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Tony Benn Presente! CSC statement on death of our much loved patron and friend

14 March 2014

On behalf of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in the UK we would like to offer our deepest sympathy to Tony Benn’s family, colleagues and friends.

Tony was for many years a much loved and wonderful patron of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. He was above all a true friend to the people of Cuba, which was recognised in 2009 when he was awarded one of Cuba's highest honours, the Medal of Friendship.

Tony spoke on numerous occasions at events organised by the Campaign and he often related how Cuban society was based on sharing what resources they had rather than fighting over them. He used the example many times to illustrate his deep opposition to the capitalist system based on greed and exploitation.

Both during his time as a parliamentarian and later Tony never wavered in his support for Cuba, a small island nation struggling against the ongoing US aggression. Tony spoke at the RMT/CSC Cuba Garden Party most years and made clear his support for the ongoing campaign for Cuba’s right to determine its own future, for the socialist path Cuba has chosen and for the campaign for justice for the Miami Five. He spoke at the annual vigil for the Five outside the US Embassy in London.

For many years Tony was a key contributor to the annual Latin America Conferences where he spoke with his international outlook, where the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela and the region as a whole, were starting to take control of their own destinies by throwing off the shackles of neoliberalism and domination by the United States.

When Tony spoke, people listened. He was a wonderful orator and a wonderful human being. He recognised that the struggle for justice and the struggle for socialism were one and the same. He realised that one day human solidarity would prevail, and that together working people from across the world would build a better world for all.

Tony will be terribly missed by all of us at the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. His passing will be mourned in Cuba.

The best tribute to Tony Benn that we can give is to further develop the fight for justice here and internationally, fortify the struggle against the US blockade, for liberty and justice for the Miami Five, and for Cuba’s right to self-determination.

Hasta la Victoria Siempre! Tony Benn, Presente!

Watch Tony Benn speaking at Miami Five Vigil in 2010
Tony Benn speaking at Latin America 2007

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