NEW YORK — A festive reception with food and music brought together some 80 people here Jan. 5 to celebrate the 61st anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban people overthrew the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista dictatorship in January 1959, opening the road for workers and farmers to begin building a new society in Cuba.
“The foundation of all the revolution’s gains is the transformation of the men and women of Cuba who made the revolution,” said Steve Clark, who spoke for the Socialist Workers Party. “Advances that only a consciously organized and led socialist revolution can achieve.”
He pointed to what the Cuban Revolution demonstrated in “life and in struggle” to revolutionary-minded workers and youth in the U.S. and worldwide — that U.S. imperialism is not invincible. “We are guided by the conviction that, as Fidel Castro said in 1961, ‘a victorious revolution will be seen in the United States, before a victorious counterrevolution in Cuba,’” said Clark.
He urged everyone to help make the May Day brigade to Cuba — which offers the opportunity to learn about the revolution firsthand — a success.
The celebration was sponsored by the SWP in New York and Northern New Jersey. Present were representatives of the Cuban Mission to the U.N. and their families; activists with the New York/New Jersey Cuba Sí Coalition; party members and supporters; and others. Many participants had marched in two actions over the weekend, one calling for Washington to get out of the Middle East and the other in response to anti-Semitic attacks across the U.S.
Ambassador Humberto Rivero thanked those present for their continued support to the revolution and for opposing the U.S. economic war against Cuba. We are determined to continue resisting, he said, in the tradition of struggle of our national hero José Martí, our commander Fidel Castro, and Army General Raúl Castro passed on to current President Miguel Díaz-Canel and today’s generations.
The event also celebrated the publication of two new books by Pathfinder Press, Red Zone: Cuba and the Battle Against Ebola in West Africa by Cuban journalist Enrique Ubieta, and The Turn to Industry: Forging a Proletarian Party by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes. The latter is about the course the SWP has followed in building a revolutionary party rooted in the working class, and “efforts by working people in the U.S. to emulate what workers and farmers in Cuba have done,” Clark said.
Red Zone is a timely addition to Pathfinder’s arsenal of books and pamphlets that tell the truth about the Cuban Revolution, said Róger Calero, an SWP leader. The book is an account of the role of Cuba and its internationalist medical mission in beating back the deadly Ebola epidemic in West Africa. “It’s an answer to Washington’s slander campaign against Cuba’s medical collaboration around the world,” he said.
Greetings were also given by David Quedraogo, on behalf of the organization Stand for Life and Liberty.