Australia-Cuba campaign success

The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality. – Che Guevara

Some observations on the ‘From Australia to Cuba with Love‘ campaign.

By any estimation this was a successful campaign that highlighted the importance of challenging the United States blockade of Cuba. From a practical point of view this policy makes no sense for the United States and its allies, including Australia. The days of the Soviet Union, the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War are over; what ties there may have been between Cuba and the Soviet Union belong to the past. This should not be taken as an apology for what the Cuban Revolution has achieved. It has survived the demise of the Soviet Union and nearly 70 years of economic blockade imposed by the United States.

A minor player like Australia should have good relations with a socialist country like Cuba. There is bipartisan support in the two major parties in Australia for the blockade to end and this has been the case for many years. There is little or no difference between Liberal or Labor governments on foreign policy. Both parties are happy for Australia to be the USA’s policeman in the Asia Pacific region. This must end.

The reports from the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society in Brisbane/Meanjin made by Sue Monk and Lachlan Hurse outline the achievements of the campaign. Sixty-eight (68) participants covered over 30,000 kilometers by riding, walking, swimming, dancing etc, and over $26,000 was raised for medical supplies to Cuba.

If nothing else, it achieved a broader reach to people in Australia of the adverse situation created by the blockade. During the campaign a number of people commented that the blockade had ended years ago. This is not the case.

‘Cuba Si, Yanqui No?’
The Biden administration is vindictive in support of a blockade. During the cold war, the Kennedy administration showed its disapproval of the Cuban revolution by imposing economic sanctions. It is a shame that more political organizations do not support Cuba or that their support is so limited. Political groups should be aware that that the Cuban government has a policy of engagement with the United States. There are other organizations and countries in Latin America that say ‘Cuba Si, Yanqui No!’ However, this has never been the case with the Cuban people. Many Cubans live in the United States. and travel back and forth to their homeland. The proximity of the countries make it impossible for there not to be diplomatic and trade relations. It also makes sense for Australia to have an independent foreign policy regarding countries like Cuba. We should not be servile to the interests of the American ruling elite and should behave in a more mature manner regarding  open and engaging countries like Cuba. The Australian Independence movement should get behind this move against the blockade because it is a practical way for it to demonstrate the advantage to Australia of an independent foreign policy.

The Cuban government sends doctors, administrators, diplomats and technical people into the Asia Pacific and so we should respond in kind and adopt friendly relations and trade with Cuba. Solidarity groups on the left need to support an end to the blockade even if they are critical of the socialist character of the Cuban revolution. In a changing world the possibilities for cultural, economic and political ties with Cuba will be improved if the blockade is lifted.

The Australia-Cuba Friendship Society is based in most capital cities and Canberra have done an excellent job supporting the campaign that originated here in Brisbane with a small but active ACFS led capably by Sue Monk and Lachlan Hurse. They are easily contactable on social media. It is little wonder that the Cuban Ambassador Ariel Lorenzo Rodriguez took the time to attend and pay appreciation to the Brisbane ACFS who led this campaign from the first of January to the 15th of April 2022.

I am not a member of the ACFS but was an enthusiastic participant in the From Australia to Cuba with Love campaign. I include a full report of the campaign together with podcasts and videos of speeches and music. Thanks to both Sue and Lachlan from Jumping Fence for their generous help in collating this material, providing excellent photos and a beautiful musical interlude at the finale.

Ian Curr
19 April 2022
Workers of all countries Unite!

The Australia Cuba Friendship Society has done it! With 2 days to spare, the From Australia to Cuba with Love campaign completed a target distance of 29,772 kms, from Canberra to Havana and back. The challenge raised over $26,000. What a great achievement!

For people in Brisbane/Meanjin, there were celebrations all afternoon on Saturday, 16thApril, 3pm, at the Red Brick Hotel in Woolloongabba.

Despite Covid many came. The Cuban Ambassador to Australia, Ariel Lorenzo Rodriguez, joined the group and gave a certificate of appreciation to Lachlan Hurse, the President of the Australia Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS) in Brisbane. We shared highlights of the campaign, video messages, live music and dancing, food and drinks.  Here are some of the messages from that campaign.

Here are some links of recordings I made at the beginning and end of the campaign.

Audio – seven recordings including speeches and songs


Videos – five videos from the Finale

Cuban ambassador speaks at ‘From Australia to Cuba with Love’ Finale @

Sue Monk on opposing the US blockade of Cuba @

Jumping fences sings at ‘From Australia to Cuba with Love’ celebration @

Ivan from Cuban Institute of Friendship with the People reports @

Song for Fidel by Juan Espera @

¡a Sociedad de Amistad Australia Cuba lo ha conseguido! A falta de dos días, la campaña “De Australia a Cuba con Amor” completó una distancia de 29.772 kilómetros, desde Canberra hasta La Habana y de vuelta. El desafío recaudó más de 26.000 dólares. ¡Qué gran logro!

Para los habitantes de Brisbane/Meanjin, hubo celebraciones durante toda la tarde del sábado 16 de abril, a las 15:00 horas, en el Red Brick Hotel de Woolloongabba.

A pesar de Covid, muchos acudieron. El Embajador de Cuba en Australia, Ariel Lorenzo Rodríguez, se unió al grupo y entregó un certificado de agradecimiento a Lachlan Hurse, Presidente de la Sociedad de Amistad Australia-Cuba (ACFS) en Brisbane. Compartimos lo más destacado de la campaña, mensajes en video, música y baile en vivo, comida y bebidas. Aquí están algunos de los mensajes de esa campaña.

Aquí hay algunos enlaces de grabaciones que hice al principio y al final de la campaña.

Ian Curr
Brisbane/Meanjin
16 April 2022

One thought on “Australia-Cuba campaign success

  1. Cuban Ambassador Ariel Lorenzo Rodriguez gives a good wrap on the Australia to Cuba with Love Campaign:

    Delighted to join the ACFS Brisbane in the final stage of #Aus2CubaWithLove solidarity campaign, who complete in 105 days a route of 29,772 km (round trip distance btw Canberra-Havana) calling for #UnBlockCuba and raising funds for medical suplies to #Cuba.🇦🇺🤝🇨🇺 @AsiaPacificCuba

    See https://twitter.com/alorenzo2022/status/1515646721430552582?s=20&t=-KskxX7K_GkQhiV7P56btg

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