Defence of the Principle of Sovereignty of All Countries

Cuba and Its Friends Boldly Affirm Its Right to Be

As the U.S. government steps up its irrational attempt to isolate and suffocate Cuba, the revolutionary Cuban people and their friends from around the world rallied on the occasion of May Day to affirm that no matter what, Cuba is not alone, and the U.S. will never achieve its reactionary aim. This militant stand by the Cuban people and the fraternal support of the peoples of the world is more important than ever as the U.S. imperialists unleash a new campaign of hostility against Cuba and Venezuela.

The highlight of May Day was the iconic million-strong convergence and march to Revolution Square in Havana, as well as the May Day marches along central avenues and plazas across the country. The marches reaffirmed workers' support for the socialist character of the Revolution, agreements reached at the 21st Congress of the Federation of Cuban Workers, as well as the new Constitution proclaimed on April 10 before the National Assembly of People's Power. Also celebrated this year is the 500th anniversary of Cuba’s capital Havana.

Across the country, health care contingents led marches in recognition of the results they achieved in 2018, including an infant mortality rate of 4.0 per 1,000 live births, revitalization of the family doctor program with a return to its foundational concepts, and a life expectancy of close to 80 years. Included in these contingents were the nearly 8,000 medical professionals who served in the Brazilian Mas Médicos program until they had to return home after being attacked by President Jair Bolsonaro. Bringing up the rear of the contingents were professors and students from medical schools, including the Latin American School of Medicine that trains so many youth from other countries.

Santiago Badía González, Secretary General of the National Union of Health Workers, explained to Granma International, that May Day is a workers' celebration and that health care contingents and other workers "are going to march in defence of our achievements, as a reaffirmation of socialism, and support for the historic leaders of the Revolution and President Miguel Díaz-Canel."

21st Congress of Federation of Cuban Workers

Session of 21st Congress of Federation of Cuban Workers, April 23, 2019.

In the days leading up to May Day, representatives from more than 16 countries and some 30 organizations with ties to the Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC) participated in activities leading up to May Day and the 21st Congress of the Cuban trade union movement in Havana from April 20 to 24. In addition to listening to the discussion of labour issues and concerns, they completed a full schedule, including visits to production facilities to interact directly with workers.

CTC Secretary General of the Ulises Guilarte (second from left) and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel next to him, at the CTC Congress, April 22, 2019.

"Our main objective is to bring people to see how we are developing the country and the circumstances in which we are doing it. We hope they pass along what they have learned, because news about Cuba is scarce and what is published is against the Revolution," Secretary General of the CTC, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento told the press.

He added that the main goal is to show how workers exercise union rights and that visitors freely roam the streets, listening to Cubans' opinions. "We want them to see the damage caused by the criminal economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States, mainly in the shortages the population faces and the lack of resources."

Guilarte, also a member of the Communist Party of Cuba Political Bureau, noted that every year, solidarity groups around the world organize actions in support of Cuba, demanding that their governments vote for an end to the blockade in the United Nations General Assembly, given the impact suffered by the Cuban people in terms of supplies, means of production, raw materials, and spare parts.

He noted that recently the tone used by interventionist President Donald Trump has risen, with new sanctions imposed on governments seeking to build anti-capitalist societies. He mentioned the sanctions announced by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on 34 vessels owned or operated by Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA that transports oil to Cuba, as well as two additional companies.

Guilarte said the CTC Congress succeeded in generating ideas to improve efficiency, the indispensable basis of economic progress in Cuba. He highlighted the official statement issued by delegates in solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, with all peoples around the world fighting just causes, for peace, independence, sovereignty and against the neo-liberal and discriminatory policies imposed by the U.S.

World Solidarity Meeting

On May 2 at the Palace of Conventions in Cuba, more than 1,000 activists from Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, the U.S. and Canada converged for the World Solidarity Meeting with Cuba.

Ulises Guilarte, Secretary General of the CTC, in his opening remarks to the gathering said that coming to Cuba in these times is a test of courage and political commitment, noting that some had "violated" the extra-territorial laws of the U.S. blockade to be there. He highlighted the interventionist actions of the U.S. government and the intensification of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, with the enforcement of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act. He stressed the importance of maintaining and defending "our social projects and not bend to the orders of the empire."

During the meeting, which this year was directed against war and for world peace, Guilarte reiterated Cuba's steadfast solidarity with Venezuela, while demanding the freedom of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Venezuela's Ambassador to Cuba Adán Chávez affirmed that in spite U.S. interference in his country, Venezuelans have resisted and will continue to resist.

Fernando Gonzalez, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), stressed the importance of activists who organize international solidarity with Cuba, and that Cuba is relying on these friends during the current circumstances. He also invited those present to take part in the Hemispheric Anti-imperialist Meeting of Solidarity, for Democracy and Against Neo-Liberalism in November in Havana, that will call on solidarity movements, trade unionists, youth, and students, as well as all sectors committed to blocking reaction and retrogression in the region.

The international delegations shared their just demands for social justice and spoke out against the U.S.-led aggression against Venezuela, and media campaigns designed to undermine the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. They also expressed solidarity with Argentine trade unions in their fight against neo-liberalism, and called for the freedom of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva.

(Photos: Cubadebate, Prensa Latina)

This article was published in

Volume 49 Number 16 - May 4, 2019

Article Link:
Defence of the Principle of Sovereignty of All Countries: Cuba and Its Friends Boldly Affirm Its Right to Be


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