The Central Organization of Cuban Workers (CTC) is inviting workers around the world to the million-strong May Day parade in Havana — which celebrates International Workers Day and puts on display the determination of Cuban workers to defend their socialist revolution. The huge parade had been suspended the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The call, issued by the CTC and Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), includes a series of activities from April 30 to May 2 for international delegations to take part alongside Cuban workers.
Since November Cuba has made tremendous progress in returning to “normality.” It reopened its borders and schools and restarted suspended economic activities. Cuba is number two in the world in vaccinations to protect against COVID-19. Nearly 90% of the population is fully vaccinated with one of five highly effective vaccines developed and produced there.
Cuba’s exemplary success in overcoming the virus took place despite the brutal intensification of the U.S. economic war on Cuba under the administrations of Donald Trump and Joseph Biden. The U.S. rulers have never forgiven the people of Cuba for overthrowing the U.S.-backed dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista in 1959, and replacing it with a government of workers and farmers. Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, they showed toilers around the world that a socialist revolution is both possible and necessary.
The theme of this year’s events is “United, those who love and create.” A key aspect of the activities is to demand the lifting of the criminal economic, commercial and financial embargo of Cuba that has been maintained by Washington — every Democratic and Republican administration alike — for more than 60 years.
Events this year will include visits and community gatherings across Havana and a conference of international solidarity with Cuba the day after.
Ulises Guilarte, general secretary of the CTC, met with representatives of building-trades unions from France, Panama, Belgium and the Philippines visiting Cuba March 3 to invite them and other unions worldwide to send delegations. Among the trade unionists at the meeting were Ambet Yuson, general secretary of the Building and Wood Workers’ International union federation, and Bruno Bothua, secretary general of the General Confederation of Labor in France, who joined in denouncing the U.S. embargo.
International guests can help by denouncing the “extraterritorial” character of the U.S. economic war, the CTC call says, “which is the main obstacle to the country’s economic and social development.” Participants will have the chance to “learn about the Cuban reality and exchange ideas about conditions throughout the world” that confront working people, including the pandemic and the policies of all capitalist governments, including Washington, “that put the market ahead of the lives of human beings.”
The U.S. economic war affects every aspect of life in Cuba, from food to health care to factory production. There are shortages of fertilizer and pesticides, many medicines, and a wide variety of normal foodstuffs.
The mass activities around May Day will come on the heels of the 30th Havana International Book Fair April 20-30, which attracts hundreds of thousands of Cubans.
The Socialist Workers Party and Pathfinder Press are organizing an international team to participate in both events. They will be presenting Pathfinder’s two newest titles, The Jewish Question by Belgian Marxist Abram Leon, who died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1944, and Labor, Nature, and the Evolution of Humanity: The Long View of History by Frederick Engels, Karl Marx, George Novack and SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters.