DSA Statement on US Normalizing Relations with Cuba

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) celebrates the Obama administration’s move toward the normalization of diplomatic relationships between the United States and Cuba. This change in U.S. foreign policy will help bridge the divide between U.S. and Cuban residents. We believe that increased cultural exchanges will improve the quality of life of both peoples, as will easing the flow of remittances from the Cuban-American community to family members in Cuba. But normal diplomatic relations are not enough; DSA will work with others to pressure Congress to end the unproductive and unjust trade embargo that remains in effect.

DSA remains steadfast in its support of those working for full democracy and human rights in Cuba (dissidents both within and without the Communist Party). DSA believes, as Rosa Luxemburg did, that the right to dissent and to form free political associations and parties must be an integral part of a socialist society. Thus, DSA will continue to support organic Cuban dissident and reform movements that are working to democratize the country's political and economic institutions.

DSA has always condemned the long-standing efforts by our own government to undermine the stability of Cuba. Our government's actions were never designed to aid the Cuban people, but instead to appease right-wing U.S. citizens of Cuban origin and punish a country that rejected imperialism and neoliberalism. We hope that the normalization of foreign relations will curtail negative U.S. actions in the future.

While much remains to be changed in U.S. foreign policy and Cuban domestic policy, DSA celebrates the coming end of more than fifty years of U.S. efforts to isolate Cuba diplomatically. But our work is not done; we will join with others to pressure Congress to end the inhumane and counterproductive economic embargo. For now, we applaud the Obama administration for working to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, for an improvement in the human condition, even if limited, is a victory for social justice.
   
Passed by the DSA National Political Committee: December 17, 2014.

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 51 rsvps
The Price We Pay blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance — the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, tax havens - and what we need to do to stop this.  DSA member Bill Barclay, who has a cameo role in the film, will facilitate the discussion. Watch the film prior to the discussion.

Full film available on Vimeo.

How to Plug in New Members

February 01, 2017
· 18 rsvps

Is your DSA chapter growing quickly and you're trying desperately to find ways to plug new members into your chapter's work? Never fear! On this conference call an experienced DSA organizer will go over the basics of new member outreach and developing a plan for plugging new members into your chapter's work. Most of the call will be devoted to troubleshooting specific issues you're facing, so please brainstorm some issues beforehand that you want to bring up on the call.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 7 PM PT.

Film Discussion: Salt of the Earth

February 05, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Join DSA members Shelby Murphy and Deborah Rosenfelt in discussing Salt of the Earth, a captivating film made in 1954 by blacklisted writers and actors about a strike at a New Mexico zinc mine. Well before the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s, these filmmakers were exploring gender inequality and solidarity. Available on Netflix.

Shelby Murphy is a Latina from Texas and former Young Democratic Socialists co-chair. Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, Deborah Rosenfelt researched the making of the film and its aftermath for the reissued screenplay. Here is her blogpost about the film.

 

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join DSA members Glenn Scott and Richard Croxdale to discuss videos produced by People’s History in Texas (PHIT), a project that brings to life the stories of ordinary people in significant socio-political movements in Texas. They will discuss The Rag, their newest documentary, which tells the story of an influential underground paper based in Austin, Texas, from 1966-77. Click here to view Part I (the early years as an all-volunteer paper covering the student, anti-Vietnam and Civil Rights movements), Part II (the impact of Women’s Liberation on the paper) and Part III (building community: covering local politics, nukes, co-ops, feminist institutions). But also check out the video on the Stand-Ins about a group of university students who led a movement to desegregate Austin’s movie theaters in 1961.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion.