Wednesday 26 February 2014

THE WAR OF SHAME - USA - Ireland - Mexico

1846-47 was the epoch that changed half the world. It all started in Mexico.  In 1847, the brash-young United States of America invaded Mexico.

The invasion was to annex most of Mexico and enforce slavery from north California, Texas, Arizona, throughout the United States and as far a field as Cuba.
The area around New York was corrupt and disease ridden. The invasion had a flow-on to Australia. We had no “Border Protection”. A million starving Irish immigrants flooded into evil-smelling, rat-infested rental accommodation in New York.  The houses were owned by a small handful of US millionaires. So, the US war machine rounded up hoards of Irish immigrants and sent them to invade Mexico. But things went wrong. The Irish joined forces with Mexico.

Out of their fighting, many of the most famous Irish songs of rebellion were born.  Be prepared to laugh and cry throughout the evening. In a full program  of word and song, dedicated to the St Patrick’s Brigade (“San Patricios”); to the glory of Mexico and to Truth and Justice throughout the world.

Brian Hungerford and Marcos Cruz introduce Australia’s leading Irish and Latin American singers, musicians and dancers. Poetry and narration will be in English and Spanish.

Venue:  St James Uniting Church Hall, Curtin
When:  Saturday 29 March 2014.
Time:  6.30 for 7.00 pm
Entry:  $20

Plenty of authentic Irish, Curtinish, Mexican and Cuban, food and drinks available during the interval, as well as before and after the event – At gentle prices.
This is a one-off fundraising, organised by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society, Canberra.
Information: phone Brian: 6282 4747 ( au)

Monday 10 February 2014


Cuba’s participation in Canberra’s Multicultural Festival 2014 was a roaring success.  As in the past few years the Cuban stall was a popular spot for visitors to the festival.  Young and old, entire families stopped to check the material on offer in the stall and to ask questions, many questions!
I would like to visit Cuba, how can I travel to Cuba? What kind of visa do I need? What is the best route/airline to take? What’s life like in Cuba? Somebody told me that you have lots of doctors in Cuba, is that true?  Would I be looked after if I became sick whilst visiting your country?

Those are the type of questions curious people kept asking time and time again.  And which the Embassy personnel on duty and a group of volunteers from the Australian Cuba Friendship Society of Canberra were very pleased to answer.

But, without a doubt, the highlight, the big event, was the great RAFFLE. A couple of years ago Don Pedro, the current Cuban Ambassador, had the great idea of starting a “free raffle”.  All the people had to do to be in it was to write their name, a contact phone number and an email address on a piece of paper, put it in the draw box and be there when the raffle was held (this year it was at 2.30pm sharp).  The excitement and enthusiasm when the time came was palpable in the atmosphere.  Faces lit up with expectation at the prospect of a superb bottle of Cuban rum or a couple of equally fine bottles of Cuban beer or, for the quietly converted aficionado and connoisseur, a Cuban cigar.  A Montecristo perhaps!!!

Our hats go to the Cuban Embassy staff and, indeed one of them went to Celia, Don Pedro’s wife and a key staff member of the embassy, who did such a tremendous job calling the prizes and the winners names under near 40 degrees temperature, most of the time without a hat!  Sweat, not tears, run down her face but she stood there until the last price and lucky winners' names were called. 

Well done Cuba, well done the Cuban Embassy staff.

HLVS from your Australian friends

Thursday 6 February 2014


Cuba will preside over the 67th World Health Assembly, Dr. Antonio González, head of international agencies of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health announced recently in Geneva

This appointment is recognition of the achievements of the Revolution in this sphere and its role in the international arena, González said

Cuba's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) is widely recognized, as well as collaborating with the rest of the world in this field, the official said in statements published today by Prensa Latina news agency.

This Assembly, to be held on May 19-24 May, is the supreme instance decision of the organization, founded in 1948, the specialist added.

Right now thousands of doctors and other health workers in the Caribbean nation maintain their cooperation in some 60 countries from different continents.

González participated in the Swiss city in the 134 WHO Executive Board session, that gathered 34 countries from all regions of the world, including six from America.

On this occasion they addressed various topics, such as a plan for the elimination of tuberculosis from now to 2025 and another to finish polio eradication, as well as health goals after 2015, he said.

Other issues discussed were the nutrition of infants and young children, hepatitis and the decade of vaccines.

The Executive Council also discussed the reform of WHO, especially in management, planning and governance structures.

Gonzalez recalled the role of WHO, the highest health body belonging to the United Nations that brings together 197 countries, and is responsible for managing policies to prevent and combat major health problems globally.

Cuba’s health system is also the subject of a lengthy article in that most august of science journal, The Lancet, the world oldest peer review medical journal founded by Thomas Wakley and which has being published continuously since 1823.  For the article, click on this link: