Lara McNeill

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Lara McNeill is a Doctor at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Cuba Solidarity at Labour Party Conference

Cuba Solidarity Campaign Monday, 4 October 2021.

After eighteen months and twenty online public meetings CSC was delighted to participate in and host our first face-to-face public meetings, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in September.

At the Labour Party Conference in Brighton we were invited to speak at ‘The World Transformed’, the Young Labour rally, as well as organising a fringe meeting as part of the main conference fringe programme.

CSC’s conference exhibition stall was extremely busy all week. Several MPs had their photographs taken with our ‘End the US blockade, 60 years too long’ poster, and it was great to see many existing CSC members visit to say hello and give their support, as well as Labour Party delegates who came to ask questions, buy gifts and join. More than 20 new members were recruited during the week.

On Saturday 25 September, CSC’s Natasha Hickman spoke at two events. Joining speakers from Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia at The World Transformed Festival running concurrently with the Labour Party Conference, she contrasted the lack of mainstream media coverage for the mass demonstrations against imperialism and right-wing governments that had been taking place in these countries for many months compared to the way that the same media had responded to localised and much smaller events in Cuba. The meeting, ‘Latin America Rising: Imperialism, Resistance and Solidarity,’ hosted by Alborada attracted more than 100 people. Later the same evening, Natasha told a crowd of 200 at the Young Labour Rally that there was nothing controversial about standing up against the US blockade whose aim was to starve the Cuban people into submission. Other speakers at the rally included MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burgon and Zarah Sultana.

On Monday 27 September a further 150 people listened to Cuban Ambassador Barbara Montalvo Alvarez speak at her first fringe meeting since arriving in the UK in March 2020. CSC’s meeting ‘Solidarity and resistance: Cuba’s fight against COVID and the US blockade’, was sponsored by Unite the Union, and chaired by the union’s Assistant General Secretary Steve Turner.

Grahame Morris MP told the audience about the measures taken both in and out of parliament by MPs to pressure the Biden administration to reverse sanctions imposed by Trump including allowing Cuban Americans to send family remittances to the island.

Labour NEC youth representative and junior doctor Lara McNeill shared her first-hand experience of training as a doctor in Havana and told the audience what it was like to work in Cuba’s world class healthcare system. She compared the cost of training to become a doctor in the UK and the debts students would rack up here with Cuba where medical training is free and as a result doctors came from much more diverse backgrounds than in Britain.

CSC Director Rob Miller closed the meeting with a call for solidarity given the current difficulties the island faced. “Cuba has given so much to the world, it is time for us to give something back” he said.

Labour MPs Mick Whitley, Navendu Mishra, Paula Barker, Rachel Hopkins, Kim Johnson and Sinn Fein’s Chris Hazzard and Mickey Brady attended the meeting and expressed their ongoing support.[1]

Young Labour comrades

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Louis Mendee, Lara McNeill, Faisa Hassan, Elizabeth Mahase, Owen Lowry, Freddie Seale, Sahaya James.

Unions for Cuba conference

Saturday 2 November 2019, 10am-5pm.

NEU Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD.

Join Cuban leaders from across the island, representing workers in health, education, transport, communications, energy, mining and public administration at the Unions for Cuba Conference in November.

Heading the delegation is Carmen Rosa Lopez Rodriguez, Cuban MP and Deputy General Secretary of the CTC, on her first visit to Britain. She is accompanied by 14 trade union leaders from Cuba’s SNTS (health), SNTAP (public administration), SNTECD (education) SNTCIE (communications), SNTTP (transport and ports) and SNTEM (energy and mining) unions.

From Britain speakers include Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, Dave Ward, General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union, and Karen Lee MP.

The line up of speakers from Cuba and Britain at this historic conference includes:

Gilda Gilberta Chacon Bravo, Europe Officer, CTC // Luis Castanedo Smith, CTC Regional Secretary // Santiago Badia Gonzalez, General Secretary, SNTS (Health union) // Miriela Padron Macías, Regional Secretary, SNTAP (Public Administration union) // Mykeyly Ramirez Guevara, National executive, SNTEM (Energy and mining union) // Neisy Pino Lago, National executive, SNTAP (Public Administration union) // Alba de la Caridad Estevez Novo, National executive, SNTCIE (Communications union) //Nayda Elisa Diaz Luis, National executive, SNTECD (Education union) Katia Labrada Vidal, National executive, SNTTP (Transport union) // Gloria Petronila Martinez, Regional Secretary, SNTS(Health union) // Iris Maite Lorenzo Silva, CTC Regional Leader// Evelina Torres Acosta, SNTS (Health Workers’ Union ) Regional Secretary // Enma Avila Tarrago, SNTS (Health Workers’ Union ) Regional Secretary // Diana Holland, Assistant General Secretary, Unite //Maggi Ferncombe, Regional Secretary, UNISON Greater London Region // Lilian Macer, Regional Convenor, UNISON Scotland // Pete Kavanagh, Regional Secretary, Unite London and Eastern Region // Marcus Barnett, International Officer, Young Labour // Lara McNeill, Labour NEC // Navendu Mishra, Labour NEC // Tracy Delaney, Regional Chair, International Committee, UNISON North West Region and more![2]

Socialism - Unity - Internationalism

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Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burgon, Ian Lavery, Apsana Begum, Dave Ward, Lara McNeill, Nadia Jama, Marisa Matias, Danielle Obono.

Labour Party executive

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Lara McNeill is on the Labour Party national executive. With Cambridge Socialist Society and Cambridge Morning Star Readers and Supporters Group.

Pro-Cuba

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Lara McNeill and Marcus Barnett.

Campaign for Socialism

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Lara McNeill was endorsed Campaign for Socialism for NEC Youth Representative.

Posing with friends

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Leave – Fight – Transform

Signatories on the Founding Statement of the Communist Party of Britain led Leave – Fight – Transform: The LeFT Campaign included Lara McNeill (Labour NEC Youth Rep and GMB Young Members National Committee).

References

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