FUNDRAISING NEWS: Why I Give

Tony Caccavone is a black-cab driver in London. Since 1995, he has been a member of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, visited Cuba six times, embraced Fidel Castro and had a documentary made about him

How did you get involved with the Cuba Solidarity Campaign?

A Canadian tourist in my cab first got me interested in Cuba. When I went there on a package holiday with my wife, I saw how dreadful life was for the Cubans because of the embargo. We passed a group of people sitting on a pile of rubble at a construction site and every one waved apart from a young girl who had her fists clenched. I began to think why the girl reacted like that and I was angry. I hate bullies and I wanted to take the big stick away from the Americans.

How much time and money do you give?

After my first visit to Cuba, I bought a white cab and had it painted in the Cuban colours. In 1997, I paid for the cab to be shipped to New York where I headed an illegal convoy of vehicles carrying goods destined for Cuba.

Every week, I buy three packs of paracetamol to build up a stockpile of medicines. I regularly call London radio stations and lobby my passengers, particularly academics and politicians, to help end the blockade.

What other charities do you support?

I give a monthly donation to the NSPCC and Amnesty International. But I tend not to give money to people on the street, although I did offer change to a woman refusing to have her windscreen washed by a young boy the other day.

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