Cuba Support Group – Ireland was formed in 1993 in recognition of the urgent need to draw public attention to the desperate plight of the Cuban people. The exemplary achievements that had been secured by this small Caribbean island since the 1959 Revolution; advances that have set Cuba apart from other “developing” nations and made it the envy of many developed ones; risked being crushed as the United States continued to tighten its blockade against Cuba and tried to bend its people mercilessly at its will. Cuba Support Group brings together people from across the political spectrum who believe in Cuba’s right to trade, develop and determine its own future.
The Cuban people are unnecessarily suffering considerable hardship and deserve the support of the international community to maintain and improve their standard of living and protect their right to self-determination. Throughout the world support and solidarity groups have emerged in Cuba’s defence determined to expose and oppose the cruel and inhuman blockade. Although Cuba saw 80% of its trade disappear overnight and chronic shortages of essential foods and medicines ensued, the Cuban peoples indomitable will to resist ensured that not one hospital or school closed, not one person went hungry. It is now as urgent as ever to support the Cuban people in their determined struggle for a healthy, educated, peaceful and dignified life.
To increase awareness in Ireland about Cuba and its people. To promote and defend the right of the Cuban people to determine their future without outside political, economic or military interference. To oppose the inhuman and illegal US economic blockade of Cuba. To raise material support for the Cuban people.
To deliver up to date information on Cuba through the media, public meetings, and a newsletter. Organising Work Brigades and Study Tours to Cuba. Representations to politicians, political parties, trade unions, government departments, solidarity groups and other interested bodies and individuals. Active opposition to the US blockade and exposure of the effect of the blockade on the Cuban people. Promotions of a peaceful resolution of the differences between the US and Cuba.
By any standard, the rate of improvement of living conditions for the Cuban people has been impressive. From conditions of very poor housing, widespread disease and malnutrition, completely inadequate health services,little or no education and high levels of unemployment the challenge facing the new government in 1959 was daunting. Whatever resources were available were put into various development programmes. For instance, 1961 was declared Education Year in Cuba and major campaign began to wipe out the 25% illiteracy rate.
As soon as the overall level of education reached an elementary stage the standard was reset and today education is compulsory through second level. All education, including university level is free. Similarly, all health services are free and widely available through a system of family clinics. In 1959, Cuba had 6,000 doctors and the infant mortality rate was 60 per 1,000 births. Today, there are more than 60,000 doctors and the infant mortality rate is 6.4 per 1,000 live births.
These achievements along with most other developments in housing, nutrition, employment, energy etc are under constant threat. These threats have been resisted by the Cuban peope despite all the aggression that has been directed towards them. It has been a successful struggle. Join us in defending that struggle.
Cuba has shown that the countries of Latin America need not be condemned to poverty and backwardness, that progress can be made and the highest standard of health, education and social welfare can be achieved.