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10th anniversary of the founding of AA in Cuba
is an except of an email from a friend of p2's who was part
of the group that brought the first AA meeting to Cuba 10
years ago. Arkie and his wife just returned from the 10th
Anniversary of that first AA meeting in Cuba.
just returned a few hours ago from taking part in a magnificent
event -- the 3-day celebration, in Holguin, Cuba, of the
10th anniversary of the founding of AA in Cuba. I went with
my wife, Ruth, and Bruce K. from San Francisco, the guy
who rounded up seven of us in the first place to go to Havana
in Jan. 1993.
visit was quite an eye-opener. From our first meeting on
1/18/93 with six Cuban alcoholics, all of whom subsequently
went out and drank, there are now 160 groups throughout
the country and an estimated 3,000 active AA members. Full
general service structure with staffed office in Havana,
trustees, districts, areas; central offices in all the larger
cities, the works! 400 members attended the 3-day event
in Holguin. Unbelievably moving experience.
the all-day sessions at the 10th Anniversary event in Holguin,
Cuba, last Saturday, a Cuban woman rounded up my wife, the
other American woman with us, and around twenty other Cuban
women, and said, "C'mon, let's have a meeting of just
us women!" They went into a part of the big church
where the conference was being held, and shooed out a bunch
of guys, then they spent over 3 hours in what turned out
to be Cuba's very first women's AA meeting!
tells me that during the meeting, two of those present came
out as gay, saying that it was the first time in their lives
they had felt comfortable talking about it in a group of
any kind. One of them had mentioned it oncein an AA meeting,
and was pretty much scolded by the men present. Cuba is
what Americans would consider quite "backward"
when it comes to issues of gender and sexual orientation.
Based on previous experience, I have a feeling that women-only
AA meetings may take hold in Cuba.
of on the same subject, we were invited to a private home
that night by a friend of the oldest AA in Cuba (ten years),
who said "We've killed a large pig and want you to
come help us eat it." Who could turn down such aninvitation
<G>? When we arrived, said porker was duly spread-eagled
on a large table, perfectly roasted and delicious, and we
shared it with a couple of dozen Cuban AAs. One of them
was Matica, the first woman to get sober in AA in Cuba,
whom I had met in a hospital in Havana in June of 1993,
and who claimed I was the first person she had ever met
who was alcoholic and talked to her on an equal basis! Wow,
what a feeling!
those who erroneously think Cuba represses religion, the
Roman Catholic Bishop of Holguin gave the official inaugural
welcome to the event, stating, in a fairly long and passionate
address, that not only is AA an example of true democracy
in action, but also an example of how Cuba should not reject
new concepts just because they come from supposedly "alien"
(i.e., yanqui) sources.
the AA History Lovers web sitea great source for AA