With the hope of learning about the Cuban reality, over 130 brigadistas from 19 countries, comprising the 45th “José Martí” European contingent, are currently undertaking an intense program of activities on the island, which began on July 6 and will continue until July 22.
Yolanda García Bravo, a member of the Executive Board of the Asociación de Amistad Hispano-Cubano “Bartolomé de las Casas”, based in Madrid, said on behalf of her compañeros, that they each have the most diverse motivations, from simple curiosity to the most committed internationalism, but in all cases the desire to share their summer time with Cubans, eager to learn about the reality and the achievements of the Revolution.
In the western provinces, the brigade will visit various neighborhoods in the capital, carry out voluntary agricultural work, visit historic sites, exchange with Cuban experts on economic and political issues and develop an international campaign against the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington.
Speaking to Granma International, Loukia Konstantinou, from Greece, explained that they want to learn from Cuban society as their own country is suffering due to the economic impositions of the European Union, causing a huge internal crisis and leaving the masses in utter helplessness.
“That is why we support the struggle to eradicate the genocidal U.S. blockade which has mercilessly besieged this people for over 50 years, we call for the return of the illegal Guantanamo naval base and celebrate the victory with the release of the Five Heroes, from prisons in the United States.”
Eugene Petrovich Altshuler, a young Russian biologist, came to the island with the desire to learn about the functioning of socialism, because the Soviet system is still fondly remembered in his country.
“In Russia, the youth yearn for people to be sincere, to act on altruism and solidarity, for human values to be rescued, lost within capitalist selfishness.”
Several young people from Belgium wear the uniform of an association that organizes volunteer activities in solidarity with other countries, according to Pierre Alexander Schellekens, a social communication student at Karel de Grote University College. “In Cuba I will visit community projects, speak with the youth, share cultures, visit several provinces and take the truth with me.”
In his welcoming remarks, Elio Gamez Neira, vice president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, noted: “The solidarity struggles staged in the Old Continent to free the Five Cuban anti-terrorists, who for more than 15 years served unjust sentences in United States’ prisons, represented a great victory.”
The ICAP official added: “We are proud, grateful, for this movement which for so many years has accompanied us and continues to accompany us against the media campaigns against Cuba, which attempt to silence any achievement we present, exaggerate the problems and distort our lives.”