Cuba’s Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) has invited workers, farmers and young people around the world to come and join the 15th May Day International Brigade of Voluntary Work and Solidarity with Cuba, set for April 26 to May 10.
The brigade’s highlight will be participating in the million-strong May Day march celebrating the 61st anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.
The victory of the revolution in 1959 — led by Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement — over the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista dictatorship brought a workers and farmers government to power and opened the door for the socialist revolution in the Americas.
Joining the brigade is an opportunity to meet working people in Cuba and discuss the impact of their revolution.
The brigade will also bring to Cubans the class struggle and political developments participants have been part of in their own countries. Last year 320 people from 21 countries, including 65 from the U.S., joined the 14th brigade. The National Network on Cuba, a coalition of groups in solidarity with the Cuban people, is organizing the U.S. delegation.
Participants will be based at the Julio Antonio Mella camp in Caimito, outside Havana. They will join in volunteer labor alongside Cuban farmers in the fields and meet leaders of women’s, youth and trade union organizations.
In Pinar del Río province in western Cuba, and in Artemisa province they will be able to attend panel presentations on the Cuban economy and the legacy of Che Guevara, as well as visit health care centers, factories, universities, farm cooperatives, museums and cultural venues to learn more about the revolution.
“The participation in the brigade of a growing number of friends from all over the world shows not only motivation to know Cuba,” ICAP’s North America Director Sandra Yisel Ramírez said announcing the brigade, “but also how solidarity with the island spreads, encouraged by the commitment the Cuban Revolution brings in the struggle against the U.S. blockade and our right to exist as an independent and sovereign nation.”
This is especially important, as the U.S. rulers have stepped up their 60-year campaign to use economic sanctions to try and undermine the revolution. Washington has also accelerated its smear campaign slandering Cuba’s internationalist medical missions, like the one that was decisive in defeating the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
To prepare for the brigade, participants can read the new Pathfinder book Red Zone, by Enrique Ubieta Gómez. It tells how Cuba’s revolutionary internationalism laid the political foundation for the 2014 battle against Ebola.
Meeting volunteers who participated in these internationalist efforts, seeing firsthand the gains of the revolution and learning concretely the challenges faced by the Cuban people under blows of the U.S. rulers’ economic war will make brigadistas better armed to answer Washington’s slanders and win broader support for Cuba’s revolution.
Travel arrangements are being organized in accordance with U.S. guidelines by Marazul Tours. Total cost, not including airfare to Cuba, is $725. You can sign up through March 27. For more information visit: www.nnoc.info or email iCanGoToCuba@nnoc.info.