Cuba

Issue 39 - May-July 2012

By Allen Myers

Dear Your Holiness,

I was most interested in your recent visit to Cuba and your comments, quoted by Reuters, that the Cuban system “no longer works” and that the Catholic Church was eager to help Cubans find a “new model” because – and this is the line that really floored me – “Marxist ideology in the way it was conceived no longer corresponds to reality”.

Issue 38 - February-April 2012

By Nick Everett

According to UNESCO, nearly 1 billion people – 26% of the world's adult population – can't read or write.

Issue 37 - December-January 2012

By Margaret Perrot

Cuba is ranked as a Third World country, but the education and health systems are equivalent to or better than those of all First World countries.

Issue 36 - October-November 2011

By Hamish Chitts

The Australia Cuba Friendship Society (Brisbane) held a screening of the film Will the real terrorist please stand up? in solidarity with the Cuban 5 on September 7. The film was introduced by the Cuban ambassador to Australia, Pedro Monzon, who was in Brisbane as part of an official visit to Queensland.

Issue 35 - September 2011

By Hamish Chitts

[Ezequiel Morales from the Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP – the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples) spoke with Hamish Chitts from Direct Action in Brisbane on May 9.

Issue 34 - August 2011

By Allen Myers

Sometimes small events can reveal a great deal. A case in point was the opening of an exhibition of political cartoons in Los Angeles in June.

By Hamish Chitts

Direct Action on May 9 after Morales had spoken to a workplace meeting of Brisbane bus drivers organised by the Rail, Tram, Bus Union and the Australia Cuba Friendship Society.][ezequiel>

Issue 33 - June-July 2011

By Hamish Chitts

Ezequiel Morales from the Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP) (the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples) spoke with Hamish Chitts from Direct Action on May 9 after Morales had spoken to a workplace meeting of Brisbane bus drivers organised by the Rail, Tram, Bus Union and the Australia Cuba Friendship Society.

Issue 32 - May 2011

By Hamish Chitts

On April 16-17, more than 60 members and supporters of the Australia Cuba Friendship Societies (ACFS) from across Australia gathered in Sydney for the annual national consultation. The consultation coincided with historic events, as the Cuban Communist Party met for its Sixth Congress to decide on long-debated adjustments to Cuba’s planned socialist economy.

Issue 31 - April 2011

By Marce Cameron

The Sixth Cuban Communist Party (PCC) Congress will be held in the second half of April. The congress will have two agenda items: the economy and the election of a new Central Committee and other leadership bodies. Other decisions will be deferred to a conference later in the year.

Issue 29 - February 2011

By Marce Cameron

In November, Venezuela’s revolutionary socialist President Hugo Chavez visited the Cuban capital, Havana, to mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the historic cooperation pact between Cuba and Venezuela, core of the pro-socialist Bolivarian Alliance for Our America, known by its Spanish acronym ALBA, and to review and strengthen economic and social cooperation between the tw

By Virginia Brown

The ongoing socialist revolution in Cuba is an inspiring example of what can be achieved for women’s rights when the capitalist agenda no longer dictates.

Issue 28 - November-December 2010

By Reinaldo Garcia Perera

[This is the text of a speech given by Reinaldo Garcia Perera, consul-general to Australia for the Republic of Cuba, to a meeting in Sydney on October 10 protesting against the US blockade of Cuba.]

Dear friends: Thank you all for being here today. Your presence confirms the power of mobilisation of the Cuban Revolution and your lasting and strong support for it.

By Marce Cameron

Cuba’s trade union confederation announced in September that half a million state-employed workers are to be laid off by May 1. Over the next five years, Cuba’s socialist government plans to shift a further half million workers from the state-owned economy to the self-employed, small business and cooperative sectors.

Issue 27 - October 2010

By Marce Cameron

Cuba’s trade union confederation, the CTC, announced in the September 13 edition of the Communist Party (PCC) daily Granma that half a million workers, one in 10 state employees, will be dismissed by May 1. This is downsizing on a vast scale: in Cuba’s post-capitalist, centrally planned economy, the socialist state currently employs 85% the workforce of 5.2 million.

Issue 25 - August 2010

By Owen Richards

“I’d do it exactly the same all over again”, Fidel Castro insisted on July 24, making one of his first public appearances since a devastating intestinal illness in 2006 forced him from the public eye. The former president was referring to the failed 1953 attack he led against the Moncada Barracks in Oriente province, which proved to be the opening salvo in the Cuban Revolution.

Issue 24 - July 2010

By Marce Cameron

As all Cuban schoolchildren know, July 26 is the anniversary of the 1953 attack on the Moncada military garrison in Santiago de Cuba that launched the Cuban Revolution. The young rebels, led Fidel Castro, had hoped to seize the garrison, liberate its weapons and call upon the Cuban people to rise up against the US-backed Batista dictatorship.

Issue 23 - June 2010

By Marce Cameron

In April and May, Cubans went to the polls in local government elections across the island. These were elections with a difference. Imagine if neighbours got together in open meetings in your street to nominate, by show of hands, between two and eight candidates for each electoral district. That’s what happened in each of Cuba’s 169 municipalities.

Issue 22 - May 2010

By Hamish Chitts

Revolutionary Cuba is a leader in Latin America in the battle against homophobia and is taking steps to become a world leader. Since 1994 the age of consent for gay and lesbian sex in Cuba has been 16 years, the same as for heterosexual sex – unlike Australia. Since the 1980s Cubans have been able to access sex reassignment surgery (SRS) as part of Cuba’s free healthcare system.

By President Raul Castro

[This is an abridged version of Cuban President Raul Castro’s speech to the closing session of the Ninth Congress of Cuba’s Union of Young Communists (UJC) held in Havana, Cuba, April 3-4. The complete text can be read at Agencia Cubana de Noticias].

Issue 21 - April 2010

By Allen Myers

Vientiane – “Defending Cuba today is the only way to keep alive the hopes and dreams of social justice”, states the final declaration of the Fifth Asia-Pacific Regional Conference for Solidarity with Cuba. A stepped-up campaign of support for revolutionary Cuba against imperialism was the central decision of the conference, held in the capital of Laos on March 19-20.

By Marce Cameron

Since becoming Cuba’s president (initially acting president) in August 2007, when Fidel Castro became gravely ill and had to step down, Raul Castro has called for a nationwide debate on the future of Cuba’s socialist revolution. The debate is aimed at consensus on what must be done to revitalise Cuba’s socialist project.

By Marce Cameron

The March 28 Miami Herald, mouthpiece of wealthy Cuban-Americans opposed to Cuba’s socialist revolution, reported that 3000 to 5000 protesters “formed a river of white as they marched around a lake in a Los Angeles park Sunday, joining other marchers around the world to expose the plight of political dissidents in Cuba and support the wives, mothers, and other women who defe

Issue 20 - March 2010

By Marce Cameron

When running for the US presidency in 2008, Barack Obama promised “change you can believe in”. As president, he has failed to live up to the hopes and expectations of his supporters for progressive change.

Issue 19 - February 2010

By Marce Cameron

Since becoming Cuba’s acting president in August 2007, Raul Castro has called for a nationwide debate on the future of Cuba’s socialist revolution. This debate has been taking place in workplaces, neighbourhoods, Cuban Communist Party (PCC) base committees and informally in bars, cafes and on the streets.