Brighton Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Newsletter May 2019

c/o 16 Old Salts Farm Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8JD.

Dear member.
Here is your newsletter which gives details of our events and activities over
the last three months. I am happy to continue sending these by post. If
however, in the interest of saving on the cost of a stamp, anyone would like to
have an email version, please let me know – thebeppes@hotmail.com
On the 5 th of March, Fransisco Dominguez spoke to us about “Venezuela, the
reality.” One of his principle messages was that despite economic difficulties,
Venezuela is not experiencing the level of crisis reported by the majority of the
mainstream press. He conveyed both his concerns for Venezuela in light of the
increased interference from the US administration, and his confidence that the
country would withstand this.
Our April meeting, (Colombia, the US ally in Latin America), was postponed
as our speaker was ill. We will rebook him for the autumn.
Lauren Collins spoke to us on Tuesday the 7 th of May, about “ Cuba, the new
constitution and other changes”. She presented us with a fascinating account of
how Cubans got involved with the process of debating and finally choosing the
contents of the constitution. The vote on Sunday the 24 th of February 2019 saw
84.4% of the country’s 8.7 million voters participate in the Yes/No
referendum. Of those that voted, over 86% ratified the document.
One of the interesting outcomes was that people voted to maintain the
Communist Party as the leading party, owing to the respect people had for its
members who are trusted to get things done.

Our June meeting will be our AGM. (See dates for your diary). On the 4 th of
June, which would have otherwise been a Brighton CSC meeting, some
members of CSC will be travelling up to London to protest against Donald
Trump’s visit. We will aim to join the Latin American contingency in
Trafalgar Square. It is well documented that the Trump administration is
increasing its hostile stance towards Cuba and Venezuela. The US Vice
President Mike Pence announced a new programme of measures to restrict
Venezuelan oil exports, especially to Cuba. He said, “The time has come to
liberate Venezuela from Cuba.” In March, the Trump administration tightened
the blockade by announcing it would allow lawsuits against Cuban companies
nationalised after the Revolution.
Members of Brighton Cuba Solidarity collected instruments from far and wide
of all different shapes and sizes. On the 10 th of April, these and those collected
elsewhere, were sent to Havana from Liverpool in a couple of containers.
Many thanks to all of you who collected or donated instruments, to our
committee members for packing and loading the van and to Rob MacMillan
for driving up to a holding depot in Rainham, Essex. Pauline Fraser who was a
delegate at the NEU conference in Liverpool, reported “ On Tuesday after the
conference, a grand send-off took place of over 4000 musical instruments that
had been collected across England and Wales to fill two huge containers that
will be loaded on board a ship due to dock in Havana in six weeks time”. We
hope to receive a report re their arrival and distribution in Cuba in the near
future.
Brighton CSC members are being asked to help run CSC stall at Union
conferences during the summer months. Please let us know if you can spare a
few hours to be on a stall.
Elections for committee members will be held at our AGM on the 22 nd of
June. Please do let us know if you would like to be on our committee. This
could be done in advance or at the meeting itself. Meetings are approximately
every six weeks and we discuss a wide range of topics but our main aim is to
organise meetings and events. It would be great to welcome new faces and
hear new ideas.