Wednesday 6 January 2010

Cuba not terrorist country says Washington Post

The Washington Post, the most important and oldest newspaper of the US’s capital city, published an article today criticizing the inclusion of Cuba in the US list of terrorist countries.

The article, written by 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner Eugene Robinson, refers to Washington’s rigorous airport security rules put into effect last Sunday under which passengers flying to the United States from Cuba and another 13 so-called terrorist countries will be submitted to extra screening.

The text says Cuba represents a threat of terrorism equal to zero. “Cuba is not a failed state where swaths of territory lie beyond government control; rather, it is one of the most tightly locked-down societies in the world,” the author wrote and adds
“a place where the idea of private citizens getting their hands on plastic explosives, or terrorist weapons of any kind, is simply laughable.”

“There is no history of radical Islam in Cuba. In fact, there is hardly any history of Islam at all…the island nation would have to be among the last places on Earth where al-Qaeda would try to establish a cell, let alone plan and launch an attack,” the article reads.

“Yet Cuba is on the list because the State Department still considers it - along with Iran, Sudan and Syria - to be a state sponsor of terrorism.”

In addition, the text notes: “Despite the fact that the U.S. Interests Section in Havana was one of the few American diplomatic posts in the world to remain open for normal business, with no apparent increased security, in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks?”

Further in his writing Robinson says Barack Obama’s administration’s policy towards Cuba has been tentative and halting and he criticizes the fact that the blockade against the island nation remains undisturbed as well as the ban that keeps American citizens from traveling to Cuba.

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Thursday 16 April 2009

National Consultation issues Perth Declaration

The 15th National Consultation of Australia/New Zealand Cuba friendship societies ended its deliberations in Perth recently. With the participation of guest speakers, his Excellency Abelardo Curbelo, the first Cuban Ambassador resident in Australia; Ms Nelida Hernandez, consul-general Ifrahim Miranda, consul; Maria Esther Garcia, Cuban Charge d'Cultural Affairs and
Rigoberto Zarza, Asia-Pacific representative of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, ICAP.

The consultation was officially opened by Greens Senator the Hon. Rachel Siewert. Delegates from Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Albury Wodonga, Newcastle, Brisbane, Perth and NZ discussed the best ways to strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Australia and Cuba.

Concerns were raised on the lack of changes by the Obama Administration in relation to the US policies on Cuba.

It was recognized that even if Obama has the heart and the will it would be difficult to undo the mess that 10 hostile administrations have enacted in law.

Obama's changes to the US blockade on Cuba basically remained in place while the only change was to reduced the right of the Cubans living in the US to visit their relatives once a year in contrast with the previous once every three year condition imposed by the Bush Administration.

In relation to the Cuban Five the right of the wives to visit their husbands continue to be denied. In a recent letter to Obama by more that 170 personalities and Amnesty International they request the freedom of the Five and the right to visit. The punishment to the Five is also a punishment to their families and the dignity of the entire people of Cuba.

The consultation passed unanimously the Perth Declaration which includes the demand to end of the US blockade on Cuba as directed by the UN general Assembly and the Freedom of the Cuban Five.

Thursday 22 January 2009

Thursday 20 November 2008

Monday 28 July 2008

Cuban Revelry Day in Perth

The ACFS Perth faithful to its commitment to the Cuban people and the revolution celebrated last Saturday 26th July the national "Cuban revelry day" with Cuban music and traditional food and drinks.
More than 200 people attended the celebration "Santiago de Cuba Carnival" held in Kulcha in Fremantle which was a sold out function and many people unfortunately were turned away at the door as the venue reached full capacity.
The highlight of the evening apart from the speeches was the draw of the ACFS raffle which gave the following results:
The winners were:
First Prize -      Trip to Cuba, Tony Lakis (WA)
Second Prize - $1000 cash, Oliver Villar  (NSW)
Third Prize -     Set of Cuban DVD's, Paul Ferreira (WA)
Thanks to Loretta Martella,  Kulcha's General Manager for leaving another engagement to be there on the evening to do the draw.
People interested to visit Cuba as a brigadista in the upcoming 26th Southern Cross Brigade should contact:
acfsperth@gmail.com or visit www.cubabrigade.org.au for more detailed information.
All the proceeds raised on the night will go to fund a community agricultural project in Cuba.
NB: Photo shows Elizabeth Hulm, ACFS branch secretary looking after the stall. Photo taken by acfs.

Monday 21 July 2008

ACFS Presents: Rumba & Cafe and Liliana Sputore

This event is being held on Saturday 26th July from 7.30 pm. At Kulcha, South Terrace Fremantle (above DOME cafe). Tickets $22/$25. Book at www.Kulcha.com.au, 0419812872 or acfsperth@gmail.com.

Hope to see you there!

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Friday 4 July 2008

Pastors for Peace Caravan stopped at U.S.-Mexico border

Pastors for Peace Caravans have been taking supplies and solidarity to Cuba since 1992. This year's Caravan is dedicated to the freedom of the Cuban Five. We urge supporters to read the alert below and take action immediately!

We have just received word that the Pastors for Peace Caravan, which challenges the U.S. blockade of Cuba on an annual basis, has been stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border. As always, the Pastors for Peace buses are carrying medicines and other materials to show their solidarity with the people of Cuba.

Rev. Thomas Smith, President of the Board of Directors for the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization/Pastors for Peace, told ANSWER, "We've had 31 computers seized by the Customs and Border Patrol at the U.S.-Mexico border. These computers were destined for classrooms, clinic and hospitals in Cuba. These are 31 classrooms, clinics and hospitals that now will not have the opportunity to have computers." Smith vowed to "maintain a demonstration until we get the computers back" and called upon all opponents of the U.S. blockade to take a moment to protest this outrageous and cruel confiscation of humanitarian materials by contacting the following:

The Border Patrol, which under the Department of Homeland Security, which can be reached at 877-227-5511

The Office of Foreign Assets Control, which regulates the U.S. blockade of Cuba, which can be reached at 1-800-540-6322 or ofac_feedback@do.treas.gov

Your House representative, who can be reached at the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121.

In your phone calls and emails demand the immediate release of all items belonging to the Pastors for Peace Caravan, which have been seized at the U.S.-Mexico border. Let them know that you stand with the Caravan members who are currently protesting at the border, that you oppose the blockade of Cuba. Take action right now!