A CNC Tribute to Fidel on the 7th Anniversary of His Passing Print E-mail

To honour Fidel Castro on the 7th anniversary of his passing, the Canadian Network on Cuba reached out to those who have dedicated their lives to building solidarity between Canadians and Cubans, to find stories of personal encounters with Fidel. This video compiles some of these stories, alongside footage of Fidel expressing his own views of Canada and Canadians.

CNC Strongly Condemns the Genocide of Palestinians by the Israeli State Print E-mail

The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) condemns in the strongest possible terms the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people being perpetrated by the Israeli government. The current wide-scale massacre of Palestinian citizens in Gaza and the West Bank is rooted in an ethno-nationalist settler colonial ideology. This genocide, combined with the explicit statements of intent by multiple Israeli government officials, leaves no room for doubt or debate – this is a clear-cut case of genocide.

Just as the CNC rejects the genocidal blockade of Cuba, we reject this genocide of the Palestinian people. We reject all those who support this genocide and the 75 years of national and human rights violations against Palestinians, and the theft of their ancestral lands. The Canadian Network on Cuba is perfectly clear on where we stand on this issue, and we recognize that the struggle of Indigenous, African and African descendants, and oppressed peoples against colonialism, racism and imperialism is the fight for human dignity and social justice.

The CNC denounces the active material and political endorsement of these horrific human rights violations by the government of Canada. Canada, in addition to the United States and some other Western countries, are directly complicit in this heinous slaughter of Palestinians on their own land. which is illegally occupied by Zionist Israel. Shamefully, the Canadian government abstained from voting for a ceasefire in the UN General Assembly as the world bears witness to a level of atrocity that will reverberate for generations, and as the count of dead Palestinian civilians continues to rapidly increase by the day, 40% of them being children.

Cuba has consistently been outspoken on the international stage in its support for Palestinian rights Cuba has been a steadfast supporter of Palestinians since its Revolution in 1959 and has always shown strong recognition and support of Palestine diplomatically. It has accepted hundreds of Palestinian students into its Latin American School of Medicine, some of whom are practising in life-threatening siege conditions in Gaza right now, and it has accepted Palestinian refugees for many years.

Cuba was part of a contingent of countries which proposed the overwhelmingly approved resolution to the United Nations General Assembly, demanding an immediate ceasefire, the establishment of an urgent mechanism to protect Palestinian civilians, rejecting the displacement of civilians and human rights defenders, and the provision of emergency humanitarian aid.

To stand against Palestine, to support the Israeli state, or to “both-sides” this conflict, is to stand against Cuba, and against the overlapping struggles of Cubans and Palestinians.

The Canadian Network on Cuba’s principles are unequivocal when it comes to the right to self-determination, sovereignty, and the right of nations to determine their own path to development without outside interference or pressure, including colonialism, occupation, apartheid, and it goes without saying, genocide.

We call for an immediate cease-fire and to end the blockade of Palestine. We strongly urge the Canadian government to end its support for genocide.

Samantha Hislop
Julio Fonseca
Co-Chairs, Canadian Network on Cuba

STATEMENT RE: UN General Assembly Vote to Condemn the U.S. Blockade Against Cuba Print E-mail

In the coming days, Cuba will present a resolution against the blockade imposed upon it by the United States government to the United Nations General Assembly. And, for the 31st consecutive year, this resolution will be overwhelmingly voted in favour of by the vast majority of the 193 member states.

The 61-year-old economic, commercial, and financial blockade against Cuba is the longest-standing comprehensive sanctions regime in the world. In a single year alone, from March 2022 and February 2023, the blockade cost the Cuban economy more than 4.8 billion dollars - 405 million dollars each month - causing a deep economic crisis in the small island nation while severely limiting the Cuba’s access to fuel, food, financing, medical equipment, and other supplies required to ensure the well-being of its citizens.

Quite literally, this blockade is an act of genocide - something with which recent events in Gaza have proven the United States all too comfortable with. Article II of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as including acts that cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of a targeted group, as well as acts that deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the targeted group’s physical destruction in whole or in part. These are the explicit goals of the blockade, as admitted by Washington officials themselves.

According to the 1960 Memorandum from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs: “every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba… to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” This clear violation of Cuba’s right to self-determination is ironic considering the fabricated anxiety about Russian and Chinese interference in European and North American democratic processes.

The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) joins the entire international community, once again, in its condemnation of the immoral and illegal blockade and to call for the immediate cessation of all sanctions by the United States imposed on Cuba, and the removal of Cuba from the spurious list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. To do so would be the minimum act towards complying with international law and realizing justice for the millions of ordinary Cubans who are the victims of the United States’ economic warfare and imperial domination.

We demand the Prime Minister of Canada stand on the right side of history and that Canada not only vote against the blockade against Cuba, but also publicly speak out against the United States’ intransigence in the face of international consensus on the matter of its unilateral blockade on Cuba, and demand the removal of all sanctions against the Cuban people once and for all.

Samantha Hislop

Julio Fonseca

Co-Chairs, Canadian Network on Cuba

Register for the Calixto Garcia Solidarity Brigade Print E-mail

REGISTER before DUE DATE November 1st 2023 by emailing us: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

COME and JOIN us on our 5th Anniversary Celebration!! An opportunity to view Cuba’s beautiful “Oriente” this year we will be visiting 3 of its Provinces; Holguin, Santiago de Cuba & Granma. Learn about Cuba’s culture, history, music, and meet some of the most beautiful & friendly people

The Brigade will run between November 26th to December 8th. The prices quoted below will include all accommodation shown in program. Also included with the Brigade’s price is the mandatory comprehensive health insurance plan and our 2023 Brigade’s T-shirt. The quoted price will NOT include airfare to and from Cuba.

Double occupancy: $1,550 CDN plus airfare

Single occupancy: $1,690 CDN plus airfare

Statement Denoucing the Terrorist Attack on the Cuban Embassy in Washington Print E-mail

70 Years of Triumph: Celebrating Independence, Peace, and Justice Print E-mail

By Isaac Saney*

On July 26th, 2023, Cuba and the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of a pivotal event that sparked the Cuban Revolution and set the nation on a path towards independence and social emancipation. On July 26th, 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. Their aim was to overthrow the oppressive regime of Fulgencio Batista, who was supported by the United States, and ignite a national uprising that would secure Cuba's freedom and sovereignty. 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.

Although the Moncada attack did not achieve its immediate objective, it played a pivotal role in the Cuban people's struggle for national affirmation and social justice. For Cubans, Moncada is not just a singular event, but a part of a broader historical context: a century-long endeavor to liberate themselves from Spanish colonial rule and later from the grip of U.S. domination. Today, the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes barracks stand as tangible symbols of the victorious struggle that unfolded. Their transformation into a school and a museum serves as a testament to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

The attacks were carried out by a revolutionary 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 tied itself to 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.  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 1st, 1959. Most of those jailed, 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 1st, 1959.

The Cuban Revolution is a culmination of the struggles for national independence and social justice, embodied in the indigenous resistance to Spanish colonisation, in African rebellions against slavery, reaching a crescendo on October 10, 1868 when Carlos Manuel de Céspedes launched the first war for independence, carried forward and deepened by José Martí and Antonio Maceo, and revived periodically throughout the 20th century when Cuba languished under U.S. hegemony, with Moncada a crucial signpost.  The Cuban Revolution is, therefore, the crystallization and consummation of the historical aspirations of the Cuban people, manifested time and time again in their re-affirmation and determination to defend, strengthen and perfect the revolutionary project.

However, U.S. imperialism has never accepted the verdict of the Cuban people; it has waged an unceasing economic war and campaign of destabilisation aimed at restoring U.S. hegemony and tutelage. Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Washington has waged an unceasing assault, both military and economic, against the Cuban people, organizing an invasion, assassinations, terrorist attacks against civilians and systematic economic sabotage. Many of these acts were directly launched from and/or planned in the United States. These acts of terror against Cuba include the 1976 bombing of a civilian Cuban airliner that claimed the lives of 73 people and the 1997 Havana hotel bombings, which claimed the life of Fabio Di Celmo, a young Montrealer of Italian origin. As a point of fact, 3,478 Cubans have been killed and 2,099 injured, because of these terrorist acts.

The objective of Washington’s strategy is the negation and extinguishment of Cuba’s right to self-determination, sovereignty, and independence: to reimpose U.S. domination, hegemony, and tutelage.

Washington policy is to starve the Cuban people into submission by suffocating the economy for the purpose of generating shortages, hardships and exacerbating social inequalities that the Cuban Revolution has been working resolutely to eliminate. This was unambiguously articulated by Lester D. Mallory, Vice Secretary of State, and an architect of U.S. Cuba policy. In a now-declassified U.S. State Department memorandum of April 6, 1960, Mallory declared:

“The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba … denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation, and overthrow of government.”

But what is it that Washington seeks to destroy? What is the society that the U.S. government is so zealously committed to undermining and, ultimately, destroying?

Cuba is a society where universal education and health care, housing, food, and access to culture are fundamental human rights, and the state — within its limited resources — does its utmost to transform these aspirations into reality.

In Cuba there are no homeless children roaming the streets eking out an existence in a dog-eat-dog society where everyone fends for themselves, so characteristic and defining of profit driven and capital centred societies.

This commitment is affirmed and ratified by and through Cuba’s system of popular power which provides consequential, concrete, and meaningful input into decision-making by the citizenry. Through mass participation and consultation these historical aspirations are expressed in a political consensus to defend, strengthen, and perfect the revolutionary project.
Cuba is the country that despite worldwide attacks on fundamental human rights has created a final draft of a new family code that will be voted on in a September 25, 2022, referendum. The code is guided by José Marti's dictum, "with all and for the good of all", guaranteeing respect for family diversity and defending the rights of all.

Cuba is also the country that has a vibrant biotechnology sector as its own highly effective vaccines and treatments against the corona virus have abundantly demonstrated. Indeed, Cuba’s successful vaccines are a direct challenge to the West’s monopoly over this vital medical technology, especially as these vaccines continue receiving international recognition.
Cuba is one of the most prescient and powerful voices in both word and deed as humanity faces an ecological catastrophe, developing a plan to 2100 to address the ravages of climate change. Indeed, in 2006, the World Wildlife Fund designated Cuba as the only country with sustainable development.

Besieged by the empire, the heroic island nation has made invaluable contributions to the well-being of the world’s nations and peoples, having established an unparalleled legacy of internationalism and humanitarianism.

More than 400,000 Cuban medical personnel have served in 164 countries fighting disease.

More than 2,000 Cubans gave their lives in the struggles to liberate Africa from the scourge of colonialism and the racist apartheid South African state.  As Nelson Mandela emphasized:

"The Cuban people hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Africa. The Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom, and justice, unparalleled for its principled and selfless character."

It is internationalist Cuba which has selflessly dispatched tens of thousands of medical personnel to dozens of countries across the world to fight disease, be it Ebola or COVID-19.

What Cuba has done nationally and internationally is no small feat, especially as these impressive achievements have occurred amid the all-sided brutal aggression by Washington.

In the 70-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. 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, independence and sovereignty, principles forged in the crucible of Moncada.

The example of Cuba assumes even greater significance as the discordant 21st century unfolds, fraught with grave dangers that threaten the well-being of the peoples of the world. In the midst of these profound challenges, Cuba refutes those who argue that relations among the world's nations and peoples are -- and can only be -- determined by self-interest, the 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. Indeed, history has given its judgment, vindicating Moncada!

Long Live the Martyrs of Moncada!

Long Live the Cuban Revolution!

*Isaac Saney is a Cuba and Black Studies specialist at Dalhousie University, and the author of Cuba: A Revolution In Motion and Cuba, Africa, and Apartheid's End: Africa's Children Return! From 2008-2022, he served as co-chair and national spokesperson of the Canadian Network On Cuba, with which he now serves in an advisory capacity.


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