Representatives from the Revolutionary Communist Group and its campaign in solidarity with the socialist revolution in Cuba, Rock Around the Blockade had the privilege of meeting with members of Cuba’s Olympics team in London during an event mark Moncada Day on 26 July.
Moncada day commemorates 26 July 1953 when, in response to the military coup of US-backed dictator Batista the previous year, Fidel Castro and others carried out an audacious attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. It failed militarily but succeeded politically and sparked the mass movement and guerrilla struggle which led the Movement for the 26 July to power in January 1959.
Among the athletes present were previous Olympic and World Championships medallists in athletics, judo, archery, wrestling and more. It was a special privilege to meet Alberto Juantorena who in 1976 became the only athlete ever to win both the 400 and 800 metre Olympic titles. He is now President of Cuba’s Olympic Committee and Vice President of the National Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER). In February this year, during a solidarity brigade in Cuba, Rock Around the Blockade donated £650 worth of sports equipment to INDER to contribute to its 'Project for Life', which promotes open air physical activity in all communities throughout the country.
In socialist Cuba access to sport is a right, not a privilege and this has been reflected in Cuba’s sporting success in the international arena. In the Olympics, Cuban medals per capita have consistently seen them among the top performing countries in the world. There are 110 athletes, including 45 women, competing in 14 of the 26 Olympic disciplines in London 2012. While the Olympics as an institution has a history of corruption and racism, RCG and RATB activists will be wishing the Cuban team all the best.
Around the country, RATB will be celebrating Moncada Day. In London, there will be a street rally outside the Angel tube station (northern line) on Saturday 28 July from 12-3pm, with music and speeches. Everyone is welcome.