Pickets defend Cuba


Pickets were held last week to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks, considered the day that launched the Cuban revolution.

Lara Pullin reports from Canberra that around 20 people gathered outside the United States embassy demanding an end to the blockade against Cuba and protesting against the Helms-Burton Act, which escalates the US aggression. Beating saucepans and chanting "Hands off Cuba, lift the blockade now!", protesters braved pouring rain to ensure that the message was heard inside the embassy.

This was one of the first actions of the newly re-launched Canberra Committee in Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean (CISLAC), supported by the Australia Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS), Resistance and the Democratic Socialist Party.

From Melbourne, Susan Price reports that more than 100 protesters rallied outside the US consulate on July 27. The rally, organised by the Cuba Solidarity Coalition, was chaired by Alison Thorne from the Freedom Socialist Party.

Speakers included: Eddie Micallef, ALP shadow spokesperson for ethnic affairs; Leigh Hubbard, secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council; Susan Price from the Democratic Socialist Party; Brenda Hunter from Radical Women; solidarity activist Telmo Languiller; Martin Reilly, Baptist minister; and Allen Jennings from CISLAC.

The rally was part of a weekend of activity for Cuba, which began with a "Fiesta for Cuba" organised by the coalition at the Resistance Centre on July 26, which attracted nearly 200 people.

In Brisbane around 40 people braved rain for a picket on July 26. Speakers included Bob Leach, Coral Wynter from CISLAC, Oscar Orellana from ACFS, Lucreccia Quintanilla from Resistance, Erica Fernandez of the Latin American Women's Support Group, Jim McIlroy from the Democratic Socialist Party and Manoli Orellana from the Guatemalan Women's Group.

Speakers outlined the gains of the Cuban Revolution and the detrimental effects that the US blockade was having on the people of Cuba.

Marina Cameron reports from Sydney that around 20 people attended a picket on July 26 outside the US consulate. Speakers supported the right of the Cuban people to determine their own government and their own destiny free of US interference.