|20th Tiananmen Square anniversary panel on June 4, 2009 at University of Miami|
August 24th of this year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of Free Cuba Foundation (FCF). Serving as President co-chair along with Julio Menache (2009-2010) proved to be a rewarding experience full of activities, networking, and productive meetings in order to advance a democratic transition in Cuba. Among the highlights of our tenure include a vigil for the Tiananmen Square anniversary, Tugboat massacre discussion forum, and we had as a guest speaker Félix Ismael Rodríguez, the CIA agent responsible for capturing Ernesto "Che" Guevara". Other remarkable events include the participation in the multi-organizational "Asamblea de la Resistencia" conference to collaborate among distinguished organizations like the Cuban Democratic Directorate and MAR Por Cuba. Perhaps the most influential activity was the privilege to meet and interview Hubert Matos, the Cuban revolutionary commander imprisoned for over 20 years for dissenting with Fidel Castro and his "Revolutionary" ideas.
Serving FCF helped me to appreciate the liberties we enjoy in the United States. The adventure allowed me to grow as an individual and become a productive member of society. In continuing this trend, this upcoming Fall semester I will start my graduate studies as a Doctor in Clinical Psychology (Psy. D) at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Despite my relocation to the "Windy City", I will never forget the important work that the men and women inside and out of the island do every day to one day achieve a free and democratic Cuba. Most notably, the lives of dissidents like Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Laura Pollan, Oswaldo Paya, and Harold Cepero will forever serve as a reminder of the costly price of freedom.
Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr.
President Co-chair (2009-2010)