The parade staged on Sunday by over half a million Havana residents was a convincing demonstration of the unity of the Cuban people around its Revolution, the Communist Party, Fidel and Raul, and of history, commitment and solidarity with other fraternal peoples.
Although for any compatriot these are everyday precepts, what was experienced on Sunday at Havana’s Jose Marti Revolution Square by the over 2,000 foreign visitors invited to May Day celebrations was completely new, surprising and encouraging.
Many could not contain their emotion, especially those who know that in their countries International Workers’ Day was celebrated with great effort, because it was necessary to demand the end of neo-liberalism, massive layoffs, repression, poverty and disrespect for human rights.
Some also felt healthy envy because the leadership of the Revolution, headed by Army General Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and President of the councils of State and Ministers, was present at the rally, since in many nations leaders hardly come close to the masses.
Aware of the historic moment the region is living, where Latin American right, in complicity with U.S. imperialism, tries to reverse revolutionary processes and progress in social justice, Cubans also showed their solidarity with fraternal peoples.
Homeland is humanity, said Jose Marti, the Apostle of the Caribbean island’s independence, and under this concept, not only in Havana, but in the rest of the country, youngsters from other parts of the world studying in Cuba to become physicians and in various professions paraded with students, workers, soldiers, housewives, artists and farmers.
Perhaps many foreigners were seized by curiosity when during the parade they saw replicas of lanterns, booklets, manuals and pencils, symbols of the literacy teaching campaign carried out in Cuba in 1961, in addition to photos of Commanders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and of other Latin American heroes.
The same thing happened when banners and models passed before their eyes in the hands of participants in battles like those waged against the Ebola virus in West Africa and amid the current vector control, or as expressions of the progress of major investments and of the development reached in other sectors.
The close of the parade, which ended on a high note, was even more exciting. Young students, along with members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior, marched at Revolution Square, which immediately gave way to the intonation of the International by Cubans and friends from other parts of the world from the platform, together with Raul and other leaders.