May Day speech by Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, secretary general of the Cuban Workers Federation
Granma | Tuesday, 5 May 2015 | Click here for original article
"The Cuban working class, with our entire people, have convincing reasons to joyfully celebrate International Workers Day. Columns of manual and intellectual workers, students and soldiers - united, combatative and colorful - will march through plazas and streets throughout the length and breadth of our country, representing their unions and conveying to the world the Cuban people’s most authentic message of unity, commitment and majority support for our socialist Revolution, the Party, Fidel and Raúl.
We are full of pride on a day such as this, as we honor Lázaro Peña, Jesús Menéndez, Aracelio Iglesias and other working class leaders, with the Five decorated Heroes of the Republic - Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René - accompanying us, along with healthcare workers - including representatives of those who confronted the Ebola epidemic in Africa - eloquent examples, among others, of what conviction, determination, will and loyalty to the homeland mean.
“Revolution is being conscious of the historic moment,” Fidel asserted in this plaza, exactly 15 years ago. He then defined for us toady, and for all time, his conception, now our own, of Revolution, and this mobilization of the people is clear evidence that there are among us millions of Cuban men and women ready to defend this endeavor of justice and dignity, and do whatever is required to continue perfecting it, at whatever cost may be necessary.
The battle on the economic-productive front continues being the trade union movement’s first priority. Workers are taking the lead in the transformations underway in the reordering of central state administration bodies; in the strengthening and development of socialist state enterprises; and, in particular, in the growth and diversification of non-state forms of management.
We celebrate this holiday of the global proletariat in an international context marked by intense struggle. Our weapons have been adherence to principles, combativity, perseverance, a spirit of justice and solidarity, the culture and ideas forged by the Revolution over more than five decades.
Cuba shined in its own light at the 7th Summit of the Americas and the Summit of the Peoples in Panama. Our President’s vibrant, transcendental, convincing message presented, before the Americas and the world, the truth of the Revolution, also represented there by more than a 100 of our legitimate sons and daughters, many of them young, who were distinguished by the strength of their arguments and the conviction with which they defended the Revolution in the face of mercenaries and those without a homeland.
Within a political context characterized by the United States government’s recognition that their policy of harassment, aggression and blockade toward our country has failed, some steps have been taken toward the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. A long and difficult road, however, remains before us, and we will only advance toward normalization of bilateral ties on the basis of respect for the sovereignty and independence of Cuba, which includes the lifting of the blockade and the return of our territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base.
Compañeras and compañeros
Amidst the hemispheric and world battle in defense of the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the constitutional government of President Nicolás Maduro, who honors us with his presence at this march today, we reaffirm from this emblematic Plaza de la Revolución, the statements made by compañero Raúl, to quote:
“I reiterate the Cuba Revolution’s firm solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution, with constitutional President Nicolás Maduro, and with the civic-military union he heads. I reiterate our absolute loyalty to the memory of Comandante Hugo Chávez Frías, the Cuban Revolution’s best friend. The peace which Venezuela demands today, and which we all need, is peace with justice, with equality; peace on our feet, not peace on our knees. It is peace with dignity and development.”
The Bolivarian Revolution has the Venezuelan people’s majority support, and enjoys broad solidarity in the region and among other peoples of the world. We firmly reject all external intervention there, as well as destabilization efforts, violence, and economic war which violate the constitutional order, sovereignty, independence and self-determination of the Venezuelan people.
This morning we also salute the presence among us of hundreds of friends from different trade union organizations, social movements and solidarity groups, to whom I express, in the name of the Cuban working class, our infinite gratitude for your continuous support of our cause. Likewise, we reiterate our message of solidarity and militant commitment to workers around the world today who are victims of brutal repression for demanding their most elemental rights.
International mobilizations will continue to raise the banner and maintain the battle to end the economic, financial and commercial U.S. blockade of Cuba, which remains in full force, in particular in sectors which most affect the Cuban population.
We salute all the youth, continuators of the Revolution’s work, playing a leading role in economic, productive and social contributions in the country. We salute women workers, present in all sectors, being the majority in some, precisely on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mariana Grajales; and our World Federation of Trade Unions, on the 70th anniversary of its founding.
Dear compañeras and compañeros
“United in the construction of socialism” is the principal maxim of this celebration, a synthesis of our decision and aspiration for the present and the future; a synthesis of the strength of the working class in power, which, with its program of unified class action, raises the banner for the preservation of peace, solidarity and sisterhood among peoples.
Forward! Let us march united, with unshakeable confidence in sure victory!
Long live the Revolution! Long live Fidel and Raúl!
Long live the workers!
Always onward to victory!"