Support the Cuban & Venezuelan revolutions! Join the Cuba-Venezuela solidarity club!

Imagine if the Australian government provided all education, from pre-school to post-graduate level, and all medical care, free of charge. Imagine if factories that were to be closed by their owners were taken under public control and put under the management of their workers to produce for the benefit of society. Imagine if, rather than stealing East Timor’s oil and gas, and sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to prop up US-imposed puppet governments, the Australian government sent doctors, teachers and sustainable development engineers to help lift Third World countries out of poverty. Such things are happening, not in Australia, but in two countries still struggling with underdevelopment: Cuba and Venezuela. Their achievements — in tacking poverty, disease and illiteracy; in giving ordinary people a real say in how their community services and workplaces are run; in reversing environmental destruction; and in providing medical care and cheap heating oil to the poor of other countries — show that there is a real alternative to a world based on greed, corporate profit and social inequality.

Cuba’s and Venezuela’s socialist revolutions are an inspiration to all those fighting to stop privatisation of public assets and cutbacks in public education and health care, for real action on climate change, for workers’ rights and against war. For these reasons, Cuba and Venezuela are threatened by US imperialism. The US rulers are desperate to retain control over Latin America, which they have ruthlessly exploited for more than a century. Washington recently revived its Fourth Fleet in order to threaten Cuba, Venezuela and other countries that might follow their examples. A broadly–based solidarity movement is needed to help defend Venezuela and Cuba against US-organised destabilisation and possible military attacks, and to demand an end to the cruel 48-year-long US economic blockade of Cuba. We also need to strengthen the growing international campaign to win the release of the Cuban Five — five Cubans imprisoned in the US since 1998 for the “crime” of infiltrating US-based terrorist organisations to warn about planned attacks. Too few Australians know much about Cuba or Venezuela. What most people read or hear about these countries is highly distorted by the corporate media. Despite this, there is a growing awareness that something special is going on — something radical, profound and challenging to the idea that there’s no alternative to the decaying global capitalist system. To help this growth of awareness and turn it into a strong, ongoing solidarity campaign, members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party have taken the initiative to build Cuba-Venezuela solidarity clubs on this and other university campuses.

The two revolutions are intimately bound up with each other. Cuban doctors staff clinics that provide free medical care to millions of Venezuela’s poor. Venezuela provides oil to Cuba, helping it overcome Washington’s economic blockade. Cuba and Venezuela have cooperated to create Mission Miracle, which has provided free surgery to restore the sight of more than 700,000 people from across Latin America since 2004. Together, they have created the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, a fair-trade zone set up as an alternative to the Free Trade Area of the Americas proposed by the US, and which also includes Bolivia, Nicaragua and Dominica. The solidarity clubs will support initiatives of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN), the Australia Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS) and other solidarity organisations. One possible project would be to help the AVSN campaign to bring Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Australia to speak directly to the Australian people. The clubs could also help build the solidarity brigades organised by the AVSN and ACFS to Venezuela and Cuba, and seek funding to facilitate student and staff participation in them. Clubs could also seek sister university relationships between their universities and the new Bolivarian University, set up in July 2003, to provide free education to the poor and create a new kind of higher education focused on social responsibility. Everyone who believes that the Venezuelan and Cuban peoples have the right to choose their own form of government, free of economic sieges, CIA-sponsored terrorist attacks and military aggression, should get involved in the clubs. Come along to the launch events and bring your ideas.

To get involved in your local Cuba-Venezuela solidarity club, contact:

Sydney University
Kerry - 0408 735 384
kver7231@mail.usyd.edu.au

Griffith University
Kathy - 0400 720 757
brisbane@rsp.org.au

La Trobe University
James - 0403 943 529
james_crafti@yahoo.com.au

Victoria University
Jorge - 0433 520 012
jajp1968@gmail.com

Australian National University
Ray - 0435 003 713
fulcher_ray@yahoo.com.au

University of Western Australia
Nick - 0409 762 081
nick_everett@primus.com.au

Visit online: Cuba-Venezuela Solidarity Clubs