NNOC Goals and Principles
History and Structure of The National Network on Cuba
The National Network on Cuba (NNOC) was established in the early 1990’s by representatives of national organizations who were working to change United States policy towards Cuba. As a result of discussions with the solidarity community and national and local organizations, the decision was made to create a coalition to support individual projects and efforts designed to challenge the United States campaign to destroy the Cuban revolution. The Network was also charged with assisting to coordinate work and actions locally and nationally.
The NNOC meets at least twice a year, currently with one face to face meeting and one or more phone conferences. Membership is made up of organizations which apply for membership and agree to the principals as outlined in the by-laws.
The co-chairs are elected for 2 year staggered terms and are responsible to act in accordance with the decisions of the membership and the goals of the NNOC.
Current co-chairs are: Alicia Jrapko from Oakland, California; Cheryl LaBash from Detroit, Michigan; Banbose Shango from Oklahoma; Sobukwe Shukura from Atlanta, Georgia; and Nalda Vigezzi from Boston, Massachusetts.
In addition to this website, we also maintain an email listserve: NNOC20012002@yahoo.com.
Please see the by-laws that follow.
BY-LAWS OF THE NATIONAL NETWORK ON CUBA
as revised and adopted April 1994, September 1995 and February 2001, October 2004, and October 2010
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations establishes the principle that all people have the right to self-determination and national sovereignty. It is our belief that all peoples and nations have a right to determine their own destiny in a climate free of fear, disinformation and economic and military reprisals by other countries.
The National Network on Cuba as a whole and the members that compose it, are part of a historic tradition in the United States against intervention abroad and in support of the right of nations to self-determination, peace and sovereignty.
The National Network on Cuba stands firmly behind the following principles which are at the foundation of our analysis, work and activities.
We uphold and defend the right of the Cuban people to determine their own destiny and to freely pursue their own social, economic and cultural development. The Cuban people have a right to self-determination and national sovereignty. This is an inalienable right.
Furthermore, we believe that the economic and cultural blockade imposed by the U.S. government for over 40 years on the Cuban people violates the most elementary principles of human rights and international law and is a direct challenge to Cuba’s right to self-determination and national sovereignty.
We oppose the use of immoral tools such as threats of military intervention, trade, cultural and scientific embargo, starvation diplomacy, and the promotion of disinformation about Cuba.
We believe we have a responsibility to impact on U.S. foreign policy because it affects the well being and quality of life domestically.
We believe that Cuba’s commitment to the basic rights of health, education and social welfare set an example to the world and that it has demonstrated a high moral and humanitarian character in its international support and solidarity to other Third World countries.
We are committed to educating ourselves and the people of the United States about the historical developments and achievements of the people of Cuba. It is our belief that our work will serve to foster friendship between the people of Cuba and the United States that is based in truth.
The National Network on Cuba is part of a U.S. based movement that is opposed to war and political, military and economic intervention abroad. We oppose institutionalized racism at
home and support peace with justice. We work actively to defend the right of Third World nations to pursue their own social, economic and cultural development.
The Goals of the National Network on Cuba
1. To build public pressure and influence U.S. public opinion in order to bring about an end to the criminal U.S. blockade of Cuba, including working against the U.S. prohibition of the sale of food and medicines to the people of Cuba, ending the travel restrictions, and promoting cultural and educational exchanges.
2. To work actively to change U.S. foreign policy toward the people of Cuba by supporting legislative initiatives and lobbying projects which call for ending the policies of hostility toward Cuba, primarily the blockade, travel restrictions, the U.S. military presence in Guantanamo, and TV and Radio Marti – which serve as yet another form of U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Cuba.
3. To work to counter U.S. military threats and action against Cuba.
4. To promote public campaigns to educate the U.S. people about the reality and achievements of the Cuban people and to counter the vicious campaign of disinformation and outright lies being perpetrated by the U.S. administration and the right-wing (including the Cuban right-wing) against Cuba.
5. To promote exchanges between labor organizations and activists, as well as other sectors, in the U.S. and Cuba.
6. To promote international coalitions to help coordinate international actions in solidarity with the Cuban people.
Membership in the National Network on Cuba
Full Membership in the National Network on Cuba is open to all groups and organizations working on Cuba and in agreement with the NNOC preamble and goals and who agree to abide by the by-laws of the NNOC. Each member organization has one vote. In order to vote at a NNOC meeting, each member organization must pay full dues, or have made a written agreement with the co-chairs to contribute in-kind services six months before the meeting. For example, if an organization cannot pay the total amount of dues they would donate stamps, and/or volunteer time, etc.
Associate Membership in the National Network on Cuba is open to other organizations and individuals (who may or may not represent an organization) that bring resources (e.g. skills, expertise, supportive activity) to the NNOC. Associate Members will not be able to vote but can participate in working groups, etc. Associate members will not be required to pay the full dues amount and may offer their resources in lieu of money.
In order to become a Full member of the National Network on Cuba, applicants must:
1. Fill out a membership application.
2. Secure the sponsorship of at least one (1) current member of the NNOC.
3. Present its formal application to a National Meeting where it will be discussed and voted upon. In the event that a group/organization being sponsored is not able to be present, they may either wait until the next National Meeting they can attend or they may opt to have their application presented by a sponsor.
In order to become an Associate member of the National Network on Cuba, applicants must:
1. Fill out a membership application.
2. Secure the sponsorship of at least one (1) current member of the NNOC.
3. Present its formal application to the National Coordinators of the NNOC who will discuss and decide upon membership.
The Rights and Responsibilities of NNOC Members
All members of the National Network on Cuba:
1. Contribute to the National Network of Cuba. Full members pay the dues amount determined by vote of the Full members at a National Meeting. Associate members pay a dues amount determined by the National Coordinators. In cases of extreme hardship, membership in the NNOC will not be denied due to inability to pay established dues, but as a matter of principle, we encourage members to pledge some amount which is in tune with their economic resources on either a monthly or yearly basis.
2. Participate in National Network Meetings, with one voting delegate per full member organization.
3. Can communicate their proposals, recommendations, etc., to National Meetings prior to or at National Meetings, or in the event they are not able to attend, forward these directly to NNOC members. In the event that an NNOC member is unable to forward these directly they may request that the National Coordinators do so on their behalf.
4. Can invite observers to the National Network meetings. Observers are invited by member organizations. There is no limit to the number of observers that member groups can invite, except those which may be a result of the type of space and accommodations which are made for National Meetings.
5. Can sponsor organizations and individuals for membership in the NNOC.
The Structure of the National Network on Cuba
The National Meeting
The National Meeting is the highest decision making body, it meets at least twice (2) a year with one voting delegate from each member group or organization.
There are 5 coordinators who facilitate coordination and follow-up
between National Meetings as per the decisions of the NNNOC National Meetings
and requests by Task Forces and Member Organizations. While the coordinators
will be responsible for specific areas of interest, there will be no geographic
requirement for representation as a co-chair.
The duties of the Coordinators are as follows:
[A] The Coordinators are responsible for carrying out the decisions made at the National Meetings, and promoting the goals, objectives and workplans of the NNOC in their respective regions.
[B] The Coordinators serve as spokespersons and representatives of the NNOC to national, international and local events and organizations.
[C] The Coordinators serve as organizers and recruiters of qualified organizations for enrollment into the NNOC.
[D] The Coordinators chair National Network meetings on a rotating basis.
[E] The Coordinators keep, on a rotating basis, the records of the NNOC meetings and decisions and create a report for NNOC after each National Meeting. Coordinators meet prior to NNOC National Meetings.
The treasurer of the NNOC will be elected at the fall meeting and will serve a two year term.
The National Network on Cuba establishes Task Forces to help facilitate Network wide work in specific areas. Each Task Force has at least one (1) coordinator in it. Task Forces can be created and dissolved at National Network Meetings as needed.
The National Network on Cuba has a delegate structure for decision making which is comprised of one (1) voting delegate and two (2) alternates of each of its Full member organizations. Each Full member organization has one (1) vote at each National Meeting. The National Meetings are the highest decision making body of the NNOC and all policy decisions of the Network, endorsements, national activities, etc. are made at National Network Meetings by participating delegates of full member groups.
The NNOC elects five (5) co-coordinators to follow-up and coordinate NNOC tasks between National Meetings.
NNOC business is conducted on the basis of seeking consensus and the use of simplified Roberts Rules of Order. If consensus cannot be reached and a vote is necessary, a majority vote of the delegates present is required for something to pass.
The NNOC by-laws may only be changed by a majority of the member organizations. Proposals regarding changes to the by-laws must be discussed by the member organizations prior to ratification at a National Meeting. Therefore, such proposals will be taken back to member groups prior to approval.Top Page