Solidarity with Cuba planned

April 5, 2000

Solidarity with Cuba planned


ALBURY — Supporters of Cuba were asked to concentrate their energies on political solidarity with the socialist Caribbean nation at a national conference here on March 24-26.

Eva Seoane, the vice-president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), told 60 representatives at the national consultation of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS), "We need political solidarity, political aid, demonstrations, protest actions, working actively to mobilise the people. Material aid will never substitute for political work."

"Even though we are poor, there are poorer", she said. "What makes Cuba unique is our survival under 40 years of US blockade, 40 years of hostility on a daily basis. Material aid does help, but what would be devastating for us would be if there is a lack of political will to counter the reactionary press."

Seoane asked the delegates to particularly concentrate on demands on the US and other Western countries to lift the economic blockade on the island and to return six-year-old Elian Gonzalez to Cuba. Elian has been held in the US since his mother died trying to get to Florida in November, despite his father's pleas for Elian to be allowed to return home to Cuba.

Members of the 2000 Southern Cross Brigade to Cuba spoke about their experiences there, saying that the more people who went to Cuba and saw a living revolution for themselves, the more emissaries there will be to counter the US's ideological war.

The ACFS plans to organise two tours by Cuban representatives this year: on July 26, a member of the Federation of Cuban Women will tour Australia and ACFS has asked for ICAP's help to organise a tour by young communists in late 2000.

The group also plans two delegations to Cuba: one in November to attend the second International Solidarity Conference and the next Southern Cross Brigade in January 2001.

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