Dear Supporter,

Here is your newsletter which gives details of our events and activities over the past three months.

On the 27th of June we had our annual AGM. This was well- supported and we were fortunate once again to have Steve Wilkinson as our speaker. His theme was “The yanks are coming- should we be worried?”

Steve’s main message was that we should be optimistic about Cuba’s future. He explained that Cuba is diversifying its economy and trading more with China. It is encouraging small businesses and co-operatives and its economy has grown by 4%.Its tourist industry is also growing and the Chinese will be visiting from 2016.He also felt that the Cubans are well aware of the dangers facing them in the times ahead following the warming of relations.

On July the 25th we held our annual Garden Party at Joan Oram’s home. Many thanks to her for hosting this delightful event. We were lucky to have had the best day of the week weather-wise and spent several hours enjoying the excellent buffet and putting the world to rights with like-minded people accompanied by Cuban music and folk songs sung by Ian Fifie and friends. It was also a pleasure on that day to meet some Cubans. A photo was taken of all present by Allen Turner which will be sent to the casa de los abuelos.

A number of members went to see Carlos Acosta dancing with Zenaida Yanowsky in a piece entitled “On Before” at the Dome in Brighton.

Other national events over the summer were – The CSC Annual General Meeting on the 13th of June at Hamilton House, London, and the RMT and CSC Garden Party in Clapham, London.

Please see dates for your diary page for details of meetings/events for the next three months.

The National AGM of the 13th of June.

There were two main motions proposed by the CSC executive committee. (To be found in the Spring 2015 Cuba Si.) One concerned Guantanemo Bay and the other concerned the Economic Blockade.

In brief it was noted that the US had occupied the land at Guantanemo bay since 1898, that Cuba has protested against this illegal occupation since 1959, and that it demanded at the United Nations Rights Council in 2013 that the territory be returned to Cuba. It also noted that the US has operated a prison at Guantanemo Bay since 2002.

“The AGM recognises that the continued occupation of Guantanemo Bay by the United States military constitutes an affront to Cuban sovereignty. We call for the immediate and unconditional closure of all US facilities, the return of all US personnel back to the United States, and the immediate return of Guantanemo Bay back to the Government of Cuba.”

Regarding the economic blockade the AGM motion included “This AGM notes that the blockade has been condemned by the United Nations General Assembly on 23 occasions, most recently on 28th of October 2014 when 188 countries voted for the ending of the US actions and only 2, the US and Israel supported its continuation. In December 2014 President Obama announced limited measures to begin a process of “normalising relations” with Cuba. However despite these welcome measures the US Blockade of Cuba continues.

We will therefore refocus all our efforts on the campaign to end the US Blockade of Cuba. At the same time CSC will continue to raise this issue with the British government and support efforts to develop UK-Cuba trade.”

It was good to see that Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Serious Epidemics has been nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. The nomination was for the medical brigade’s work saving lives and helping millions of suffering people around the world.

Also admirable is the news that Cuba is in the top 25 countries in the world for life expectancy. This is now 80.45 years for women and 76.5 for men.

In addition to the events publicised in dates for your diary, please also note the following meetings in Brighton.

TUC Congress: Monday 14th of September, 5.30pm; Brighton Centre, Brighton.

Labour Party Conference: Tuesday 29th of September, 5.30pm: Coffee Republic, Brighton.

Very sadly one of Brighton Cuba Solidarity Campaign’s supporters, Liz Stewart has died. Liz had been a member for many years and will be remembered for her contributions at our meetings and her involvement at the social occasions.

We are always interested to find out what topics our members would like to discuss at our monthly meetings. Please let me know if you have any requests or can suggest speakers.

Please note our new Website address – It is in its infancy but items have already been posted for you to see. We intend to add more shortly.