‘From Australia to Cuba with Love’ – ACFS Brisbane

NEWSLETTER
NOVEMBER 2021
In this edition

ACFS Annual General Meeting‘From Australia to Cuba with Love’Medical Aid from Australia arrives in Cuba ACFS Annual General Meeting



ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Tuesday 9th November

6.30 PM QCU Building 16 Peel Street South Brisbane

Please come along to our Annual General Meeting to help build solidarity with Cuba. We will be meeting in person at the Qld Council of Unions Building.

The pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for both Cuba and the solidarity movement around the world. Our Annual General Meeting is a chance to take stock and ensure we have a strong base from which to organise our support for Cuba. Again we’ll be discussing the proposed ‘From Australia to Cuba with Love‘ activity where friends and members of the ACFS will collectively cycle/swim/walk the distance between Canberra and Havana (14,886 km) over 15 weeks, campaigning for the end of the Blockade amongst the broader public.

‘From Australia to Cuba with Love’ Registrations now open SIGN UP
From January 1st 2022, people around Australia will be participating in a range of activities including cycling, walking and swimming to collectively cover 14886 km, the distance between Australia and Cuba. This event aims to raise awareness of the devastating effects of the United States government’s economic blockade of Cuba and to raise money for much needed medical supplies.

A range of sanctions imposed by the US government for over 60 years is one of the great injustices in the world today. These sanctions – collectively known as ‘The Blockade’ – have been particularly difficult for Cuba during the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen foreign exchange from tourism plummet, on top of a tightening of restrictions imposed by the Trump administration, which so far President Biden has left in place.

The Blockade places a heavy burden on everyday Cuban people, leaving them with shortages of essentials – including food, medicine and household goods. The US policy contrasts sharply with that of the Cuban government, which has sent medical teams around the world in a spirit of international solidarity to help combat the spread of the pandemic. To its credit, the Australian government votes every year with the overwhelming majority of the world’s leaders in the United Nations, to oppose the US block of Cuba.

Despite this public condemnation, there is little sign that the US government will end its brutal policy. From 1 January to 15 April, 2022, ‘From Australia to Cuba with Love’ invites people to join in the collective challenge of covering 14886 kms, in a symbolic activity to bridge our two countries. People can participate by cycling, swimming, walking or doing any activity that can be measured. Supporters can also sponsor participants and donate money which will be used to purchase much needed medical supplies for Cuba. During the course of this 15 week event, some participants will be meeting representatives from parliament, peace organisations, NGO’s, political parties and business groups to discuss how Australia might contribute to ending the US Blockade of Cuba which has been imposed for over six decades. Registrations are now open. Sign up here!

For more information Email: info@acfs-brisbane.org.au
Website https://from-australia-to-cuba-with-love.raisely.com/ Register for ‘From Australia to Cuba with Love’

Medical Aid from Australia arrives in Cuba


A ceremony thanking Australian friends who sent a donation of health supplies to combat Covid-19 in Cuba took place last Wednesday in warehouses of the Medical Supplies Company (EMSUME), a subsiduary of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health.

Deborah Rivas, Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, expressed the gratitude of the Cuban Government and people for this solidarity action, coordinated by the Australia-Cuba Business Council. The Business Council was joined by the Australian Cuban Children’s Hospital Fund; Branches of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, amongst others, as well as companies, businesspeople and individuals.

‘We deeply appreciate this gesture in the context of the epidemiological situation in the country and in the midst of a fierce campaign of disinformation and hatred against Cuba, along with the intensification of the economic blockade imposed by the United States’, Rivas stressed. Leima Martínez, Director of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), also spoke at the reception of donations, consisting of some 26 thousand syringes and needles, expendable material, various supplies, vitamins and nutritional supplements, valued at about 55 thousand dollars. She reiterated the recognition of the Business Council, highlighting that the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society had joined the initiative with enormous enthusiasm; as did the Cuban Children’s Hospital Fund; businessmen and many friends, proving once again that Cuba is not alone, she assured. An important part of the shipment will be delivered to the Cardio-Centre of the William Soler Pediatric Hospital and the rest will be distributed by the Ministry of Public Health in assistance centres in various territories, mainly in support of the mass vaccination campaign in the country.

GREETINGS FROM AUSTRALIAN FRIENDS VIA THE INTERNET

Commenting on the donation, Kim Prior, President of the Australia-Cuba Business Council, clarified that the objective ‘is not only to strengthen economic ties but also to extend a friendly hand.’ ‘The support received was phenomenal,’ she emphasised, pointing out that companies, Branches of the Cuba Friendship Society and people individually wishing to support a noble cause made contributions. ‘I hope our contribution helps,’ she said.

Also via the internet, Don Sutherland, president of the Cuban Children’s Hospital Fund, explained that this group emerged in 1999 in order to provide support to the Cardio-centre of the William Soler Hospital ‘challenging the cruel US blockade against the Cuban people.’ Commenting on the recent purchase of syringes and needles to support mass vaccination on the island, he said, ‘We are satisfied to know that our modest contribution arrived in Havana for the benefit of Cuban children, and we plan to repeat this effort in the coming weeks.’

Meanwhile Vinnie Molina, president of the Perth Branch of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society, said he felt very happy because, ‘We put our hearts to international solidarity in support of the Cuban Revolution,’ adding that contributions came from many sectors of Australian society, mainly from working people.

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