Solidarity for Cuba and the Cuban people stretches around the world in the form of Campaigns, Groups and Networks.
From the C.S.C - Cuba Solidarity Campaign & Rock around the Blockade in the United Kingdom, C.N.C - Canadian Network on Cuba in Canada, Pastors for Peace/IFCO in the United States, Cuba Sí in Germany as well as groups in Ireland, Belgium, France, Turkey, and Greece.
All these organisations offer diverse and wide ranging solidarity events, activities, cuban history, knowledge and information resources, on-going news, brigades, tours of Cuba and cultural exchanges.
Most if not all these organisations call for an end to the United States blockade against Cuba and some for their governments to to oppose it. They believe it is up to Cubans to decide what’s going to happen in Cuba, to decide their own internal affairs without outside interference, like other peoples in their own nations, the right to self determination, national sovereignty and independence.
There has been for a long time a call for the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Cuba & the United States, some of these organisations biggest campaigns were for the freedom of the group known as the Cuban Five or Miami Five that you can read about in the chapter “The Cuban Five”.
Different groups offer different trips or tours, you can give your money to big commercial travel corporations or there are better ways like Cuba Cycle Challenges, a wonderful way to see Cuba as you ride through hamlets, small villages, towns and cities. I’ve been told the experiences with the local cubans that you meet as you ride will last a life time & at the same time raise money for educational equipment for young visually impaired Cuban school children and support the work of the solidarity campaigns & networks.
Brigades with young and old individuals offer the opportunity to participate in practical solidarity work by discovering the true reality of life for Cubans that will be a valuable insight into the many achievements of the revolution and the Cuban people. One of the biggest would be the 1st May Day Rally in Plaza de la Revolución in Havana where brigades from all over the world descend on Cuba. Brigades get to witness the devastating effect caused by the United States blockade by meeting and discussing current issues with Cubans in visits to schools, hospitals, workplaces and within neighbourhoods. In the past brigades contributed to real work in the agricultural and production areas. Today this is still available via voluntary work sessions.
Other tours, for instance the “Following Fidel study tour” include the same visits and meetings as the brigades and goes deep into the Sierra Maestra, all the way to the Comandancia de la Plata! The camouflaged and remote HQ of the revolution, where you can find Che’s Hospital, the bakery, the radio station & press office and even a school.
Another option would be the Viva Che Tour, where you get to meet Cuban doctors from the International Henry Reeve Brigade at Santa Clara Medical University. An educational visit to a Santa Clara childrens foster home, the Literacy Campaign Museum and an organic urban agricultural co-op. Other brigades and tours are available in the Summer & Winter for Young Trade Unionists, environmentalists, educationalists and Social-Work tours.
The Pastors for Peace in the United States send “Caravans” to Cuba from US soil that visit US communities on the way to explain their mission. Maybe you fancy that type of adventure!
Cuba Solidarity in Canada – Five Decades of People-to-People Foreign Relations is a collection of essays about the Canadian solidarity movement in support of Cuba during more than 50 years edit by Nino Pagliccia.
Tours, brigades and events like these would be exclusively arranged by solidarity groups and networks and cannot be booked via other commercial travel corporations, agents, or tour companies.
I would encourage everybody to explore Cuba via a solidarity group or network arranged tours or brigade and show solidarity by joining a group in your own country.
Belgian Solidarity-Movement ICS
www.cubanismo.net (In Dutch and French)
Pope Francis in Cuba Vatican