lebanon; Canadian Shia’s Muslim Organization; Ali Mallah, the Vice President of the Canadian Arab Federation and a founding member of Toronto Coalition to Stop the War; Don Foreman, representative of Canadian Union of Postal Workers; John Thompson Parker, Bail Out People Movement; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, civil rights attorney; Kazem Azin, Political Activist, Stop War Against Iran before it Starts; Ellie and Ardeshir Ommani, American-Iranian Friendship Committee; Simin Royanian, Women  for Peace and Justice in Iran; Arnold August, Canadian author, journalist and antiwar activist; Morteza Gorgzadeh, Toronto Coalition to Stop the War and Toronto Forum on Cuba; Ekin Koichi Sakaguchi, Japan to Gaza Committee; Feroze Mithiborwala, India Palestine Peoples; Konstantinos Konstantinidis-Amphiktyon, Major General (Ret) Author-Columstni, Generals For Peace & Disarmament*, Chalandri, Greece; Monica Moorehead, Editor Workers World Newspaper; Dave Blalock, Speaker, Vvaw (ai) Germany*, Heidelberg, Germany; Alison Bodine, Co-Chair, Mobilization Against War And Occupation (MAWO), Vancouver, BC, Canada; Shahid Comrade, Secretary -General, Pakistan USA Freedom Forum, Brooklyn, NY

Coordinating Committee of Solidarity with Iran SI!
3 December 2010

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UPDATED Dec 9, 2010 2:16 PM
International Action Center • Solidarity Center • 147 W. 24th St., FL 2 • New York, NY 10011
Phone 212.633.6646 • E-mail: iacenter@iacenter.org • En Español: iac-cai@iacenter.org