Cuba: Viable Socialism & Chavez at May Day Parades

Photo Feature by Elio Delgado Valdes and other HT Contributors

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HAVANA TIMES — Cuba paid tribute to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today during its traditional May Day parade at Havana’s Revolution Square, DPA reported.

Raul Castro presided over the rally in the Cuban capital, while other marches for International Workers’ Day took place in Santiago de Cuba and the different provinces. Several government officials were present at the rostrum next to the Cuban president.

The Federation of Cuban Workers (Central de Trabajadores de Cuba), the island’s only labor organization, had announced that today’s May Day parade would be dedicated to the memory of Hugo Chavez, who passed away on March 5 after a long battle with cancer.

portada-3The facade of Cuba’s National Library, near Revolution Square, was covered with a gigantic portrait of Venezuela’s former leader. Chavez had undergone treatment for cancer in Cuba and spent several of his last months of life in Havana.

Hundreds of thousands of State employees, retired persons and students joined the parade in the early hours of the morning. Like last year, the owners of small private businesses, Cuba’s “self-employed”, also took part in the rally before the monument to national independence hero Jose Marti.

Some 400,000 people currently make up Cuba’s growing private sector, impelled by the series of market reforms which Raul Castro’s government has set in motion to “modernize” the island’s economic model.

In addition to banners bearing portraits of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Fidel and Raul Castro and slogans expressing support for the Cuban Revolution, many in the parade carried portraits of Hugo Chavez.

portada2“Our best friend,” read the inscription above the huge portrait of the Venezuelan leader set up at the square. Under Hugo Chavez, Venezuela had become a strategic ally of Cuba’s over the last ten years. Caracas has been selling oil to the island at preferential prices for years.

Unlike other countries, where this commemorative date is marked by workers’ demands and protests, Cuba traditionally celebrates May Day with a mass function in support of the island’s socialist government.

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12 thoughts on “Cuba: Viable Socialism & Chavez at May Day Parades

  • May 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm
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    Simply beacuase, although you write a lot, it has not dawned on you yet that there is a differnce between working in a socialist country or a capitalist one. may study socialism first, before you give your at least said very unscientific comments.

  • May 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm
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    why does the Mossad work together with your CiA. Clearly because both are mass murders and terrorist organizations. Or not? But the murdering of thpousands of Palestinian children, torturing, suffocating the whole arab population, I guess that`s not terrorist in your eyes. Strange anyways where you put your focus on. And because you call the PLF a terrorist organization dioes not mean it is one. Or are you the supreme judge like The White House pretends the supreme judhge of the whole world? Slowly I start to wonder as well, whether you are the Canadian you pretend to be.

  • May 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm
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    or vice versa?

  • May 3, 2013 at 4:47 am
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    So you endorse the murder of children, provided they are Jews. Got it.

  • May 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm
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    Your silence on the thousands of Palestinian men, women and children murdered by the Israelis is deafening, Griffin. Fortunately, even here in the U.S.A., ever more people are learning of the Zionist atrocities; thanks to a plethora of sites on the net, including YouTube, Al Jazeera, LinkTV, etc. etc., folks now have more alternative sources of information than the networks controlled by the big American media corportions and A.I.P.A.C. Incidentally, as an essentially secular, as contrasted to Islamist, group, the Palestinian Liberation Front is one of the more moderate organizations; then again, to paraphrase one who I suspect was one of your heroes, “extremism in the defense of liberty is a virtue.”

  • May 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm
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    some of the demands were in speeches

  • May 2, 2013 at 11:15 am
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    It is interesting to see in the photograph above (0015.jpg), a man wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt and a scarf of the Palestinian Liberation Front.

    The PLF is a terrorist organization famous for the murders of the Achille Lauro hijacking and the Nahariya attack in which the terrorist Samir Kuntar murdered four unarmed civilians including 2 small children. Kuntar killed the four year old girl by smashing her skull against the rocks with the butt of his rifle. When Kuntar was freed by Israel in 2008, he was greeted as hero in Lebanon and Syria.

    Charming man.

    So my questions are, why would an Islamist extremist wear the face of the most famous Jamaican Rastafarian?

    And why would a man openly supporting a mass murdering terrorist organization be welcome at Cuba’s May Day parade?

  • May 2, 2013 at 9:24 am
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    This post ends by saying, “Unlike other countries, where this commemorative date is marked by workers’ demands and protests, Cuba traditionally celebrates May Day with a mass function in support of the island’s socialist government.” Are we to assume that Cubans have no demands or protests, such as higher wages or better working conditions? Not unless we are stupid. We can assume that if banners and signs were made with these messages reflecting what Cubans really want to say, they would quickly be confiscated and their makers arrested. Like the the photos from the many pro-Maduro rallies that took place before the election in Venezuela, if you believe that these photos tell the whole story, you will fail to see that the majority of Cubans do not see a future in the Castro regime and the weak reforms put forth to date. “A properous and sustainable socialism” is an oxymoronic term in Cuba and just more propaganda attempting to buy time for a regime with one foot in the grave.

  • May 2, 2013 at 7:48 am
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    People commenting these pictures, don’t you notice something funny? Do you see ONE sign demanding better pay, better health care or the possibility to live on your pension? Do you see one sign demanding anything at all? Everywhere the first of may give the workers an opportunity to express what they are unhappy with. 11 million people in Cuba just love their government?

  • May 2, 2013 at 2:42 am
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    a country with its own happy life Cuba! Cant wait to revisit this country

  • May 1, 2013 at 9:04 pm
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    Fraternal greetings from the People’s Republic of Vermont! Just back from two celebrations: the much larger Mayday march and rally in Montpelier, Vermont, and later, our own diminuitive ceremony on the Common here in Brattleboro. I’m encouraged by the many young people participating in the Montpelier celebrations.

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