Monday, October 8, 2012


MARIELA CASTRO'S TOUR TO AUSTRALIA CANCELLED Due to a serious health issue relating to severe lower back pain, doctors have told Mariela that she cannot travel to Australia. This is sad news for the Cuba solidarity movement in Australia, which was looking forward to hearing Mariela speak on many important topics in contemporary Cuba.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

MARIELA CASTRO in SYDNEY: sexual, gender and women's rights in CUBA today

On Tuesday, 16 October Mariela Castro Espín, director of Cuba’s National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX), will give a public lecture on sexual, gender and women's rights in Cuba today. This once-only event will be held in the Eastern Avenue Auditorium from 6:15pm to 8:30pm.

A well-known activist for LGBT rights and a strong defender of Cuba’s socialist system, Mariela will be visiting Australia in October 2012 as an invited guest of the Australian Government, to participate in two sexual health conferences to be held in Melbourne. In addition to delivering a guest lecture at the University of Sydney, she will also travel to Canberra.

The daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro and the late Vilma Espín, founder of the Federation of Cuban Women (which set up CENESEX), Mariela has led campaigns against homophobia and for the acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, trans-vestism, and trans-sexualism. She helped push through a 2008 law which gives transgendered persons access to free sex change operations and campaigns for same sex unions and same sex marriage.

Mariela’s responsibilities include: director of CENESEX’s journal, Sexología y Sociedad, President of the Cuban Multidisciplinary Centre for the Study of Sexuality, President of the National Commission for Treatment of Disturbances of Gender Identity, member of the Direct Action Group for Preventing, Confronting, and Combatting AIDS, and executive member of the World Association for Sexual Health.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fidel in the 21st Century

On Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 August, the ACFS, along with the Latin American Social Forum and other Cuba solidarity groups, are hosting a two day conference looking a the life, thought and legacy of Fidel Castro. Titled “Fidel in the 21st Century” the conference will develop on his contribution and ideas for a better world.  The conference will be held at the Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills (near Central Station).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gallery events - Humour from My Pen

The Humour from My Pen Exhibition will run from 19 April 2012 to 13 May 2012 at the At the Vanishing Point Gallery, 565 King Street, Newtown (Gallery hours: Thursday-Sunday, 10am-6pm).

Join us for the opening on Thursday 19 April at 6 pm

There will also be Q&A sessions with guest speakers at the gallery:

Sun 22 April, 2-4pm:
Ofelia Delgado Padron, visiting Cuban educator and anti-homophobia campaigner

Sat 28 April, 2-4pm:
Ray Jackson, Australian Indigenous Social Justice Association

Sun 29 April, 2-4pm:
Mary-Alice Waters, editor of The Cuban Five: Who they are; Why they were framed; Why they should be free

Sat 12 May, 2-4pm:
Reinaldo Garcia Perera, Consul General of the Republic of Cuba

Who is Gerardo Hernández?
Hernández is one of the US political prisoners known internationally as the Cuban Five. Convicted by the US government on fabricated “conspiracy” charges and handed draconian sentences, the five have been unjustly imprisoned since 1998.

Their “crime?” Monitoring plans for action by violent counterrevolutionary Cuban-American groups with a 50-year record of deadly attacks on Cuba from US territory with Washington’s complicity.

Please consider bring a friend who might not know about the Cuban Five, and forward this email to people or networks that may be interested.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Humor from my pen - the political cartoons of Gerardo Hernández

Coming soon to Sydney - Humor from my Pen is an exhibition of political cartoons by Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, a political prisoner currently serving a draconian sentence in U.S.P. Victorville, California.

Hernández, along with fellow Cuban revolutionaries Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, and René González – known worldwide as the Cuban Five – have been held as political prisoners in the United States since 1998.

The exhibition features high quality reproductions of 28 satirical cartoons, line drawings with watercolours with explanatory captions in English. Hernández created these during his more than 13 years inside maximum-security prisons with limited access to materials. They show that the authorities have not been able to break his spirit and humour.

The exhibition will run on Thursdays to Sundays from 19 April 2012 to 13 May 2012 at 'At the Vanishing Point' gallery 565 King Street, Newtown.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Los 54 - The 54 - Timorese doctors trained by Cuba in Timor Leste

Cuba links and news

Here are a few Cuba-related links, news and upcoming events that I hope you find interesting and informative.

1. 'Yes I Can' - The Cuban approach to adult literacy in Wilcannia

ABC News Online has an article about the piloting of a Cuban literacy program in Wilcannia, in the Western region of NSW. The pilot program, based on a revolutionary Cuban education method called 'Yo Si Puedo', or 'Yes I Can', is expected to mirror the impressive results the campaign has enjoyed in countries such as Nicaragua, East Timor and the Dominican Republic. It is hoped that, after a successful campaign in Wilcannia, the program will be picked up throughout Australia.

The Aboriginal Adult Literacy Campaign was launched in Wilcannia yesterday. (Noah Schutlz-Byard)
(Noah Schutlz-Byard)

 2. How Cuba mobilises to defeat public health emergencies

The LINKS International Journal of Socialist Renewal has an article on the Cuban response to public health emergencies. The article finds that Cuban-style public health features mass mobilisation to stop the spread of disease before it takes hold.
"Cuba has experienced more than half a century of mobilisation campaigns like current efforts to control dengue. Soon after the 1959 revolution Cuba mobilised the literacy campaign which sent teachers and students to every corner of the island to teach citizens to read and write. Every hurricane season, the neighbourhood Committees for Defence of the Revolution (CDRs) are prepared to move the elderly, sick and mentally ill to higher ground if an evacuation is necessary. Campaigns against diseases like polio and dengue have made Cubans used to the government bringing public health efforts into their homes."


3. Afro Latino Festival 2012

The NSW Spanish and Latin American Association forSocial Assistance is inviting you tocelebrate the common cultural heritage of the Latin American and Africancommunities being presented through a lively showcase of cultural performances,live music, food and dance at the Afro Latino Festival, 11am – 6pm, Saturday 3rdMarch 2012 at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.

For more informationabout the Festival visit: or!/AfroLatinoFest. For inquiries about theAfro Latino Festival contact Laura Luna, 0411 328 063, For media comment contact Carlos Encina, Ph. 9724-2220, mob. 0414 825 085;

4. COMAU Awards Eureka Prizes in Havana

The director of the National Center for Sex Education, Master of Science Mariela Castro, and Havana City Historian Eusebio Leal, received the Eureka Award for academic excellence recently in Havana, Cuba. The award, granted by the World Council of University Academicians (COMAU), was handed over by its president, US professor Todd Fletcher, during the closing ceremony of the 33rd World Meeting of the organization, held at the “Lazaro Peña” Theater Havana.

5. May Day Brigade to Cuba

The 7th May Day Brigade to Cuba will be held this year from 22 April to 6 May 2012. The international brigade group's program includes visits to historical, economical,cultural and social places, not only in Havanabut also in other provinces, lectures about national issues as well as meetingswith representatives of Cuban organizations. Anyone interested in going on the May Day Brigade should email

6. Diego Maradona visit to Australia

Diego Maradona, the world famous football star will visit Australia to tell his life story. He will be appearing in Sydney on 29 May 2012. Diego famously went to Cuba to receive treatment for drug addiction and has been a strong Cuba supporter around the world. For more information, visit

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Infant Mortality in Cuba equal best in Americas

Cuba has released figures for 2011, reporting an infant mortality rate of 4.9 per thousand live births. This confirms Cuba's place as the leading Latin American country for infant mortality and is equal to Canada for the entire continent.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Public Health, the province of Las Tunas achieved the lowest infant mortality rate in the country with a rate of 3.5.

Radio Cadena Agramonte reports that that 17 municipalities were able to register zero infant mortality, most of them in the eastern provinces, stating that:

Among the factors contributing to these results are the will and policy decisions of government, a high level of education of the population and a comprehensive vaccination program, with one hundred percent coverage of children.