Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES – As if 86.85% of the referendum vote (in favor of the new socialist Constitution that was endorsed by the Cuban people on February 24th) wasn’t enough, this May Day, Cubans sent a clear message to their enemies about what they want when millions of workers and their families joined parades in every square and street across the country, reaffirming the overwhelming support for the Revolution and its leaders.
The main event took place in the country’s capital, like it always does, Jose Marti Revolution Square once again the setting for the parade that celebrates this day like a real workers’ party, year after year.
The parade began after listening to a recording of the late historic Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s “Concept of the Revolution”, in his own voice, at 7 a.m. It was headed by health professionals and the group of companies that are dedicated to researching, manufacturing and selling medical products, known as BioCubaFarm, which has some 20,000 workers on its payroll.
The presidential group, overlooking the parade, included Army General Raul Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, president of the State Council and Council of Ministers, as well as all the other high-ranking Party and government leaders, who greeted workers and their families.
Over 1400 representatives from 87 countries marched side by side with Cubans. The international guests come every year to this country to enjoy May Day and, according to some interviewees, to recharge their batteries and load up on optimism when it comes to the working class’ role in their own countries’ struggle against capitalist exploitation.
Guests of the presidential group included Ivan Melnikov, member of the Russian Communist Party’s Central Committee, who traveled to Havana to award Raul Castro with the Lenin Prize “for his outstanding contribution to the dissemination of Socialist ideals.” Michael Mzwandile Makwayiba, president of the Global Union Federation, was also present.
With the motto “Unity, Commitment and Victory”, Cuban workers marched, not to make demands, but to reaffirm their commitment to the Socialist Revolution and to fervently reject US Imperialism’s latest attacks by lifting the waiver on Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, a monster of a legal document that violates International Law and the UN Charter.
Cuban workers did ask, though, that the US, not the Cuban government, lift the genocidal blockade that is trying to stifle us and to let us work in peace, giving us back the land that was illegally occupied in Guantanamo Bay with a naval base, against our people’s wishes.
Raising the banners of Revolution and Socialism, and in support of the agreements made at the recent XXI Congress of the CTC, workers from every union branch marched, as well as representatives from every one of the capital’s municipalities, who carried placards of support for the legitimate and democratically-elected governments in Venezuela and Nicaragua. These governments are being attacked from abroad, with right-wing opposition groups’ complicity who won’t accept that they lost in democratic elections fair and square: Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega both won with over 70% of the vote.
Closing the parade was a bloc of young people headed by a delegation from the Giraldo Cordova Cardin and Cerro Pelado sports universities with the best results. This bloc was defined by its fighting spirit and joy, made up of over 50,000 university and high school students, young workers and soldiers. They gave the world an idea of just how much Cuban youth are demanding the end of this genocidal blockade, and how much they reject the growing hostility of the Trump administration, with a clear message that the new generations are the continuity of the Socialist Revolution.
Over 700 Cuban, Young Communist League and student and youth movement and organization flags crowned the march of this youth bloc, a worthy end to a workers’ march on their biggest day each year of proletarian celebration.