UNISON salutes the Cuban people on the sixtieth anniversary of revolution

Morning Star | Wednesday, 19 June 2019 | Source:

UNISON delegates saluted the Cuban people on the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution today, writes Marcus Barnett in the Morning Star.

The trade union pledged solidarity against Donald Trump’s “cruel and illegal” blockade of Cuba at its annual conference and voted to campaign for an end to the US blockade of Cuba, which began in 1962.

Delegates also demanded that the Trades Union Congress (TUC) develop a strategy to persuade Westminster to implement measures preventing British companies from enforcing the blockade.
Unison Scottish convener Lilian Macer said: “We celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, which overthrew the hated Batista regime and put an end to his rule that was characterised by death squads, mafia rule and rampant inequalities.

“The nationalisation of US-owned land and businesses returned much of the wealth to the Cuban people.”

Ms Macer drew attention to the 1961 volunteer campaign to make the rural population literate, an effort which attracted the support of approximately 100,000 educated Cubans and effectively wiped out illiteracy in the country.

“One of the testaments from those volunteers said that the literary campaign taught them how to share — to give without expecting something in return. They shared their good intentions,” Ms Macer said.

She also mentioned Cuba’s healthcare system, adding: “As a health worker, I recognise since the Cuban Revolution that they have achieved a world-class health system on a fraction of the budget of most other countries, and despite suffering 60 years of blockade.”

Isle of Wight delegate Yve White said: “The successes of Cuba persuade intellectually honest people who do not swallow shallow anti-communist propaganda.

“In Cuba, nobody walks barefoot, dies of hunger, are illiterate from the age of six, or have to pay for education.

“Have they created a paradise? Far from it. Cuba is a poor nation, but a decent one whose people care deeply about humanity.

“The greatest weapon of the Cuban resistance is the conscience of its population.”
North West delegate Tracy Delaney said: “Let’s celebrate Cuba’s achievements against the odds — and it is only imaginable what Cuba could achieve once the blockade is lifted.”

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