Steve Ludlam, a true friend of Cuba

Campaign News | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and all our members and affiliates in the UK, we would like to offer our deepest sympathy to Steve’s family, colleagues and friends.

Steve was an amazing friend to all the people of Cuba. He was a long standing member of the Executive Committee of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and played a leading role in Sheffield CSC. He was also an active trade unionist within his union the UCU, (University and College Union).

As a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield he shared his insights and understanding of the Cuban reality with thousands of students over many years. He travelled to the island many times always meeting and learning first hand from Cubans themselves, and particularly from Cuban Trade Unionists. When he shared his understanding he made great efforts to ensure that his teaching and his solidarity speeches were clear, presented well and accessible to all who attended.

Steve was a prolific writer on Cuba and Latin America. He published some wonderful books as well as being a regular feature writer for Cuba Si magazine. Yet Steve was always ready to help others and he regularly provided accessible and concise briefings, factsheets and updates on every subject around Cuba and its struggles in defence of its sovereignty, against the Blockade and for social development. Steve was a realist and he recognised the difficulties Cuba faces in building its society under the most demanding of conditions in the face of such US aggression. Yet he also saw the very best in the Cuban people and applied himself selflessly to assist them wherever he could.

He chose to use his skills, and his academic status, to play an active role in the defence of Cuba and for a better world. He regularly spoke at local meetings across Britain and for many years was a key note speaker at the Latin America Conferences in London.

Steve was an internationalist. He gave a home to a family of Chilean refugees following brutal the Pinochet coup in 1973, and throughout his life he maintained a close affinity with Latin America and particularly with the people Cuba where he made many close personal friends.

Steve recognised the value of international solidarity and saw that Cuba offered a real alternative to the cuts and austerity led agenda which so marred the lives of millions of working people here who had seen their jobs and communities destroyed over the years. He spoke of the alternative economic model that Cuba offered. In doing so he highlighted the lost potential for our society which put profit before people and in doing so marred so many lives.

Steve will be sorely missed by all of us at the Cuba Solidarity Campaign on a personal and practical level. His support, advice, clarity and understanding, has been a vital component of our work over many years that will be difficult to replace.

His passing will certainly be mourned in Cuba where he had so many friends particular across the Cuban trade Unions. He was also an honorary member of the University of Havana Faculty of the Third Age where he gave lectures about international issues.

The best tribute we can give to Steve’s memory is to strengthen our resolve in the struggle for an end to the US Blockade and for Cuba’s right to follow their own chosen path to continue to build their socialist society built on the principle of human cooperation and solidarity, principals which Steve supported all his life.

Rob Miller, CSC Director
Bernard Regan, CSC National Secretary

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