A young Hucknall woman has travelled to Cuba as part of a solidarity campaign with the country organised by Unite the union.
Danie Chance was chosen as one of 47 delegates from the UK and the Republic of Ireland to make the 13-night visit, which included marching in their famous May Day Parade – a celebration of workers across the country and their employment rights.
The 400 delegates from around the world stayed in a camp and helped local farmers with agricultural work, moving rocks, so they could manually plough their fields, ready to plant mango trees.
Danie, 24, a locum dental nurse who lives on Farley’s Lane, said: “They then kindly invited us into their house, where they proudly had a framed photograph of Fidel Castro surrounded by small Cuban flags.
“We visited a general hospital in Cienfuegos and were given a lecture on Cuban healthcare. Cuba has one doctor to every 170 residents, the second highest in the world, as all education, including university, is free.
“At the end of the day, they had invited local school children to come and sing for us, which was extremely heart warming.
“All in all, Cuba is an amazing and extremely interesting country, that has a lot to be proud of. Top class health care, astounding education system and not one homeless person in the whole country. Viva la Cuba!”
Since the 1960s Cuba has faced a commercial, financial and economic embargo by the United States, as punishment for nationalising the US owned oil refineries without compensation.
“Known locally as the blockade, Cuba cannot buy any products from the US other than, what they define as ‘humanitarian products’,” said Danie. “They are only allowed to pay in cash and credit is not allowed. Despite other countries being able to trade with Cuba, the US Cuban Democracy Act means that other countries can be penalised if they seek to trade with them.”