The Cuba Garden party organised by the RMT (National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers) and the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, has become a firmly established favourite for all on the labour movement’s calendar. Yet this year’s event took place against the sad backdrop of the death of the RMT General Secretary Bob Crow who was remembered by every speaker.
John McDonnell MP called Bob a ‘true hero of the working classes’, someone who stood shoulder to shoulder with all those in struggle.
George Galloway MP, said that in spite of the loss of Bob Crow it was unthinkable that the garden party should not go ahead. He exclaiming that the event showed just why Bob Crow was such a great leader as he had firmly put international solidarity with socialist Cuba at the heart of the RMT’s work
The event was again packed and guests enjoyed the Cuban themed food and the special Havana Club rum cocktails. There was some great music from the ever fabulous Omar Puente and Raices Cubanas, and a wonderful set from one of Bob Crows favourite bands The Alabama 3.
Guest of honour was HE Esther Armenteros the Cuban Ambassador who was able to attend the Garden Party for the first time. She recalled the wonderful work that the RMT and all the UK trade unions were doing for her country and for the campaign for justice for the Miami Five.
Elaine Smith MSP spoke about the events at the Scottish parliament where they held the first Parliamentary debate on the case of the Miami Five. Neil Findlay MSP recounted his experience of joining the Cuba Solidarity Campaign Cycle Cuba Challenge and at the same time urged everyone to ‘go to Cuba’ and see the wonderful country for yourselves.
Other speakers included the Argentinian Ambassador, Alicia Castro, Matt Wrack from the Fire Brigades Union and Peter Pinkney, President of the RMT who hosted the evening.
Fifteen people joined the Cuba Solidarity Campaign during the evening and a raffle raised vital funds for solidarity work with Cuba. The first prize of two return flights to Cuba was won by a retired RMT member.
CSC would like to thank the RMT for their ongoing support and all the volunteers on the night who made the evening so successful.