Defend the Cuban Revolution

FRFI 177 February / March 2004

Boycott Bacardi activists ended 2003 in style, dressed as bats at Uxbridge Magistrates’ court, with banners and placards, to demonstrate against Bacardi’s ongoing support for the counter-revolutionaries in the USA and the illegal US Blockade of Cuba. The reason for our presence was that Vinnie Jones was in court charged with assault of a fellow passenger on a flight and threatening behaviour towards the flight crew.

Vinnie Jones, the former footballer known as a thug on the pitch, now the hard man of British film where he is cast in gangster roles, has been the face of Bacardi in recent TV advertising campaigns in Britain. Vinnie Jones was found guilty of the charges levelled against him. Bacardi immediately issued a statement saying ‘We do expect appropriate behaviour from people involved in the promotion of our brands’.

This is a rich comment from Bacardi given its own behaviour, which is far from appropriate. Despite its advertisements portraying its Cuban roots for tropical Caribbean appeal, the Bacardi rum company is anti-Cuban and has been engaged for more than 40 years in clandestine attempts to overthrow the Cuban government by both violent and other means.

The message that the Boycott Bacardi bats brought to the public in December was that Bacardi continues in its age-old tradition of supporting thugs and we will ensure that Bacardi’s past and present counter-revolutionary activities continue to be exposed. This is especially important in 2003, when the appeal begins for the Miami 5. These five Cuban men are in gaol in the US for trying to expose the sabotage and dirty tricks orchestrated by groups such as the Cuban American National Foundation, founded and funded by Bacardi.

The counter-revolutionary activity of the media has been on the increase recently with articles condemning Cuba on its human rights record and arrest of so-called dissidents. This comes at the same time as US government ministers publicly accuse Fidel Castro of destabilising Latin America. Rock around the Blockade has been active in responding to such articles. Ensuring that the media is called to account is part and parcel of our struggle to tell the truth about Cuba and the revolutionary achievements that are never mentioned otherwise.

Over the next year, Rock around the Blockade will be raising money for a sound system for the Union of Young Communists in Cuba and preparing a group of people to travel to Cuba on a brigade in 2005. They will offer this solidarity to Cuban youth and learn at first hand about how Cuban society operates. There are meetings around the country, stalls with petitioning and leafleting, fundraising social evenings and clubnights and activities with the Boycott Bacardi campaign and the Free the Miami 5 campaign to take part in. We urge you to join Rock around the Blockade: £10 waged; £4 low waged; £2 unwaged. Cheques made payable to Rock around the Blockade and sent to BCM Box 5909, London WC1N 3XX. You you will receive our regular newsletter with updates of our activities and analysis of events in Cuba. Visit our website (www.ratb. org.uk), or subscribe to our egroup (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and we welcome ideas and input to our work.

Get our recently released Rebel Music CD with revolutionary music and words for £5; the money raised goes towards material aid for Cuba.

Long live the Cuban Revolution and long live socialism!

RATB Meeting

7pm,
London School of Economics, London WC2
(nearest tube Holborn).

Wednesday 10 March Room S78, St Clements Building, Houghton Street
The Miami 5: the case for their appeal and the defence of Cuba

 

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