- Co-director of the Progress Unity Fund, which is affiliated with the World Workers Party
- Has written for the Marxist-Leninist newspaper Workers World
- Member of the National Committee To Free The Cuban Five
Rosa Penate is one of the three co-directors, along with Keith Pavlik and Brenda Sandburg, of the Progress Unity Fund, a nonprofit organization closely affiliated with the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP). Penate has written for WWP's weekly newspaper, Workers World, an honor normally reserved for Party members. On occasion, she has spoken on behalf of Ramsey Clark's International Action Center.
Penate is a 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. Penate has attended and chaired numerous rallies and fundraisers in support of the Five, all of whom were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 years to life.
At a September 2010 demonstration in San Francisco, marking the 12th anniversary of the Cuban Five members' incarceration, Penate spoke about how deeply their families were suffering in their absence: “Five men. Five families in Cuba. Five wives struggling to make it every day without the family they have.” When Penate delivered these remarks, she was representing the Bay Area contingent of the FMLN, a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary group based in El Salvador.
Penate was a signatory to a full-page ad published in the Washington Post on April 30, 2012,
demanding freedom for the Cuban Five and describing them as individuals who had been “wrongly accused” and “unjustly convicted.”