Support for Cuba at TUC fringe
Campaign News | Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Almost a hundred people packed the Cuba and Venezuela fringe meeting at the TUC in Brighton on Monday evening.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said how both countries put people before profit and “spread hope and not fear across Latin America and the world”. She said how although embassies have opened in Washington and Havana, the blockade is still very much in place.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady expressed the importance of “Friendship and solidarity between working people” and expressed her solidarity with Cuba and Venezuela on behalf of the TUC.
CSC Director, Rob Miller argued that the “biggest affront and threat to Cuba is still the continuing US Blockade which causes such havoc to the possibilities for development of the Cuban economy.”
On the new relations between the US and Cuba, he said: “While I’m very confident that the Cubans will manage these changes over the coming period - We too must remain vigilant.”
“These are exciting times for the Cuban people who are trying to build their socialist society and hoping that the gradual lessening of the hostile aggression from the US may allow them to develop a little bit further, a little bit quicker, without quite so much external aggression and interference from their huge powerful neighbour.
“At the same time we have to keep up the struggle in support of Cuba, for better UK Cuba relations and trade, for a return of Guantanamo Bay and above all for an end to the illegal US Blockade of Cuba.”
Adrian Weir, Unite Deputy Chief of Staff, said how relations between the US and Cuba can’t be normalised until the US illegal occupation of Guantanamo Bay is ended. He also commented the Labour rights issue at the US Navy Base on Guantanamo, where migrants from Philippines and Jamaica work at half the rate the US pay.
VSC National Secretary, Francisco Dominguez condemned the ongoing right wing, antidemocratic campaigns to destabilise Venezuela’s government.
Christine Blower, who chaired the meeting, urged delegates to sign up to the campaigns and affiliate their branches.