By Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES — When I say different, I’m referring to two aspects of what this May Day was in Cuba. Different from previous occasions because this time, the workers’ celebration has been mainly dedicated to young Cubans, to their leading role in all of the Revolution’s efforts and for being the force which will relieve past generations, who made and have upheld the Revolution for almost 60 years, always moving forward, in spite of Imperialism’s war against it to destroy it.
I also say different because May 1st celebrations in Cuba are a true celebration of the people, who showed their unconditional support for the Revolution and its leaders and their commitment to follow the ideas of the late Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, masterfully summarized in his Concept of the Revolution, which was announced precisely on May 1st in 2000. And this doesn’t happen in other countries, where workers make the most of the events on this day to demand their rights, which are being taken away. And I won’t give examples because there are many HT readers who know what I’m referring to.
In Cuba, the week before International Workers’ Day, events and marches were held in every Cuban municipality, where you could clearly see the people’s support for their Revolution and their rejection of the genocidal blockade which the United States continues to apply against our people for over half a century.
The parades held on May 1st in every provincial capital have been the largest and most militant in recent years, because it’s the first to take place after the passing away of the Revolution’s historic leader, Fidel Castro, among other reasons, and everyone wanted to express their affection, respect and support for his ideas.
From abroad, over 1,600 representatives from all over the world took part, as a symbol of their support and the solidarity of the global workers’ movement for Cuban workers and their Revolution. It is particularly noteworthy that as all these representatives pay the cost of their trip and expenses in Cuba. Many tourists also participated in provincial events and in those in Havana too, many of whom travel every year to Cuba at this time to share the Cuban people’s enthusiasm for International Workers’ Day. Some interviewees noted that they don’t see the same passion on this date in their own countries.
In the Jose Marti Revolution Square, in Havana, the main leaders of the State and Government were at the Presidential podium, headed by Army General Raul Castro, President of the State Council and Council of Ministers, accompanied by Danny Faure, president of the Seychelles.
The capital’s march, under the slogan “Our unity is our strength”, began after the Secretary General’s speech from the Central Workers Union of Cuba (CTC), Ulises Guilarte, and was led by a block of 5000 young Cubans, among them were students, scientists, soldiers and workers from every sector, who showed their enthusiasm and joy throughout the entire march.
Several blocks followed them, representatives from 17 CTC affiliates and other Havana residents, carrying banners, made by themselves, where they revealed their complete support for the Revolution.
In both the capital as well as in the rest of the country, banners also expressed the Cuban workers’ unconditional support for Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution and the government of Nicolas Maduro, in the face of the Fascist opposition attack, which has left many people dead and a lot of economic damage.
The workers also expressed their support for the rest of Latin America’s revolutionary projects, in the face of neoliberalism’s attack, in an attempt to conquer these nations.
Other banners continued to demand the end of the US blockade against Cuba and the return of the illegally occupied naval base in Guantanamo. After an hour and a half of marching in the capital’s Revolution Square, the march ended to the beat of conga drums.
Like always, the Revolution’s detractors will say that workers only attended the parades because they felt obliged. However, any intelligent onlooker will see the enthusiasm and joy which Cuban workers and their families’ have when they march here, and will have to agree with me when I say that these spontaneous appearances can’t be because they are forced to do them, but because of their revolutionary conscience.