May Day Parade in Cuba Supports Gov. Economic Policies

and demands greater worker efficiency

HAVANA TIMES — Tens of thousands of Cubans marched today in Havana on International Workers Day in support of the Raul Castro government’s calls for greater economic efficiency, reported dpa news.

“Unleash and augment the reserves of efficiency, productivity, discipline and control are the only guarantee to preserve our social achievements,” said Ulises Guillarte, secretary general of the Cuban Workers Federation (CTC), the only trade union allowed on the island.

Guilarte’s intervention was the only speech early Thursday at the Revolution Square in Havana , which was attended by Cuban President Raul Castro.

Raul Castro and other leaders presiding over the May Day parade.

Before the start of the parade, the union leader said that the massive presence at the rally “is a genuine expression of reaffirmation” of support for the government and sends a “message to the world of unity and unwavering support for the revolution.”

The CTC requested support for the Castro administration’s economic reforms, which include offering greater initiative to private management, cooperatives and the authorization of purchase and sale of homes and vehicles.


Cuba May 1st Workers Parade in Pictures


22 thoughts on “May Day Parade in Cuba Supports Gov. Economic Policies

  • Neither does the United Kingdom. The pubic holiday is the first Monday in May. And how about Saudi-Arabia? Neither is it a public holiday in Israel or Cuban socialisms best mate Iran. The list is near endless. I would say just under half the countries in the world celebrate 1 May as a public holdiday.
    John, I always read your comments with great interest but to you and Moses the world no longer revolves around the United States of America.

  • emagic;

    Grin….wriggling like a worm on a hook, aren’t you? Kinda’ regretting that snotty remark of “Obviously, you haven’t studied the actual events” you injected into this thread yet? [smile]

    Anyway, in light of your posts, I’m sure no one here expects you to waste any time out of the “sunshine” actually researching a topic before you blow on it. After all, it’s much more efficient for a bloke like you to SIMPLY MAKE THINGS UP, isn’t it?

    You got caught being dishonest, “emagic”. Now, you can either deal with that fact like a man, or as a sniveling coward. So far, at least, it seems you’ve inclined toward the latter.

  • Visit all the websites you list? Are you nuts? I don’t spend my life in a rec. room, study, or basement taping away. What would be the purpose? You can always find the “facts” to support your thesis (i.e. that the Haymarket martyrs were terrorists, and not workingmen trying to make a better life for themselves, their society–through supporting the 8-hour workday–and their families.) Actually, I spent most of today far more productively: preparing my garden and flower beds for planting. Tap away in the darkened den, watching the flickering shaddows…if you climbed out into the sunlight you’d be blinded!

  • emagic;

    And all that has “what” to do with your claim? [smile!]

    Sorry, Sport, but I’m not out to ” to disprove the innocence of the Haymarket Martyrs”….history will deal with that. What I *HAVE* done, however, is prove that you’re a dishonest “information” broker. Face it; you’ve demonstrated right here on this thread that NOTHING you have to say should be taken at face value.

    Which, come to think of it, is right in line with your claim of…

    “The ruling class was so fearful of this day that they arranged the armistice ending World War I to fall on that date, thus co-opting the worker’s holiday”

    One wonders; where did you pick up THAT little nugget of “information”? [grin!]

    Anyway, have a good one! And keep ’em coming! Nothing I like better than watching someone demonstrate just how void he and his cause are of knowledge, ethics, and integrity.


    P.S. – I take it that you DIDN’T really go through the sites I sourced. Otherwise, you wouldt have noticed (as I mentioned earlier) that the authorities connected the bomb thrown with those in Lingg’s place via chemical analysis. You might also have read about the meeting Lingg and others held the night before the bombing regarding the setting-off of bombs…as testified by Lingg’s landlord and one who was invited by Lingg to deal with the boms.

    “All Hail The Myth”, ‘eh “emagic”? [smile]

  • If you actually go to some of the sites you cite, such as Wikipedia, you will see that although “bomb making materials were found” at the residence of one of the martyrs, these were never connected to bomb which was thrown; also, the person or persons who threw the bomb were never found; there were a whole string of suspects, but no definitive proof (though several claimed to have thrown it, or their relatives or friends claimed they were the bomb-makers and bomb-throwers. All of these folks, of course, were never executed, though some were briefly arrested, then released, and in some cases, fled the U.S.)
    That you would spend so much time trying to disprove the innocence of the Haymarket Martyrs only proves your political bona fides, that of a right winger. The violence visted upon the police was infinitismal compared to that by the state and their servants, the police,visited upon the labor movement from the 1860’s through the 1930’s.

  • emagic;

    I’ll give you this; you’re right on a couple of things. First, it *IS* pointless of you to continue trying to dispute “my” facts…simply because they ARE facts, and it’s obvious you aren’t armed with any of your own to refute them.

    Secondly, you’re right in that the only direct source i quoted was that “paid academic and idelogical hack of the right” who went by the name of “Howard Zinn”. He was a real “right wing” Luddite, wasn’t he? My apologies! [grin]

    But, in hopes that you’ll forgive me for providing sources late, I present the following.

    Perhaps you can peruse them and determine just how each and every one of them are the musings of “paid academics” and “ideological hacks of the right” [put another “grin” here!]

    On the other hand, and with that in mind, you *CAN* source your “factual” claim of…

    “Several years later, the Governor of Illinois commuted the sentences of those still in alive (who hadn’t already been hung), and apologized for the gross miscarriage of justice”

    …can’t you?

    After all, it’s not like you’d simply LIE about such a thing now, is it? [smile] And, of course it couldn’t be a simple mistake because you made such a big deal of how someone ELSE hadn’t “studied the actual events”, right? [snicker].

    Sorry “emagic”, but you lied and you got caught. Whether is was simple ignorance,on your part, or a deliberate choice to attempt to mislead is really not all that important in light of your “obviously” assertion.

    Perhaps next time you’ll actually take some time to INFORM yourself on a topic before you go blowing on it. Here’s a hint; the Pablum you’re spoon-fed by your compadres in the “Peoples Republic”, or in the workers paradise down south may not be all that credible.

    Reality is reality. Deal with it.

  • It is as bootless to continue disputing your “facts” here, as to try to reason with the ranting folks on Fox. The sources of your “facts” are obviously right-wing (you haven’t named one, but even if you did, I can immagine what they were…paid academic and ideological hacks of the right). Of course you say nothing of the Chicago workers, demonstrating for an 8-hour day, who were previously shot down by the cops, for the temerity of exercising their constitutional rights.

  • emagicmtman;

    Oh, I don’t claim to be an expert on the event….but it’s pretty clear that I know a little bit more about it than you do. For example, with your claim of…..

    “Several years later, the Governor of Illinois commuted the sentences of those still in alive (who hadn’t already been hung), and apologized for the gross miscarriage of justice”

    …I’m assuming you’re speaking of Illinois Governor Oglesby, who commuted the death sentences to life sentences of two of those convicted; two which had bothered to ask for clemency. At the time of the commutations, NONE of the 7 convicted had been executed. The day prior to his execution (approximatedly at the same time of the commutations) one of the convicts (Lingg) commited suicide by setting off a blasting cap that had been smuggled into him in his mouth. And, of course, Lingg was the “martyr” whose house was found to contain bombs similar (down to chemical analysis) as that thrown at the Haymarket. As for your claim that the governor (Oglesby) “apologized for the gross miscarriage of justice”, I’ve seen no evidence of that and, due to his only commuting down to “life” the sentences of only TWO on the convicts, I find your claim highly doubtful…to the point that I consider it a outright fabrication. After all, the convicts had a fairly lengthy trial, which was probably as fair as it could have been at the time, and their convictions and sentences had been appealed both to the Illinois and U.S. Supreme Courts; few responsible parties at the time – particularly a politician like Oglesby – thought it a “gross miscarriage of justice”.

    Some years later, of course, another Gov. Altgeld – a “Progressive” and immigrant from Germany, where most of the defendents also hailed from – DID pardon (not “commute”) your “martyrs”. But what was viewed as his extreme bias toward those convicted doomed his political career. And, of course, the prime suspect in the actual bombing skipped the country…..and thus escaped that “gross miscarriage of justice”.

    By the way, in terms of the “gross miscarriage of justice”, it might be noted that the court was more than willing to split the defendents into separate groupings, rather than trying them all together – a tactic which would have been of immeasurable aid toward those for which the evidence against was less clear. BUT THE DEFENSE POINTEDLY REFUSED! In short, if there was a “gross miscarriage of justice”, then they brought it on themselves

    As for your “police provaocateur” probability, that has NEVER been responsibly advanced; there’s simply not a shred of evidence for it. Howard Zinn, that great “historian” (or should we say “pseudo-historian”…smile!) tried to advance that idea for a short while, but even as radicalized author as he quickly gave that idea up. The activists at the time themselves claimed – without specifically identifying him – that the bomber was “one of them”.

    Again, I realize that people of your persuasion dislike dealing with reality, far prefering to cling to myths that bear little or no relation to the facts. But, try as you might, reality IS reality….and posturing as though you know more on the topic when you obviously don’t isn’t going to change that reality….although no doubt you’d fair better with it in that tropical “Workers Paradise” that is the subject of this article.

  • Obviously, you haven’t studied the actual events. It was the speakers who were lynched by the authorities, not the person who threw the bomb. (In one case, the condemned martyr wasn’t event there…he just composed type for the anarchist newspaper, and was home at the time). Several years later, the Governor of Illinois commuted the sentences of those still in alive (who hadn’t already been hung), and apologized for the gross miscarriage of justice. As was usually the case in such circumtances, it was probably a police provocateur responsible for throwing the bomb. During the 1960’s and early 1970’s we could always tell who were the police agents in our groups. They were the ones advocating violence.

  • What labor rights?! Since the 1950’s, organized American labor has shrunk from 1/3rd of the labor force to about 7%. Without unions, labor has no rights. The only illusionary recourse is to bring a lawsuit against a former employer; since the corporations have deep pockets, they can keep appealing ’til they reach the decision they want. Hence, your alleged rights are purely illusory. Labor laws are not enfoced. The N.L.R.B. is stacked with those unfreindly to labor. Supposedly, when we opened up to world trade the labor in other countries would not have unfair advantages w/ U.S. labor (i.e.slave labor, repression of labor organizing, etc). Every day we read (e.g. the Bangladesh factory fires/collapses, the note from the Chinese slave-laborer hidden in a Bergdorf-Goodman bag, etc.) those promises have not been–nor ever will be–enforced. Cuban unions may not have the right to strike, but they do have free health care, free education, subsidized housing, etc., which is more than the workers in most Third World hell-holes, let alone U.S. workers, now have.

  • If you were partaking in a “dramatization” involving “the Haymarket martyrs”, and you’re representative of the “People’s Republic”, then perhaps you’re right in that folks there know OF the event in Chicago in 1883….but the instant you used the word “martyr”, you made it quite clear that they know very little ABOUT the reality of the event.

    It’s like the Ludlow Massacre; union enthusiasists make all sorts of claim about the virtue of individuals who, when one comes right down to it, were only suffering the consequences of their criminal actions. They seem to need to pursue the myth rather than deal with the reality

    Sorry, but pursuing violence in order to simply get your way, or chucking bombs at police for the essentially same purpose, never quite made the bottom line for “martyrdom” in my book.

  • I understand that the government of the day did not want Labor Day to be on my 1st, for fear of commemorating the Haymarket Massacre. The 1st Monday in September was chosen as an alternative. My point was that the US Labor Day was established 4 years before the Europeans picked May 1st, and that the US is not the only country to observe Labor Day on the 1st Monday in September. Canada does as well.

  • Oh the bitter irony of Cuban workers, ordered by their government controlled union to march on International Workers Day… where the workers have no right to strike, no right to collective bargaining and no rights over their own labour.

  • Actually, Griffin, the REAL Labor Day was first celebrated Nov. 11th, the day in 1887 that the ruling class executed the Haymarket Martyrs! The ruling class was so fearful of this day that they arranged the armistice ending World War I to fall on that date, thus co-opting the worker’s holiday. Thereafter, the workers switched that day to May 1st. Once again It was co-opted, at least in the U.S.A., when a bogus “Labor Day” of the first Monday in September was established.

  • Talking with folks who attended Havana’s May Day in 2006, no one said they were “compelled” to attend. Of course they may earn points at work, but with the group I marched with from in front of the Capitolio over to Revolution Square, there was no one checking on who was attending. In fact, the folks who marched with me were not part of any organized group from workplace or fraternal organization; rather, just folks celebrating the day; also, many folks–including me–drifted back to Centro and Habana Vieja before Fidel finished speaking, and didn’t look worried that there would be any repercussions.

  • In a dramatization of those events, during past years I played one of the Haymarket martyrs at our diminuitive May Day celebration on the Common in Brattleboro. At least here in the “People’s Republic,” more folks know of the events in Chicago in 1883 than elsewhere.

  • !Fraternal May Day Greetings from the “People’s Republic of Vermont!” Though not as large as Havana’s (which I last enjoyed in 2006), with each passing year ours is getting larger. This year, I’d estimate between 1,300 and 1,700 (based on the march, which was five blocks long and, at its end, completely filled the grounds of the Vt. State House). What is even more encouraging, besides us old fogies from the 1960’s, fully two-thirds of those participating were in their teens, twenties and thirties, with many families with young children. At the speaker’s rostrum, were folks from unions, environmental groups, universities, colleges and even high schools, and farm workers (two speeches in Spanish). I’m pumped! Smash the ruling class!

  • Do the Cuban people have any other choice in a one-party system with the same family Castro at the “helm” for over 54+ years!

    YOUTUBE: DOCUMENTARY “Under Cuban Skies” — Workers and Their RIghts – Under Cuban Skies Workers and Their Rights is an account of the systematic violation of human and labor rights committed by Fidel and Raul Castro since they took power fifty years ago, supposedly on behalf of the Cuban worker.

  • You should know that International Workers’ Day began in the United States, as a commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre of 1886 in Chicago.

  • ….here’s another thing we don’t do. We don’t compel attendance to silly government orchestrated events like this. You see these type of “shows” put on by the old Soviet Union and countries like as North Korea.

    Here is an interesting article on the hypocrisy of this particular Communist May day parade. I especially love the capitalist entrepreneurial spirit of a cuenta propista, “La Pachanga”, who handed his staff bright red T-shirts and caps emblazoned with his logo, and joined the “workers” parade! LOL

  • You are mistaken. It’s a shame you don’t know much about history.

    The US September 1st Labor Day was established in 1887, four years BEFORE the May 1st International Workers’ Day was chosen by the Second International, in 1891.

    Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

    Labor Day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre, which occurred in Chicago on May 4, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.[1]

    The equivalent holiday in Canada, Labour Day, is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. In many other countries (more than 80 worldwide), “Labour Day” is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers’ Day, which occurs on May 1.

    In 1889, the first congress of the Second International, meeting in Paris for the centennial of the French Revolution and the Exposition Universelle, following a proposal by Raymond Lavigne, called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests.[2] May Day was formally recognized as an annual event at the International’s second congress in 1891.

  • The U.S. is the only country in the world that does not celebrate May First as international workers day .
    The U.S. celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday in September .
    This moving of the holiday was done some time back by the U.S. government to isolate U.S. workers from the workers in the rest of the world and prevent a global worker’s movement which would have been detrimental to the interests of capitalism : higher wages= less profit.
    A little history lesson.

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