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Accents on Volunteer Brigade to Cuba PDF Print E-mail

Early in February, a Café Cuba jointly held by CCFA Toronto and Accents on Eglinton Bookstore jointly organized an informative presentation on the Che Guevara Volunteer Brigade to Cuba. Brigade leader, Dave Thomas showed pictures and explained the events of the Canadian brigade last year.   Cuban Consul General Jorge Soberon and consul Raul Delgado were introduced to the audience.  

The Che Guevara Brigade is part of the work of the Canadian Network on Cuba. This is the 20th Anniversary Brigade.  It will spend almost three weeks in the Holguin area, doing volunteer work with Cubans, and learning about life in Cuba.  The brigade departs from Toronto on April 29th and returns on May 18th.  Already over 32 ‘brigadistas’ of all ages have registered from across Canada and more three new applications were received at the Café Cuba event.

Accents Bookstore at Eglinton and Dufferin was a wonderful location to hold the event – with a large meeting room downstairs and plenty of literature on Africa and the Caribbean and many progressive books upstairs to browse through.  

Anyone interested in finding out more about the brigade can check out their website.

Cuba people-to-people tours: So nice to meet you, Havana PDF Print E-mail

By Andrea Sachs, February 3, 2012 - The Washington Post

Ludwig and I had the kind of relationship where I could ask him anything without fear of reproach. I questioned him about the rebellious rumblings of his youth, his wishes for the future and the state of his bathroom.

“Ludwig,” I shouted from the third-to-the-last row of the tour bus, “why don’t the public restrooms here have toilet seats? Do you have a toilet seat at home?”

Mariela Castro: "The United States government is preoccupied with the LGBT movement in Cuba" PDF Print E-mail

Aday del sol Reyes

JANUARY 23-26, Havana’s Convention Center hosted the 6th Sexology Congress, focused on the central theme ‘Sexual Education Within Processes of Social Change.’

On the occasion of this event, and given the educational work undertaken for years by the National Center for Sex Education, Mariela Castro Espín, director of the institution, agreed to an interview with CubaSí.

CCFA Member Honoured by Spain PDF Print E-mail

Spain grants citizenship to Canadian veteran of the Spanish Civil War

Adrian Morrow

AURORA, ONT.— From Thursday's Globe and Mail - Published Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The young Canadian was a long way from home, the woods of Northern Ontario, but he was ready to meet death. He had known when he volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War, in the fall of 1936, that he probably wouldn’t return alive.

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, Mr. Paivio and several fellow prisoners raised their fists in a show of defiance. But a sudden stroke of luck saved his life. In fact, Mr. Paivio came out of the war unscathed. Today, he is the last surviving Canadian brigadista – one of the men and women who came from around the world to defend Spain’s fledgling republic from the fascism of General Francisco Franco.

2011: A Good Year for Cuban Tourism PDF Print E-mail

By Luz Marina Fornieles Sánchez - January 18, 2012.

Cuban tourism sailed with a good wind in its favor in 2011 and a tendency which local authorities predict will increase in 2012.

The predictions of 2.7 million visitors in these last 12 months was achieved without any problem; now the forecast for the upcoming year is 2.9 million.  The 3 million mark is not far in the horizon.

Finding Fidel – The Journey of Erik Durschmied PDF Print E-mail

Film Review by John Richmond of The Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association  (Toronto)


Finding Fidel – The Journey of Erik Durschmied

A Feature Documentary by Bay Weyman

Finding Fidel is an interesting and touching portrayal of the intersection of the life of Austrian-Canadian journalist Erik Durschmied with that of Fidel Castro. The film succeeds in capturing the emotional journey of Durschmied’s life: from surviving the Nazi occupation of Austria during WWII to covering some of the most horrific conflicts of the late 20th century.

The Nobel Prize Medal of Ernest Hemingway PDF Print E-mail

Ernest Hemingway’s Nobel Prize Medal was stolen from the El Cobre Sanctuary, located just outside Santiago de Cuba, in the 1980’s. One version of the theft suggests that the thieves were not unknown to the local residents.  When word reached Raul Castro, he reputedly issued an ultimatum, “Return the medal within 72 hours or face the consequences. I know who you are.” Although the medal was returned, it was never again put on public display and remained, in hiding, under the care of the Archbishop of Santiago. Rarely has it been seen. The last person I know to have seen the medal was Ernest’s granddaughter, Mariel Hemingway.

On December 6, 2011, I was awarded the rare privilege of viewing, holding and performing with the medal. A film crew from Mundo Latino captured the event for use in a multi-part documentary about Hemingway in Cuba to be directed by Esteban Rios Rivera.

There is no proof that Hemingway ever accompanied the medal to Santiago; nevertheless, I have created a scene that depicts the arrival of the medal at the El Cobre Sanctuary. In discussing This scene with the staff of the Archbishop of Santiago, I explained that it was in the spirit of Hemingway but based on poetic license. Soon a message arrived from the Archbishop’s secretary, ‘We approve your “license”.’

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