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Bi-monthly Newsletter of the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto (1977)
Cuban Religious Leaders Demand End to U.S. Blockade
Excerpts from Prensa Latina: Havana, Leaders from
A Celebration is Coming!
Come to our AGM andhelp us celebrate 35 years of the CCFA Toronto Saturday evening - 26 May, 2012
CUPE 4400 & OSSTF building 1482 Bathurst St – 4th floor (elevator) just north of St. Clair Ave West by St Clair West subway station
different religious groups demanded an end to the U.S. 50 year-old economic, trade and financial blockade on Cuba. They see the blockade, which has caused more than 975 billion USD in losses, as an obstacle to the normal development of Cuban society and its relations with other countries. ”The blockade is not fair and it should be changed so we are better off and bilateral relations can progress,” Cuban Islamic League President Pedro Lazo told Prensa Latina. He lamented the lack of freedom of U.S. people to travel to Cuba and establish cultural, religious exchanges and in other sectors. [Washington also prevents its citizens from visiting Cuba, and only allows some of them to do so under severe restrictions such as having to obtain a licence. [Washington’s original means of prohibiting travel to Cuba was to confiscate passports. The U.S. Supreme Court soon ruled that the government could not deny its citizens the right to travel. It however could stamp a warning in the passport. The U.S. government then tried another way to get around the court’s ruling by establishing a “Trading with the Enemy” act for Cuba and moving everything to the Treasury Department - requiring hardto-get licences and imposing fines/imprisonment for “trading with the enemy.” The Supreme Court has done nothing to stop this countermeasure by the government.] ”It is a pity that they cannot see our reality with their own eyes, I recently told to a group of them,” said the religious Islamic leader, adding that some 10,000 Muslims, including foreign students, live in Cuba at present. The Moderator of the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba, Rev. Daniel Izquierdo, noted the need to end the blockade, and stated that to lift the siege is a matter of justice, beyond political criteria. The general director of the Buddhist-lay organization Soka Gakkai, Joannet Delgado, described the U.S. blockade as an obstacle to economic development of the Caribbean nation.
Annual General Meeting-1st short section: Election of new executive and a booklet of reports
Then a celebration
Details in May issue of Amistad.
The Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is coming to Toronto!
The Cuban Children’s Theatre Group— direct from Cuba
2 performances (in Spanish and English)
April 19th April 21st 6:30pm Thursday Cinderella according to the Beatles 7:00pm Saturday Abracadabra
See flyer with details on page 7
agregó. intellectuals and civil servants have received the hospitality of Elizabeth Hill. destacó la directora del Departamento Norteamérica del ICAP. Granma. Hill ha llevado a cabo una infatigable labor a favor de la liberación de los Cinco y por el fin del bloqueo. stated that she never thought about receiving such an honour just for being loyal to her ideas. Gómez. in reciprocity for her examples of solidarity with the Island. LA DISTINCIÓN A ELIZABETH HILL. she said.2 Amistad . KENIA SERRANO. Canada. See page 6 for excerpts from acceptance speech. 16 Feb 2012 ICAP PRESIDENT. Kenia Serrano.Mar/Apr 2012 Awarding Friendship Medal to Elizabeth Hill Otorgan Medalla de la Amistad a Elzabeth Hill Sergio A. aseguró que nunca pensó recibir tal honor solo por ser fiel a sus ideas. Hill has worked tirelessly in support of the liberation of the Five and for the end to the blockade. The Friendship Medal given by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba. Esta medalla constituye un símbolo para continuar la lucha y estrechar los lazos de amistad entre los dos países. E. ICAP President. The activist. PRESENTS THE HONOUR TO ELIZABETH HILL. director of ICAP’s North American Department. a countless number of Cuban artists. This medal constitutes a symbol for continuing the struggle and strengthening the links of friendship between the two countries. Hill with the medal. La activista. la hospitalidad de la presidenta de la Asociación de Amistad CanadaCuba (CCFA-Toronto). handed over the distinction in a simple ceremony in the institution’s headquarters in Havana. quien también copreside la Red Canadiense de Solidaridad con Cuba. Kenia Serrano. emphasized Erperanza Luzbert. LA PRESIDENTA DEL ICAP. Esperanza Luzbert. ENTREGA Un sinnúmero de artistas. KENIA SERRANO. Elizabeth Hill. en reciprocidad a sus muestras de solidaridad hacia la Isla. Canadá. In the cold city of Toronto. entregó la distinción en una sencilla ceremonia en la sede de la institución. the president of the CanadianCuban Friendship Association Toronto (CCFA Toronto) who was awarded the Friendship Medal of the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba. . who also co-chairs the Canadian Network on Cuba. quien este miércoles fue condecorada con la Medalla de la Amistad del Consejo de Estado de la República de Cuba. La presidenta del Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP). intelectuales y funcionarios cubanos han recibido en la fría ciudad de Toronto.
on Saturday. Boxing Olympic Champions. bringing his message to as many people.031 runs. municipalities. Judo Olympic Champions and Enrique Figuerola.Amistad . in the Basilica of the Convent of St.226. The day before.] In the past years. Antonio Lopez Cubillas.883 people across Cuba. under the advisory of the National Group of Oncology. Physical Education and Recreation (INDER). Cuba’s Terry Fox Run for Cancer. Felix Savón and Armando Martínez. created in the 1960s. This program has surpassed all other Latin American countries in terms of objective results.Mar/Apr 2012 3 Cuba’s 14th Annual Terry Fox Run – Marathon of Hope It is the largest Terry Fox Run outside of Canada. the National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology (INOR). 2012. Francis of Assisi. Every year. Terry’s parents and sister took part in the event. In 2010. affecting all countries regardless of race. in the evening. of which 704 took place in mountainous population centers. sent a message of gratitude and encouragement to the organizers and volunteers of the Cuban Marathon. bicycles or wheelchairs. which emphasized the beautiful tribute of the Cuban run to the memory of her brother.349 have disabilities. [The trip was organized by the CCFA Toronto. Canadian diplomats. was dedicated to the Terry Fox Run. Judith Fox. level of economic development or political system. Cuban sport celebraties were present. culture. All over Cuba participation in the 14th Terry Fox Run: Dedicated to the fight against cancer and in memory of the young Canadian Terry Fox. at 10:00 am. each year. Cuba is amongst the few countries in the world with a Comprehensive Program for Cancer Control. of which 20. silver medalist in Athletics at the Olympic Games of 1964. sister of the young Canadian and the International Director of the Terry Fox Foundation. Likewise. Sign: Terry Fox Run . Driulis González Morales and Sibelis Veranes. radio station ¨Radio Reloj¨ gave the start-up of the run for the whole country. Cancer is a worldwide health problem. representatives from INDER and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) participated along with the Canadian Ambassador Matthew Levin and Vice President of INDER. To culminate the activities of the busy day. these athletes and ten others had an emotional meeting with child patients of Pediatric Oncology at the National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology (INOR). the Awards Gala of the National Guitar Competition “Noel Nicola”. Many Canadians in Cuba during the Run (including Canadian tourists) participate – joining with the local Cubans. March 10. of more than one million throughout Cuba. there are no awards and everyone interested in joining the run may do so. As usual. using roller skates. is held annually. Wrestling Olympic Champion. 10 million new cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide. regardless of age or gender. In Cuba. The journey can be made by walking. organizations and institutions as he met on his 143-day journey in Canada. Terry Fox ran to highlight the need to join forces to fight cancer. Since it is a participatory event. running.Marathon of Hope Together Against Cancer . There were 6. this time the run involved 2. it is currently headed by the National Unit for Cancer Control. Ever since the beginning of the Terry Fox Runs in Cuba. hundreds of runs have been carried out in all the provinces. Three of those projects have already concluded with good results and another seven projects have begun: Since 1998. In Havana. Launched in 1969. It is characterized by human solidarity and encourages participation of all people interested in joining the run. such as Hector Milián Lopez. On the eve of the race. cancer is the second cause of death for all age groups and the main cause of years of potential life being lost. According to preliminary data from the National Institute for Sports. the funds raised have been devoted to the funding of some of their research projects. the fourteenth edition of the Marathon of Hope took place in Cuba. rural and mountainous areas with participation. carries out important research on cancer. The Run is featured in the official schedule of INDER’s Marabana/ Maracuba project.
She should be standing up for the safety of Canadian tourists and demanding that the real terrorists be brought to justice. political line] At the beginning of this year. “Cuba doesn’t meet the democratic conditions unanimously adopted at the Summit of the Americas in 2001.S. The Political Council of ALBA “will continue studying” the situation.S. Vice President. April 14-15. Canada has made clear its wish to see a greater political opening in Cuba. We urge the [present] Canadian government to return to its traditional position of cordial and friendly relations with Cuba which it has maintained for over 60 years.S. Ms Ablonczy travelled to Cuba.? ] Canada’s reply came after Colombia. nearly one million Canadians travel to Cuba. Executive Committee. 2012) because Cuba “doesn’t comply with the democratic conditions” that would give it access to the continental forum. If Ms Abionczy is concerned with human rights she should look at the unjust imprisionment of Five Cubans in the United States for simply trying to stop the terrorism against Cuba. Ardis Harriman. Press Release on Cuba’s Participation in the Summit of Americas The Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto strongly condemns the recent statement by the Canadian Minister of State Diane Ablonczy that Canada should maintain its opposition to Cuba’s participation in the Summit of the Americas (Cartagena. [ Ed. The Cuban government blamed the U. We would like to remind her that a Canadian resident was killed in a bombing of a Havana Hotel by terrorists from the United States. [pressure] for its not having been invited to the Summit. the first highlevel visit to the island by a Canadian representative since 2009. after Mexico. Colombia. Each year. VERSION! .S. Canada and Cuba have maintained over 60 years years of diplomatic relations.ca ALL MAPS OF THE AMERICAS INCLUDE CUBA! EXCEPT THE U. the host country for the Summit that will take place in April. announced that Cuba would not be invited to the continental meeting.: Are they again just quoting the U. We believe that Canada has no authority to act as an arbiter of democracy and that it should confine its remarks to encouraging the democratic process in Canada. Canada said that it maintains its opposition to Cuba joining the Summit of the Americas because the Cuban regime “doesn’t comply with the democratic conditions” that would give it access to the continental forum. We support Cuba’s right to participate in the upcoming Summit and welcome the statement by other Latin American nations which have shown their willingness to work towards the inclusion of Cuba in future summit meetings.4 Amistad .Mar/Apr 2012 Harper Government Opposes Cuba Attending the Summit of the Americas Excerpts from 23:53h lainformacion. But Ablonczy’s visit focused basically on consular matters since Cuba is the second greatest tourist destination for Canadians. which in addition alluded to the “historical position” of President Hugo Chávez against Cuba’s “exclusion” from the so-called Summits of the Americas. Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto info@ccfatoronto. with a complete respect for human rights.com (Agency EFE) Toronto (Canada).” added the spokesman for the Canadian Minister. Canadian Minister of State. [but the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is following the U. according to an official Venezuelan communiqué. over which still hangs the threat of a boycott by the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA).
For more information. met with Adriana Pérez O´Connor. The play will be performed in the Bolivian Hall adjacent to the Venezuelan Embassy on Saturday. and which forms a central part of the current round of appeals of the Five . Amnesty International sent a report to the Attorney General outlining the organization’s concerns in the case. After 14 years of imprisonment.C.Capital Come one.April 17th to 21st in Washington D. spouse of René. playwright and CCFA Toronto member.Amistad . Amnesty International is supporting calls for a review of the case by the US executive authorities through the clemency process or other appropriate means. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. GENEVA. Should the legal appeals process not provide a timely remedy. law allows prisoners access to lawyers and family members. April 21 at approximately 4 pm. the section entitled “Unfair Trials” lists just one . act of solidarity with the Cuban Five. Adriana appealed for a humanitarian gesture that would require the ethical and political action of the United States Government.S. parliament members. Canadian actor. in part. come all . spouse of Gerardo Hernández. In its chapter on the United States.Mar/Apr 2012 5 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Meets Spouse of Cuban 5 Hero. solidarity organizations and friends from all over the world will participate in actions in solidarity with the Cuban Five. government-paid journalists who helped poison the atmosphere during the trial. Amnesty International hopes that these concerns can still be given due consideration by the appropriate appeal channels. In October. Adriana also offered new elements to demonstrate the damages all these years of incarceration have caused to the mental and physical health of the Cuban Five antiterrorists[includes excessive use of solitary confinement]. as it was previously scheduled. (Cubaminrex) On October 2010 Amnesty International had published a Report on the case of the Cuban Five concluding that: ”The organization believes that the concerns outlined above combine to raise serious doubts about the fairness of the proceedings leading to their conviction. Mrs. intellectuals. [U. see website: www. The delay to answer the request prevented Olga Salanueva. peace activist Cindy Sheehan. Give Me Five” at U.S. The International Committee on the Cuban Five (USA) has called on friends to go together and participate in actions as part of the Campaign “Obama. one of five men convicted in 2001 of acting as intelligence agents for Cuba and related charges. The performance will follow a speech by U.org It is confirmed that Hemingway On Stage will perform the play HEMINGWAY’S HOT HAVANA as part of the Washington D. Amnesty International’s 2011 Report on U. on evidence that the US government had secretly paid journalists to write prejudicial articles in the media at the time of trial.” Artists.S. The writeup spotlights the issue which has been the focus of the work of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five for more than a year. Brian Gordon Sinclair has again generously offered his well-known play to help support a good cause.” “Obama.the U. — Calls Cuban Five Trial “Unfair” Spotlights Paid Journalist Issue: Amnesty International has released its 2011 report on human rights around the world. The spouse of Gerardo also highlighted that separation of the Five from their families has caused so much suffering. thereby undermining the defendants’ due process rights. is again breaking their own laws. The appeal was based. .S.S. and given the long prison terms imposed and length of time the prisoners have already served.thecuban5. Adriana also conveyed the desire of the elderly mothers of the Cuban Five who are running out of time to embrace their sons. who expressed that the legal resources to make justice are all exhausted.the trial of the Cuban Five. In June.] Pérez O´Connor stated the necessity that this UN body intercede directly in favor of the motion requested by the defense of René González to travel to Cuba to visit his seriously-ill brother. in particular the prejudicial impact of publicity about the case on a jury in Miami. The U. Give me Five. from traveling to Geneva.S.C. Navenethem Pillay. a new appeal was filed in the case of Gerardo Hernández.
organizations that make up the Canadian Network on Cuba. Professor Lee Lorch. YES! Clowns 4 Cuba is flying! As the Salsa in the City (Toronto) was cancelled last summer where we fundraise. a country so much smaller than Canada. friendship means peace. Joan Barrington. The CCFA-Toronto was founded 35 years ago when 17 people gathered together in someone’s living room to organize a group in support of Cuba. This medal is a symbol to inspire and find new energies and friends. CLOWNS 4 CUBA A hospital is an overwhelming place for any child. Celia Sanchez. Donations to: CCFA Toronto PO Box 99051 . For 35 years the CCFA Toronto has organized many activities upholding its founding statement. And I bring greetings from one of these individuals. our music and our economy were dominated by our biggest neighbour. we are seeking donations to assist us in the education and launching of this complementary therapy into childrens’ hospitals – bringing Red Nose Relief to Cuban children. Vicente Feliu. In 2010. and exchanging literature and other written materials —The CCFA Toronto started a bimonthly newsletter Amistad. She toured the children’s hospital and did a presentation to staff. Septiembre 5 and others. Also Cuban writers and poets such as Pablo Armando Fernandez and Nancy Morejon —We organized Discovery Tours across Cuba and supported the Canadian Che Guevara Volunteer Brigade. February 15. Toronto ON M6H 2A0 Write on cheque’s memo line “Clowns 4 Cuba. Jose Marti’s birth date. A special public presentation on the last day was arranged. . such as: terrorism against Cuba. and the Cuban Consulate and Embassy in Canada. Over the years I’ve learned a lot. We need it as we need life. our beloved 96-year-old honourary chair. On reflection. met wonderful people in Canada and Cuba. We signed protocols with ICAP which included celebrating important historic events such as July 26th. and to strengthen the struggle to Free the Cuban Five. Thank you. Bunky the Clown shared play time with patients. bringing light hearts and healing play.000 for Cuba and initiated the Cuba for Haiti Campaign which raised over $400. We appreciated the assistance of the Vancouver-based CCFA. add that also.000 in support of the of the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association and its sister Henry Reeve Medical Brigade working in Haiti. Joan was invited to hold a workshop to the La Colmenita theatre group –for five mornings and visiting hospitals in the afternoons.1245 Dupont St.” If you want a tax receipt. to celebrate our collective work and goals. Our school books. Long before that meeting I had actually fallen in love with Cuba when I was in high school. stood up to the United States and said it would run things its own way. Grupo Moncada. ICAP. no more discrimination. No more casino. Che Guevara. disinformation campaigns and struggles for justice and liberation for the Cuban Five Cuba is not alone. the victory of Playa Giron. no more foreign domination. CNC. the USA. —We brought outstanding representatives of Cuban culture to perform in Toronto: Noele Nicola. I resented this and believed Canadians had a right to their own culture and destiny. I was inspired by Cuba’s example and got actively involved in supporting the Cuban revolution and opposing the actions of its enemies and the blockade. I was not alone. which was the second such organization created in the world after the Triumph of the Revolution and the formation of ICAP. So this Friendship Medal and honour from ICAP is for everyone.6 — Amistad . our beloved and never forgotten Sara Gonzalez. and worked with a great collective in the CCFA. End the Blockade and create lasting friendship and solidarity between Canadians and Cubans. 2012 —We organized and sponsored a visit by family members of Terry Fox to participate in the 2010 Terry Fox Run in Cuba —We participated in the hurricane relief fund for Cuba which This recognition is not for me alone but for everyone who is part raised more than $400. This is the vision that I wanted for Canada too. Fidel and Raul Castro and numerous others. The people of Cuba chose independence and sovereignty that worked for the wellbeing and justice of its own people inspired by the visions of its leaders: Jose Marti. I’m deeply moved by your words and the confidence and honour of your friendship. In March 2012. I never expected to receive such an esteemed medal just for doing what I believe in. I was deeply inspired when Cuba. Stress can be ever present. aka Bunky the Clown of Therapeutic Clowns (across Canada and international)was in Havana in 2009 having her first meeting with Cuban Public Health.Mar/Apr 2012 Excerpts from Acceptance remarks by Elizabeth Hill at ICAP.
ccfatoronto.Amistad .ca 7 .Mar/Apr 2012 Colour poster on website: www.
Liz Hill.S. Doug Oyler. sports. etc.ca we www. This is the 20th Anniversary Brigade. It will spend almost three weeks in the Holguin area. Printed by union employees.ccf toronto .ca M6H 2A0 . blockade of Cuba. interference and to end the illegal U. to defend both Cuban and Canadian sovereignty from U. Dave Thomas treated an interested crowd to a slide presentation on last year’s Canadian brigade.canadiannetworkoncuba. Email: accentsoneglinton@gmail.Amistad . 2011 See below! Friendship Association Tor oronto Box Tor oronto Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto PO Box 99051 . Anyone interested in finding out more about the brigade can check the CNC website at www. health. Brigade leader. CCFA Toronto and Accents on Eglinton Bookstore hosted a joint Café Cuba with an informative presentation on the Che Guevara Volunteer Brigade to Cuba. Our activities are directed to providing info/events about Cuba to the public in areas such as culture. Accents on Eglinton Bookstore at 1790 Eglinton Ave.. Brien Young. education. Cuban Consul General Jorge Soberon and Consul Raul Delgado were introduced to the audience.S. The brigade departs from Toronto on April 29th and returns on May 18th.Mar/Apr 2012 8 CCFA Toronto’s Cafe Cuba on CanadianVolunteer Brigade to Cuba – for all Ages In early February. respect and cooperation between Canadian and Cuban peoples.ccfa onto. Steve O’Brien. doing volunteer work with Cubans. The Editorial Cmte reserves the right to edit submitted material.com CCFA TORONTO STATEMENT The Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto is active in promoting friendship. CCFA New CCFA has a New Address! ‘snail’ Mail Address! that started that started in Jan. and learning about life in Cuba – plus free time.1245 Dupont St Toronto ON Tel: Fax: info@ccf toronto o@ccfa onto.ca.ccfatoronto. editorial ideas or letters. Three new applications were received at the Café Cuba event and now 40 ‘brigadistas’ of all ages have registered from across Canada. The Che Guevara Brigade is part of the work of the Canadian Network on Cuba.ca Tel: 416-410-8254 Fax: 905-951-7629 Email: info@ccfatoronto. Sharon Skup. Amistad is the newsletter of the CCFA Toronto produced six times a year with volunteer labour. Deadlines the 10th of every even month.ca website: www. Produced with volunteer labour: Ardis Harriman. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editorial staff. West (just east of Dufferin) was a wonderful location to hold the event – with a large meeting room downstairs and plenty of literature on Africa and the Caribbean and many progressive books upstairs to browse through. We encourage everyone interested to submit media articles.
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