1 January 2019 marks 60 years of the Cuban revolution, 60 years of socialist construction, 60 years defying imperialism. The Cuban people have withstood invasion, sabotage, terrorism, biological warfare and a sustained economic blockade at the hands of the world's most powerful economic and military power, the United States. They have given unyielding support to other poor countries. They have built socialist Cuba, a beacon of hope for poor and oppressed people throughout the world. Cuba shows that there is an alternative to poverty, racism and war, an inspiration for working class struggles around the globe, showing that socialism is the only system that can provide for humanity.
In 2019, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban revolution, Rock Around the Blockade will send our 14th solidarity brigade to the island. Young activists from Britain will spend two weeks meeting Cubans from all walks of life, visiting schools, hospitals, factories, community centres, farms; learning about Cuban socialism and holding exchanges with Cuban youth about the reality of living under capitalism in Britain, as austerity bites and the war drive continues.
We will also take a donation of musical instruments and sports equipment, as a political action to break the continued illegal blockade of Cuba that has deprived the island nation of more than $933bn of development capital over almost six decades. The US blockade reaches its tentacles to try and strangle solidarity work in Britain and beyond, with US companies PayPal and Stripe blocking and confiscating funds from several solidarity groups, including seizing funds raised to send a piano to Cuba. Pushing back against this extra-territorial assault on solidarity, we are organising fundraising events up and down the country and ask you to support us as generously as you can.
Cuba is always grateful for the solidarity of our friends in the world who are many and who, like you, inspired by this example, are slowly breaking the blockade every single day. — Julio Pujol Torres, the Counsellor for Political Affairs at the Cuban Embassy to the UK, at the 2019 Cuba Brigade launch
The more we raise, the more material aid we can take with us! Over the years our brigades have coordinated with the Union of Young Communists in Cuba to assess the best forms of material aid to bring; this has included sports equipment, musical instruments, a sound system, ballet shoes, boxing gloves and more.
On our return we will host meetings, with brigadistas reporting back from their experiences, showing photos and film clips and taking the lessons we can learn from Cuban socialism to the streets of Britain. To host a meeting in your area, please contact us on 02078371688.