NY event celebrates 60th anniversary of Cuban Revolution

By Brian Williams
January 21, 2019

NEW YORK — Peter Thierjung, chairperson of the New York Socialist Workers Party, began the short program at a spirited celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution here Jan. 5 by quoting Raúl Castro, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.

“No one can deny that the revolution that was born that January 1st has not had a minute’s calm over 60 years,” Castro had said at a Jan. 1 rally in Santiago de Cuba, the day that the revolution triumphed in 1959. “We have seen 12 U.S. administrations that have not ceased in the effort to force a regime change in Cuba.”

Though it’s 60 years, “the revolution has not aged, it is still young,” continued Castro. “The new generations have the duty to ensure that the Cuban Revolution is forever a revolution of young people, and at the same time, a socialist revolution of the humble, by the humble, and for the humble.”

The event, sponsored by the SWP in New York and Northern New Jersey, drew over 60 people for the talks and an evening of fine food, discussion and celebration. Present were special guests Counselor Jorge Peña and First Secretary Rolando Vergara from the Cuban Mission to the U.N., and participants from Albany, Philadelphia, and New Haven, Connecticut.

Thierjung invited everyone present to join in fighting against the U.S. capitalist rulers’ ongoing economic and political attacks against the Cuban Revolution.

Samantha Hamlin, a Walmart worker and member of the SWP in Albany, told those at the gathering the impact that participating in the International May Day Brigade to Cuba last year had on her.

“May Day has a different feel when you’re in a place where workers have power,” she said. “My experiences on the brigade convinced me to join the SWP. Socialist revolution in the U.S. is possible and we can build a movement for the working class to take political power here.”

She urged those in attendance to sign up for this year’s April 21-May 5 brigade. Participants will learn about the history of the Cuban Revolution and challenges facing workers and farmers there today.

Osborne Hart, SWP candidate for mayor of Philadelphia, told the celebration that he came to the SWP “because of the inspiration of the Cuban Revolution and what workers and peasants accomplished there.” Hart described how the party gets out widely to meet with working people “on porches and at farmhouses” to discuss how we can fight to defend ourselves from the attacks by the bosses and their government. And the example set by Cuban workers and farmers.

Peña thanked those present for their solidarity with Cuba’s revolution.

Participants contributed over $2,800 to support the ongoing work of the Socialist Workers Party.