Cuba/Cuba Solidarity

‘This Is Our Revolution’: 5 Million Turn Out for May Day in Cuba

By Duane Stilwell

HAVANA, Cuba, May 1, 2022 — The entire city of Havana felt on the move by 3 a.m. today. The excitement was palpable. The Covid-19 pandemic had prevented the Cuban people from celebrating International Workers Day for two years, and, despite the suffocating US-imposed blockade, the working people of Cuba have much to celebrate.

More than 700,000 people joined the May Day march in Havana, Cuba. (Photo: Granma)

Over 700,000 people from all over Havana converged in a spirited, disciplined way on Revolution Square to show the world that “Cuba lives and works for its present, its future, and its continuity” — the theme of the May Day mobilizations.

Similar actions took place throughout the country.

Estimates by the Cuban daily Granma and other Cuban media put total participation throughout the island above 5 million people. That exceeds 43% of the country’s population of 11.4 million!

Shortly after 6 a.m., Ulises Guillarte do Nascimento, the general secretary of the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC, as it is known by its Spanish-language acronym), welcomed 1,058 guests from 60 countries, representing 269 organizations. “¡Por Cuba, Vamos Con Todo!” (For Cuba, we are all in!) the CTC leader proclaimed — a phrase that captured the spirit of those marching.

Havana’s Revolution Square, early morning, May Day 2022. (Photo: Duane Stilwell / World-Outlook)

A jubilant contingent of 50,000 health workers, many in their white uniforms waving Cuban flags, led the march here in Havana, underlining the dedication and heroism of those on the front line of combatting the pandemic. Cuba is now the most highly vaccinated country in the world, having developed its own vaccines with its own technology. (The United Arab Emirates, a wealthy oil-producing country, ranks first on some websites, but has not vaccinated children below 15 years of age. Cuba, on the other hand, has vaccinated nearly everyone older than 2 years of age. In addition, many consider the Cuban vaccines safer because they target the binding site of the virus and do not enter human cells.)

For this reason, Cuba’s leadership felt confident inviting international delegations and organizing such a massive gathering. Cubans, however, remain diligent; virtually everyone wears masks, whether outside or at workplaces, schools, or other enclosed spaces.

It is hard to capture in words the magnitude and mood of such a mass mobilization. The march in Cuba’s capital filled the avenues across 11 traffic lanes for many miles. Countless contingents waved colorful banners. People came from state enterprises, factories, schools, farms, smaller workplaces, and many mass organizations, including the Federation of Cuban Women and Union of Young Communists. The joy and pride of the participants, who took pictures and waved to the many solidarity organizations and government officials present at Revolution Square, was heartfelt.

The country’s biotechnology sector was very prominent, with beautiful banners and large, spirited contingents. Many participants, including government officials, joined the action with their own neighborhood organizations known as Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs).

Thousands of students with flags of the Federation of University Students formed the last contingent. A voluntary cleanup brigade made up mostly of young people closed the march.

The nearly three-hour march took place with no police presence and dispersed in a calm, disciplined way.

Cuba Experienced a May Day of Solidarity and Optimism

YouTube video posted on the website of the Cuban daily Granma, the newspaper of Cuba’s Communist Party.

3 replies »

  1. Having been present at an Havana May Day celebration some years ago, it is a wonderfully joyous event. It one that should become an event for everyone. It is a trully international event with flags from every country country on the globe. Havana has become the location for International May Day for workers.

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