Published: 29 April 2010
by DAN CARRIER
A FILM organised by Cuban supporters Rock Around The Blockade (RATB), is set to provide a much-needed silver-lining to the dark election clouds.
RATB, an organisation encouraging cultural ties between Britain and Cuba, are hosting a world premiere of Cuba: Defending Socialism, Resisting Imperialism. It features an introduction by the directors and a talk by Rafeal Ramos, a youth member of United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Camden-based film-maker Anthony Bairstow made the documentary while travelling to Cuba with a group of “Brigadistas”, people taken on a tour of the country to meet Cubans and explore the other side of the revolution, rarely flagged up by critical western press.
Speaking to the New Journal, he said: “It is not so much a story of our trip, rather an investigation of concepts of Cuban democracy and law, their constitution and people’s reaction to life there.”
Anthony met lawyers and economists, academics and teachers. “They spoke candidly of the problems facing them today,” he said. “One economist spoke of the special period following the collapse of the Soviet Union which provided markets for Cuba goods, as the USA have still a longstanding trade embargo on their tiny neighbour.”
Anthony was struck by the way no matter what your job is on the island, there is a sense of solidarity towards one another.
Anthony and the group were also in Havana for May Day.
“It was amazing to see lots of different groups come past – from doctors and professors to trade unions and workers groups. It was totally uplifting to see a society so united.”
• The free screening is on Sunday, May 2, 7pm at the The Compass pub
on the corner of Chapel Market and Penton Street, N1. Visit www.ratb.org.uk/EVENTS.HTML