Sep 232014
 

The first Rotary club to be organized outside an English-speaking country was established in Havana, Cuba, April 29, 1916, with 22 charter members. The club was admitted to Rotary on June 1, 1916.

rotary cuba
Rotary Club of Havana, 1916

During 1923, the Rotary Club of Havana celebrated its seventh anniversary, in what became a very busy year. The club sponsored a carnival attended by more than 1,500 children, won a prohibition against bullfighting in Cuba, worked to get the city’s water sanitized and properly purified, and obtained pavement repairs in certain areas.

By October 1957 we saw some 60 charted Rotary clubs there. All clubs in Cuba were terminated by January 31, 1979.

We need to remember that it was RI who shut down the Rotary Clubs in Cuba and not the government there. The grounds used were that all countries that restrict free speech and freedom of assembly could not have clubs. So, either Cuba must change or RI must change before Rotary Clubs will reappear in Cuba. Since Rotary is back in E. Europe, China and Russia, there is reason to hope.

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