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Patsy Behrend Presente!

Solidarity Leader Leaves Legacy of Unyielding Strength and Unfailing Humor

On 2 November 2009 Patsy Behrend reached her final moments surrounded by her family and a wave of calls and messages from the many people she has both led and touched during her decades as a central inspiration and leader of the Cuba solidarity movement in the United States.

Patsy Behrend was the longest-standing founding member of the National Network on Cuba, the central umbrella organization that draws together both local and national U.S. Cuba solidarity and normalization groups.

Patsy’s unswerving determination to enlighten the people of the United States to the magnificent achievements of the Cuban Revolution and to enlist them in opposing Washington’s relentless campaign of lies, economic blockade, and ban on Americans traveling to Cuba placed her at the center of what’s arguably the most important issue in world politics.

Patsy’s strength and dedication never wavered despite incessant U.S. government threats (as well as sectarian ‘leftist’ attacks) even while her intransigent stance cost her reunion with her beloved Cuban husband Ernesto, held as a hostage in Washington’s war against Cuba.

Patsy handled the unending torrent of attacks on Cuba and the U.S. solidarity movement with a unique combination of fearless refusal to buckle to Washinton's war against Cuba both politically and legally (unhesitating to openly violate the U.S. travel ban in dozens of trips to Cuba) and grace in striving to maintain unity among the often-disparate forces making up the U.S. solidarity movement.

Her inestimable contributions and inspiring stance were fueled by a combination of unquenchable anger at lies and injustice, determination to resist, and a fine appreciation of the humor at the heart of absurdity and deceit.

Patsy faced her final mortal battle surrounded by her husband, children, and family, as well as by numerous calls and messages from the countless people she has touched in the United States and Cuba.

Eager to cooperate with any and all –while fending off apparently-insurmountable obstacles and absurdities with both a sharp mind, a fine laugh, and a periodically-appropriate glass or two– Patsy and her unflagging and laughing determination that the Cuban Revolution and its humanity prevail everywhere– will surely continue to live and expand in a world growing ever-richer in calamity, ridiculousness, and the possibilities of liberation.

Patsy Behrend presente!

We offer our warm and deep thanks and appreciation to Patsy along with a pledge and a certainty that we shall not only overcome, but laugh along the way.

Venceremos!

Ps. Please send messages of support to NNOC20012002@yahoo.com or contact me directly at 312.952.2618


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