At a lively fringe meeting at Unison National Delegates’ Conference in Manchester, over 250 delegates heard from Manuel Montero, European Officer for the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (Cuban equivalent of the TUC). Manuel spoke about the economic reforms in Cuba and contextualised them within the ongoing blockade of the island and the global economic crisis.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Friday, 17 June 2011
Twenty-eight young activists from across the British trade union movement visited Cuba to enjoy the May Day festivities and offer their support and solidarity to the Cuban people. Delegates from five trade unions – including Unite, Unison, GMB, TSSA and UCATT – joined trade unionists and political activists from around the world in a celebratory program of cultural activities, entertainment and political education.
Sunday, 5 June 2011
In a packed fringe meeting at GMB National Conference in Brighton, over fifty delegates heard about Cuba’s social achievements and learnt about the island’s struggle to defend socialism in the face of worldwide economic crisis and within the context of continuing economic blockade.
Cuban Ambassador Esther Armenteros heralded the triumph of the Cuban Revolution and the opportunities it gave her – as a black working-class woman – to build and develop her career. Esther – joking that she was wary of giving away her age – declared she was (just) old enough to remember what life was like prior to the revolution and likened the racial segregation in Batista’s Cuba to apartheid South Africa. The revolution’s victory created unprecedented opportunities for women and black people in Cuba and – whilst Esther concedes the system is not perfect – it has created unparalleled levels of equality and well-being.
Friday, 3 June 2011
At the beginning of the year I was given the opportunity of joining the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) on their annual Young Trade Unionists’ May Day Brigade. This is a chance for trade unionists under the age of 35 to visit Cuba and see how the history and politics of their country differ to our own and also gives us the chance to show our support and solidarity to a country that is still being blockaded by the USA after more than 50 years. I agreed to go and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect.