Rosa Penate

individual

Overview

  • Former co-director of the Progress Unity Fund, which is affiliated with the World Workers Party
  • Has written for the Marxist-Leninist newspaper, Workers World
  • Longtime member of the National Committee To Free The Cuban Five
  • Affiliated with the International Action Center and the ANSWER Coalition

Rosa Peñate is a social and political activist who, in the early to mid 2000s, served along with Keith Pavlik and Brenda Sandburg as a co-director of the Progress Unity Fund, a nonprofit organization closely affiliated with the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP). Peñate frequently has written for WWP’s weekly newspaper, Workers World, and has spoken on behalf of Ramsey Clark‘s International Action Center. She is also a close affiliate of the ANSWER Coalition.

On February 17, 2002, Peñate chaired a forum organized by IAC and the Committee for a New Colombia (CNC), where guest speaker Richard Becker lamented that American policies had turned Latin America into the “backyard” of U.S. imperialism. At that same event, Salvador Cordon of the FMLN, a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary group based in El Salvador, spoke about the struggles of the people in that nation. And Alicia Jrapko of the ANSWER Coalition reported that the people of Argentina had grown tired of the International Monetary Fund’s allegedly immiserating policies and thus were prepared to play a key role in the movement against globalization.

Peñate was a longtime member of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five. The Cuban Five was a Miami-based, KGB-trained, Castro spy ring whose activities were uncovered by the FBI in September 1998. Peñate attended and chaired numerous rallies and fundraisers in support of the Five, all of whom were sentenced to long prison terms in 2001. At a September 2010 demonstration in San Francisco, for instance, Peñate, representing the Bay Area contingent of the FMLN, spoke about how deeply the families of the Five were suffering in the absence of their loved ones: “Five men. Five families in Cuba. Five wives struggling to make it every day without the family they have.” On April 30, 2012, Peñate was a signatory to a full-page Washington Post ad demanding freedom for the Cuban Five and describing them as individuals who had been “wrongly accused” and “unjustly convicted.” (By December 2014, all the members of the Cuban Five had been set free.)

Further Reading:Solidarity with the [Cuban] Five in San Francisco” (FreeTheFive.org, 12-11-2006).

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