Participants will demonstrate their support for the socio-economic model Cuba has freely chosen to adopt, in order to construct a prosperous, sustainable nation
In the presence of Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and president of the Councils of State and Ministers, May Day celebrations began in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución José Martí.
Also participating in the march were members of the Party Political Bureau, Party Central Committee and Secretariat, as well as the Councils of State and Ministers, participants in the attacks on the Moncada Garrison; Granma expeditionaries; decorated Heroes and Heroines of the Republic of Cuba; outstanding workers; and family members of the victims of the Barbados attack, among other guests.
Around 1,600 friends of Cuba from 68 countries and 209 solidarity Trade Unions from around the world also marched with Cubans through the Plaza.
Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, a member of the Party Political Bureau and secretary general of the Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC), stated that this May Day people are marching in tight, colorful blocs in defense of the homeland and Cuba.
He noted that participants will demonstrate their support for the socio-economic model Cuba has freely chosen to adopt in order to construct a prosperous, sustainable nation.
He highlighted trade unionists’ support for the agreements reached at the 7th Party Congress – of strategic importance for the present and future development of the country. An analysis of the agreements by workers will contribute to building a consensus around them and their implementation, said Guilarte de Nacimiento.
With the aim of contributing to the country’s development, the struggle for peace; ideological resolve; greater efficiency; higher quality services and production; the comprehensive development of production chains; substitution of imports and generation of exports, feature among priorities for workers.
The CTC Secretary General also highlighted other reasons to celebrate, including the 55th anniversary of the national Literacy Campaign, 60 years since the Granma landing, and 90th birthday of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.
In his speech the Political Bureau member also took a few minutes to denounce attacks against leftist and progressive governments in Latin America, specifically Venezuela and Brazil, while also noting that acts of aggression have recently increased in Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Regarding the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the United States, Guilarte noted that normalization of relations will only be possible once the economic, commercial and financial blockade against the island has been definitively lifted and the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base returned.
Cuba will remain committed to its revolutionary ideals, the defense of just causes and continue to offer support to sister nations, he stated.
The CTC Secretary General thanked all the international friends working in solidarity with Cuba participating in the march, and reiterated Cuba’s message of solidarity with workers around the world who are persecuted for demanding their rights.
We will continue to struggle against inequality, injustice, for the dignity and well-being of workers, under any circumstance, and march in the firm assurance of victory, he concluded.
The May Day mach in Havana was led by workers from the Education sector, followed by those from Health and Construction.
Just like every May Day, Cubans of all ages will gather in plazas all across the country to participate in the traditional march celebrating International Workers’ Day. On this occasion the people will be showing their support for the agreements reached during the 7th Party Congress and honoring the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz on his 90th birthday.
Under the banner “For Cuba: Unity and Commitment,” residents of Santiago de Cuba began to march at 7am.