Report to Member Organizations Print

Isaac Saney, National Spokesperson, October 10, 2010

Since the Convention all kinds of great developments have taken place and more are planned for the months to come.  The 29th International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association was held in Toronto from October 6-9, with the participation of a large Cuban delegation (the second largest) of 74 scholars. On October 8, the Canadian Cuban Friendship Association-Toronto hosted a reception for the Cuban delegation. The highlight of the reception was the Canadian launch of Fidel Castro's book La victoria estrategica (The Strategic Victory).

Additionally, a number of activities took place across the country as part of the international campaign to mark the 12th anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of the Cuban Five and demand their immediate release. On September 9 and 13, the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver and the Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, organized a very successful forum and discussions, and a vigil/protest outside the U.S. consulate, respectively. Also, on September 12 the Toronto Forum on Cuba organized a meeting (12 Years of Injustice! Free the Cuban Five!) at the Ontario Institute for Studies of Education. On September 15, the Hamilton Friendship Association with Cuba, together with the McMaster Ontario Public Interest Research Group organized a meeting and discussion (Hands Off Cuba! End the Blockade Now!), featuring Guest Speaker: Jorge Soberón, Consul General of Cuba in Toronto. From September 24-26,Worker to Worker held its annual Canada-Cuba Solidarity in Toronto, where Canadian workers met and exchanged ideas with representatives of the Cuban unions. Elizabeth Palmeiro (wife of Ramon Labañino) was the honoured guest and spoke on the case of the Cuban Five. She was joined by Sylvia Tabio, an official of the Cuban National Assembly. On October 2, the Canadian Cuban Friendship Association-Windsor held a rally calling for the release of the Cuban Five, featuring Elizabeth Palmeiro and Sylvia Tabio.

On September 18, La Table de Concertation de Solidarité Québec-Cuba hosted the 6e Journée Montréalaise d'Amitié avec Cuba (6th Montreal Day of Friendship with Cuba) which also featured the work to free the Cuban Five with a big banner across the stage, as well as Cuba's internationalist work in Haiti. I am informed it was a roaring success with a lot of dignitaries, including the Mayor of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, federal and provincial deputies, the Cuban Ambassador and Consul in Montreal, the Venezuelan Consul, etc. Very good music, Cuban food and a very large participation including a lot of youth made the evening. Half of the proceeds were donated to the Cuban work in Haiti and the Haitian Consul General also spoke, highly evaluating the relations between Cuba and Haiti.

Besides this, I am happy to inform you that the September 30 Press Conference on the Cuba for Haiti Fundraising Campaign held at the Booklist in Toronto received very good coverage in two major Caribbean community newspapers, Share andCaribbean Camera, both of which carried extensive articles, as did The Marxist-Leninist Daily (which also covered our convention's September 6 panel on Unions and Canada-Cuba solidarity). As a result of the coverage in the Caribbean media, I also did an interview on Radio Jamaica on September 17. On October 4 I was interviewed by Al Jazeera and on October 3 by Radio Uhuru in the United States.

I also wish to inform you that the funeral of Reverend Lucius Walker, Leader of IFCO/Pastors For Peace took place in New York on September 17. It was very well attended, with many messages of tribute arriving from across the world, including the CNC's message of condolences which was sent to you previously. I have been in contact with Manolo de los Santos, Project Coordinator, IFCO/Pastors For Peace and we will talk again once they set their program for the coming year.