Fernando Gonzalez is the new president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship and Solidarity (ICAP). In this role he is working with more than 2,000 organisations in 155 countries that promote solidarity with the socialist country, including the Australia Cuba Friendship Society. As well as this he is coordinating Cuba’s own solidarity to other countries, as expressed in medical missions, emergency responses and the many other acts of humanity that make this Caribbean island loom so large on the world stage.

Fernando Gonzalez was also elected to Cuba’s parliament in March. “To strengthen those links of friendship around the world, that is our role,” he says, “as well as to campaign on political causes — a free Palestine, an independent Puerto Rico.” This work is so important to him because of the role solidarity organisations around the world played in his own release along with the other men known as the ‘Cuban Five’.  Fernando Gonzalez and the rest of the Five paid a terrible price for their work to protect their people and their revolution. The Cuban revolution remains a beacon to socialists and opponents of imperialism everywhere, a living example that another world is possible.

Fernando Gonzalez was scheduled to visit Australia last April (2018) to addresses the National Conference of the Australia Cuba Friendship Society in Adelaide. However, in an overtly political move, the Federal Liberal Government refused to issue Gonzalez with an entrance Visa. Efforts are being made to pressure the Federal Government to allow Fernando Gonzalez entry into Australia. Hopefully he will be visiting in November this year.