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Issue #1583      February 27, 2013

More than 2,000 friendship groups around the world

Kenya: Serrano Puig, president of the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP) told Granma International that Friendship with Cuba organisations exist in more than 150 countries and number more than 2,000. In 2012, these groups undertook various initiatives opposing the US blockade and supporting the release of Cuba’s Five anti-terrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

Serrano, also a deputy to the National Assembly, cited various activities held within the US itself, including the financing by more than 300 organisations of an announcement in The Washington Post calling on President Obama to free the Five, in addition to an effort to visit the offices of 40 US Senators and Representatives to discuss the case.

Activities focused on solidarity with Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández and René González have taken place on the fifth of every month, including marches, protests, cultural events, pickets in front of US embassies and the distribution of information about the injustice these men suffered as a result of their work to defend Cuba against terrorist attacks.

In 2012, regional meetings of solidarity groups were held in Asia (Sri Lanka), Africa (Ethiopia) and Europe (Germany). During these gatherings, Cuba’s defence of its national sovereignty, the support it gives other countries and its leadership in the struggle for a better world were recognised

“It has been a year during which the entire world has been very attentive to the changes we are making, which has generated much support,” Serrano said, as she described the many international brigades of sympathisers which visit the country, adding that in 2012, “People from 91 nations visited us, 75 were represented in brigades, all of whom have helped broaden the solidarity movement, strengthen our friendships and build mutual understanding between Cuba and other peoples of the world.”

The 40th anniversary of the Julio Antonio Mella International Camp, the 20th of the Pastors for Peace Caravans, the 35th of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the 43rd of the Venceremos and the 21st of the Juan Rius Rivera - composed of Cuban émigrés resident in Puerto Rico and the United States – were all celebrated.

Also making productive visits were brigades from South America, Latin America and the Caribbean, in addition to the Nordic group from northern Europe and the Southern Cross from Australia. International delegations came for May Day and the 45th anniversary of Ernesto Che Guevara’s death.

Serrano reported that May 31 through June 5, a series of activities have been organised to take place in Washington, DC demanding freedom for the Cuban Five, while preparations have begun for the 3rd International Solidarity with Cuba Conference, scheduled for the end of 2014. This gathering will allow for the development of initiatives and proposals, as well as the exchange of successful strategies in an effort to perfect activities to more effectively share the truth about Cuba.

Granma  

Next article – Socialism and the path to Socialism – Vietnam’s Perspective

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