37th Southern Cross Brigade: From Australia to Cuba with solidarity

Waiting for the new year in Cuba, visiting important historical sites and talking with people of different ages, marked notably the members of the XXXVII Solidarity Brigade "Cruz del Sur", who had a brief exchange with representatives of the delegation of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) in Holguin, while enjoying the performance of the children's company Ronda de los Sueños and visited in Cueto, Biran, the birthplace of Fidel and Raul Castro.

Lupe Isabel Fernandez, ICAP delegate in this province of the Cuban East, along with other officials, received the brigadistas in the motel "El Bosque", where they held a brief exchange in a favorable atmosphere of friendship and solidarity, provided by the workers of this beautiful tourist facility, which is in the process of restoration.

Rafaela Balerino Romero, ICAP official and director of the brigade, referred to the work carried out by these and many other people in different places in Australia in support of the Cuban cause, such as in Sydney, where several demonstrations take place every month in front of the US consulate demanding the end of the brutal economic, financial and commercial blockade of that imperial power against Cuba.

"This accompaniment by friends who practically have to cross the world to visit us is very valuable for us, and it is very significant that young people, such as those who have been accompanying those who have been coming to Cuba for many years to participate in events, commemorations and volunteer work days, join that movement," the official said.

Among the thirteen Australian and New Zealand brigadistas, the beautiful Lia Weitzel stands out. She leads the brigade, as her father Peter, who accompanies her, did before. At 28 years of age, Lia is always pleased to visit Cuba, and she tells me that she did so for the first time at the age of seven, "but since then I have been hooked on this island, this people, this Revolution. My second visit was at 14 and that's when I really learned what this country means to the world. That's why I always have to repeat these visits, because I love Cuba, its people in Revolution and its history.

Before arriving in this northeastern Cuban province, in transit to Santiago de Cuba, the "Cruz del Sur" brigades carried out productive work days in the western region of Artemisa, where they also visited the memorial that remembers the brave combatants of that piece of homeland land who accompanied Fidel in the assault on the Moncada Barracks (July 26, 1953).

In the center of Cuba, in Santa Clara, they paid tribute to the legendary Commander Che Guevara and his guerrilla comrades in Bolivia; they had an interesting exchange with members of the Young Communist Union and also carried out agricultural work.

Balerino Romero pointed out that other unforgettable activities for the brigadistas took place in the province of Camagüey, where they applauded the performance of artists from the Ballet Company and had a brief meeting with the Minister of Culture. "They loved these activities, like the meeting here with children from the Ronda de los Sueños Company, with which they have been cooperating for some years".

After the activities that will take place in Santiago de Cuba, starting with the posthumous tribute to Fidel Castro, at the place where his ashes rest, after the visit to Biran, where he was born, this solidary Brigade number 37 will take the road to Cienfuegos to meet with the workers and students of the special school for autistic children, named after the heroine Vilma Espin Guillois.

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