From the Caribbean Island of Cuba to the Kongo Kingdom of Kuba in the heart of Africa. Join us to commemorate (or reflect on) the birth of Cuba’s Internationalism through remembering Che Guevara’s work in the Congo. Motivated by the (CIA-induced) assassination of democratically-elected Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961, Che Guevara led a secret Cuban expedition to the Congo in April of 1965 under heavy disguise, to assist in the fight for liberation.
Through art, dance, drumming, documentaries, discussions and recollections, Friends of The Congo with IPS’ Foreign Policy In Focus will recount Cuba’s involvement in the Congo under Che’s leadership, discuss Cuba’s international solidarity efforts with African liberation movements, and explore how to carry Che’s torch in promoting solidarity between Africa and Latin America today.
We will be showing clips from Jihan El-Tahri’s documentary Cuba: An African Odyssey and Freddy Ilunga: Che’s Swahili Translator. Pan-Latin hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Café Arte followed by a discussion led by Ofunshi Oba Koso, President of MN Yoruba Cuba Association and protégé of the late Freddy Ilanga (Che’s personal interpreter in the Congo) and Kambale Musavuli, Spokesperson of Friends of the Congo. Ofunshi will share his experience of growing up in Cuba as a young Afri-Cuban revolutionary under the tutelage of Freddy Ilunga, Victor Drake (Second-in-Command of Che’s guerilla unit in Congo) and other members of the historical mission.