Direct Links to Cuba

At our September meeting the group decided to work with Stan Dalby of Bury Cuba Relief to assume responsibility for their existing link with the small community of Manzaneda, in Matanzas province (to the east of Havana province). The main industry in Manzaneda is oil drilling (a crucial industry given the continuing blockade), and our links are via the mining union. The community has a school, a hospital, and is constructing a community centre and library. The Bury group have been sending material aid to Manzaneda for some five years. Unfortunately the group is fairly small, so it has become necessary for them to look for help. The Manchester group was interested in a link with a particular place as a focus for our solidarity and campaigning, so we have joined forces and will work together over the coming year. We will try to visit in November (when we attend the World Solidarity Meetingin Havana), to get a first hand idea of the needs of the community, and to get to know something of the people.

Health in Cuba

John Waller spoke at the July Socialist Health Association meeting about the origins of the Cuban health service after the revolution, its achievements and the challenges faced. John's pamphlet on Health in Cuba (just updated) is available from CSC.

Think before you drink

A reminder to rum drinkers that Bacardi are still marketing their insipid products as Cuban, while actively campaigning for the prolongation of the blockade. By buying Bacardi you could be subsidising the legal costs for the ultra right Cuban American Foundation. Sales of Havana Club, however, directly subsidise Cuba's health education and welfare programmes.

The blockade

The US illegal blockade of Cuba continues, despite some minor breakthroughs arising from the exposure of the ultra right's manipulation of the Elian Gonzalez kidnapping, and the desire by midwestern US farmers to open Cuba up as a market for their grain. The blockade means everyday shortages in Cuba - you have an ear infection, but can't get an antibiotic because it is manufactured by a US subsidiary. You have a headache, but there is no paracetamol. You want to study in the evening, but the electricity is off.

Help us defeat this attempt to strangle one of the most egalitarian societies.

Manchester Cuba Solidarity Campaign (0161 881 6887,

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© Networking Newsletter (Dec 2000)