Cuba’s CTC Workers Day Speech

CTC leader Salvador Valdes Mesa, center, along with VP Ramiro Valdes (L) and First VP Jose Ramon Machado Ventura (R). Foto: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

HAVANA TIMES, May 2 — The Cuban Workers Confederation (CTC) pledged its support to the country’s top leaders, socialism and all economic reforms approved by the recent 6th Communist Party Congress in its message to the International Workers Day parades in Cuba on Sunday.

As is customary at the annual march, the CTC Secretary General, currently Salvador Valdés Mesa, read the message to a national audience.  The following is the official translation of the full text:


Statement by the General Secretary of the Cuban Workers´ Federation, Salvador Valdes Mesa, at commemorations for International Workers´ Day, May 1st 2011.

Workers, compatriots:

Millions of Cuban women and men are celebrating May Day with renewed joy and enthusiasm after the successful sessions of the 6th Congress of the [Communist] Party, which has paved the way for us to advance the updating of our economic model.

We do this because we support the accords reached by the Congress of the Party and the guidelines of the economic and social policy of the Revolution, whose debates by all of us contributed hundreds of thousands of views and suggestions that were taken into account in what really is one more demonstration of genuine revolutionary democracy.

We have gathered and we´ll march on the streets and plazas throughout the country to ratify that Socialism is our option and that we will improve it and give it continuity based on the strategy drawn up by the Party Congress.

Our march will be joined this morning by those who are not physically with us, since our presence here pays tribute to those who fell in the struggles for Independence and the defense of our homeland during several centuries, and it particularly is a heartfelt homage to heroes and heroines who made possible the commemoration, this year, of the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist character of the Revolution and the 50th anniversary as well of the Playa Giron victory [over the Bay of Pigs invasion.]

Similarly and with particular importance for the workers’ movement, we also mark the centennials of the birth of three our paradigms: Lazaro Peña, Jesus Menendez and Jose Maria Perez.

Exactly fifty years ago, we celebrated that May Day in defense of Socialism and for the first time we, Cubans, already knew how to read and write, following that great deed that was the Literacy Campaign, key factors that put us on the path to be freer.

Thanks to this, today the workers and the union movement are not mere observers of the changes, but active participants. We are aware of our key role in the updating of our economic model and the improvement of our society to make it more efficient, productive and rational in its expenses, so that we can better and increasingly meet the needs of all the people.

In this regard, we must prioritize work, saving, discipline, order and control as the only way to overcome our own inefficiencies and mistakes.

And we will achieve all this with Unity, which is and will continue to be the most strategic weapon of the revolution: a kind of “unity that does not deny the difference of views, but that strengthens and consolidates from that difference.”

An expression of such diversity is present in our ranks, which have expanded and strengthened with the unionization of tens of thousands of workers in non-state jobs, who are sharing with other labor sectors in this May Day.

We express our eternal gratitude, through the delegations attending, to the unions, social movements, solidarity groups, personalities and workers who admire Cuba and its Revolution around the world.

This internationalist spirit is historic tradition, which we preserve and enrich like a valuable principle of struggle. Inspired in this principle, we the workers demonstrate in favor peace, in rejection and condemnation of wars and imperialist aggressions that are currently taking place for a new distribution of the world.

We talk with enough experience about the pain and suffering caused by such imperial hostility bearing in mind the nearly-fifty-year economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the US administrations against our people.

In the same way, this hostility is felt by our Five Heroes themselves, who have been unfairly imprisoned in Imperial jails and we demand their freedom and immediate return to their homeland, on this May Day.


Let´s march for all this that unites us and encourages us; for our nation, for Fidel, for Raul, for the Party, for the Revolution and Socialism; as well as for social justice for all and for our progress and the progress of humanity. Let´s join our destiny to the poor of the world, as Marti wanted to, and let´s change today and tomorrow´s world in the forge of work.

Central de Trabajadores de Cuba

1 de Mayo 2011