Sixty-four years ago, on Jan. 1, 1959, workers and farmers in Cuba brought down one of the bloodiest tyrannies in the Americas, the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, opening the door to making a socialist revolution. Led by Fidel Castro and the Rebel Army, they proved working people are capable of replacing capitalist rule with something better. Their revolution renewed communist leadership, in the Socialist Workers Party and worldwide.
For 64 years the twin parties of U.S. imperialism — the Democrats and Republicans — have waged a relentless economic, trade and financial war, aimed at crushing the Cuban people, overturning their government and burying forever the example their revolution sets throughout the world.
For 64 years working people in Cuba have not faltered in the defense of their conquests, despite the debilitating impact of severe shortages of medicine, fuel and other vital necessities caused by Washington’s sanctions. Help win more working people here to join the fight to bring a halt to Washington’s economic war!
The U.S. rulers’ assault on Cuba’s socialist revolution is an extension of their offensive against working people here at home. Striking bakery workers at Ingredion in Iowa, mine workers at Warrior Met in Alabama, nurses in California and others across the country are fighting for jobs, protection against inflation, control over safety and schedules that are livable, as bosses try to impose the brutal consequences of their crisis-ridden system on our backs. Our struggles here confront the same class enemy attacking working people in Cuba.
The workers and farmers government brought to power in Cuba carried out far-reaching nationalizations of industry and utilities. It guaranteed land to those who wanted to farm it, abolishing the debt slavery imposed on toilers on the land. Millions of working people were involved, deepening inroads into capitalist property. In the doing, they came to recognize the socialist character of their revolution and the Marxist character of their leadership.
They outlawed racial segregation. They set out to eradicate the second-class status of women, drawing millions into social, economic and political life for the first time. Working people upended the dog-eat-dog social relations bred by capitalism. As Che Guevara put it, they began being transformed into the “new man.”
From the beginning, Cuba’s workers and farmers government put the revolution at the service of toiling humanity. Some 400,000 Cuban internationalist fighters helped change the course of history, joining the fight to defeat the invasion of Angola by the apartheid rulers in South Africa. They extended aid to fighting people from Vietnam to Bolivia.
The single biggest contribution working people in the U.S. can make to ending Washington’s economic war on Cuba is building a proletarian party here to lead millions to bring to power a workers and farmers government and open up a decisive front in the worldwide struggle for socialism.