Defiant Cuba celebrates May Day

May Day Cuba
Cuba President Miguel Diaz-Canel (left) and former president Raul Castro (2nd from left) take part in the 2023 May Day celebration.

Defiant Cuba celebrates May Day.

An AFP report (“Communist Cuba celebrates Worker’s Day, four days late”), datelined May 5, 2023, said:

“Cuba finally celebrated May Day on Friday, four days late, after the original celebration of workers was postponed due to the risk of rain and trimmed down as a result of a fuel shortage.

“The May 1 celebration is usually a grandstand event in the communist island nation.”

According to the report, thousands of people from all over the country descend on the capital by bus to congregate at Revolution Square before beginning a parade.

This year, the report said, the Havana residents were asked to instead head on foot to the parade along the iconic Malecon promenade, while smaller festivities were organized in other neighborhoods. The only buses to bring workers to the event came from nearby municipalities. Instead of putting on a massive commemoration on the central square that marks the highest point in the city, a much more low-key celebration took place by the coast.

The report said:

“A fuel shortage lasting more than a month has greatly complicated the daily lives of ordinary Cubans.

“Even President Miguel Diaz-Canel and his wife Lis Cuesta walked to the promenade to take part in the ‘revolutionary reaffirmation’, alongside his predecessor Raul Castro.

The AFP report cited Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, general secretary of CTC, Cuban workers’ union: “This change of location is consistent with the current limitations on fuel insurance as part of the complex economic situation our country is going through.”

Cuba, said the report, is suffering its worst economic crisis in three decades, exacerbated by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and sanctions the US has imposed on Cuba. It has left the country with frequent shortages of food, medicines and fuel, with soaring inflation also hurting the local economy.

May Day March in Havana in today’s world is a symbol of reassertion of class position of the working classes in humanity’s historical march towards exploitation-free society and progress. The working classes neither stand for retrogressive ideas nor for exploiting interests. The working classes march is always for progress, always for exploitation-free society, always against system of exploitation; and thus, the working classes stand against finance capital, imperialism, and against feudalism, remnants of feudalism and medieval ideas.

This journey, as like all past journeys the humanity was made, is not without hurdles and setbacks. In a world dominated by imperialism, the working classes’ march forward isn’t easy, doesn’t move along a straight line.

Setbacks aren’t declarations of defeat. Problems aren’t signatures of failures. Fault lines in bases doesn’t signify shoot down of the working classes’ march for equity and equality. Scholars and propagandists indicating to problems in Cuba deny telling truth: Imperialism’s suffocating sanctions imposed on the country.

These scholars and propagandists never tell the realities of exploitation, deprivation, and inequality in countries having exploitative system. These scholars and propagandists never cite corruption and injustice in countries dominated by exploiting interests. These propagandists and scholars never tell the corrupt political system in countries having exploiting production relations. These scholars and pundits never talk about the non-participation of the exploiting masses in the dominating political process in countries having system of exploitation.

The scholars and pundits never compare Cuba and the most advanced capitalist countries with a scientific methodology between. That methodology would have required considering [1] historical perspective, [2] classes with their origins, experiences, and command over resources, [3] hindrances being set up. Even, a comparison between allocated funds for carrying out subversive activities and negative propaganda against Cuba, and budget of any ministry of Cuba will expose the hindrances imperialism is constantly constructing against Cuba.

A comparison from very recent developments in countries with capitalist economy can be made. The comparison comes from Europe since unprecedented sanctions were imposed in unprecedented way against Russia.

As a consequence of those sanctions, what has happened with the powerful capitalist economies in Europe? What about the energy crisis these countries are facing. What advices were told to citizens of European countries? Were not those advices related to less consumption of energy? Was not, at least in one European country, rationing of fuel wood introduced? Was not, in at least one European country, collecting wood from forest prohibited? Did not black market of coal from abandoned pits in at least one European country emerge? What was the way big capitalist countries collected fuel after imposition of sanctions on Russia? Has not at least one big capitalist country been exempted from buying fuel from Russia? Aren’t big capitalist economies in Europe buying fuel from a number of African and Asian countries, which are buying that oil, mainly diesel, from Russia? People in at least one European big economy have been told to cut down breakfast. This story can go on for some more time. But no need for further examples to a rationale mind. How many times the mainstream media, the great MSM, report these? Very little; near-to-nothing is reported. But, Cuba’s oil-problem is told with a high-pitched voice. However, it’s told partially: The imperialist sanction behind this oil scarcity isn’t told. It’s told that the central May Day celebration in Havana has been cancelled.

Shall they, the mainstream scholars and propagandists, talk about Cuba’s defiance in the face of imperialist economic and financial blockade and its consequence in the life of the people of Cuba? They don’t dare to tell this truth. They don’t dare to speak about the courageous Cuban people’s dignified stand. They don’t dare to speak about the Cuban people’s struggle to build up exploitation-free society. They don’t dare to spread this message: Cuba is an example in people’s struggle to have a democratic, dignified, exploitation-free society.

But, the working peoples around the world saluted the Cuban people as they continue with their courageous struggle.

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka, Bangladesh.


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