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Terry Fox in Cuba: Annual Run Largest Outside Canada

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Written by Wendy Holm. The Holm Team. This year, Cuba celebrated its 13th Terry Fox Run. Organized by communities across Cuba every year in March, it is the largest Terry Fox event outside of Canada. When I mention this to friends, they are amazed. "Why would people go to Cuba to run?" I've even been asked. The people running of course are Cubans. Accompanied by the odd Canadian visitor lucky enough to be there at the time. It is organized every year in cities and towns and villages across the country.?

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Written by Wendy Holm. The Holm Team. This year, Cuba celebrated its 13th Terry Fox Run. Organized by communities across Cuba every year in March, it is the largest Terry Fox event outside of Canada.?

When I mention this to friends, they are amazed. "Why would people go to Cuba to run?" I've even been asked.?

The people running of course are Cubans. Accompanied by the odd Canadian visitor lucky enough to be there at the time. It is organized every year in cities and towns and villages across the country.?

A dozen years ago, when I first began working with Cuba I was amazed. Why, I wondered, would they get out and do this for a Canadian, even a great Canadian? I asked some Cuban friends.?

"For respect" they said.

Canada opened an embassy in Havana in 1946, but our commercial relationship with this tiny island country began back in 1903, when a Cuban commercial office was opened in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.? Over a century of economic ties have helped strengthen the Cuban economy.? After Castro's revolutionary government came to power in 1959, Canada stood beside Cuba when many didn't.? Our diplomatic ties remained strong and unbroken.? Cubans respect that.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau had a great fondness for Cuba and this resonated with the Cuban people.? Fidel was an honourary pallbearer at Trudeau's funeral.? Cubans respect that too

Cubans also respect their history and those who helped shape it.? Every Cuban schoolchild learns the name of William Ryan, the valiant Canadian who joined the Cuban rebels in their fight for independence from Spain.? He was put to death on the high seas Nov 4, 1873 by the Spanish as he was delivering provisions.? He reached the rank of Brigadier General with the Government of the Republic in Arms.? Prior to this, he fought alongside the Union Army in the American Civil War.? Ryan's travels to New York caused him to meet Cuban émigrés and embrace their cause.? (Great fodder for a Hollywood blockbuster!)

As I have spent more time in this country, I have also come to understand that the Cubans also run for another reason:? Terry Fox didn't give up.? This resonates with the Cuban spirit; they respect Fox who he was and what he did.?? They also have a park replete with bronze statue named for John Lenin.? Imagine.

Cuba's Terry Fox Marathon has been held since 1998.? Funds raised go to support cancer research in Cuba.?

Wendy Holm is an award winning Canadian journalist, Agrologist, writer and speaker.

Source: http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1-/9742-terry-fox-in-cuba-annual-ru...

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[source: http://www.cubaheadlines.com/2011/09/20/33804/terry_fox_in_cuba_annual_run_largest_outside_canada.html]

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