The Canadian Network on Cuba
Launches its "Sandy Relief Fund" Campaign
At 1:25 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25th, Hurricane Sandy entered Cuba just west of Santiago de Cuba as a category 2 hurricane. However the extent and speed of Sandy gave it a destructive capability as great as any of the category 5 hurricanes. Its central path took it rapidly through the provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Holguín and Guantánamo, the former two provinces being the most populous in Cuba after the City of Havana.
The hurricane devastated the heroic city of Santiago de Cuba, destroying houses, damaging public buildings and monuments, leaving the city without water supply, electricity, shops, markets and trees. Despite massive evacuations, it took a toll of some 11 human lives, an unusually high number in Cuba for hurricanes (mainly by collapsing buildings) — 132,733 houses were affected with 15,322 totally destroyed and 43,426 losing roofs. Massive damage, not yet fully calculated, was caused in Guantánamo and Holguín before the hurricane left this province near Banes, precisely where hurricane Ike had entered four years earlier.
President Raúl Castro, visiting Santiago de Cuba on Sunday, Oct. 28, said that only urgent temporary measures can be taken and that the recovery of Santiago would take years.
The emergency measures are well underway. Roads to healthcare centres and other essential services were speedily cleared. Linemen have been arriving from seven provinces to work together with local ones to restore electricity and telephone services. Roofing materials are arriving from neighbouring provinces such as Las Tunas. Temporary systems have been set up to provide 85% of the affected population with drinking water, and food supplies have been arriving from throughout Cuba to Santiago and other severely affected parts of eastern Cuba. Cultural activity has not been overlooked, with some cultural centres being promptly and reopened, with artists from different parts of the country to join local artists in lifting the spirits of the people.
Good friends of Cuba have also been prompt to supply assistance. Venezuela, for example, has given 650 tons of help including non-perishable food, drinking water and heavy machinery to Cuba, with some going to Haiti. However, the need remains great. Cuba continues to give its help to Haiti, which, although not directly hit by Sandy, suffered much destruction from flooding, with scores of lives lost.
Cuban provinces as far east as Villa Clara and Cienfuegos suffered from high winds and flooding due to heavy rainfall.
Canadians have responded generously in the past to disasters affecting Cuba and other Caribbean countries suffering from natural disasters. With great gratitude we recall that from coast to coast they responded to requests from the Canadian Network on Cuba, the umbrella group representing friendship organizations with Cuba. We forwarded to Cuba after 2008, when the country was ravaged by three hurricanes, more than $404,000.00cad.
When on January 12, 2010, Haiti suffered the horrific earthquake, the CNC, recognizing that the most effective way of helping Haiti was by doing so through Cuba, mounted its TO CUBA FOR HAITI Campaign, which so far has collected and sent to the Cuban Medical Brigade in Haiti $453,728.12 cad.
Cuba needs substantial help, both immediate and long term, in order to overcome the crisis brought on by hurricane Sandy. Cuba’s Ministry of External Commerce (MINCEX) is establishing an account to receive the financial contributions. As in all our previous fundraising efforts, every single penny donated will go to Cuba. Charitable tax receipts will be provided.
Our experience with regard to Cuba's response to natural disasters is that it knows how to multiply the value of any donations it receives. We feel confident, based on the island's unsurpassed humanitarian work both within Cuba and in other countries, that it has the skills, the organization and the ethical and moral values to put whatever aid it receives to the best possible use.
The CNC urges everyone who can afford to do so to support this effort by giving a donation:
1. Payable to your local Friendship organization * and please also write "CNC Sandy Relief Fund" on your cheque's memo line. They will forward the info/money for tax receipts to the Mackenzie-Papineau MF.
2. Payable to the ‘Mackenzie-Papineau Memorial Fund’ and mail to the Mackenzie-Papineau Memorial Fund, Att: Sharon Skup 56 Riverwood Terrace Bolton, ON L7E 1S4. Please also write "CNC Sandy Relief Fund" on your cheque's memo line. Charitable receipts will be issued by the Mackenzie-Papineau Memorial Fund in 4-8 weeks (Charitable Org - Revenue Canada Reg, #88876 9197R0001). There will be no administrative charges, not even for postage stamps or anything else.
Keith Ellis, Coordinator, CNC Sandy Relief Fund (905 822 1972; email@example.com)
Isaac Saney, CNC Co-Chair and National Spokesperson
Elizabeth Hill, CNC Co-Chair and Treasurer
* In Vancouver and British Columbia you can make cheques payable to: Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba
Sandy - A poem by Keith Ellis
I’m Sandy, too morally blank to be ashamed.
Born in Central American jungle heat,
sucking moisture from trees long nurtured
by the bloodied victims of protected tyrants.
Friendly pressures strengthened my monstrous growth,
leading me straight to candid Jamaica
to make boulders fly and smash the fragile
dwelling of the elderly owner and the owner.
In bare and slippery Haiti my wide wet wings
hastened the muddy burial of Jacqueline Tatille;
and her four, aged five to seventeen,
she had tried to save became her smothered company.
A category two they had upgraded me
on my way to defiant Cuba.
The most discerning could perceive
that my gusts and surges I had maximized
to equal the top category five.
Perfected thus my armoury
I pounced on Santiago:
the steed of monumental Maceo whinnied and shook;
four-month-old Roldán found his house’s walls
pinning his cradled infancy to the unyielding floor.
I tumbled trees as old as Hatuey,
wounded all that sustains life,
speeding in blind fury
through sleepy Oriente.
And everywhere the erstwhile livestock
lying stiffly swollen on the flattened fields.
In dispersed Bahamas
I swept away a banker and a pauper
and disguised my prideful surge
to give deceptive force
to my downgraded self.
Superstorm they would come to say.
I hurled granular sea waves
into Wall Street’s secret depths.
With whetted appetite I drowned houses and people,
tore forever from their mother’s arms
Connor aged five and Brandon, two;
while her Staten Island neighbours
impassive, mimicking me, gave no help.
Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, U.S.A:
the same winds and waters
caused moans and tears
desolation and death
in a few short days.
I imposed a suffering shared
reminding them of common humanity.
I’m now a memory spent in Canada’s vastness,
too morally blank to be ashamed.
But what of the suffering
enforced by one on the other:
the embargo inhumanly designed
for inhuman suffering,
suffering for half a century now,
from Flora ‘til me;
and for how much longer
will it, like me, be too morally blank
to be ashamed?
15 November 2012
Statement Against U.S. Backed Terrorism Against Cuba
35 years ago today the US-backed criminal Luis Posada Carriles directed the bombing of Air Cubana Flight #455 shortly after take-off from Barbados. All 73 innocent passengers on board perished in this, the first terrorist attack on a civilian airliner in the Western Hemisphere. Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba condemns this attack and those that planned it, the US government and their henchmen, Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch.
For Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, and all peace and human loving people in Vancouver, Canada, Oct 6th, 2011 marks a day of deep sadness and strong feelings of solidarity with all of our brothers and sisters around the world fighting for self-determination and peace, and especially with the people of Cuba and the families of the victims of U.S.-backed terrorist attacks against Cuba.
Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 the U.S. has waged a constant criminal war against the people of Cuba, using any means to take away the great gains for humanity made by the Cuban Revolution and the people of Cuba. The bombing of Flight #455 in 1976 is part of these attacks that have killed 3, 478 people and wounded thousands more. It is for preventing attacks such as these that the 5 Cuban Heroes have been unjustly held in US jails for the last 13years.
Today we remember the lives lost on Oct 6th, 2011 with a commitment to continue the fight for a better world alongside the Cuban people and the Cuban Revolution. United we must struggle with renewed fervor against the genocidal US blockade against Cuba and demand an end to these criminal attacks. We will win!
END THE CRIMINAL U.S. BLOCKADE AGAINST CUBA NOW!
JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF ALL ANTI-CUBAN TERRORISM NOW!
Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC)
October 6, 2011
Long Live the Memory of Compañera Sara González!
(July 13, 1951 - February 1, 2012)
¡Leonard Weinglass, Presente!
(August 27, 1933 – March 23, 2011)
Yesterday the world lost a great lawyer and fighter for social justice, Leonard Weinglass. Along with this small note, we wish to send our sincere condolences to his family and relatives.
It is only by reading through the list of people that this tremendous lawyer represented in court that you truly understand the scope of his dedication to social justice and building a better world. From the Pentagon Papers defendants, to Angela Davis, to Jane Fonda, to Mumia Abu Jamal, and the Cuban 5, Leonard Weinglass was a evidently a strong defense lawyer and civil rights activist.
However, it was his ongoing advocacy outside the courtroom that showed his true dedication and commitment. Leonard was a well-known face representing the case of Cuban 5. He wrote articles, travelled around the world to speak at events and appeared in numerous TV interviews and documentary films to represent and defend the Cuban 5. He represented them with dignity, using his sharp and direct answers to complicated questions and humble smile.
While he was in a great deal of pain from his battle with pancreatic cancer, Weinglass continued his work for the Cuban 5, recently submitting the final documents for the habeas corpus in favour of Gerardo Hernandez and Antonio Guerrero, two of the Cuban 5.
Organizers and supporters of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) and the Free the Cuban 5 Committee – Vancouver wish to take a moment to reflect on the great accomplishments of a great human being. It is also a time strengthen our commitment to Leonard's final case, that of freeing our 5 Cuban brothers held unjustly in U.S. prisons, which together we will win.
¡Leonard Weinglass, Presente! Ahora y siempre
Coordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC)
Coordinator of the Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver
March 24, 2011
Long Live the Memory of Reverend Lucius Walker!
(August 3, 1930 - September 7, 2010)
Remembering Rev. Walker
If you wish to send your condolences to Rev. Walker's family and friends
you may do so by following the link below: Guest book for Rev. Lucius Walker
Long Live the Memory of Compañero Juan Almeida Bosque!
(February 17, 1927 - September 12, 2009)
calls on all individuals and organizations with an interest in defending
Cuba to come together in defense of Cuba to build a movement united with Cuba, with each other, and with all oppressed people worldwide against imperialism. We hold bi-weekly meetings open to anyone with an interest in Cuba solidarity work.
Group of Activists from Canada, U.S. &
after they crossed successfully from BC, Canada
into the U.S. with aid bound for Cuba in spite of U.S.
guards blocking them from entering into the
U.S. for 7 hours on Sunday July 3rd, 2011