Monday, 29 December 2014

Cuba’s Future? It’s Up To The Cubans

The US and Britain are not in a position to lecture Cuba on the nature of ‘democracy,’ writes Bernard Regan.

Following President Barack Obama’s release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero, the remaining three of the Miami Five, to join Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez back in Cuba there has bee much speculation about the future of Cuba-United States relations.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Miami Five are free, now we must end the Blockade!

CSC welcomes the return of Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernández to Cuba to join Fernando González and René González.

We celebrate along with their families, the people of Cuba, and the international “Jury of Millions” who have fought successfully for the release of these unjustly imprisoned men. CSC is proud to have played a role in publicising the case and winning widespread support here in Britain for the campaign for freedom and justice.

We want to thank all those who gave their support and worked tirelessly for this victory, including our members and affiliates, the international coalition Voices for the Five, and the Trade Union movement whose contribution to this struggle has been exemplary.

Unjustly imprisoned for acting to prevent terrorist attacks launched from Florida against the people of Cuba, the Five were given draconian sentences by the US courts and were locked up for 16 years, with Gerardo facing a double life sentence and the prospect of dying inside prison

On Wednesday 17 December President Obama said that, “Today America chooses to cut lose the shackles of the past” and that a “new chapter” was being opened that would see changes in US-Cuba relations. “We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests.”

Whilst this will lead to the establishment of diplomatic relations, a general increase in visitors, increased remittance limits and a variety of exchanges it does NOT mean the end of the blockade.

Some US politicians have already declared their opposition to Obama’s modest amendments. Some are threatening to block the appointment of an Ambassador to Cuba. The Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will still be empowered to fine third country companies that trade with Cuba. And the pillars of the blockade – the Helms-Burton Law and the Torricelli Act can only be repealed by Congress, where Obama has no majority.

A White House press statement issued on the same day revealed some of the thinking behind the shift in US policies. Fundamentally the statement conceded that the blockade had failed to bring about any of the US desired changes inside Cuba. On the contrary this “Long standing US policy towards Cuba has isolated the United States from regional and international partners.”

It makes clear that the policy changes are ones of tactics rather than goals – the objective remains the same, to turn Cuba into an economic satellite of United States’ big business and a pawn of Washington.

Indeed it is clear from the press statement that the intention of some of the changes is precisely to seek the erosion of the social gains that have been made in Cuba looking to restore the means of exploitation that existed under Fulgencio Batista, the dictator overthrown by the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

At the core of the question of the Cuba-United States relationship must be mutual respect for the sovereignty of the other. As President Raul Castro said on Wednesday, “we must learn the art of coexisting with our differences in a civilised manner.”

The Cuba Solidarity Campaign commits to redoubling our efforts to ensure that the British Government moves forward to develop strong diplomatic, trade, scientific and cultural relations between our two countries based on mutual respect and understanding.

We urge anyone who is not already a member, to help us fight to end the blockade once and for all, by joining the Cuba Solidarity Campaign today.

We celebrate the return of all the Five heroes to their families. We remain vigilant and continue to demand; “Hands off Cuba, End the blockade Now!”

Please help us to end the blockade by joining the Cuba Solidarity Campaign here today

Please make a donation to support our work

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Aleida Guevara: “Revolutions cannot be exported”

Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che, assures The Prisma that the communist regime will continue in Cuba, beyond the Castro family. She sees the formation of a United Latin American States as essential, and thinks that at times what we need are more radical revolutions. And to her, anti-immigration policies are absurd.

Monday, 15 December 2014

US embargo stalled payment to Cuban Ebola doctors

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba had to cover food and lodging expenses for dozens of its doctors fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone after the U.S. embargo delayed payments from the World Health Organization, an official at the U.N. agency said.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Ebola control: the Cuban approach

More than 160 Cuban doctors and nurses arrived in Sierra Leone on Oct 2, 2014, to support local teams in controlling the Ebola epidemic. 300 more are being trained in Cuba at present and will be on their way to Liberia and Guinea in the coming weeks. The worldwide response to the Ebola epidemic has been slow and small. More nurses and doctors are certainly needed, not only from Cuba, but also from other countries.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Dr Aleida Guevara speaking at the University of Sheffield

Dr Aleida Guevara - paediatrician, medical mission veteran and daughter of Che - speaking at the University of Sheffield to Forge TV as part of her 2014 speaking tour organised by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. Watch her speak on issues such as education, the NHS, gender equality, ebola, internationalism and more below.

Dr Aleida Guevara speaking at University of Leicester

Dr Aleida Guevara - paediatrician, medical mission veteran and daughter of Che - speaking at the University of Leicester on 1 December 2014 as part of her speaking tour organised by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Cuban doctor Felix Baez returns home after Ebola treatment

A Cuban doctor who recovered from Ebola after receiving experimental treatment in Switzerland has been welcomed back to Havana by relatives and officials.

Felix Baez was the first of Cuba's contingent of 250 doctors and nurses to have contracted Ebola in West Africa.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Cuba’s extraordinary global medical record shames the US blockade

From Ebola to earthquakes, Havana’s doctors have saved millions. Obama must lift this embargo

Four months into the internationally declared Ebola emergency that has devastated west Africa, Cuba leads the world in direct medical support to fight the epidemic. The US and Britain have sent thousands of troops and, along with other countries, promised aid – most of which has yet to materialise. But, as the World Health Organisation has insisted, what’s most urgently needed are health workers. The Caribbean island, with a population of just 11m and official per capita income of $6,000 (£3,824), answered that call before it was made. It was first on the Ebola frontline and has sent the largest contingent of doctors and nurses – 256 are already in the field, with another 200 volunteers on their way.

The Greatest Story never told with Aleida Guevara March

Dr Aleida Guevara March was invited to our Students’ Union to address the student body and other guests about the Ebola crisis and Cuba’s position on the international stage.  She gave an informative and captivating speech which provided insight into Cuban internationalism and much more than just Cuba’s role in combatting Ebola.  Matthew Wilde and Polly Winn were able to interview Guevara March, and learn more about her perspective on Cuba, international healthcare, and the power of the media.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Hundreds make their voices heard in solidarity with the Miami Five

Chanting of “Free the Five!”, “Viva Cuba” and “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” were heard across West End of London after a crowd of over 300 people braved a cold December evening outside the US Embassy on Wednesday 3 December to attend a vigil organised by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) in Britain.