Cuba Holds Annual May Day Parades

By Circles Robinson

Photos: Elio Delgado & Jorge Luis Baños

As always there was a strong international presence at Cuba's May Day festivities. Photo: Elio Delgado

HAVANA TIMES, May 1 — International Workers Day is synonymous in Cuba to parades in support of the country’s top leaders, government policies and socialism. This Sunday such May Day marches took place throughout the country.

This time around, the CTC Cuban Workers Confederation called for greater worker efficiency and productivity, while declaring blanket support for the reforms approved (still unpublished) by the Communist Party Congress in mid-April.

Vice President Ramiro Valdes, CTC leader Salvador Valdes and First Vice President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura.

The changes, already being implemented to kick start the stagnant Cuban economy, include a million or more layoffs in the coming years and a greater tolerance of small private enterprises, which will pay license fees and taxes.

President Raul Castro headed up the march in Santiago de Cuba while other top leaders, including second-in-command Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, presided over the Havana parade.  Delegations from dozens of countries were also present for the celebration.

Havana Times contributing photographers Elio Delgado and Jorge Luis Baños were on hand to capture scenes from the parade in the capital.

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