Canberra, December 7, 2020.- Last Saturday members of different branches of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS) held their annual National Consultation.
On the Cuban side, José Prieto Cintado, Vice President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Leima Martínez Freire, Director of Asia and Oceania of that organization and the Ambassador of Cuba to Australia, Ariel Lorenzo Rodríguez, participated in the event.
During the meeting, the Vice President of ICAP took the opportunity to convey a message of appreciation to the entire ACFS membership for their admirable solidarity work with Cuba. This solidarity was strengthened in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the sending of funds to the island and the support for the nomination of the Henry Reeve Brigade for the Nobel Peace Prize 2021. He also mentioned that in Cuba, citizen welfare will continue to be prioritised in the midst of COVID-19 and the search for solutions to everyday problems of the country from a position of defence of national sovereignty and independence.
In another area, the Cuban Ambassador offered an update on the state of bilateral relations by expressing the progress made in 2020 despite an adverse context, such as the development of projects of economic and commercial interest, the reactivation of the Australia Cuba Parliamentary Group and the continuity of the literacy program in aboriginal communities with the use of the Cuban method “Yes I can”.
The friends of Cuba exchanged about the organisation of the next edition of the Australian-New Zealand brigade "Cruz del Sur" at the Julio Antonio Mella camp of ICAP, for which an online meeting will be held next January. They also agreed on the 2021 Work Agenda and on the need to continue taking advantage of virtual connections to stay in touch and carry out internal work.
At the end of the event, the ACFS issued a National Declaration in support of Cuba, in which they highlighted the need to end the United States blockade against the Cuban people in the midst of the pandemic, recognised the humanist work of the Cuban Revolution by sending medical brigades to 39 countries to contain COVID-19 and also denounced the open support of the US government for subversive elements within the island that seek to disrupt the public order.