2nd Venceremos Brigade

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2nd Venceremos Brigade


Sandy Lillydahl took part in the second contingent of the Venceremos Brigade. Between February and April 1970, Lillydahl and traveled to Cuba as an expression of solidarity with the Cuban people and to assist in the sugarcane harvest.

A recent graduate of Smith College, Sandy Lillydahl. A native of Wisconsin, Lillydahl had become involved in SDS as an undergraduate and shared in the group's radical opposition to the war in Vietnam and their desire to remake American society on more egalitarian grounds.

In February 1970, nearly 1,000 volunteers from across the United States traveled to Cuba in two large groups defying the imposition of a comprehensive embargo on travel and trade. Several hundred Brigadistas from the western states flew to Havana by way of Mexico City, while approximately 500 participants from the east traveled to New Brunswick, Canada, to board a freighter, the Luis Arcos Bergnes, southward. Once they arrived in Cuba, the participants were subdivided into smaller Brigades based on their region of origin, with New Englanders comprising Brigades 5 and 6 -- the latter Lillydahl's Brigade.

After harvesting sugarcane in Aguacate, southeast of Havana, for several weeks, the Brigade spent two weeks touring the country from Santiago de Cuba and Oriente Province to Havana, visiting schools and other facilities to learn about Cuba's revolutionary project. After returning to the United States, Lillydahl, like nearly every other member of the Venceremos Brigade, was approached by the FBI about her involvement. She refused to cooperate.[1]

Bill Sorro and Giuliana Milanese met in Cuba in 1970. They were part of the second Venceremos Brigade, a U.S. group that took trips to Cuba to support the revolution and work side by side with Cubans. The two married in the I-Hotel in 1973[2].