Launch of CNC Campaign for Saratoga Victims

Dear Members of the CNC and friends of Cuba,

You will already know from widespread news reports and from the Cuban government that Cuba suffered a new and devastating blow in the form of an explosion in Old Havana on May 6, 2022. The explosion caused fatalities and injuries to a large number of Cubans as well as severe damage to what was being prepared as the beautiful heart of a revived tourist industry in Old Havana.

Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel was promptly at the scene of the disaster. His office gave out the sad information that the powerful explosion was found by preliminary investigation to be a tragic accident due to a natural gas leak. The death toll, as of Friday afternoon, was 26 people, including a pregnant woman and one child. As of Monday, May 9, the toll has risen to 31 people including several children, with about 80 injured and 46 admitted to hospital. Fortunately, there were no guests yet in the restored Hotel Saratoga; and a nearby school classroom that was severely damaged, was empty at the time of the blast, which appears to have been caused by a gas leak.

The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) is launching a new fundraising Campaign for Saratoga Victims for the purpose of helping the victims of this tragic accident and also restoring the structures that were damaged by the explosion. As is always the case with the CNC’s fundraising for Cuba, 100 % of the money raised will be sent to a special government account established to receive our donations, in Cuba.

Thank you for your support for this new project which will help Cuba to relaunch its tourist economy after its dramatic science-based recovery from COVID-19. We hope for a quick international regulatory approval for Cuba’s outstanding vaccines: Abdala, Sovereign 1, 2 and Sovereign Plus, as well as its nasal version, Mambisa -hese efficacious vaccines which Cuba has made accessible to the whole world. Everyone involved in their production was always mindful of the need, in spending funds generously contributed by CNC members and their friends, as our great inspiration Fidel used to say, to “SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!”

Your donation may be sent by cheque payable to “The CNC” or by e-transfer. Unfortunately, the CNC is unable to give tax receipts for your donations.

You can mail your cheque to:

CNC c/o Sharon Skup
56 Riverwood Terrace, Bolton, ON L7E 1S4
(Please include in the Memo line: “Campaign for Saratoga Victims”

You can also e-transfer your donation to
(Please include in the Subject line: “Campaign for Saratoga Victims”)

Please also send a separate email with the secret password needed to open it. The password does not have to make any sense. Banks suggest to not make it easy for a possible hacker to guess it: e.g. My hometown = Offplanet; Nowhere; etc.)

We look forward to the day in the not-too-distant future when the Hotel Saratoga, bearing profound additions to the history of Old Havana and as a symbol of the devotion, artistry and skill of Cuban workers, will be welcoming the world again. Thank you for your thoughtful help. 

Keith Ellis
CNC Fundraising Coordinator