Cuban Residents in Canada Hold 9th National Meeting

Ottawa, 21 de mayo de 2018. Last Saturday May 19, over 60 Cuban residents in Canada gathered in Montreal for the 9th National Meeting of Cuban Residents in Canada ̶, convened by the newly created Somos Cuba Association.

Meeting attendees held a minute´s silence to honour the victims of the tragic plane crash that took place on May 18 in Havana, killing 110 people and causing deep sorrow to all Cubans living in the island or overseas.

After singing the Cuban national anthem, a message from Ernesto Soberón, Director of the Division of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, was read.

During the meeting, the work of the associations of Cuban Residents in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto was reviewed. Attendees discussed how to best coordinate future actions and attract more Cubans residing throughout Canada. Anielys Ruiz, Mara Bilbao and Tania López, Consuls in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, respectively,  offered an update of Cuban migratory regulations and took questions from participants.

Ambassador Josefina Vidal thanked everyone who attended the meeting and said that the Embassy´s doors were open to any Cuban who defends peace and homeland´s sovereignty.

Somos Cuba representative and enthusiastic organizer of the event, Mrs. Odalys Jones, highlighted the significance of this kind of event to bring together Cubans residing outside the Island in order to discuss topics relevant to their native country, in an interview to Prensa Latina.

Cubans attending the Meeting approved the Final Declaration in which they committed themselves to continue working in defense of the values of love of the Homeland and defense of their culture. Likewise, they condemned the blockade imposed by the government of the United States against Cuba for over five decades. They agreed to hold the 10th Meeting on May 2019 in Toronto.

Culture played a major role in the event. An exhibit of Cuban painter-etcher, Montreal resident, Julio Alaracón Mariño was showcased. In addition, Cuban film ´Ya no es Antes´ (dir. Lester Hamlet) was presented by well-known Cuban actor Luis Alberto García (main male role). The film –screened right after the meeting- stirred the deepest fibers within the viewers as it deals with sensitive issues like immigration, uprooting and the emotional ties of those impacted by the decision. The finishing touch of the event was the performance of popular Cuban singer/song-writer Waldo Mendoza  ̶ on a private visit to Canada ̶  who kindly accepted Somos Cuba´s invitation to this yearly gathering attended by an ever increasing number of Cubans during spring season.

 

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Comunidad cubana