Statement of the 38th Australian Solidarity Brigade "Southern Cross"

Havana, 18 January, 2023. Members of the 38th Southern Cross Brigade have spent the past three weeks sharing in the experience of the Cuban people. Our stay has allowed us to more thoroughly understand the struggles and realities of everyday members of the Cuban Revolution, as well as the work of their representative organisations.

Our membership expresses the strongest possible solidarity with the Cuban people in the face of the systematic hostility of the US government and in Cuba’s ongoing fight to exert their sovereignty.

We condemn the illegal occupation of Guantanamo Bay. An imperial vestige of the Platt Amendment, Guantanamo Bay is maintained by the US government against the will of the Cuban people, both in its colonial occupation of Cuban territory and in what it represents: torture, detention without trial and other flagrant human rights violations.

We support Cuba in its campaign to overcome the criminal system of unilateral sanctions imposed upon them, including its inclusion in the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the Helms-Burton law, the Torricelli Law, and the entire legislative framework that make up the blockade. This is not a radical position, but the position of 185 members of the United Nations, including Australia and New Zealand.

We denounce the extraterritorial application of coercive measures that undermines the sovereignty of Cuba and, importantly for the Global South, greatly limits reciprocal relationships of solidarity and exchange between Cuba and the world.

We recognise in Cuba a viable alternative to the capitalist hegemony that prevails in the contemporary world. The Cuban model — in lockstep with the majority of its citizens — should be seen as an exemplar developmental model for the advancement of rights in all areas, social justice, equity, sustainability and international relations. Cuba’s advancements in science, for example, reflect the “people-first” priorities of a radical sovereign model that not only improves the health outcomes of Cubans and nations to whom Cuba provides aid, but also as a low-cost sustainable alternative to for-profit pharmaceutical production.

We assume the historical responsibility of supporting the Cuban Revolution and the outstanding role played by its historical leaders in the Cuban emancipatory process, as well as for anti-imperialist and national liberation movements across the world.

Cuba is a paradigmatic example of an alternative developmental model. It demonstrates to all nations what can be achieved through socialism and internationalism. We hope that this example will be allowed to flourish in the face of the challenges we all face.

We heartily thank our Cuban compañeros for receiving us and we promise to continue to fight for the Cuban cause, raising awareness of the struggle against the blockade, countering false media narratives and promoting internationalist solidarity in the work that we do. We commit to continuing the legacy of our historic Brigade and to welcome new generations into the anti-imperialist fold. Another future is possible.


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