FBU sends solidarity to Hotel Saratoga rescue workers

Campaign News | Monday, 16 May 2022

On 14 May, when the CSC fringe at the Fire Brigades Union conference was taking place, emergency services in Cuba were still working to save lives following the explosion on 6 May (see page 6). Les Skarratts, chair of the FBU International Committee, sent a message of condolence and solidarity from the meeting to the families and victims and to the rescue and health teams in Cuba.

Navendu Mishra MP told the meeting that although the British government had a generally positive relationship with Cuba, there was much more that it could do to improve trade and prevent UK companies and banks from being penalised by US blockade legislation.

Aymée Díaz Negrín, political counsellor at the Cuban embassy, described how by cutting off regular channels of migration to the US from Cuba, the US was “encouraging illegal migration, privileged treatment and blatant political manipulation to irregular Cuban migrants. Just to give you an example,” she said, “Washington shut down consular services in Havana, obliging Cubans to travel to Guyana to obtain migrant visas at the exorbitant cost implied by this journey and the requirements arising there, in addition to a lengthy stay.”

She also thanked the meeting for the solidarity they had received following the Saratoga tragedy, and during the pandemic, without which “it would not have been possible for Cuba to face COVID-19 and the US blockade.”

The main conference also passed a motion of solidarity with Cuba, condemning the blockade in its 60th year and calling on members to affiliate to CSC and to sign the open letter to President Biden.

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