Several hundred people attended a night of solidarity with Cuba at the Uruguayan Club in western Sydney on February 9.
The event, organised by the Committee in Solidarity with Cuba, Western Sydney, raised funds to help pay for repairs to the widespread damage caused to homes and infrastructure by cyclone Sandy last year. It featured entertainment by a variety of cultural groups from the Latin American community.
Guest of honour, the Cuban ambassador to Australia, Pedro Monzon, told the audience: "Thank you for organising this solidarity event. Thousands of houses and buildings were damaged and crops destroyed, and 11 people killed, by the cyclone in 2012.
"Cuba is especially important for us all. The damage represents a high cost to the Cuban economy. Moreover, the cyclone added to the suffering already felt from the illegal US blockade of the country.
"Support such as yours demonstrates that Cuba is not alone. It indicates the possibility of a world of human friendship, and a world without hate, without wars, without enemies.
"Cuban foreign policy is based on these ideas. Cuba practises the greatest policy of co-operation of any country in the world.
"Your event emphasises that the feeling of solidarity is mutual.
"The Cuban Revolution was characterised by deep social justice from the very beginning. The radical changes introduced by the Cuban government, free education, free health care, etc, were an authentic expression of human solidarity.
"The Cuban Revolution continues to grow, and adapt and strengthen itself.
"So does the international movement of solidarity with Cuba. Thank you again for your support."