Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES – A lot has been said and written about equality and solidarity in socialism, and by default, the Cuban Revolution. In Capitalism’s economic/social system, inequality, discrimination and selfishness reign supreme, which are the antithesis of equality and solidarity.
In Capitalism, poor people, black people, indigenous people are discriminated against. The law of the jungle and whoever has the most is what comes first, and far from standing in solidarity with the poor, it exploits them instead, taking advantage of them to suit its own needs.
This is a extremely vast subject and it includes many different points, but I will try to summarize it here in the space of this article.
The Cuban Revolution (ever since it began 150 years ago) has been against discrimination and slavery, giving every Cuban the status of “citizen”. However, the ideas of this Revolution couldn’t be put into practise until 1959 when it finally came into power, with the people’s support, not discriminating against anyone.
Written and unwritten revolutionary laws have wiped away the hateful racial discrimination that we had dragged along with us during 60 years of our neocolonial Republic, when we were dependent on the US politically and economically-speaking. We also received a great deal of influence from that country, which made our own society racist and we even had parks that were divided up into areas for whites and blacks.
Revolutionary laws and rulings can alter the situation from an objective point of view, but it takes a long time to change subjective consciences and families have a huge role to play, because of their life experience and schools, which have to place a lot of emphasis on equality and solidarity (without mentioning these terms though), looking at it as something completely natural so that children grow up without seeing the need to compare themselves with others.
Other points in this matter, which have even been compiled in Article 42 of the new Constitution, include the following: “All persons are equal before the law, are subject to equal duties, receive equal protection and treatment from the authorities and enjoy equal rights, freedoms and opportunities, without any discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic origin, skin color, religious belief, disability, national origin or any other distinction prejudicial to human dignity.”
Everyone has the right to enjoy the same public spaces and services.
Meanwhile, they receive they same income for similar work without any kind of discrimination whatsoever.
Violation of this principle of equality is prohibited and punishable by law.”
I don’t believe there is another constitution in the world that deals with equality in the same way ours does.
Solidarity is another point that the Cuban Revolution has proven its dedication and has been an example for the world. Standing in solidarity with countries who have suffered catastrophes, sending doctors, medicines and even blood. And I won’t give you any examples because there are many and they are all well-known, even solidarity with people who are fighting to free themselves from the yoke of colonialism and foreign attacks.
On the other hand, solidarity as one of Socialism’s principles has really hit home with the Cuban people who express this every time the country gets hit by some meterological phenomenon in one or several provinces, as the rest of the country quickly comes together in an effort to reestablish people’s normal living conditions. And, when damages imply the loss of belongings such as clothes, shoes, etc. Everyone has donated things to those affected.
These are principles that are firmly rooted in the Cuban people’s conscience, which we rarely see in the capitalist system, which doesn’t mean to say there aren’t solidary and revolutionary people everywhere, but generally-speaking, equality and solidarity are the principles of a Socialist society.