Wednesday, August 7, 2019


Paul Lynch 1952-2019

 On behalf of the Canadian Network on Cuba we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of a dear friend and solidarity activist, Paul Lynch on August 5th in Toronto after a short illness.

Paul was an easy-going, generous, warm person, who worked tirelessly in solidarity with Cuba and for peace and social justice.  In Cuba, his vibrant presence at the brigades over the years livened up the spirits of everyone around him. His deep commitment and love for Cuba was reflected in his constant return and solidarity with the Cuban Revolution.  He found hope, solace and renewed energy from the Cuban people and their innumerable accomplishments; and in turn brought that optimism back to Canada and shared it with all those he encountered.

Back in Toronto, Paul was an executive member of the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association and attended the 9th Biennial Convention in June 2019 as a delegate.  He was always keen to welcome our Cuban visitors.  Most recently, during the convention held in Toronto, he had the opportunity to drive ICAP representatives Sandra Yisel Ramírez and Yamil Edwardo Martínez Marrero around the city; and around Ontario during their post-convention tour.

Paul’s presence was omnipresent with CCFA.  He helped organize the Bravo Film Festival in 2018. With a keen proofreaders’ eye, Paul helped put out the CCFA Toronto newsletter Amistad.  He delivered cots for the large Pastors for Peace caravan on its stopover in Toronto last fall.  Paul always had his cell phone camera ready to take photos, documenting demonstrations, events, travel and friends everywhere.

We express our heartfelt condolences to Paul’s family and friends.

Our dear, wonderful Paul will be greatly missed by his numerous friends in Canada and Cuba and around the world.

Elizabeth Hill and Isaac Saney, Co-chairs Canadian Network on Cuba

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

66TH ANNIVERSARY OF MONCADA: ROAD OF INDEPENDENCE, JUSTICE AND DIGNITY

-Isaac Saney, CNC Spokesperson, July 21, 2019 -


July 26, 2019 marks the 66th anniversary of the act that is annually celebrated all over Cuba as the beginning of the movement and struggle that paved the way for the Cuban Revolution. 

On that day 66-years ago, Cuba’s rebels rose up against the U.S.- supported dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Although that first battle was lost, the Revolution ultimately prevailed on January 1, 1959.

Canadian commemorations of Moncada Day are a refection of the ties that exist between Cuba and Canada. Canadians admire the courageous and rebellious spirit embodied in Moncada; a spirit that today is so powerfully manifested in Cuba’s steadfastness against the efforts of the empire to destroy the island’s independence. 

The Canadian Network On Cuba and the  Canada-Cuba solidarity movement stand united against the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba. This economic war, combined with other attacks against the right of the Cuban people to chart their own course, has failed - and will fail - to defeat those historical aspirations and aim to build a society based on genuine independence and justice.  As Raúl Castro poignantly underscored, "Despite its immense power, imperialism does not possess the capacity to break the dignity of a united people, proud of its history and of the freedom conquered with so much sacrifice." 

Canadian commemorations of Moncada also take place in the context of disturbing developments in Ottawa's policy towards Cuba. On May 8, 2019 the Government of Canada made the abrupt decision to shut down the section of its Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) Office in Havana through which visas were processed for Cuban citizens wishing to visit Canada. This includes Cubans travelling for family visits, and those seeking work or study permits. This decision has introduced unreasonable delays and significant financial obstacles, as well as personal and emotional distress for those Cubans seeking to travel to Canada, and will cause (and has caused), among other things, significant damages to family reunification, business,  academic, cultural, scientific, and sports relations. 

This is unacceptable! The Canadian Network On Cuba and the Canada-Cuba solidarity movement call on the Government of Canada to fully re-open the IRCC Office and all visa services to Cubans in Havana!

In the 66-years that have flashed by since Moncada, the Cuban people have shown what it is possible to achieve when one defends genuine independence and self-determination. The example of Cuba assumes even greater significance as the 21st century continues unfolding, fraught with grave threats and alarming dangers that threaten the well-being - even the existence - of the peoples of the world. In the midst of these profound challenges,  these terrible perils, Cuba isa potent refutation to the contention that relations among the world’s nations and peoples are — and can only be — determined and governed by egoist self-interest, and the brutal pursuit of power and wealth. 

As  Cuba continues on the path of social justice, human dignity and international solidarity, the Cuban Revolution continues to be an inspiration to humanity. Cuba demonstrates that it is possible to build relations based on genuine solidarity and social love; it is a living example of the alternatives that permit people to realize their deepest aspirations, and that another better world is possible.

LONG LIVE THE MARTYRS OF MONCADA!
 

Moncada: Affirming History,  Independence and the Cause of Peace and Justice

- By Isaac Saney, National Spokesperson, Canadian Network On Cuba -

On July 26, 1953, a group of courageous young men and women -- led by Fidel Castro -- attacked the Moncada Barracks in the city of Santiago de Cuba, and the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Barracks in Bayamo, in an attempt to overthrow the U.S. supported puppet dictator Fulgencio Batista. As the island's second largest military garrison, the Moncada Barracks was critical to Batista's military control of southern Cuba. The goal was to seize the weapons and distribute them to the people and spark a national uprising that would not only overthrow the Batista dictatorship but also establish Cuba's independence and sovereignty. This heroic act is annually commemorated all over Cuba as the beginning of the movement and struggle that laid the foundation of the Cuban Revolution. 
          This year's commemorations are imbued with a particular poignancy;  it is the first without the physical presence of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro. Fidel epitomized the unbending commitment to Justice, Dignity and Independence that has characterized Cuba since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.  Fidel's living legacy continues in the work of the Cuban Revolution. Fidel's example and fidelity to principle continue to inspire the Cuban people, who continue on the path of independence, self-determination and human dignity. 
        The attacks were carried out by an organization that was created in 1952, under the leadership of Fidel Castro and Abel Santamaria, and comprised of young workers, students, artisans, peasants and landless farmers. It had around 1,500 members and affiliated itself with historic Cuban national liberation figures such as José Martí and Antonio Maceo. Around 120 youths were part of the attacks, approximately 70 of whom were killed, with many being tortured and executed after the attack. The survivors, including Fidel Castro, were subsequently put on trial and given lengthy prison sentences. Most, including Fidel Castro, were released after an amnesty in May 1955. This amnesty was the result of the mass mobilization of Cubans in support of the imprisoned rebels. Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, the July 26th Movement galvanized Cubans, ultimately leading to the victory of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959.
          

The Moncada Barracks shortly after the July 26, 1953 attack. The barracks have been converted into a school
and Museum of the Revolution where the bullet holes shown here can be seen to this day.

While the Moncada attack failed in fulfilling its immediate objective, it was central to the Cuban people's struggle for national affirmation and social emancipation. Cubans have always placed Moncada in a broad historical context, viewing it as a crucial link in the century-long striving of Cuba to free itself from Spanish colonial domination and U.S. tutelage, and then, establish authentic independence. At his trial Fidel Castro delivered a speech that eventually became the manifesto of the movement to overthrow the Batista tyranny. It was published as La Historia Me Absolvera (History Will Absolve Me) and laid out the national and social goals of the revolutionary movement that eventually triumphed on January 1, 1959. Today, the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes barracks, now a school and a museum, stand as concrete symbols of that successful struggle.
              

Raúl and Fidel in the Sierra Maestra during the Cuban Revolutionary War

Since the Cuban people embarked on the road paved by Moncada, Cuba has refuted and continues to refute the colonialist mentality and practice of foisting on independent countries imperial arrangements and dictates that they resoundingly reject. The Cuban Revolution has refused to renounce its right to self-determination and the principles, principles forged in the crucible of Moncada.  

History has given its judgment, vindicating the attack on the Moncada Barracks!

Long Live the Martyrs of Moncada!
Long Live the Cuban Revolution!