The deadline for working people and youth from around the world to sign up for the upcoming May Day brigade to Cuba is set for March 27. The 15th May Day International Brigade of Voluntary Work and Solidarity with Cuba, sponsored by Cuba’s Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), will run from April 26 to May 10.
A highlight of the brigade will be joining over a million Cubans in the annual May Day mobilization in support of their living revolution and to celebrate the 61st anniversary of its triumph. It’s a powerful way to tell U.S. imperialism, “Hands off!”
The brigade takes place as the U.S. rulers have stepped up their economic war against the Cuban Revolution, seeking to isolate and punish the Cuban people. The brigade also provides a unique opportunity for supporters of the revolution in the U.S. and elsewhere to meet and talk with Cuban workers, farmers and youth, to become better armed to return home armed with the facts to counter Washington’s lies.
“When I heard about the May Day international brigade, I started to think that maybe I should go,” construction tool delivery driver Amelie Lanteigne told the Militant while attending a reception in Montreal to celebrate the Cuban Revolution Jan. 25. “When we come back from Cuba, we can make a difference in getting out the truth about the situation there.”
The reception was organized by the Communist League in Canada and endorsed by the Table de Concertation et de solidarite Quebec-Cuba, the Cuba solidarity organization in Montreal.
Communist League leader Philippe Tessier encouraged everyone there to consider joining the brigade. Supporters of the revolution need to take its example and lessons to working people here at home who are resisting the effects of the capitalist crisis today, he said, to show how it points the way forward for workers and youth.
Tessier suggested those present get a copy of the newly published Pathfinder book Red Zone: Cuba and the Battle Against Ebola in West Africa by Enrique Ubieta Gómez. “Reading it will give you a better understanding of the internationalism of the revolution and the kind of men and women it has produced,” he said.
This is especially invaluable now as the U.S. government ramps up its slander against the courageous Cuban internationalist medical volunteers who have served in West Africa and elsewhere throughout the world for six decades.
The brigade also provides an opportunity to discuss with other participants the reality of the class struggle in their countries and political activities they’ve been part of.
Brigade 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 and discuss with leaders of Cuba’s women, youth and trade union organizations. Brigadistas will visit health care centers, factories, universities, farm cooperatives, museums and cultural venues in a number of cities to learn more about the revolution.
Some of the events are co-sponsored by the Central Organization of Cuban Workers (CTC), Cuba’s national labor union. The May Day action will be followed the next day by participating in an international solidarity meeting in Havana.
Jordan Carpenter, a fast-food worker in Stephenville, Texas, is planning to go on the brigade.
“This is a chance to hear from the people of Cuba, and to learn from them how we might emulate their achievements,” he told the Militant. “I for one am proud to have been given the opportunity to participate in this unique event.”
Travel arrangements are being organized in accordance with U.S. guidelines by Marazul Tours travel agency. Total cost, not including airfare to Cuba, is $725. For the forms and more information go to www.nnoc.info or email iCanGoToCuba@nnoc.info.