Wednesday, 11 May 2011

May Day in Cuba

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban literacy brigades – in which mass literacy was brought to working people and peasants for the first time – and the Cuban victory over US-imperialism at the Bay of Pigs. For over half a century Cuba has thrived despite foreign intervention, international isolation and an illegal and pernicious blockade of the country.
In the face of ongoing adversity Cuba continues to prioritise people over profit and – with 35 000 Cuban health workers in developing countries – Cuba represents an enduring example of internationalism, solidarity and fraternity.
Each May Day the Cuban people mobilise to celebrate the achievements of the Cuban Revolution in towns and cities across the island. This year, both Pete and I had the pleasure of attending the May Day Parade in Havana. With a population of just over 11 million people, nearly 10% of the population marched through Revolution Square – not to mention other rallies across the country.
As the sun rose over Revolution Square in Havana – illuminating the permanent tributes to revolutionary heroes Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos – nearly one million proud Cubans paraded past the monument to Cuba’s Jose Marti waving flags, placards and chanting enthusiastically.
We were welcomed into the homes and communities of local Committees for the Defence of the Revolution, heard about trade unionism in Cuba and met with members of the Federation of Cuban Women.
We also had honour of meeting family members of the Miami Five – who remain unjustly incarcerated within American prisons – and their ongoing struggle for justice illustrates the continuing need for support from the international community.
Here are some photos from our trip. Viva Cuba!

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