Community Events

Sunday, June 24 at 4:00 p.m.


The Latin American Solidarity Committee (LASC) of the WNY Peace Center & Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) present

Dare to Dream: Cuba's Latin American Medical School

(Jennifer Wager, 2017, 30 min.)

Cheryl LaBash, long time Cuba activist and co-chair of the National Network on Cuba, will be present to lead a discussion on ELAM and the Pastors for Peace 2018 Friendship Caravan

Cuba's Latin American Medical School is the largest medical school in the world, training nearly 30,000 doctors since 1999. ELAM as it is known in Spanish (Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina) also trains doctors from the United States.* Follow the amazing adventure of American doctors trained in Cuba as they return home to the US to serve communities struggling with a health crisis in this inspirational film.

*ELAM is "fully accredited by the Medical Board of California, which has the strictest US standards—which means that qualified US graduates of the Latin American School of Medicine are eligible to apply for residency placements in any state of the US … The ELAM offer to US students [is] classified as a 'cultural exchange' program by the US State Department to avoid the restrictions of the U.S. embargo against Cuba … In 2004, the legality of the presence of US students at ELAM was threatened by tightened restrictions against travel to Cuba by US nationals under the administration of George W. Bush. A Congressional Black Caucus campaign led by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Charles Rangel (D-NY) with 27 other members of Congress persuaded Secretary of State Colin Powell to exempt ELAM from the tightened restrictions … Applications from US citizens [were] administered through the NYC-based IFCO."

Cheryl LaBash's first trip to Cuba was in 1985 as a member of the executive board of her AFSCME Local in the city of Detroit. She is currently one of five co-chairs of the National Network on Cuba, working in Michigan with Doctors4Detroit supporting the ELAM scholarship program for Detroit area students and graduates, and in Washington DC with the International Committee's annual Days of Action to end the blockade of Cuba. She writes on current Cuba related developments for Workers World newspaper.