Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto

Tornado Relief for Cuba
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 22:50

CNC Cross-Canada Campaign
for Cuba Tornado Relief

Cuba Hit by first tornado in 80-years
February 4, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Out of the dark blue of the evening of January 27, a line of

electric storms approaching Cuba from the south-west was

announced by the meteorological services. The general

interpretation was that beginning late on Sunday evening

intermittent thunderstorms would begin affecting eastern

Havana, nothing severe enough to change one’s plans to visit

friends in mid-Havana that evening. 

What came to be identified as an unusual meteorological

phenomenon, including a tornado with winds of more than

300 kph, tore through fragile parts of Havana beginning at

about 8 p.m. The toll on housing, intensely in Regla and

Guanabacoa, was severe. As the tornado made its way from

the Casino Deportivo to east of Alamar, it passed through the

centre of the city, with terrifying howling winds. 

Demolished or damaged homes were the major grief it brought.

This, together with crippling the electricity supplies, multiplied

the ways in which people could die or suffer serious injuries

in places that suddenly became unfamiliar. Havana suffered the

high numbers of 6 fatalities and some two hundred injured

people. 5,000 people have been evacuated from their badly

damaged houses in four Havana municipalities.

Heavy construction brigades came immediately to clear up the

trees and electrical poles and wires blocking the roads. Over the

next few days Havana’s students promptly came to help; artists

and writers carried water to where none was available, even

after the electricity had been mostly restored. (See photographs

in the online articles below.)

Hardly four weeks ago, the CCFA’s Amistad announced

the end to the CNC’s formal campaign for funds to help in the

recovery from Hurricane Irma. We thought that, with the end of

the hurricane season, Cuba would be spared, at least for some

months, the effects of new natural disasters; and here came this

insolent storm on the eve of José Martí’s birthday, coinciding

with the arrival of more than 1,000 people gathered from more

than 60 countries to participate with serious studies in the

central celebratory event. 

The damage to Havana was on the minds of all of us.

Martí had written the aphorism:
It is noble to defend friendship, not forgetting, 
in doing so, history and the idea of justice. 

So a necessary campaign for funds against this malicious storm

and tornado has to be opened. We congratulate the Bolivarian

Republic of Venezuela on its sending aid to Cuba ahead of us.

Let us strive to catch up.

Cheques should be written to "CNC" with the following words

on the memo line: "Tornado Relief".

They should be mailed to:
CNC   c/o Sharon Skup
56 Riverwood Terrace
Bolton ON L7E 1S4

E-transfers to be sent to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,

please include in the message box "Tornado Relief"
and we recommend an easy password all lower case such as,
for example, which country the donations are going to help.

All the best,
Keith Ellis, CNC Cuba Relief Campaign Coordinator 

Night of the storm:

The Morning after the tornado:

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 February 2019 22:55
Silent Auction on Jan 5th for the 60th Anniversary of the Revolution
Sunday, 23 December 2018 06:23

Silent Auction from Ad Hoc

Memorial Committee for

Tom Power (*1959 – +2018)

December 14, 2018

Dear friends and supporters:

Tom Power, a generous and active supporter of various free the Cuban Five campaigns, in Toronto and in the U.S., passed away April, 2018, but we know he would be delighted to see his framed photos/pictures of Cuba and its revolution used in support of raising funds for Cuba.  His photos of Fidel, Che, Camilo and other leaders of the revolution are a historical treasure trove as well as books about Cuba that we would like to make available to persons who might be interested in them.

They will be available for silent auction at the 60th anniversary celebration of the revolution to take place at the
Steelworkers’ Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto,
on Saturday, January 5, 2019. 
(See the CCFA calendar for details about the Jan. 5 event.)


For details of items that will be available contact Heide or  Lisa below

For details about the event event on January 5th see the CCFA Toronto Calendar.

In addition, also available to take home with you will be cartoons done by one of the Cuban Five, Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo, mounted by Mike Constable, and which were part of an art exhibit in the Rotunda of Toronto’s City Hall during the first International Festival of Poetry of Resistance.  There will also be CDs, 45’s, etc. all with content related to Cuba.

More than ever, we must unite in solidarity with the Cuban revolution.  One hundred per cent of the money raised will be passed on to a seniors’ home that Tom and Heide visited while in Holguin and to a hospital in Havana, both contributions will be made with the help of the good offices of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP). Donations in general would also be happily accepted so please bring your cash and/or your chequebooks with you as your interest in these items is sure to be piqued. All the money goes to Cuba and we are happy to make these items available for the celebrants of this momentous anniversary of the Cuban revolution! We look forward to seeing you there!

Yours in struggle, hasta la victoria siempre,

Ad Hoc Memoriam Committee for Tom Power

Brenda Ennis   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it           Linda Meissenheimer    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Elizabeth Hill   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it           Heide Trampus    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Lisa Makarchuk    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Final Report on Hurricane Irma Campaign Nov/19
Saturday, 15 December 2018 21:43

Final Report on CNC Hurricane Irma Fundraising

Keith Ellis, Coordinator, CNC Hurricane Relief Campaign, November, 2018

Sometimes the name of a hurricane can be deceptive with respect to its brutal strength and its malicious endurance. So, it was with Irma that hit northeastern Cuba in the very early morning of Sept. 9, 2017 as a Category 5 hurricane and maintaining winds of up to 270 km/h. Travelling slowly, with lingering cruelty, it began to select targets that it seemed to know would be devastating for the Cuban economy and its defenses, destroying or damaging severely everything from wind gauges to homes, hotels, hospitals, warehouses and factories. But it didn’t succeed in breaking the will of the Cuban people or in making them panic and forget the defensive and early recuperative measures against this strongest hurricane to ever hit Cuba. It didn’t seem stronger than the notorious 1932 Camagüey Hurricane only because of the formidable defensive and protective measures that are now in force in Cuba.

To help in the recuperative effort, Canadians from all parts of the country sent in to the fund established by the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) a total of $89,542,00. The main fundraising drive against Irma has now ended, but the deficit faced by Cuba because of the damage caused by Irma and previous hurricanes is great, so Sharon remains available to provide her generous and efficient work of receiving, acknowledging and sending on to Cuba any further donations (Sharon Skup, 56 Riverwood Terrace, Bolton, ON L5E 2S4, Canada).

Every penny of the $89,542.00 went to Cuba, to a fund set up by the Cuban Ministry of State, specifically to receive contributions destined to help Cuba recover from the damage caused by Irma. All incidental expenses such as banking and transfer fees, postal costs, thank you cards/receipts sent to donors,etc., were paid by the CNC.

Our campaign was supported by a deeply felt spirit of solidarity, for which we thank everybody who contributed, for whatever they contributed, and especially the Cuban diplomatic corps for their guidance and their significant material contribution. We hope that Cuba, which suffers much more than enough from plotted malice, will be spared in the future such brutal natural blows as were unleashed by Irma.

Our Heartfelt Thanks to all who donated

Hurricane Irma Relief & Reconstruction for Cuba Campaign

Hurricane Irma Relief & Reconstruction for Cuba Campaign

-Isaac Saney, CNC National Spokesperson, September 10, 2017 -

Hurricane Irma menaced and devastated the eastern and northern Caribbean, striking Cuba from September 8-10, resulting in significant and widespread damage. Accompanied by massive flooding, its sweeping destruction encompassed housing, communications, infrastructure, agricultural equipment, crops, and community buildings.

While, we are confident that the Cuban people will overcome any challenges posed by Hurricane Irma, Cuba will, nevertheless, have to expend considerable resources, both immediate and long term, in order to overcome the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Irma.

To assist Cuba in its immense efforts of recovery and reconstruction, the Canadian Network On Cuba (CNC) is launching the Hurricane Irma Relief & Reconstruction for Cuba Campaign.

Donations to the Hurricane Irma Relief & Reconstruction for Cuba Campaign can be made by mailing cheques made out to the Canadian Network On Cuba to: CNC Hurricane Relief, 56 Riverwood Terrace Bolton, ON L7E 1S4. Please write "CNC Hurricane Irma Relief Fund" on your cheque's memo line.

All donations will be forwarded 100% directly to Cuba.

In recent years, the CNC has had a series of successful Hurricane Relief Campaigns. The most recent was in 2016 when Hurricane Matthew struck eastern Cuba, devastating Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest city. In 2008, the CNC’s most extensive campaign was launched when a series of hurricanes caused damage in excess of $10-billion. The CNC not only raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, but also directly participated in the construction of a new social and cultural centre on La Isla de La Juventud (Isle of Youth).

In 2017, as Cuba faces this latest challenge, we are confident that Canadians - as they have repeatedly done - will once again demonstrate their friendship and solidarity with Cuba by supporting the island as it recovers from the ravages of Hurricane Irma.

Our experience with regard to Cuba's response to natural disasters is that it knows how to multiply the value of any donations it receives. We feel confident, based on the island's unsurpassed humanitarian work - both within Cuba and in other countries - that it has the skills, the organization and the ethical and moral values to put whatever assistance it receives to the best possible use.

Even at this difficult time, in the midst of Hurricane Irma’s havoc, Cuba’s deep internationalist spirit has once again been profoundly demonstrated by the sending of more than 750 Cuban health workers to Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Haiti, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, and the Bahamas.

As in past campaigns, we hope that solidarity organizations and individuals will generously support Cuba in its efforts to rebuild after this devastating hurricane.

Send Donations to: CNC Hurricane Relief, 56 Riverwood Terrace Bolton, ON L7E 1S4. Please make cheques out to the Canadian Network On Cuba and write "CNC Hurricane Irma Relief Fund" on your cheque's memo line.


The Five Cuban Heroes

What is the CCFA?

The Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association promotes friendship, understanding and co-operation between the peoples of Canada and Cuba. Our activities include exchanges in various areas (i.e. health, education, culture, etc.) as well as the gathering of material aid to Cuba. It is a registered non-profit, NGO, volunteer organization.

Community Outreach and Other Activities

CCFA members attempt to maintain a presence at other community events and encourage participation in the Association and promote awareness and understanding of the Cuban experience, including its ramifications for Canada. Co-operation with other organizations results in joint events and projects.

Since the CCFA believes in building friendship through understanding and co-operation, the Association works with other groups/organizations in Ontario and across Canada and also in Cuba, on various projects and provides information on Cuba and responds to the media. Special projects are also organized to promote various forms of material aid, provision of medical journals, textbooks, etc. Charitable tax receipts can be given for donations used for medical / educational supplies.


Membership is open to residents of Canada who support these aims. Upon payment of the annual membership fee, members are entitled to full participation, including voting rights and receiving the Association's newsletter.

Meetings and Cultural Events

Meetings are held a number of times a year and include presentations on contemporary and historical topics such as aspects of Canadian and Cuban relations, the Cuban health system, social development, education, music and culture in general.

Over the years, the CCFA has brought to Canada some of the finest Cuban musicians, writers and films. Each year Canadians share in the cultural richness of Cuba through the Association's celebrations of important Cuban holidays: Jose Marti's birthdate - January 28th; Cuba's National Day - July 26th; and other occasions that the membership may wish to recognize such as the annual Toronto-Cuba Friendship Day at Nathan Phillips Square, GTA - Toronto City Hall in August.

Amistad (Friendship) Newsletter

The association's bi-monthly newsletter is produced to keep members and other interested persons or groups up-to-date with observations about developments in Cuba as well as with the activities of the CCFA and other friendship groups. Readers are encouraged to send or write articles / notices for the newsletter. Deadlines are the 10th of Feb./Apr./Jun./Aug./Oct./Dec. The newsletter is published six times per year in Jan./Mar./May/Jul./Sep./Nov.

Friendship is built by reaching out. Take the first step - join the CCFA and reach out to Cuba.

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