The Cuban people march
In celebration of their revolution
Millions of Cubans took to the plazas, parks, and streets of the cities of Cuba to celebrate of International Workers’ Day, after two years of home and virtual celebrations. They marched in defense of the sovereignty and independence of the nation and the continuity of the socialist process chosen by the people. The Cuban daily newspaper Granma, the official organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, described it as a patriotic avalanche, sweeping away the fantasies of the enemies of the revolution.
In many countries, May 1 is a day of protest. But in Cuba, it is a festive day of celebration and contagious enthusiasm, with streets and plazas full of colors, Cubans flags, and happiness.
In Havana, Raúl Castro joined Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Republic and First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, at the José Martí Memorial to salute the marchers. Scientists, doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and other health workers were in the front file, in recognition of their heroic efforts in combatting COVID-19 and in vaccinating 90% of the population with Cuban vaccines. Friends from more than 200 countries participated in the day’s activities.
Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, General Secretary of the Federation of Cuban Workers, addressed the assembly at the Plaza of the Revolution in Havana. He declared: “we celebrate today on International Workers’ Day a Cuba that lives and works with creative resistance, advancing in the construction of a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous, and sustainable nation.” He observed that the extreme intensification of economic, financial, and commercial blockade against Cuba by the United States, combined with the negative economic impacts of the pandemic, has led to a shortage of retail goods and the promotion of inflation, which has generated speculation in prices beyond the capacity of the salaries and pensions of the people, a situation exploited by U.S. imperialism in perverse social media campaigns, with the intention of fracturing the unity of our people around the Revolution and its leaders.
In this situation, Cuba does not rest, Guilarte observes. It is implementing policies for the strengthening of the productive capacity of the primary sectors of its economy. In this spirit, the slogan for the march is “Cuba lives and works.”
The continuity of the Cuban Revolution
An important characteristic of the Cuban Revolution today, critical to its survival in the context of sustained economic, political, and ideological attack, is its continuity with the generation of Fidel and Raúl. The continuity of the revolution was declared by the then newly elected President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz Canel, at the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 26, 2019. He declared:
The generational change in our government should not raise the hopes of the adversaries of the Revolution. We represent continuity, not rupture. Cuba continues taking steps to improve its model of economic and social development, with the objective of building a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable Nation. This is the road that we freely choose.
The Cuban people never will return to the shameful past, from which it freed itself with the greatest sacrifices, during 150 years of struggle for independence and full dignity. By the decision of the overwhelming majority of Cubans, we shall continue the work undertaken almost sixty years ago.
It was exactly fifty-eight years after an historic address at the United Nations, in which Fidel, not yet known to the world, gave a speech of more than four hours, explaining the principles and concepts of the Cuban Revolution, during which he was enthusiastically received by the representatives of the governments of the world. Díaz-Canel concluded his speech with reference to the historic day: “It has been an emotional experience for me to speak from the same rostrum from which, fifty-eight years ago today, Fidel expressed truths so powerful that they still move us. . . . I bid you farewell with the hope that the noble aspirations of the majority of humanity will be achieved before new generations come to this rostrum to demand the same as we demand today, and that yesterday were demanded by our historic predecessors.”
The U.S. unconventional war against sovereign nations and peoples
The continuation and celebration of the socialist revolution in Cuba occurs in the context of the unconventional war undertaken by the United States against Cuba and other nations that seek a sovereign road, nations that defy the commercial and financial dictates of the U.S. corporate elite.
In my commentary of April 8, 2022, I describe the characteristics of the unconventional war, which include the blocking of commercial and financial transactions, financial support for opposition political actors, financing local destabilizing activities, supporting opposition NGOs in the targeted country, and ideological attacks through mainstream and social media.
The U.S. unconventional war against the nations and peoples of the world reflects the desperation of the U.S. corporate elite, provoked by the economic and political decline of the American Empire. When the capitalist world-economy reached and overextended the geographical and ecological limits of the earth, and when the world-system confronted sustained revolutions and rebellions of the colonized and neocolonized nations and peoples, the U.S. corporate elite did not have the intellectual and moral capacity to make necessary reforms toward a more just, democratic, and sustainable world-system. Instead, it turned to financial speculation, attractive for its short-term profitability, thereby undermining the long-term industrial development of the United States. And it imposed on the nations of the world new rules designed to maximize short-term profits for the U.S. corporate elite, thus generating widespread peoples’ rebellions and revolutions against U.S. global domination. In contrast, China rises, on the basis of state planning for long-term economic productivity, and it offers to the nations of the world an alternative of mutually beneficial trade, reinforcing the tendency toward the decline of the American Empire.
Thus far, the desperate undertaking of unconventional war is failing. The economic sanctions and trade wars against the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have not deterred these nations from a sovereign road; the eight-year proxy war seeking to overthrow the government of Syria did not succeed; and the efforts at political destabilization and regime change in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Cuba have not blocked the continuing efforts of these nations and peoples toward the construction of socialism in accordance with particular national conditions. The recently announced economic sanctions against Russia are not being adopted by the majority of nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, which see in Russia a supportive ally in the struggle to construct a more just world economic order; and the sanctions likely will have negative economic consequences in Europe, provoking European elite and popular resistance to the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine, which is intended to weaken and possibly fragment the Russian Federation.
Cuba today is a symbol of the times in which we live, a time of determined rejection of the dictates of an empire in decadence; and a time of transition from U.S. unilateralism to a pluripolar world, led by nations constructing socialism in East Asia and in Latin America, which envision cooperation and mutually beneficial trade among nations. In Cuba, we see hope for the future of humanity.
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