Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES — Like every year, this May 1st was yet another opportunity for Cubans to reaffirm their support for the revolution and its leaders. This time around, however, they had the additional incentive of having the Cuban Five – anti-terrorist heroes who served unjust sentences in the United States and whose release required a 16-year struggle – back home and among them, leading the rally.
I say yet another opportunity because, recently, Cuba held its partial (municipal) elections, where nearly one hundred percent of voters capable of participating in these elections cast their ballots. As these are municipal elections, all those who are currently traveling, abroad or away from their municipality were unable to cast their vote – thus, the 90 percent attendance registered speaks of truly massive support for Cuba’s political system.
The rallies and activities for International Workers’ Day were carried out throughout the country. They were most visible at all provincial capitals, but they were also organized at municipal capitals.
Before the country’s main leaders and a considerable number of guests, including the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro, hundreds of thousands of workers and their relatives paraded through Havana’s Revolution Square holding Cuban flags and banners expressing support for the Revolution.
The parade in Havana was headed up by a contingent of five thousand health workers, led by members of the Henry Reeve International Work Brigade who fought Ebola in Western Africa, where they saved many lives and contributed, next to other volunteers, to halting the spread of this deadly epidemic, evincing altruism, humanism and solidarity.
The downpour that began some minutes after the rally started didn’t manage to wash away the colors of the celebration and, spurred on by the cry of “no one will surrender!” the workers continued to parade until the rain stopped. No one abandoned the rally.
Young people, with their characteristic enthusiasm, ratified their loyalty and commitment to Cuban socialism and their support for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, sending a clear message to those who think they can confuse them and hope they will destroy the revolution and set back the clock of history.
More than two thousand foreigners from over 70 different countries also participated. These included trade union leaders invited to the Workers’ Celebration and the leaders of Cuba solidarity groups that didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see the enthusiasm with which Cubans celebrate the proletariat’s most important date. In most of their countries of origin, May Day is a day in which workers demand rights that are already guaranteed in Cuba, and their parades are often repressed by the police.
Now, we will start hearing the detractors and mercenaries of old try and explain to us that the millions of workers who took part in the rallies in Cuba, with their families and even small children, did so involuntarily, in order to preserve their jobs. Anyone who sees these rallies, in Havana and other provinces, will however note the enthusiasm and joy of the parades and be able to refute this tired accusation.
No one who is forced to rally can express such enthusiasm and unconditional support for the revolution and its leaders, hoisting up the main slogan of the gathering: “United for the construction of socialism.”