Rollback of Obama’s initiatives condemned

lift the criminal blockade

The New Era's end signals  
a return to a belligerent northern neighbour
The New Zealand Cuba Friendship Society has condemned the latest rollback of the Obama presidency’s easing of relations with Cuba as a deepening of the blockade, now in place for 54 years.

Every president since Kennedy in 1963 has aimed to overthrow the Cuban revolution.

Obama’s shift in relations was a step forward but still had the open aim of fostering dissent within Cuba while keeping the blockade in place and Guantanamo occupied.

Trump’s June 16 speech signalled a ban on U.S citizens patronising Cuba’s state-owned hotels, restaurants and tour buses because the GAESA conglomerate that runs them has links to Cuba’s armed forces and Ministry of the Interior.

Trump also vowed that the U.S. government will police other trips to ensure travellers are pursuing a “full-time schedule of educational exchange activities.” Only travel with an organised group will be allowed and the purpose of the trip will be more strictly policed. Trump also vowed to review all government programmes directed against Cuba, to supposedly ensure their effectiveness.

Once implemented, Trump’s policy is expected to create a maze of rules for American tourists to obey. At least 140,000 U.S citizens visit Cuba each year out of around 4 million tourists.

The roll-back is only partial. Diplomatic relations will remain in place and commercial air and sea links will be exempted from the new restrictions. Cuban-Americans will still be able visit and send remittances back to their families.

Cuba’s Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Relations of Cuba, condemned Trump’s measures, which were announced and signed off in a theatre named after Manuel Artime, civilian leader of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

“It was a grotesque Cold War-era spectacle, made before a small audience, composed of old henchmen and thieves of the Batista dictatorship, mercenaries from the Playa Girón brigade, terrorists, demagogues and ‘lackeys’", he said.

President Trump greeted several of these individuals by name, and was surrounded or accompanied by others at the time of the signing. These included a terrorist arrested in 1995 in California, with an arsenal of weapons to be used to commit violent actions and who was implicated in an assassination attempt on President Fidel Castro in 1997. Another was part of a 1974 armed infiltration in Cuba; a third was the author of terrorist actions and pirate attacks at sea on Cuban fishing boats, between 1972 and 1975.

Also present was the spouse of a sergeant who committed acts of torture during the Batista dictatorship, and one of those responsible for financing the planting of bombs at tourist locations in Cuba which exploded in 1997, as revealed by infamous terrorist Posada Carriles in an interview with the New York Times. Posada Carriles was the author of the mid-flight bombing of a Cubana de Aviación civilian aircraft in1976, the first terrorist act against an aircraft in flight.
Trump was open at the event about rewarding congressmen Rubio and Diaz-Balart, who helped him narrowly win in South Florida.

 “The struggle continues, the victory is certain!”
Bruno Rodriguez also pointed to Trump’s hypocrisy for calling on Cuba to improve human rights, saying the U.S. government “is threatening more limits on health care that would leave 23 million people without insurance ... and marginalises immigrants and refugees, particularly those from Islamic countries.”

Trump cited human rights concerns as his primary driver in tightening restrictions on Cuba, but the president has prided himself on his warm relations with some of the world's most autocratic regimes, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt and human rights violators like Phillippines president Rodrigo Duterte.

Polls show that over 70 percent of Americans—including a majority of Republicans—support lifting the embargo and that 97 percent of the Cuban people support normalisation with the United States.


Cuba Launches Revolutionary Feminist Postal Stamps

Activists and representatives of national institutions participating in the 10th Cuban Assembly Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Havana and Villa Clara issued the first postal stamp on 11 May, which features a polychrome image of Vilma Espin.
Espin, Cuban President Raul Castro’s deceased wife, was the founder of the Federation of Cuban Women, an organization dedicated to promoting the rights of women and the LGBTQ community.
The stamp was officially released at the headquarters of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, UNEAC, Prensa Latina reported.
At the event, UNEAC President Miguel Barnet emphasized the need to “eliminate stereotypes and prejudices that curb the well-being of men and women.” Cuban Philatelic Federation President Raul Lorenzo echoed similar sentiments, stating that the purpose for issuing the stamp is to pay homage to Cuban history and its continued efforts to guarantee that all islanders benefit from equal rights.
The 10th Cuban Assembly Against Homophobia and Transphobia ran from May 3 – 20. It began with a presentation of an educational campaign titled “Me Included.” This year's theme focused on homophobic and/or transphobic bullying at schools. Every two years, the conference renews its theme based on an issue related to human rights.
On 12 May, a cultural gala was held in honor of equal rights. A conga and performances on Saturday 13 May were also held in Havana to promote gender and sexual diversity.
Espin was one of the most-widely recognized women soldiers who fought in the Sierra Maestra mountains leading up to the 1959 Cuban Revolution. She later became a tireless advocate for women's rights and a leading member of the Cuban Communist Party.

a great totara has fallen

Farewell Comandante

Celebrate a Revolutionary Life
Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution 

December 3rd 

Trades Hall
147 Great North Rd
Grey Lynn

Speakers include
 Cuban Ambassador Mario Alzugaray


Auckland Latin America Community 

Auckland Cuba Friendship Society 
Malcolm: 021 151 7887 

Make donations to The New Zealand Cuba Society 

A Victory for Cuba in the United Nations

Yesterday for the 25th time Cuba presented to the UN General Assembly the resolution calling for the "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States of America against Cuba."

This year the results were different; like last year there were 191 out of the 193 nations who voted in favor of lifting the inhumane blockade but for the first time there was no country that voted against the resolution.

Two nations abstained including the promoters of this criminal policy itself, the United States and, as it has done with servile obedience in past votes - the Government of Israel.

This is a clear victory for the dignity and resistance of the Cuban people and the Cuban government who have had to face the longest blockade in history.
Get the facts

The U.S. had to recognize themselves that this long-standing policy of genocide has led to their embarrassing isolation. 

Yesterday the world said NO to the blockade. Nevertheless, today the United States continues with the policy.

From the Cuba Solidarity Te Waipounamu we congratulate the people of Cuba and their government in their emphatic victory and we renew our commitment to fight tirelessly until the genocidal blockade against Cuba is finally over.

Viva Cuba!!

Hear a speaker from Cuba

Yexenia Calzado

 End the U.S. embargo 

Return Guantánamo 

No interference in Cuba’s internal affairs

In December 2014 Cuba and the United States resumed diplomatic relations and the Cuban Five were freed from U.S. jails. This reflected the continuing strength of the Cuban revolution.
The U.S. still wants to destroy the Cuban revolution, as it has for more than 56 years, but is now using different methods. U.S. President Obama’s statements during his recent visit to Cuba were an indication of this.
Yexenia Calzado is in charge of solidarity work with South Asia and the Pacific for the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).
She is currently speaking in Australia, including on Cuba’s contribution to an Aboriginal adult literacy campaign.

Public meeting and discussion
7pm Wednesday  
April 27th
Trades Hall

147 Great North Rd
Grey Lynn

For more information
email: Cuba Friendship Society 
phone: Malcolm, 021 151 7887 or Fiona, 09 620 9872
Donations gratefully accepted to: The New Zealand Cuba Society 02-0159-0200303-00

This meeting is preceded by an “Information session on the next Southern Cross Brigade to Cuba” at 6pm

SCB Information Session on facebook

Welcome Mr President and yes

lets talk Human Rights

The welcome reduction of tensions between Cuba and its North American neighbour reached a new pinnacle yesterday as President and Mrs Obama emerged from Air Force One at Havana’s José Martí Airport.

Equally welcome is the confirmation that high on the President’s agenda is the question of human rights, particularly if this indicates an active commitment, on the part of the U.S.A., to address its behaviour in the Caribbean.

First among the issues the US must address, is the illegal blockade. The United Nations has repeatedly demand the US to meet its obligations under the UN  Charter and international law to lift the criminal blockade and reaffirmed its commitment the freedom of trade and navigation.

Two other issues must also be addressed and corrected if the U.S. is to be taken seriously- ; the torture camp at Guantánamo must be shut and the U.S. Forces, occupying of Guantánamo Bay must be withdrawn and the land returned to Cuba.

Rhetorical grandstanding is fine Mr President but what counts are the facts on the ground. 

Lift the criminal blockade
Close your torture camp 
Return occupied Guantánamo

Cuban Ambassador to open

Cuban art exhibition in Dunedin

Antonio Guerrero’s “The Air Vent”
The Dunedin Cuba Friendship Society is proud to host the exhibition “I will die the way I have lived –15 watercolours by Antonio Guerrero”.

The exhibition is highlighting the illegal U.S. blockade of Cuba which has cost the country over $831 billion since its introduction, over 54 years ago.

The exhibition will be opened at 6pm on Tuesday 22 March by New Zealand's Ambassador for Cuba, His Excellency Mario Alzugaray

The exhibition is held at the Anderson Lloyd gallery of  the Otago Art Society, on the first floor of the historic Dunedin Railway Station, from 21 March to 3 April, 10 am to 4 pm daily (the Gallery is closed on Good Friday, 25 April.)

The opening will feature poetry by Victor Billot and music by John Guy Howell.

 The illegal U.S. blockade has cost Cuba $831 billion
Antonio Guerrero is one of the Cuban Five who learned to paint while imprisoned in the United States. These striking images depict the cruel treatment the Five received while held in isolation awaiting trial in Miami.

Recent changes in Cuba will be highlighted at a free public lecture hosted by the Humanities Department from 4 pm to 5 pm on Tuesday 22 March in the Burns 2 Lecture Theatre at the University of Otago.

The Ambassador for Cuba Mario Alzugaray
Rodriguez will speak on “Cuba's co-operative revolution: worker co-operatives and the future of the socialist agenda”, and there will be an opportunity afterwards for questions from the public. All are welcome.

The Ambassador will meet with members and supporters of the Dunedin Cuba Friendship Society for breakfast on Wednesday morning.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Dunedin branch of the Alliance Party, New Zealand's democratic socialist party.