Upcoming Events

Documentary, Dinner & Discussion for Women’s History Month

Tuesday, March 7, 2023, 6-7:30 p.m.

Mitchell Street Branch Library, 906 W. Mitchell Street, Milwaukee  53204

Noche de Cine! Screening of MAESTRA, Catherine Murphy’s 2012 documentary that explores the experience of nine women who, as young girls, taught on the Cuban Literacy Campaign of 1961. Through current day interviews from in their homes in Havana, archival film footage and still photos, this 33-minute film looks at this moment and how it changed their lives as women.

Celebrate women’s history month by learning about how the Cuban Revolution eradicated illiteracy, while empowering young women and rural communities! Come be inspired by the 250,000 volunteers who taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year — 100,000 of the teachers were less than 18 years old and more than half were women.

RSVP your intent to come at our Facebook Event.

International Women’s Day

Saturday, March 11, 2023, Noon

RSVP at the Facebook Event.

March Monthly Meeting — virtual

Tuesday, March 14, 2023, 7 p.m. CST

Drop an e-mail to
to request a link for the meeting

TBA — Helen Yaffe on Cuba

TBA 2023

Acclaimed academic, speaker and documentary producer Helen Yaffe will speak on Cuba; we’ll have more details as they are nailed down — stay tuned!

Dr Helen Yaffe is a Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow and a Visiting Fellow at the Latin America and Caribbean Centre at the London School of Economics. Her teaching focuses on Cuban and Latin American development. Since 1995 she has spent time living and researching in Cuba and participating in solidarity campaigns. She is the author of We Are Cuba! How a Revolutionary People Have Survived in a Post-Soviet World (Yale University Press, 2020), Che Guevara: the Economics of Revolution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and co-author of Youth Activism and Solidarity: the Non-Stop Picket against Apartheid (2017). She has co-produced two documentaries: Cuba & Covid-19: Public Health, Science and Solidarity (2020) and Cuba’s Life Task: Combatting Climate Change (2021), which premiered last fall during COP26, the international climate change conference in Glasgow.

Monthly Meetings

During the current COVID pandemic, meetings are being held via Zoom, please subscribe to our newsletter or check our Facebook page.

Monthly meetings of the Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba are generally held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 PM at the Central United Methodist Church, 639 N. 25th St. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Past Events

Heitzer Speaking Engagement — virtual & in-person

Saturday, February 11, 2023, 10-10:45 a.m. CST

Art Heitzer, Attorney & Founder of the
Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations
with Cuba presents

Cuba, the US,
the UN and
our Media

This talk will precede the annual business meeting of the chapter (scheduled to run to approx. 12:30). Attend in-person at Peace Action Wisconsin – 1001 E. Keefe Ave, Milwaukee or virtually via Zoom. All the details and meeting link are at the Facebook event.

Saturday, December 10, 2022, 4 p.m.

Sponsored by the Milwaukee Anti-war Committee

Please join us to celebrate International Human Rights Day at ZAO MKE Church, 2319 E Kenwood Blvd, across  from the UW-Milwaukee Student Union — RSVP to the Facebook event

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Abortion Sanctuary Now! Rally & March

Saturday, October 11, 2022, 4 p.m.

North Point Water Tower / 2288 N Lake Drive, Milwaukee

Demand reproductive justice in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin with the International Women’s Day Coalition and partner organizations, including the Wisconsin Cuba Coalition. Details are evolving, but if you RSVP to the Facebook Event, you’ll stay apprised as that happens. Plus, you can easily invite others and spread the word.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Join us on July 6 at 7 p.m. at Zao MKE church (2319 E Kenwood Boulevard, Milwaukee 53211)
RSVP to the event on Facebook and monitor for any changes to time or program

We will hear from a representative of the Pastors For Peace Caravan to Cuba (starting in Milwaukee & other cities) about why they are going to bring needed medicines and show solidarity with our neighbors in Cuba, and the need for us to support them with donations for this historic project.

The event will also be streaming live from the church’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Sunday, May 29, 2022, 1-3:15PM CDT

Mitchell Park Domes Parking Lot524 South Layton Boulevard (27th Street), Milwaukee

Bi-lingual rally and press conference from 1:00 p.m.- 1:45 p.m. CDT followed by a Car and Bike Caravan to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba

Featured Speakers:
* Juan Miguel Martinez, Milwaukee County Supervisor, District 12
* Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera
* Rosita Garcia, member of Voces de la Frontera, and trans asylum seeker from Guatemala
* Dr. Alexandra Skeeter, a recent graduate from Cuba‘s acclaimed medical school

Join this worldwide movement, started by Cuban-Americans in Miami, continuing in many cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, generally on the last Sunday of each month.

We will begin with a short rally, then caravan through neighborhood(s) and return to Mitchell Park about 3:15 PM.

Cuba is the first country in Latin America to legalize abortions and guarantee free reproductive and other health care to all, but the U.S. interferes with it getting even medical supplies from 3d countries, e.g. Switzerland & China.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 6-8PM CDT

Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 7PM – 8PM CDT

Danny Glover talks COVID, Cuba and Saving Lives w/Cuban Ambassador Jose Ramon Cabanas

Register for this virtual event by clicking here!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 7 PM – 9 PM CDT


photo courtesy of @CubanoCuba

Join us for a special event on June 23, 2020, at 7 PM, in support of Pastors for Peace/IFCO & its challenge to U.S. restrictions on our right to travel to Cuba. It will feature excerpts from the film “Revolutionary Medicine: A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital.” Joining us LIVE will be Gail Walker, Executive Director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, plus a U.S. graduate of Cuba’s international medical school which is transforming the delivery & practice of medical care worldwide. During the event, you will have the opportunity to support the important mission of Pastors for Peace/IFCO:  to support the poor and disenfranchised in developing and sustaining community organizations to fight human and civil rights injustices.

This acclaimed film tells one remarkable story of a marginalized population that worked together and built a hospital for their community. Click here to see the trailer for this amazing film.

You will learn how dedicated people can and have implemented high-quality, preventative medicine, even to the most under-served populations.

Advance registration IS REQUIRED for this event. Register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The Cuba Caravan is Coming to Town

Fr. Luis Barrios of Pastors for Peace To Challenge Trump’s Threats Against Our Right to Travel and Cuba’s Trade with Other Nations, on June 13 in Milwaukee

On Thursday, June 13, Milwaukeeans will welcome Fr. Luis Barrios of Pastors for Peace (PFP) with a potluck dinner at 6pm and a program at 7pm, at Central United Methodist Church, 633 N. 25th Street in Milwaukee, 53233. This event is part of a national movement in dozens of cities, welcoming the 30th Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba, an act of civil disobedience in defiance of what PFP calls an immoral policy of hostility against the people of Cuba.

President Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton recently announced an attempt to further tighten the U.S. restrictions on the right of our people to travel to Cuba. Trump also authorized lawsuits in U.S. courts that no U.S. president had ever allowed, against U.S. and other companies doing business in Cuba. This is on top of an admitted U.S. government policy against Cuba since 1960, designed “to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” (4/6/1960 memo, State Dept. Central files, 737.00/4 -660. Secret. Drafted by Mallory.)

Fr. Barrios, a native of Puerto Rico, is a pastor in NYC, and a former prisoner of conscience for challenging the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas which has trained military torturers throughout Latin America.  He is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the author of many works on liberation theology and other topics, including the acclaimed The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang. He is the Board Chairman of PFP, and will speak on US/Cuban Relations in the Age of Trump, and the role of the Pastors for Peace travel challenge.

All are welcome to attend, and to bring a dish to share if possible. Financial donations to Pastors for Peace will also be welcome.

The event is sponsored locally by the Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, with Peace Action–WI and the End the Wars Coalition MKE.  For more information or for interviews, call 414-273-1040 ext.12, or visit www.wicuba.org,  www.facebook.com/WICNRC/ or email CubaWiFriends@mindspring.com.

WI Cuba Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba Monthly Meeting & Special Program

You can see the You Tube video of the Tuesday, July 11, 2017, Wis Cuba Coalition program featuring Milwaukee African-American artist Fatima Laster will present her visual “Exploracion Arte” (Art Exploration) from Cuba, from her December 2016 trip to Cuba.

Location  at Central United Methodist Church (CUMC), 639 N. 25th St., in Milwaukee.  Free admission and open to all interested.

Our coalition normally meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7pm.


Iconic Cuban Literacy Teacher, Griselda Aguilera Cabrera 

Wednesday November 29, 7 pm at Central United Methodist Church, 639 N. 25th Street, at Wisconsin Ave., MKE 53233.  (Free off street parking south of the church.)  Free and open to the public, donations gratefully accepted. Sponsored by: Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, https://wicuba.wordpress.com/ or on Facebook.  Bilingual program (Spanish & English)

Milwaukee Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Chicago Dec. 2-8, 2017: Iconic Cuban Literacy Teacher Griselda Aguilera Cabrera: Please check on our website, facebook pages or contact us for the final time & place of her public event, or if you would like to schedule a meeting or program with her.  Call 414 273-1040, ext. 12 or email Wis Cuba Coalition at CubaWIFriends@mindspring.com

Griselda 1961 handing titulo to Carlos Perez IslaGriselda 1961 handing titulo  (literacy certificate) to Carlos Perez Isla.

Come and hear from the youngest of 100,000’s of Cuba’s literacy teachers, the amazing story of how the lives of Cuba’s young people, particularly women, were transformed in 1961 by their voluntary efforts to end illiteracy in the entire nation. In 1961, revolutionary Cuba virtually ended adult illiteracy in one year. Featured in the renowned documentary “Maestra,”  Griselda Aguilera Cabrera was the youngest of these teachers, and will be speaking in Milwaukee on Wed. November 29, 2017.
Only seven years old, Griselda volunteered to help make literacy universal in Cuba. “I taught literacy to a 58 year old man, Carlos Perez Isla, who was a street cleaner and totally illiterate. This experience was seared into me with such force that it defined my future. From that moment, I decided to dedicate my life to teaching.”
Now retired from her career as an educator, Griselda works with the Cuban Psychology Society’s Working Group on Identity and Diversity, in activities to combat homophobia, racial discrimination, prejudice against people with HIV/AIDS, and violence against women and girls.
Described as a dynamic and exciting presence, Griselda will speak in Spanish with interpretation in English, along with the award winning short documentary “Maestra.”
Come hear her story and that of a generation of young people, particularly women, whose lives were changed by helping to uplift the education of an entire nation.


“New Exhibition: Nov. 11, 2017 – March 18, 2018, Minneapolis//Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950, Walker Art Center, MPLS.”

Join us at the Walker through March 18, 2018   Click here for a critique of the exhibit by The Minnesota Cuba Committee.



Saturday, November 11 
Visionary, experimental, social, and political—discover the ways that Cuba’s revolutionary epoch shaped the past 65 years of Cuban art. Adiós Utopia brings together some 100 works rarely seen in the United States, including painting, graphic design, photography, video, installation, and performance, created by more than 50 Cuban artists and designers. >>more

Fri, Nov 10, 9 pm–12 midnight
$15 (Free for Walker members)

Be among the first to see Adiós Utopia at this late-night preview party. Celebrate with music by Charanga Tropical, Malamanya, and DJ Don Cuco; indulge in specialty cocktails and small bites; and get your hands dirty in a screenprinting workshop. Get your tickets in advance to skip lines the night of the event! >> more

Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 is a project conceived by the Cisneros Fontanals Fundación Para Las Artes (CIFO Europa) and The Cisneros Fontanals Arts Foundation, CIFO USA; and curated by Gerardo Mosquera, René Francisco Rodríguez, and Elsa Vega. The exhibition is organized in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

For the opening night, November 18 from 3 to 11 p.m., Squirrel Haus Arts will become a mini-version of Havana’s famed Fábrica del Arte Cubano (Cuban Art Factory), with Cuban music and movies, snacks and drinks, as well as the many forms of art present throughout the show. The exhibit’s regular hours will be 12 to 5 pm. Friday, Saturday and Sundays from November 19 – January 14, 2018.  This is a free event, open to the public.  Click here for more information Facebook page 1

MADE IN CUBA/Hecho en Cuba: Recycling Memory & Culture, II. will show at Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Avenue in Minneapolis from November 18, 2017 – January 14, 2018.  Join us for our opening reception on November 18 from 3 to 11 pm. Click here for more information Facebook page 2


Past Events:


Tues, Nov. 14, 7pm: Meet & hear Cuban specialist in international relations and study, Henry Heredia

11.10.17 Henry

Meet & hear Cuban specialist in international relations, Henry Heredia, who has managed academic exchanges since 2011 for the Cuban Institute for Cultural Research and previously was the international relations coordinator for the Cuban Writers and Artists Assn. (UNEAC). He will join us on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 7pm at our monthly Coalition meeting, at Central UMC, 639 N. 25th St., MKE 53203. (if you want to hear or meet him, but cannot make this time, call us at 414 273-1040, ext. 12  or email us at cubawifriends@mindspring.com)

Henry Heredia holds a degree in Education from the Pedagogical University in Havana and has also studied at the Higher Institute of International Relations Raul Roa (ISRI). Henry has over fifteen years of experience with the environmental and community group Project Espiral, of which he is a founding member. Since 2011 he has managed academic exchange for the Cuban Institute for Cultural Research Juan Marinello and previously Henry was an International Relations Coordinator for the Cuban Writers and Artists Association (UNEAC). Henry speaks English fluently and has lectured at numerous prestigious institutions in the U.S since 2013. Henry looks forward to meeting with students, faculty and members of various organizations.  Presentations are strongly interdisciplinary and are of value to diverse audiences. Those interested in areas such as Latin American Studies, International Relations, Political Science, History, Ethnography, Anthropology, Sociology and Education would benefit from these events.

Symposium topics include but are not limited to:

1. Experiences in Community Work in Cuba: Henry would talk about his experiences as a member of Community Project Espiral since year 2000, a grass-root organization that works for the social, cultural and environmental development of Cuban society.

2. Cuban Culture and Cultural Shocks: Henry would talk to students and faculty signing for Study Abroad Programs to Cuba about culture, idiosyncrasy and traditions of Cuban people.

3. The US and Cuba: Changing Perceptions: This talk is about the results of Henry’s researches on the image of Cuba that Americans have before and after their first visit to the island, and the impact of those visits on the image of the US that Cubans have.

4. Understanding Regla de Osha or Santeria: Henry addresses anthropologist, ethnologist and other social scientists with a profound approach to the basic elements of this Cuban religion of African origins.

5. Gender and Sexuality in Cuba: This talk is about the achievements and challenges in the fight for gender equality in Cuban society today from the perspective of an activist rather than a scholar.

6. Cuban System of Education: A descriptive overview of the system of education in Cuba and the current challenges to keep the quality standards that have made it famous worldwide.


Please support the “Fundraiser for Cuba after Irma” 4 to 1 matching gift by Oct. 8th


FOR EVERY $1 THAT YOU GIVE MADE OUT TO MEDICC (which is tax deductible) for “Hurricane relief,” MEDICC and our allies in Chicago  will each double your gift, so that $4 will go to help CUBA REBUILD.  Please bring or send that to us by October 8, 2017 to: Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, 633 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1410, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203, (414) 273-1040.

Sunday, October 8 at 7pm-9pm, featuring Latin music and culture. The Coffee House (19th St. & Wisconsin Avenue, MKE)  

See https://www.facebook.com/events/116310815711357/      Cuba Hurricane pic.jpg

Entertainers will include guitarist & vocalist Darele Bisquera, and Troubadour Tony Baez performing songs of love and struggle from the Hispanic world, plus New Orleans jazz and a special music performance from Havana!

map of hurricane Irma over Cuba.pngThis image shows the storm over Cuba. The eye of the storm is right by Milwaukee’s old sister city of Nuevitas, which is on the northern coast of Cuba.  Irma was a category 5 Hurricane from the time it hit Cuba and for 72 hours it spent its force on Cuba, being reduced to a Category 3 when it hit Florida. As members of Congress including Rep Kathy Castor from Tampa, FL and our own Rep. Gwen Moore, wrote, “Cuba absorbed much of the impact from Hurricane Irma which lessened the damage to southern Florida and the United States.” Their letter asks Pres. Trump to use his power to lift restrictions and thus to allow U.S. companies to sell re-construction materials to Cubans

Cuba is the only area affected by the recent hurricanes which is subject to U.S. economic sanctions (as it has been for over 50 years).

It is also the only nation in the area which has sent over 700 doctors and medical personnel to aid people in  other Caribbean islands devastated by hurricane. see Irma: Cuba sends hundreds of doctors to Caribbean islands devastated by hurricane (September 9 2017, The Independent UK)

Please support this event, or you can make a tax deductible donation, 100% of which will go to Cuba: by Donating to MEDICC.org’s CUBA HURRICANE RELIEF FUND NOW!


 2017 MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL • “Esteban” on 09/30 & 10/12/2017


Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba is honored to be a Community Partner with the Milwaukee Film Festival for the showing of “ESTEBAN”, on Sept. 30, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at the Avalon Theater located at 2473 South Kinnickinnic Avenue, and on Oct. 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Oriental Theatre located at 2230 North Farwell Avenue.

(Cuba | 2016 | Director: Jonal Cosculluela)
Official site: estebanlapelicula.com/en/

See trailer at: [youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYwCngfWZQ8?

Nine-year-old Esteban ekes out an existence with his single mother on the streets of Havana, but he dreams of a brighter future thanks to his natural affinity for music. When a cantankerous old piano instructor makes his way into the young boy’s life, Esteban looks to seize the opportunity, even if it means going against his mother’s wishes. A winning portrait of perseverance with an absurdly charming performance at its center, Esteban is a story for anyone who believes in the power of music to change one’s life.


WI Cuba Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba Monthly Meeting & Special Program

Tuesday, July 11, 2017, Wis Cuba Coalition program and meeting featuring Milwaukee African-American artist Fatima Laster will present her visual “Exploracion Arte” (Art Exploration) from Cuba, from her December 2016 trip to Cuba.

We will also update and answer any questions regarding President’s Trump’s recently announced increased restrictions on the right of U.S. citizens and residents to travel to Cuba.

Location for meeting at Central United Methodist Church (CUMC), 639 N. 25th St., in Milwaukee.  Free admission and open to all interested.

To double check any unusual schedule changes, call us beforehand at (414) 273-1040, ext. 12.  Meetings are open to any persons interested in furthering our purpose.  Our coalition normally meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7pm.

Fatima Laster picture

Perspectives on Cuban-American Relations
and the
Cuban Healthcare System
Monday, April 17
7:00 PM
Waukesha Public Library, Community Room
321 Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha, Wisconsin 53186

Speaker: Gladys Abella: One of the leaders of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Marianao (IBEM), Havana, was a key player in reorienting IBEM’s ecclesial, ecumenical and social mission in 1971.  In 1987 Ms. Abella played key role in the creation of The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center in Havana.  Ms. Abella works at the Cuban Council of Churches and is currently part of the management team of the IBEM.  She was active in the Coordination of Baptist Students and Workers in Cuba (COEBAC).   Note that due the medical emergency indicated below, Ms. Abella will not be able to be part of this program, but Dr. Elena DeCosta and a representative of IFCO/Pastors for Peace will present this program and show the documentary.  Dr. DeCosta has traveled widely in Latin America, including in Cuba last July where she had contact with the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Center in Havana.  

Featuring Dare to Dream: Cuba’s Latin American Medical School, a 30-minute documentary.

Sponsored by Plowshare-Fair-Trade Marketplace & Education for Peace; IFCO-Pastors for Peace; Waukesha Public Library

For further information contact: Dr. Elena De Costa, Carroll University, edecosta@carrollu.edu  262-524-7284.




Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 7-9 PM 

Central United Methodist Church
639 N. 25th Street, at Wisconsin Ave. (free parking south of the church)
Milwaukee, WI 53233.  

A free, public event 

Due to our Cuban speaker, Gladys Abella recently suffering a heart attack, she has been forced to cancel her visit.  Instead, we are honored to have speaking on the same topic and leading a discussion, Marilyn McKenna, from the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)

Marilyn McKenna has worked on CRLN’s education/advocacy initiatives to end the U.S. embargo of Cuba with U.S. and Cuban faith communities since 2001.  From 1998 – 2001, Marilyn worked on humanitarian aid caravans and delegations to Cuba and Chiapas for IFCO/Pastors for Peace.  She has served as a co-chair of the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of organizations working to end the U.S. embargo. Since her first trip in 1982, Marilyn has travelled to Latin America more than twenty times.

Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, http://www.wicuba.org.   Like us on Facebook! Pastors for Peace/IFCO, www.ifconews.org


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