The historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro sent a message to the Federation of University Students on the occasion of an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of his admission to the University of Havana.
In 2006, as a result of health issues which were incompatible with the time and effort required to fulfill my duties – which I myself assumed when I entered this University September 4, 1945, 70 years ago – I resigned from my official positions.
I was not the son of a worker, or lacking in material or social resources for a relatively comfortable existence; I could say I miraculously escaped wealth. Many years later, a richer and undoubtedly very capable U.S. citizen, with almost 100 billion dollars, stated – according to a news agency article published this past Thursday, January 22 – that the predominant system of production and distribution of wealth would, from generation to generation, make the poor rich. Continue reading Fidel: For my Federation of University Students classmates
In his chapter “Cuba and the tradition of inspiring humanitarianism”, for the book “Cuba Solidarity in Canada”, scholar and author Keith Ellis refers to the many humanitarian missions that Cuba sends to many countries in the world.
He writes: “The help of the [Henry Reeve] Brigade was also offered by Cuba to the United States along with other kinds of help during the time of the crisis provoked by the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. The assistance by the Brigade was again offered, with notable persistence, when U.S. citizens were suffering and dying, some of them on the streets of New Orleans, in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in 2005. But the Bush administration rejected it.” Continue reading Cuba and the tradition of inspiring humanitarianism
When all the celebrations have ended, we will continue remaining vigilant for Cuba.
7 January 2015
The last three prisoners of the Cuban Five, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, are now back free in Cuba since last December 17. This event was the result of a prisoners’ exchange and a joint U.S. – Cuba declaration of taking steps towards normalizing diplomatic relations. The prisoners endured 16 years of imprisonment – judged by most as unjust – and have now joined René González and Fernando González – freed earlier after serving their full sentences. All five have been welcomed back for days of rejoicing and well deserved celebrations in Cuba.
The book is a collection of essays about the Canadian solidarity movement in support of Cuba during more than 50 years. It suggests a framework that informs the reader on the meaning, positive influence and potentially valuable role that solidarity can play in the relationship between peoples, indeed between nations.
In the book “Cuba Solidarity in Canada – Five Decades of People-to-People Foreign Relations” (Pagliccia, Ed.), Heide Trampus tells us about the strong Worker to Worker ties that Canada developed with Cuba in the spirit of solidarity:
“With the slogan “Hands off Cuba,” the goal was to present resolutions, demanding an end to the U.S. blockade against Cuba, for debate and vote at the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and at national, provincial, and local union convention floors. Getting support from members and the union leadership was a challenge partly due to lack of awareness, partly due to an already busy agenda with labour immediate issues. With the continuing efforts by union activists informing and educating the members, and repeatedly presenting resolutions for Labour to take actions opposing and demanding an end to the blockade, resolutions were finally accepted, brought to the convention floors, debated and voted on. In a short time, resolutions against the U.S. blockade, the Torricelli and Helms-Burton Acts, including resolutions asking for the return of the Cuban child Elián González back to Cuba to be with his father, passed unanimously.Continue reading Worker to Worker ties with Cuba described in new book
I feel an overwhelming joy for the families of the three remaining prisoners of the Cuban Five, Gerardo, Ramon and Tony. They are finally reunited after 16 long years of painful separation. I think of Adriana who has not seen her husband since he was imprisoned. I try to imagine a Cuba free of the inhuman 53 year long blockade. I try to imagine what this new Cuba-US relationship will look like. What I read from the agreement just disclosed is encouraging but then there is the reality of foreign policy. It is too soon to do an analysis of the events of today. Today I rejoice and celebrate. Allan Gross’ family also needs time to celebrate. Continue reading Time to start new foreign relations based on solidarity between nations.
Cuba Solidarity in Canada – Five Decades of People-to-People Foreign Relations, is a collection of essays about the Canadian solidarity movement in support of Cuba during more than 50 years. Throughout the different experiential stories, the notion of solidarity emerges as the common theme of people-to-people (non-governmental) links between Canada and Cuba. The book suggests a framework that informs the reader on the meaning, positive influence and potentially valuable role that solidarity can play in the relationship between peoples, indeed between nations. It also advances the possibility of a new paradigm of state-to-state foreign relations that is based on solidarity instead of ideological posture.
In his Foreword to the book Cuba Solidarity in Canada – Five Decades of People-to-People Foreign Relations (N. Pagliccia, Ed.), John M. Kirk writes:
“The term “solidarity” has a multitude of meanings, but in essence it boils down to the concept of cooperation arising from common interests, and often it implies responsibilities to act. Shared objectives and aspirations, accompanied by mutual support and respect, form the basis for any meaningful solidarity. Talking about Cuba’s role in Africa, Nelson Mandela summed up well the extraordinary solidarity shown there: “Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom, and justice unparalleled for its principled and selfless character.” The Cuban approach was based upon this amalgam of solidarity and the qualities noted above. In many ways our own respect for Cuba stems from this “principled and selfless character” that many of us have observed on the island and in its foreign policy. Like Mandela, we are pleased to support Cuba’s initiatives in this regard.Continue reading John M. Kirk: Foreword to the book Cuba Solidarity in Canada
How did the international community get the response to the Ebola outbreak so wrong? We closed borders. We created panic. We left the moribund without access to health care. When governments in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, and Nigeria called out to the world for help, the global response went to mostly protect the citizens of wealthy nations before strengthening health systems on the ground. In general, resources have gone to guarding borders rather than protecting patients in the hot zone from the virus. Yet, Cuba broke this trend by sending in hundreds of its own health workers into the source of the epidemic. Considering the broader global response to Ebola, why did Cuba get it so right?