60 years on, the Cuban Revolution is remarkable, even by the simple fact that despite all odds it did not collapse, and instead has survived and thrived! In 1959 the revolutionary Cuban rebel forces under the exceptional leadership of Fidel Castro took power of Cuba and set about overcoming incredible challenges. Cuba’s infrastructure, economy and institutions needed drastic changes at every level to serve its people. Cuba faced attacks from the world's most powerful country, the United States, including the 1961 U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion, bombings and sabotage by U.S. supported terrorists, assassination attempts against Cuba’s former President Fidel Castro and covert “regime change” actions by the U.S. which continue today. Most all-encompassing is the almost 60 years of a crippling U.S. blockade on Cuba, which puts enormous strain on Cuba’s economy and limits access to everything from medicine to construction equipment.
Yet, today Cuba is celebrating 60 years of a vibrant, dynamic Cuban Revolution which has made huge accomplishments in every field of human endeavor – medicine, education, sports, arts, technology and agriculture to name a few! This has not just provided Cubans with a society based on human needs instead of capitalist profit, but has benefited the world through their advances.
On January 20, 2019, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) held a community event titled “60 Years of the Cuban Revolution and How Far We Have Come!” featuring Tania Lopez Larroque, the Consul General of Cuba in Toronto. The event was endorsed by Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist Leninist) and Friends of Cuba Against U.S. Blockade -Vancouver. The evening brought together over 120 people interested in and inspired by the Cuban Revolution! The evening was opened by Coast Salish elder and activist Kelly White and Vivian Sandy, an Indigenous elder of the Shuswap and Northern Diné nations. Through drumming and song, they welcomed participants who acknowledged that the event was taking place on unceded and traditional Indigenous territories.
Following the opening, Tamara Hansen, the coordinator of VCSC, spoke to highlight 60 years of remarkable Cuban history and the importance of the revolutionary leadership which has guided the Cuban Revolution through enormous challenges. The program went on to show video footage from the early days of the Cuban Revolution to today, from the rebel army fighting in the Sierra Maestra to Cuba’s famed music and culture. Reflecting the important relationship between two nations resisting U.S. imperialism, Cuba and Venezuela, the audience then heard greetings from Cónsul de Segunda Tatiana Vizcaya on behalf of the Consulate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Vancouver.
The audience then had the special treat of a live performance by the Latin music duo Sangre Morena, who shared their passionate singing and flamenco guitar!
The highlight of the evening was special guest Tania Lopez Larroque, Consul General of Cuba in Toronto. Tania shared the struggles, accomplishments and dynamic vision of the Cuban revolutionary process and the continued struggles they face against U.S. imperialism, from her perspective as a Cuban and her experience as a representative of Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) for 17 years.
Following Tania’s presentation a question and answer period was opened between participants and the Consul General. This was a great opportunity for Vancouverites interested in Cuba to have a direct representative from Cuba to answer their questions, and they took advantage of this time to ask many interesting and important questions!
60 years into their revolutionary process, Cuba remains an inspiration to those fighting for peace and justice around the world. This event was an opportunity to build solidarity with Cuba, as well as to learn from Cuba’s steadfast resistance to U.S. imperialism and commitment to building a better world!
For more information on Cuba solidarity in Vancouver visit:
Website - www.vancubasolidarity.com
Twitter - @VanCuba_VCSC
Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki
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