running for cuba crowdfunding

I am running a marathon – in one mile laps – this Sunday 10 May from 10am. I will be streaming live updates:

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Watch me here: Sam McGill and  Rock Around the Blockade:

Please donate via the Go Cardless link here: (** see note below)

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£5 £10 £20 £30 £40 £50 £100

I am raising money for two causes:

Why not get involved and get sponsored to run your own mile laps, posting your videos too!

Rock around the Blockade is supporting this fundraising campaign to buy equipment for ventilators for Cuban patients with Covid-19. They are blocked from purchasing new machines by the illegal, punitive US blockade. Please donate what you can and share widely.

cuba covid 19

When times are hard, that is when we most need generosity, kindness and compassion. We appeal to that generosity, that makes us better people, as we turn to you in asking for help. We need to buy components to build ventilators to support COVID-19 patients with medical complications in Cuba.

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Rock Around The Blockade, campaign of the Revolutionary Communist Group, condemns the escalation of US aggression against Venezuela and Cuba in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Trump administration's deployment of navy destroyers to patrol the Caribbean near Venezuela on 1 April is a declaration of war and the latest move in protracted efforts to overthrow the Bolivarian Revolution. The US military deployment is part of a wider manoeuvre planned for the whole region involving aircraft and ground units, adding to deployments to Guyana and a major new military pact with Brazil, Venezuela's hostile neighbours. These actions will amount to the largest US military deployment in the region in the last 30 years.

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Pickets of Esso garages took place across England and Scotland as the Revolutionary Communist Group and Rock Around the Blockade took action against the illegal US blockade on Cuba. With a racist coup unleashing bloodshed in Bolivia against the Movement Towards Socialism government and their indigenous supporters, the pickets were broadened to urgently protest against US, EU imperialist interests in Latin America. ExxonMobil (whose European trading name is Esso) is the first to bring lawsuits against Cuban state companies under the newly activated Helms Burton Title III legislation of the US blockade. Not only does ExxonMobil target Cuba, back the brutal coup in Bolivia and back destabilisation in Venezuela, it heavily contributes to climate change and environmental destruction which threatens the future of life on Earth.

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From 11 - 14 of October 2019, Rock Around the Blockade proudly hosted Cuban environmental historian Professor Reinaldo Funes Monzote, alongside the Cuban ambassador to Britain Teresita Vicente Sotolongo, and associated embassy representatives for a speaking tour. In cities across Britain Professor Monzote spoke about the amazing progress made in Cuba on the environment and how the revolutionary socialist process has enabled Cubans to repair the environmental damage done to their country by centuries of colonial rule and imperialist domination. Reinaldo told us about how Cuba’s land was historically used for sugar farming by colonialists. Slaves were used to produce huge amounts of sugar cheaply for consumption in the countries that dominated Cuba: Spain and the US. This continued until the Cuban revolution triumphed in 1959. Since then it has been the task of the revolutionary government to reforest areas of land that were deforested to make room for sugar production and to undo the economic underdevelopment that occurred as a result of Cuba’s history as a subjugated country.

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There are increasing outbreaks of measles globally: 112,163 confirmed cases in 2019 so far (900 in England and Wales in 2018). Almost 110,000 people died from measles in 2017 – mostly children under the age of five. Complications can result in disabilities such as blindness and hearing loss. Europe had over 83,500 cases in 2018 in Ukraine (16 deaths), Greece, Italy, France, Serbia, Russia and Georgia, as well as Israel. Astonishingly (or not), Germany, Italy, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine remain endemic for measles, the world’s most infectious illness, but one which is entirely preventable with a simple, effective, safe vaccine. Driving the outbreaks are disadvantaged and marginalised communities of unvaccinated and under-vaccinated people, such as Irish Travellers or Orthodox Jews. There are inequalities in vaccine uptake by ethnicity, deprivation and geography. Between 2010 and 2017: the US had 2,593,000 unvaccinated children, France had 600,000, and the UK 527,000; in sub-Saharan Africa over 17m infants are unvaccinated annually.

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Growing US aggression against progressive governments in Latin America is being accompanied by Cold War rhetoric from Washington. Speaking to right-wing Venezuelans in Florida, President Donald Trump proclaimed on 18 February that ‘the twilight hour of socialism has arrived’. Visiting the country at a decisive moment, we brigadistas learned first-hand that Cuba is getting ready to prove Trump wrong. Will Harney reports.

As previously reported (see FRFI 269), for months the Trump administration has been threatening to activate a long-dormant piece of anti-Cuban legislation, Title III of the Helms-Burton Act which has been suspended by every president since the Act itself was passed in 1996. The sword fell on 17 April, anniversary of the failed 1961 US invasion of Cuba at Playa Giron (the Bay of Pigs). National Security Advisor John Bolton, speaking to right-wing Cuban exiles and former mercenaries at the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association in Miami, announced that the suspension on Title III would be fully lifted from 2 May.

On 24 April 2019 the BBC published an article which was clearly intended to attack the Cuban revolution, while it lacked any seriousness or credibility: "Cuba's government mocked by stampede of ostrich memes". The article tries to mock the Cuban revolution with very questionable foundations. A member of the recent Rock Around The Blockade 2019 Brigade has written the following reply:

To Pascal Fletcher and the BBC:

I feel like the BBC needs to do a little bit of research before publishing articles. You have been very quick to amplify the voices of social media users - whether Cuban or not - who are critical of the government. However, you haven't offered facts or the views of "the other side". Any credible news source should show some balance and use evidence in their reporting. In fact, how about you start reporting on Brexit using memes and comments on online forums as your only source?

I have just been on a solidarity brigade to Cuba with Rock Around The Blockade, which has given me the chance to see the situation in Cuba for myself and talk to many experts. I therefore feel compelled to present you with some important facts.

cuba at the un humna rights

On 16 October US delegates to the United Nations announced a political campaign called ‘Jailed for What?’. The campaign aims to portray Cuba as a politically repressive country. The US asserts falsely that Cuba has 130 political prisoners who are being punished for exercising their right to free speech. Cuban and Bolivian delegates disrupted the campaign’s launch meeting at the UN, banging tables and chanting ‘Cuba sí, bloqueo no!’ (‘Cuba yes, blockade no!’) to drown out the allegations coming from US delegates. Cuba dismisses the allegations, saying that the US aims to use this as an excuse to maintain the economic blockade of the island. Referring to the Trump administration’s renewed hostility towards Cuba (see FRFI 259) the Cuban Am­bass­ador to the UN, Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo, released a statement after the meeting: ‘the United States lacks the morals to give lessons, much less in this matter’ and ‘It is part of the actions aimed at subverting the legitimately established constitutional order and of the interventionist agenda that has gained renewed momentum under the current administration, whose fascist, racist and xenophobic ideas are a matter of grave concern in the international community’.