Cubans visit city to mark 50th anniversary

June 7, 2010 10:50 AM
Paul Saunders and Cubans

Pictured at the Cambridge CSC meeting are (from left) Frank Liddiard Cambridge CSC, Maria Aleida Del Riego Diaz ICAP and Councillor Paul Saunders

Cambridge residents who have been raising money to help the people of Cuba for many years hosted visitors from the country to mark a 50th anniversary.

City Councillor, Paul Saunders, recently elected to represent Romsey, joined members of the Cambridge branch of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, which hosted the visit, to welcome the group.

The visitors, from ICAP, the Cuban organisation for international friendship, took time out from the Cuba Solidarity Campaign's national AGM in London for a special visit to thank the Cambridge branch for its support over the years.

Cllr Saunders said: "It is good to see work by local CSC members recognised by this visit. The local branch has been very active, helping Cuba over many years, including sending computers and educational material to the medical school in the city of Matanzas and raised enough money to refurbish an ex-NHS ambulance to be used in Cuba."

Maria Aleida del Riego Diaz, who led the group, said: "I hope that links with Cambridge forged today will encourage local musicians and artists to travel to my country".

She was delighted to hear about Romsey Town's thriving allotments from Cllr Saunders.

"In Cuba we now have many 'organoponicos', these are local organic urban gardens that now provide a significant percentage of our food," she added. "It seems we have more in common with Cambridge than I imagined".

Cllr Saunders added: "Although many have concerns that Cuba could do more on human rights, we ought not to forget its huge achievements in promoting the welfare of its people.

"I've visited Cuba many times since 1995 and, despite its third world status and the savage US trade embargo, I have seen Cuba developing a healthcare system that rivals the best in the world.

"Cuba has also achieved a level of literacy equalling the best European countries and surpassing its first world neighbour: the US. Cuba now exports its teaching methods to many parts of the developing world."

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