Raul Macias tours Brisbane
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Raul Macias, Asia-Pacific head of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples, visited here from May 21 to 24, as part of a nationwide speaking tour.
Macias addressed a public meeting at the Trades and Labor Council on May 22, forums at the University of Queensland and the Resistance Centre and meetings with the Brisbane Latin American community, among other events.
Describing the new attacks by the Bush administration in the wake of the fall of Communism in the Soviet bloc as a "second blockade", Macias outlined the impact of the economic crisis and the country's plans to confront the problems caused by 30 years of this economic war.
"The world is changing. Socialism must change", he told the May 22 public meeting.
The US "talks about democracy, but it is purely representative. We are discussing a democracy which is genuinely participative."
In answer to a question about the link between solidarity with Cuba and struggles in the Asia-Pacific region, Macias commented:
"If Cuba falls, the correlation of forces in the world would change dramatically. The brothers and sisters in East Timor, Indonesia, Africa and elsewhere in the Third World would face greater difficulties in their struggles."
But Macias expressed great confidence in the ability and determination of the Cuban people to defeat the US challenge, and urged strong support for the humanitarian campaign to send a shipload of milk powder and wheat from Australia to assist the Cuban people.