Canadian, Cuba

Letter to Premier of Manitoba

Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association (CCFA) Niagara

January 10, 2024

The Honourable Wab Kinew, M.L.A.,                                                                                                                          Premier of the Province of Manitoba                                                                                                                          Winnipeg, Manitoba

Dear Premier:

Some of us have been long time members of the New Democratic Party at different times and are now active members of the Canadian Cuban Friendship Association (CCFA) Niagara. Along with so many others, we celebrated your election as Premier of Manitoba. We recall that resolving some of problems the Manitoba healthcare system is facing was a key election issue in your NDP campaign. An open question was how you would acquire the sorely needed medical professionals required to address the shortages of health care workers throughout the province. We want to offer a suggestion that, if not already considered, could help.

As you are likely aware, Cuba, with their excellent education system, graduates medical personnel surplus to their domestic needs and for the past sixty years has sent medical brigades around the world saving hundreds of thousands of lives. This is part of the internationalism for which Cuba is renowned.

At our most recent executive meeting the three attached resolutions were passed. You will note that they are directed at the federal government but health care is also a provincial responsibility which must allow for provincial initiatives.

You are also aware that Cuba has been under U.S. sanctions/embargo/blockade for over sixty years and there are difficulties in undertaking commerce with Cuba. Still, we are hoping your government will be receptive to our Resolutions attached hereto, which would be a ground breaker and a win-win for the Canadian and Cuban people. We know that Cuba is willing to share their expertise in setting up a public health system of universal care and providing health care personnel. We urge you to explore the possibilities with appropriate Cuban authorities what might be available through Cuba to Canadians to help address not only the health care crisis in Manitoba but also to serve as a model for other areas in need throughout our country.

We would be happy to facilitate any initiatives that you might take and await a positive response from you to our suggestions.

If there is any way we can help in facilitating this project, please do not hesitate to contact any of us

Sincerely yours,

Dave Thomas Sr., Chair, Canadian Cuban Friendship Association (CCFA) Niagara                                  1760 Ridge Road North, Ridgeway, ON, L0S  1N0                                                                                                         Email:

Ron Brydges, member, Canadian Cuban Friendship Association (CCFA) Niagara                                          23 Almond St., St. Catharines, ON L2T 1G2                                                                                                                    Email:; tel. #: 905 227 6432

Lisa Makarchuk, member, Canadian Cuban Friendship Association (CCFA) Niagara                                 33  Harbour Square, Ste. #:409, Toronto, ON M5J 2G2                                                                                      Email:; tel.#: 416 603 9858


Encl.: Two Resolutions passed January 2, 2024, by the Canadian Cuban Friendship Association (CCFA) Niagara on Covid vaccines, pharmaceutical vaccines and health personnel

Author: Ron Brydges

Born on Vancouver Island and raised as a child in Prince Rupert and as a teenager in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Graduated, not without struggle, from Central Collegiate High School. Got my first post graduate job at a steel and pipe mill in Regina, Returned to B.C. and worked in a fabrication shop, a consulting firm, a northern mine and then went east and lived and worked in Toronto for a machinery manufacturer. Moved to St. Catharines where i worked on contract for GM. Was discharged at 62 and took up writing. Now divorced with two daughters and four grandchildren. There was a life between these lines and some of it will come out in my blogs.