Local peace advocate to discuss evolution of U.S.-Cuba relations

Submitted by Cheryl Marshall

This history that will never be found in America's schoolbooks but will be told in "U.S.-Cuba Relations 1898-2018: What They Didn't Teach Us in School,'" is how Walt Zlotow describes his upcoming discussion that will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Lombard Mennonite Church, 528 E. Madison St., Lombard.

Free and open to the public, it will include the local peace advocate's comments based on his seven decades as a student of US wars and militarism, and more than 50 years as an observer of U.S.-Cuban relations, up to and including his February visit to the island nation.

According to Zlotow, "The U.S. declared war on Spain to expel the Spanish from the Americas, but also to grab Cuba for American business interests." He says the US victory ushered in 61 years of American exploitation and cruelty against the people of Cuba that ended with the Cuban Revolution of 1956-59, a revolution that Zlotow supported.

Zlotow also will explain how Fidel Castro's regime, following the revolution, instituted land reform that benefited the Cuban people but injured American business and political pride. This, in turn, "touched off another 59 years of American cruelty in the form of political and economic sanctions that continue to this day," notes Zlotow.

A retired logistics manager and educator, Zlotow has been a student of U.S. wars and militarism for more than 65 years, an interest initially sparked by America's undeclared Korean War (1950-1953). On entering the University of Chicago in 1963, Zlotow became involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement. His anti-war activism was renewed when he determined the US was preparing to embark on a wholly unnecessary, made-up war against Iraq. He blogs frequently on anti-war topics at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.

"U.S.-Cuba Relations 1898-2018: What They Didn't Teach Us in School" is being sponsored by the West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition (WSFPC) located in Wheaton. It is an initiative of faith-based peace makers from across Chicago's western suburbs and the general Chicagoland area.

The West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition includes clergy, congregations, other peace organizations and private individuals. WSFPC is committed to sustaining the work of peace through activities such as vigils, public witness, peace education, lobbying/legislative initiatives and interfaith dialogue. It is an affiliate of Fellowship of Reconciliation and donations are tax deductible. Additional information is available on the WSFPC website: faithpeace.org.

For more information, contact WSFPC at (630) 510-8500, ext. 104, or wsfpc.peace@gmail.com.

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