MPs turn out to support Cuba

Campaign News | Friday, 25 March 2011

Around 100 MPs, trade union leaders and friends gathered at the House of Commons on Wednesday 23 March to support better UK-Cuba relations while at the same time welcoming the new Cuban Ambassador HE Esther Armenteros to parliament.

The reception was jointly hosted by The All Party Parliamentary Group on Cuba and the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.

26 MPs and 13 members of the House of Lords joined with leading trade unionists and friends to both celebrate Cuba’s achievements while urging the British Government to support better UK relations with the island, in trade, science culture and the arts.

MP Cathy Jamieson, Vice Chair of the APPG, called for everyone to support better relations with the island calling on people to join the APPG and get involved in supporting Cuba.

Esther Armenteros noted to applause that

“while we may have some political differences between our countries we have so much more in common and we are all part of the same human race.”

Chair of the APPG and Vice Chair of CSC Baroness Angela Smith, urged people to “become a ‘Friend of Cuba Solidarity Campaign’ and get involved in all sorts of exchanges with the island including a planned parliamentary delegation to Cuba later this year.”

Representing the full breadth of support from the Trade Union movement TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber told the audience of his recent meeting with Cathy Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, where he pressed for the ending of the EU Common Position and the bettering of UK - Cuba relations.

Brendan went on to compare the UK Government cuts in social spending with the efforts in Cuba to maintain education, health and social care. He ended his speech with a call for justice for the Miami Five, who are still incarcerated in US prisons for defending their country against terrorism emanating from the United States.

The guests had the chance to taste genuine Cristal Cuban beer as well as Havana Club rum cocktails, and everyone received a pack of information about CSC, the APPG and travel opportunities to Cuba.

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