International Workers Day 2018 in Cuba

Elio Delgado Legón

President Miguel Diaz Canel and Communist Party leader Raul Castro in the Plaza de la Revolucion for the May Day workers’ parade.

HAVANA TIMES – Under the slogan of unity, commitment and victory, Cuban workers celebrated May Day, as a true celebration throughout the country, with parades in all the provincial capital cities, preceded by events and parades in all the municipalities, in which a total of millions of people participated, with the joy and enthusiasm that characterizes the Cubans.

One of the characteristics that distinguished the celebration of May Day this year was the support shown to the recently elected Council of State and its president Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermudes; as well as Army General Raúl Castro, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. Also the support for the updating of the country’s economic model and to the continuity of the revolutionary socialist process.

The parade in the capital was held, as in previous years, in the Plaza de la Revolucion José Marti, where almost a million Cubans paraded, united and compact, carrying slogans from each workplace and sector, as well as photos of Fidel, Raul and the martyrs of the working class. They marched before the president and the main political and governmental authorities of the country, including the Secretary General of the Central of Workers of Cuba (CTC), Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento. Also present were more than 1,400 labor leaders from 64 countries, who attend the workers’ party, in solidarity with the Cuban people and their revolution.

Photo: Ismael Francisco /cubadebate.cu

Before the parade began, the Secretary General of the CTC read an address reaffirming the support of the working class for the leadership of the Revolution. Guillarte also expressed the solidarity of the Cuban workers movement with the peoples and governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua, victims of external interference with the objective of destabilizing both countries and overthrowing their legitimate governments, democratically elected by their peoples. Likewise, with other peoples who suffer the aggression of imperialism and its lackeys.

At the front of the parade, occupying the wide avenue from one side to the other, a line of 100 students of teacher training schools carried a banner in which it read: 80 YEARS OF PRINCIPLES, UNITY AND HISTORY, in allusion to the 80 years of the CTC.

The workers of the education, science and sports sectors began the parade, carrying posters in support of the Cuban Revolution, the ideas of the Cuban leader Fidel Castro and the current leadership of the country, as well as demanding the end of the cruel and unjust blockade that the government of the United States has maintained over Cuba for more than 55 years. They also demanded the return of the territory illegally occupied by the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay. These demands were maintained throughout the parade.

Photo: Ismael Francisco /cubadebate.cu

The second block of marchers was that of health workers and the company Biocubafarma, one of the largest, followed by construction, communal, communications and tourism workers. From there, each union with its workers accompanied a municipality of the capital.

The last blocks to march were those of civil defense workers and finally members of the Young Communist League made up of workers, combatants and students.

It was a colorful, combative and joyous parade that lasted almost two hours and in which the participation of youth in all the blocks prevailed and once again the people showed their unconditional support for the Revolution.

Unlike other countries in which workers take advantage of this date to make a host of demands, including wage increases and respect for their rights, Cuban workers celebrate it as a party. Regardless of the fact that all the problems are not resolved, they know that their government works to overcome the obstacles and solve them in the shortest time possible, because this is a revolution, according to Fidel’s words, “of the humble, by the humble and for the humble.”

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.



11 thoughts on “International Workers Day 2018 in Cuba

  • Elio knows full well, that for Cuban workers there is no chance of an increase in wages or a respect for their rights. The “party” as he describes the parade organized by the CTC and the PCC – they make this one of their major annual tasks – has no resemblance whatsoever to the type of real party which Cubans much prefer. Yes Elio, you are correct when you write that for the workers: “all the problems are not resolved”. In fact few of their problems have been resolved.
    When Fidel Castro made his comment that the revolution was: “of the humble, by the humble and for the humble” he obviously was excluding himself. For a multi-millionaire with a substantial shareholding in the monopoly ETECSA, a two island personal retreat complete with yacht and a five house compound complete with swimming pool and tennis court, humility was unknown.
    I don’t begrudge Fidel his accumulation and trappings of wealth. It was his denial of opportunity for others to pursue their talents, ambitions and dreams that I deplore.
    Elio does an excellent job of extolling the virtues of the Communist Party of Cuba as promoted by the Propaganda Department of that organization. Currently there is an increased drive to promoter the cult of the personality. Ever more and ever larger portraits in particular of Fidel, but also Raul and Dr, Guevara de Serna Lynch. Government offices are increasingly plastered with pictures of Fidel. In our local MININT office in March, I counted 42 (YES forty two!) pictures of Fidel – one of which included Hugo Chavez.
    One other comment, I note that Elio writes: “updating of the country’s economic model” Just how many times has that been endeavored? When Elio, will the PCC address improving the living standards of the people of Cuba? Elio says that the PCC “fights tooth and nail to provide us with a better life.” What improvements have been achieved Elio in the last twenty years? Have pensions of 200 pesos per month increased? Has the distribution of supplies to the GAESA shops improved? Have wages increased – and if so whose and by how much? Those teeth and nails may be well worn, but for what results?
    As one who at intervals suffers: “the aggression of imperialism and its lackeys”, I can assure Elio that it is certainly preferable to communist dictatorship as in Cuba.

    Reply
    • You old Trumpite, you just can’t stay out of anything can you. Rejoice in the great gains of the revolution. The Cuban people did it themselves and are to be congratulated. Forward Ever! Backward Never!

      Reply
      • Hello CErmle, you have popped up again – rather like a marionette in a cheap side-show supporting oppression and dictatorship.
        As I know the Cuban people far better than you, I can say that in your verbal marching ever forwards towards your objectives, you are clearly out of step with humanity.
        The “great gains” you write of include the 200 pesos per month ($8 US) pension and three years jail time for any parent who dares to teach their own child ideas contrary to communism. Obviously you gain satisfaction as one of those visitors so accurately described by another contributor who enjoys seeing Cubans treated like monkeys in a zoo.

        Reply
  • The Parade has demonstrated the unifying bond of the working class of Cuba who know that they are in control of the means of production and services in the country. USA citizens do not even know that the right to celebrate Labour Day or May Day originated in the USA in the 1860’s when workers were demanding an 8 hour day instead of the 10 – 16 they were working at that time where death and injury were prevalent in the workplace and where life expectancy was in the low twenties.

    If capitalism is for the rich, the oligarchs, the oppressor, the exploiter, the degrader, Socialism and Communism is for the Working Class of the World. Long live the Working Class Revolution of Cuba.

    Reply
    • Good day to you Kennedy Earle Clarke. You ask an interesting question when you write: “If …… capitalism is for the rich etc.” Well I can answer that one for you, Capitalist countries have a higher standard of living for their citizens than socialist (communist) ones. What obviously sticks in your gullet is that not everybody is equal whereas under the communist system in Cuba Churchill’s maxim that:
      “the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.” applies to all except the dictator’s lackeys (I use Elio’s term for adherents).
      In Cuba Kennedy Earle Clarke, the historic national hero is Jose Marti. Marti spent more of his life outside Cuba than there and much of that time in the US of which he wrote:
      “(I have) profound admiration for those many basic liberties and opportunities open to the vast majority of American citizens,”
      Further, in his admiration of such a society he wrote:
      “Being good is the only way to be free. Being cultured is the only way to be free. With human nature in general however, to be free one has to be prosperous.”
      Now Kennedy Earle Clarke, please describe how the people of Cuba can become prosperous under the communist yoke?

      Reply
  • It’s most heartwarming to see the return of Mr MacD.
    I hope that your and your family are well sir.
    I am pleased to note that indeed, you probably are keeping well. I detect this from the fact that your rate of comment contribution is as prolific as ever.
    It is always good to get the opinions of someone who knows Cuba so well.
    It’s always valuable to have these contributions from someone who is clearly so fond of Cuba.
    But one also needs to bear in mind that your comments come from looking at Cuba through the prism of your own ‘distinct’ political opinions.

    One can pontificate as much as one likes regarding why there are so many attendees in ‘La Plaza’ on May 1st.
    Many people I know attend this event because they want to do so.
    I also know for a fact that a lot of people attend out of some degree of obligation.
    However, the people that I know that come into this second category do not actually seem to attend under any duress as some detractors like to suggest.
    It seems to me that they have more of an attitude of ‘OK it’s my turn this year……..
    But I’m sure as hell gonna have a good time and enjoy it’
    Having, out of curiosity, attended this event one more than one occasion myself, I can attest that it is truly spectacular.
    And I can say with 100% certainty that the people who attend/participate most definitely celebrate the day and have a good time. I can also state with 100% certainty that the British Ambassador (who was there when I went) agreed with me that folks were having a big old celebration and also said that it was one of his favourite events of the year.
    I don’t agree with all of Elio’s views, but he is 100% correct when he says that people enjoy the day out.
    You can’t fake that.

    Reply
    • Nick thank you for the welcome! You are correct in much of what you say. I liked your comment about looking through the prism of my own political opinion, for yes, I do detest communism and its endeavors to establish total control and by so doing eradicate individual freedom and thought. I have had the good fortune in life to live under multi-party democratic systems and have experienced being governed by Liberal, Democratic Socialist and Conservative government. But living in Cuba as I now do most of the time has given me experience of living within a Communist system whereas previously i had observed it from outside – from Vienna in Austria when it was under Quadripartite control with the Russians operating within the city, Germany as occupying forces with the country divided and from the UK. I too Nick was initially a visitor to Cuba, but living there provides the full picture and that picture isn’t nice. So readers may well bear in mind my own political opinion – and that it is based upon the reality of Cuba a country as you correctly say is beautiful with some wonderful people.
      Finally Nick, just to show that I do read fully and to gain some amusement, I note that you go on to say: “One can pontificate… ” and then do so! That is the wonderful advantage of free speech which both of us enjoy, when not in Cuba where any criticism of the regime gets folks jailed. You may have noted that two South American former Presidents were banned in February from visiting Cuba as they both had publicly opposed the regime. There is nothing that the Castro/PCC regime fears more than truth.

      Reply
      • Ha Ha…….
        I like your remark relating to pontification.
        Well spotted!
        (But to that something is 100% certain is to pontificate? Perhaps it is…….
        I shall reach for my dictionary.)

        Reply
        • There is nothing wrong Nick in having fun and I know you have a sense of humour.

          Reply
      • It appears your understanding of both socialism and capitalism is still badly skewed. My hope for you is that understanding will be enlarged, but that will require much study and attention to the Truth. You seem to have no criticism of Trumpism. I wonder why?

        Reply
        • If your remark about Trump(f) was addressed to me CErmle, then it is somewhat misplaced – not an uncommon occurrence in your contributions.
          I have made lots of critical comments about Mr. Trump(f) in these pages, so as usual, you are incorrect.
          Further, if you were to read my chapter on the US in Cuba Lifting the Veil, you would find much criticism of US policies towards Cuba (and the rest of the Americas).
          But you choose to sit and brood in blissful isolation proving that ignorance is bliss. Your limited knowledge is all too evident in your fatuous one/two liners.

          Reply

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