New Zealand has a significant pro-Cuban 5th column-mainly drawn from the local socialist movement.
Many were members of the now defunct Communist Party of NZ (pro- Albania), the Socialist Action League (Trotskyist, pro-Cuba), Workers Communist League (pro-China), or Socialist Unity Party (pro-Soviet).
Many are members or supporters of NZ’s modern communist parties-Communist League, Socialist Worker, Socialist Aotearoa, the “mainstream” Socialist Party of Aotearoa, or the crypto-communist Alliance Party.
The NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five has been campaigning to get the Obama administration to release the Cuban Five-captured Castro spies incarcerated in the US since 1998.
Their latest stunt was on April 8th when committee members tried to deliver a support letter to the US embassy in Wellington.
The US Embassy today refused to accept a hand delivered letter from MPs, City Councillors, trade unionists, church leaders,academics and other New Zealanders calling on the US Government not to oppose the petition to the US Supreme Court for the release of the Cuban 5. The US Government is require to respond to the petition this week.
An attempt to deliver the letter was made by Wellington City Councillor, Ray Ahipene Mercer and Secretary of the Weliington Cuba Friendship Society Gillian Magee but US Embassy Guards said they would not accept a hand delivered letter.
The letter has subsequently been posted to the US Embassy in Wellington and emailed to the US Attorney General Eric Holder.
Initiating Members and Supporters of the NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five were;
Hon Jim Anderton, Minister Agriculture, Biosecurity, Fisheries, Forestry, Minister Responsible for the Public Trust Associate Minister of Health Associate Minister for Tertiary Education. Leader of the Progressive Party (Involved in the late 80s with the Soviet front World Peace Council. (Linked to two Australian communist parties in the early ’90s-Socialist Party of Australia and Democratic Socialist Party).
Dr David V Williams, Professor of Law, University of Auckland
Sue Bradford, Green Party MP (Former member of the Workers Communist League. Continues to run a marxist training school, the Kotare Trust, at Wellsford).
Dr Jane Kelsey, Professor of Law, University of Auckland (Formerly associated with some Workers Communist League members).
Gerald O’Brien, Former Member of the Parliament of New Zealand (Former leader of the Socialist Unity Party front, the World Peace Council affiliated NZ Council for World Peace).
Hon Matt Robson , Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party ,Associate-Foreign Affairs Minister 1999-2002. (Former member of the Socialist Action League. In the 90s associated with Australian Democratic Socialist Party).
Peter Cranney, Lawyer, Wellington (Formerly associated with some Workers Communist League members).
Helen Kelly, President NZCTU (Daughter of former Communist Party members and Workers Communist League associates Pat and Cath Kelly).
Hon Laila Harre, National Secretary, National Distribution Union, Auckland.
(Former NZ Cabinet Minister)(Veteran of 1987 coffee picking brigade to Nicaragua. Associate of some Socialist Party of Aotearoa members).
Robert Reid, President, National Distribution Union, Wellington (Former International Secretary of the Workers Communist League).
Cr Paul Bruce, Greater Wellington Regional Councillor, Wellington. (Green Party, former associate of some Workers Communist League members. Head of Latin America Solidarity Committee. Works closely with Cuban ambassador to NZ).
Des Brough, Peace Council Aotearoa (Former leader of the Socialist Unity Party front, the World Peace Council affiliated NZ Council for World Peace).
Dr Carol, Worthington
Ken Douglas, Councillor, former President of NZCTU (Former leader of the Socialist Unity Party and active in the NZ Council for World Peace).
Dr. G. Kleis, Alliance candidate Christchurch Central (formerly with Green Party. Travelled to Cuba in 2001 with a study brigade).
David Wiseman, Director of Humanitarian Programmes, Peace Council, (Active in Vietnam solidarity work.)
Mike Urlich, Peace Council Committee member,(Former leader of the Socialist Unity Party front, the World Peace Council affiliated NZ Council for World Peace).
Barney Richards, National Secretary, Peace Council Aotearoa New Zealand ,(Former Socialist Unity Party member and a leader of the NZ Council for World Peace).
Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union, Auckland (Former member of the Socialist Action League, Communist League and Alliance Party).
John Minto, Spokesperson, Global Peace and Justice, Auckland (Marxist, former associate of Workers Communist League and Communist Party members. Now close to Socialist Worker).
Paul Piesse, President, Alliance Party, Candidate Christchurch East (Former member of the Socialist Action League and the NZ Council for World Peace. Formerly close to the Socialist Unity Party and the Australian Democratic Socialist Party).
Grant Morgan, Chair, Residents Action Movement (RAM), Auckland (Former leader of Socialist Worker. Former long time Communist Party member).
, Secretary, Christchurch Cuba Friendship Society, Christchurch (Leading member of Socialist Party of Aotearoa. Former Socialist Unity Party member).
Pat Bolster, President, Wellington Cuba Friendship Society, Wellington (Formerly associated with some Workers Communist League members).
Gillian Magee, Secretary, Wellington Cuba Friendship Society, Wellington
Ina Lawrence, NZ Cuba Friendship Society, Auckland
Maxine Gay, Retail Secretary, National Distribution Union, Wellington (Former Workers Communist League member).
Mike Ingpen, Secretary, South Pacific and Oceanic Council of Trade Unions, Wellington
Dave Wickham, Trade Union Project Co-ordinator, Wellington (Formerly associated with some Workers Communist League members. Formerly worked with Jim Anderton in Alliance Party).
Omar Hamed, International Affairs Officer, Auckland University Students Association (Anarcho-communist. Arrested in October 2007 on firearms charges, after alleged participation in “quasi-military” training camps in the Ureweras).
Louisa Jones, National Organiser – NZ Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union
Kathryn Tucker, Unite Organiser, Hamilton (Socialist Aotearoa member).
Tom Buckley, Unite Union Organiser, Auckland (Socialist Aotearoa member. Former Socialist Worker activist).
Eric Gamble, Christchurch (Alliance Party).
Bob Anderson, President WISSE (Socialist Party of Aotearoa member. Hamilton NDU official. WISSE is Workers Institute for Scientific Socialist Education-the Socialist Party of Aoteroa training school).
Don Borrie (NZ North Korea Cociety leader. Former associate of many Workers Communist League members).
Kay Murray, Co-leader Alliance Party. Candidate Dunedin South
Quentin Findlay, Alliance List Candidate
Roger Fowler, Co-organiser, RAM – Residents Action Movement, Auckland (Former Communist Party member. Close to Socialist Worker).
Joe Carolan, Organiser, Socialist Aotearoa, Hamilton (Former Socialist Worker leader).
John Flygenring, Christchurch
Cameron Walker – student
Trevor Hansen, General Secretary Maritime Union of New Zealand (Closely associated with Socialist Party of Aotearoa).
Brendan Tuohy, Chair Socialist Party of Aotearoa (Former Socialist Unity Party member).
Sam Murray, CC Socialist Party of Aotearoa (Former Socialist Unity Party member).
Jennifer Francis, CC Socialist Party of Aotearoa (Former Socialist Unity Party member).
Lyn Doherty Project Co ordinator, Ohomairangi Trust
Hana Spierer, Alt TV Producer, “Green Core”
Nico Woodward, Student
Dr Gael Donald, Westfono Healthcare, Henderson, Auckland
Julie Webb Pullman, Journalist Wellington (Former associate of Workers Communist League and Democratic Socialist Party members. Has worked for Cuban government press agency in Havana. Also worked with Zapatista rebels in Mexico and leader of Wellington Zapatista Support Group. Support activist for “Urewera 17” activists. Works closely with Cuban ambassador to NZ).
Ian Powell, Wellington (Former member of Socialist Action League. Associate of some Workers Communist League and Democratic Socialist Party members).
Janet Roth, Auckland (Communist League leader. Formerly with Socialist Action League).
Adrian Guerrero, Carla Batista, Katia Cisternas, Victor Batista, Tomas Guerrero, Nicolas Guerrero, Nadia Batista, Cristian Batista, Enrique Batista, Antonia Marchesse, (Latin Americans living in NZ) (Victor Batista, a Chilean refugee was a member of the Socialist Unity Party. Many of these listed above are his children).
Oliver Woods – RAM Co-organiser, Auckland.
Helen Ritchie Cuba Solidarity Waikato
Annalucia Vermunt, Communist League, Auckland
Mike Tucker, Communist League, Auckland (Former Socialist Action League member).
Nick Fowler, Young Socialists (Youth wing of the Communist League).
John B. Turner, Waitakere.
Susie Powell teacher, Auckland.
Jane Bucholz, Auckland
Janfrie Wakim, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland
Christine Blance, Christchurch.
Malcolm McAllister, teacher, Auckland (Communist League. Former Socialist Action League member).
Denis O’Connor. (Former associate of some Workers Communist League members).
Paul Maunder, Greymouth (Former associate of some Workers Communist League members).
Ron R. Miller, Auckland
Jim Holdom, Cuba Solidarity Waikato (Associate of some Socialist Party of Aotearoa members).
Jeremy Gorham, Business Manager, Auckland
Colin Pounder, Christchurch (Alliance Party).
Nick Laery, undergraduate student, University of Auckland.
Dora May Sutcliffe, Waitakere Auckland
Vinnie Molina Branch President ACFS Perth (President, Communist Party of Australia).
Elizabeth Hulm Secretary ACFS Perth
ACFS Perth Branch Australia-Cuba Friendship Society.
Any further information on any of these individuals much appreciated.