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Freedom Tour Report - Vancouver

Freedom tour: Report from Vancouver - Oct. 4, 2003

Visit to view the presentations by Irma, Aleida and others!

Our Cuban guests, Aleida Guevara, Irma González and Mario Garcia, arrived from Victoria by ferry with the idea that they would enjoy a beautiful ride but it turned out to be very foggy so they didn't get much of a view. They were received at the ferry terminal by a group of about 25 people with welcoming signs, and Irma and Aleida were given 2 red rose corsages to brighten up a foggy day.

After getting settled at the hotel they were taken for a short city tour that concentrated on Vancouver's China Town (Aleida loves Chinese food), the wealthy downtown business district (to show them the face of capitalism) and the poor Vancouver East side (to show them the real face of capitalism).

Their busy work day started with two live radio interviews and an interview for a Spanish language newspaper. The local mainstream media has been completely absent. Two interviews with CBC Newsworld (TV) and "The Current" (radio) were declined from the respective producers on grounds that Aleida did not speak English and they were not interested in interviewing Irma.

After lunch (Chinese food of course...), our guests were welcomed at a reception offered by the Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC). About 60 people, mostly from the labour movement and two Vancouver city councillors, were present and it was warm and friendly. The "Solidarity notes" choir sang Che's song in Spanish which clearly surprised and moved Aleida.

The major public meeting drew an audience of about 500-600 people... including a contingent of 17 Cuba supporters from Seattle. The meeting was chaired by Bill Saunders, president of the VDLC. The first speaker was Tim Louis, Vancouver city councillor, who gave a good knowledgeable introduction about the Cuban 5. Irma spoke next with eloquence and self assurance. Finally, Aleida addressed the audience and was almost interrupted by applauses at every sentence she spoke. Her presentation was powerful. Both speakers were given standing ovations. A question and answer period concluded the evening and the Vancouver leg of the Freedom Tour.

A by-product of the tour in Vancouver is a video that will be professionally produced for future use in the Free the Cuban Five Campaign. Thanks to two volunteers who followed the whole action from early morning to late evening.

Finally, thanks to all organizations in Vancouver that helped in organizing and promoting the event.

Nino Pagliccia

Full Story   |   Tour schedule   |    Free the Five info  |  Photo Gallery

Media Coverage of the Tour:


Post-Event Reports

CPAC - The Canadian Parliamentary Channel - interviewed Irma González on Thursday, October 2nd. The interview was broadcast at 7:00pm EST and repeated in the following days. Visit to find or request a repeat in your area.

More information on the Cuba Five can be found on this page.

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