From June 8-9, 2019, the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) held its 9th biennial convention in Toronto, Canada. Since its founding in 2002, the CNC has served as the umbrella group linking together Cuba solidarity groups across Canada.
This year’s successful convention was marked by educational presentations by a variety of speakers, including Sandra Ramirez and Yamil Morrero from the North America Desk of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), spirited discussions, and most of all, the establishment of a clear plan of action for Cuba solidarity in Canada over the next two years.
One of the highlights of this year’s convention was a talk given by the Cuban Ambassador to Canada, Her Excellency Josefina Vidal. Her powerful words focused on Cuba’s popular vote to approve the new Constitution and the current state of U.S./Cuba relations, especially the U.S. Trump Administration’s increasing attacks on Cuba and the tightening of the U.S. blockade through the implementation of the Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and other cruel measures.
Within this context of increasing aggression against Cuba, by the government of the U.S. and also by the government of Canada, the convention concluded with a firm commitment to strengthening solidarity and friendship with Cuba across Canada in many different forms.
Resolutions were passed establishing campaigns to: end the U.S. blockade on Cuba, including Title III of the Helms-Burton Act; demand that the government of Canada reinstate the Visa office for Cubans in Havana; and strengthen work with Parliamentarians in Canada, among others. Members groups also voted in favour of supporting important conferences coming up in the new year including the Hemispheric Anti-Imperialist Solidarity Conference for Democracy and Against Neo-Liberalism, from November 1-3, 2019 in Havana, Cuba and the 8th Vancouver International Che Guevara Conference, October 25-27th 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.
The Convention also decided that the next two years will also focus on building the Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade in order to bring as many people from Canada to Cuba as possible to experience Cuba beyond the beautiful resorts and beaches.
This important program of action for Cuba solidarity in Canada will be led by the new CNC Executive and newly formed committees.
Starting in August, Fire This Time newspaper will begin to publish regularly about these campaigns and initiatives, so keep your eyes open for how to get involved in building solidarity and frienship with Cuba across Canada!
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