Cuban Revolution points road forward for working people

January 4, 2021

Millions of working people in the U.S. — and throughout the capitalist world — are being thrown out of work. The bosses and their government are intensifying layoffs and shutdowns of small businesses that isolate workers.

The for-profit hospital industry turns away those needing life-saving treatment, and nursing home residents are crammed into conditions that ensure rapid spread of the virus. Pharmaceutical bosses insist on the inviolability of their patents, motivated only by profit, guaranteeing large swaths of the semicolonial world won’t see vaccination for months, maybe years. Pfizer says its doses won’t reach millions in the U.S. until June or later, while other plants capable of producing the vaccine have been shut down.

This disregard for the lives of working people is an integral part of social relations built on dog-eat-dog capitalist morality.

The ruling families, the meritocratic middle-class layers who serve them, and their Democratic and Republican parties all consider working people “deplorable.” This is true even of workers the capitalists claim are “essential,” while cutting staff and ignoring safety in search of profit off their labor.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Workers and farmers in Cuba proved that our class is capable of organizing and fighting to replace capitalist rule with something better — our own government.

Led by Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement, millions of workers and peasants overturned the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship on Jan. 1, 1959. The Militant joins in celebrating the 62nd anniversary of Cuba’s living revolution — a conquest for working people the world over!

Working people in Cuba used their state power to take over the factories, land and the banks; turned the land over to all who wanted to till it; mobilized 100,000 young volunteers to eradicate illiteracy; enforced an end to racial segregation; and, virtually from scratch, built a health care system truly worthy of humanity — a source of pride and admiration around the world.

Through making a revolution, working people discovered their own worth, coming to recognize themselves as the makers of history, determined to put their revolution at the service of others fighting oppression.

They responded to the request of the government of Angola for support in defeating an invasion by South Africa’s apartheid rulers — backed by Washington — in the 1970s. Over 400,000 Cuban soldiers and other volunteers fought for 17 years, and the South African invasions were decisively defeated, paving the way for the independence of Namibia and the overturn of apartheid.

Today Cuban volunteer medical workers treat those infected with coronavirus in dozens of countries. Cuba has one of the lowest death rates anywhere in the world.

The U.S. capitalist rulers have never forgiven Cuban working people for taking power into their own hands. For over six decades they have waged an unrelenting economic war aimed at strangling their revolution and the powerful example it sets.

Defending the revolution from Washington’s attacks, and telling the truth about it to fellow workers worldwide, is indispensable for advancing working-class interests in the U.S.

In 1961 Fidel Castro said, “There will be a victorious revolution in the United States before a victorious counterrevolution in Cuba.” The Socialist Workers Party acts on the capacities of workers and farmers here to emulate the example of Cuba — to make our own revolution. Its members explain workers’ interests are irreconcilable with those who exploit us and point to what we can do today to build a party that will lead millions in the struggles that lie ahead.

And we will take political power into our own hands and build a new world.