MONTREAL — “Solidarity with Cuba is more necessary than ever,” Mara Bilbao, Cuban consul general in Montreal, told two dozen participants in a celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the Cuban Revolution here Jan. 30, organized by the Communist League.
“Under the Trump administration, there has been a significant strengthening of the blockade against Cuba,” Bilbao said. “Washington is trying to increase discontent and create an internal opposition in Cuba. But the opposition they create never wins support among the people.
“They do create serious damage to the Cuban economy,” she said. “But we continue mobilizing to increase production under these difficult conditions.
“Meanwhile, we are planning to produce 100 million anti-COVID-19 vaccines this year, a lot more than what we need in Cuba,” Bilbao said, pointing out they intended not only to organize to vaccinate everyone on the island, but also to make it available to people around the world. “This is part of confronting the imperialists, who make access to the vaccines more difficult for oppressed countries.
“I want to thank you for organizing this celebration, and for organizing the ‘physical’ picket in front of the U.S. Consulate two weeks ago,” she said.
Monthly pickets are being organized on the 17th of each month here and elsewhere in North America by opponents of the U.S. government’s economic war against the Cuban people and their revolution. The actions demand an end to Washington’s embargo, and its new sanctions and provocations, and for the return of Guantánamo to Cuba.
Yvan Abossolego, a Walmart worker and student originally from Cameroon, was the second speaker. “It was only here in Canada, working part time at Walmart, that I met people who introduced me to the Cuban Revolution,” he said. “For me, this is a magnificent revolution, marked by human solidarity, the fight against social inequality, and internationalism. It gives me confidence.
“It shows that we need to continue fighting against social injustice everywhere,” he said.
Washington fears Cuba’s revolution
Michel Prairie, a leader of the Communist League, opened his talk quoting from The Second Declaration of Havana, which Fidel Castro presented in front of 1 million Cuban workers and farmers in 1962. “What is it that is hidden behind the Yankees’ hatred of the Cuban Revolution?” Castro asked. “What explains it is fear. Not fear of the Cuban Revolution, but fear of the Latin American revolution.”
“Today, 59 years later, we would add, fear of the world revolution,” Prairie said.
“Today capitalism is sinking ever more deeply into a social and economic crisis,” he said. “They fear the example Cuba sets for the oppressed and exploited all around the world. Cuba proves that a revolution is not just possible, but can be made, and in doing so working people can transform ourselves. That’s why the Communist League gives so much weight to explaining and defending the Cuban Revolution. We think that workers and farmers here can and will follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Cuba.
“This will be a big part of our election campaign this year,” Prairie said. The Communist League is running Beverly Bernardo for mayor of Montreal and Philippe Tessier for mayor of Ville Saint-Laurent. “Join us in this campaign — talking to people door to door in working-class neighborhoods, on picket lines, at actions in the interests of working people.
“And join us in front of the U.S. Consulate on Feb. 17 and every month afterward to defend the Cuban people and their revolution,” Prairie said.
Participants stayed around long after the short program was concluded, talking and discussing how to build the Feb. 17 picket.