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Viva Cuba

Events LONDON Friday 10 September Rebel Music club night – Hip hop, break beats and reggae – raising money for the 2005 sound system for Cuban youth. 9pm to 3am at Electrowerkz, Torrens Street, EC1, behind the Angel Tube station. £3 before 10pm, £5 after 10pm.

Wednesday 6 October Around the anniversary of Che Guevara's death in combat: Meeting and discussion on the writings of Che Guevara. In conjunction with FRFI LSE society. At 7pm in Room S75, St Clement's Building, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2.

Saturday 9 October On the 37th anniversary of Che Guevara's death in combat, an evening of politics, poetry and music . Phone (020 7837 1688)/email to confirm details of venue. All welcome. Performers who wish to take part, please contact us in advance. Saturday stalls from 12 to 2pm take place regularly. Please phone or email (details above) for dates and place.

MIDLANDS For information e.mail

NORTH-WEST Phone 07816 547 066

NORTH-EAST Phone 07813 073 846

SCOTLAND Thurs 23 September Video of ‘The Revolution will not be televised’, the inside story of the failed coup to oust Venezuelan President Chavez. Followed by discussion. 7pm Room G7, Dundee University Tower Phone 07779 785 529 or e.mail

Fidel Castro counters US slander With the US elections only months away, the Bush administration has been intensifying its attacks on Cuba on a political, economic and ideological level. Most insidious and perhaps most vile have been the allegations, made by President Bush in person but immediately parroted worldwide by the media, that ‘Cuba is today a major destination for sex tourism’. In June, the US administration published a report citing Cuba as one of the ten worst offenders for sex tourism and child pornography. Such propaganda provides a cover for imperialism’s attempts to destroy Cuba. Bush stated that ‘putting an end to human trafficking will be an essential part of his foreign policy’ and that ‘the traffic in human beings brings shame and suffering to our country and we will lead the fight against it’. It was vital, then, that Castro should address such baseless but dangerous slander head-on in his speech marking the 51st anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks on 26 July. A month earlier, he had responded with ‘Epistle Two’ aimed at President Bush, in which he had spelled out the gains of the Cuban Revolution that put to shame conditions in the US. In the 26 July speech, Castro made short shift of George Bush himself, quoting a US psychiatrist, Dr JA Frank, to dismiss Bush as a ‘dry drunk’, a former drinker whose alcoholism has been

‘arrested but not treated’, a fanatical and paranoid religious fundamentalist and an illiterate. Fidel stated that these slanders against Cuba ‘were fabricated in a hurry to justify the atrocious measures taken against Cuban-born people living in the US who have close ties with Cuba’. The savage curtailing of travel to Cuba and the right to send remittances home risks alienating a huge swathe of Cubans living in Miami – vital votes for a president who only won last time by disenfranchising a large section of his opponents. Castro ended by pointing out the hypocrisy of the allegations. ‘What would Mr Bush call the tens of millions of tourists who visit the United States every year where casinos, gambling dens, areas of male and female prostitution and many other activities related to pornography and sex abound, none of which exist in Cuba and all of which are alien to the revolutionary culture of our people? Would he call the US tourist industry sex tourism? ‘However, in the fevered and fundamentalist mind of the allpowerful gentleman in the White House and in those of his most intimate advisors, Cuba must now be “saved” not only from “tyranny”, Cuban children must now be “saved from sexual exploitation and trafficking in persons”. ‘Has no one told him that in Cuba before the triumph of the Revolution in 1959 about 100,000 women were directly or

Yes! I would like to join Rock around the Blockade ❑ Please send me more information on RATB activities. ❑ I would like to join RATB* ❑ I would like a copy of the pamphlet ‘Revolutionary Cuba’ (£2.95 + 80p p&p) Name __________________________________________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Tel _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________E-mail address_________________________________________________________________________________ Donation _____________________________________ *I enclose a cheque/PO payable to Rock around the Blockade for £10 waged/£4 low waged/£2 unwaged (please delete). Please return to Rock around the Blockade, c/o FRFI, BCM Box 5909, London WC1N 3XX.

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indirectly involved in prostitution for reasons of poverty, discrimination and lack of work and that the Revolution educated these women and found them jobs and outlawed the so-called ‘tolerance zones’ which existed in the pseudo-republic and the neo-colony installed by the United States? ‘Has no one told him that Cuban children, whose physical, mental and moral health is the number one priority of the Revolution, are protected by more severe laws than those of the United States and that they all attend school, including more than 50,000 who suffer from mental or physical disabilities and that, without exception, they receive specialised care in special education centres? ‘Has no one told him that infant mortality is lower in Cuba than it is in the United States and that it continues to decrease? ‘Has no one dared to whisper in his ear that Cuba occupies an outstanding and internationally recognised place in education; that health and education services are free and extend to the whole population; that today programmes are underway in education, health and culture that will place Cuba above all the other countries in the world?’ In truth the Cuban Revolution gives every child the opportunity to realise his or her potential, protects them against disease, illiteracy, ignorance and exploitation, gives the lie to the hateful, self-serving slanders of imperialism.

E group Cuba information service Rock around the Blockade has initiated a Cuba e-mail group. The service circulates up to the minute news, articles and speeches from and about Cuba and related events. Group members can post their own items and comments. All members of RATB are invited to join the e.mail group. For more information go to group/Viva Cuba or contact RATB.

VivaCuba34 donation 20p On 15 August, exactly 190 years after Simon Bolivar swore to dedicate his life to the liberation of Latin Ameri...