The Perth Declaration

The 15th National Consultation of Friendship Societies of Australia & New Zealand gathered in Perth on the 4th and 5th April 2009 to discuss the best ways to express our solidarity with the people of Cuba.


1. That for almost 50 years the people of Cuba have fought for the right of self determination and struggled against the US blockade.

2. That since 1961 the United States of America, one of the most powerful nations on the planet has imposed the longest economic blockade ever imposed on any country.

3. That the blockade has been tightened by most of the successive US administrations as Cuba has always been considered as a false argument to be a matter of national security for the governments of the United States.

4. That this blockade directly affects the Cuban people in particular children, the elderly and the sick that have been denied access to basic foodstuff and medicines.

5. That the blockade on Cuba is an attack on the sovereignty of the peoples of world as it penalises intermediary for trading with Cuba.

6. That the US for more than 100 years has unilaterally and illegally occupied Guantanamo Bay against the will of the Cuban people and utilised this base to torture people.

7. Five Cuban anti terrorists were detained on the 12th of September 1998 and since have been held illegally, many times in prolonged periods of solitary confinement which is tantamount to torture, are denied access to their wives, daughters and other relatives. These five Cuban men did not commit any crime, did not harm any citizen of the United States.

8. That for the 9th time the US has denied a visa to Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez, preventing them again from visiting their husbands. A campaign that has been taken up by Amnesty International.

We demand

1. That the new Obama administration accepts the UN Resolution 62/3 and end the blockade against Cuba immediately as this is political barbarism. The recent measures taken by the Obama administration don’t go far enough and does not represent a serious attempt to remedy the policies regarding Cuba of the last 10 US administrations.

2. That the Obama administration immediately closes Guantanamo prison base and returns full sovereignty over the land to the Cuban people.

3. That the US administration grants visas to the wives of Gerardo and Rene, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez.

4. That the Obama administration releases the Cuban Five heroes because the charges brought against them and their imprisonment is politically motivated.

5. That the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd lobby the Obama Administration to change its policies towards Cuba and that the Australian Government while acknowledging the Rudd Government diplomacy in welcoming the Cuban Ambassador to Australia develop and strengthen their own relationship with Cuba.

6. That the legal case brought against Rev. Lucius Walker in the US be dropped. This consultation expresses its solidarity with Rev. Lucius Walker and Pastors of Peace.

We the delegates to this consultation express our full support with the Cuban people and their government in their struggle for self determination in defence of the revolution in the year of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution.