Tomorrow is International Workers’ Day.
Karl Marx called to unity: “Workers of the world unite”, although many of the poor were not workers. Lenin, who was even more far-reaching, made a call to the peasants and the colonized peoples for them to struggle together under the leadership of the proletariat.
The day for the celebration was chosen in tribute to the Chicago martyrs who had begun a strike on May 1st, 1886, in a capitalist country whose working masses were suffering from unemployment and other calamities associated with economic crises, inseparable from the system. Their rights were not being recognized and unions were seen by the bourgeoisie as terrorist organizations that were enemies of the American people.
The capitalists later resorted to their best weapons –division and economicism– to disarticulate the revolutionary struggle. The labor movement was split; to many who lived in appalling poverty the trade unions’ demands were the prime objective, rather than changing society.
The United States became the capitalist country with the greatest differences between the incomes of the rich and the poor. In the shadow of its hegemony, Latin America became the Third World area where the inequalities between rich and poor ran deeper. The rich enjoyed life styles that could be compared to those of the bourgeoisie in the developed countries of Europe. The notion of Homeland had disappeared in the wealthiest strata of the population.
The clash between the great power of the North and the Cuban Revolution was inevitable. The heroic resistance put up by the people of our small country was underestimated.
Today they are willing to forgive us if we resign ourselves to return to the fold, as slaves who after experiencing freedom once again accept the whip and the yoke.
Today the planet is torn between economic crises, pandemics, climate changes, dangers of war and other concurrent problems. The political task becomes more complicated, and there are still some who believe that peoples can be manipulated like puppets.
The last word cannot be said yet on the future evolution of the present US administration. There are new elements, both objective and subjective. We are carefully watching and studying its every step. We are not incendiary as some would imagine, but neither are we fools who can be easily duped by those who think that the only thing important in the world are the laws of the market and the capitalist system of production. We all have the duty to struggle for peace; there is no other alternative. However, never should the adversary be under the illusion that Cuba will surrender.
We hope that every May 1st thousands of men and women, in every corner of the globe, will share International Workers’ Day with us, a day which we have been celebrating for 50 years. It was not in vain that long before January 1st, 1959, we had proclaimed that our Revolution would be the Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble. The accomplishments of our Homeland in the areas of education, health, science, culture and other fields, and especially the strength and the unity of the people, are demonstrating this, in spite of the ruthless blockade.
Fidel Castro Ruz
April 30, 2009