Historical significance of May Day in Cuba

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The unity of the peoples has been an antidote to the pretensions of imperialism and its lackeys. And May Day, starting with the Second International in Paris in July 1889, has been the day for demands for justice, revolutionary reaffirmation, repudiation of imperial hegemonism, and neoliberal formulas.

In this way the commemoration of May Day came into being, which was neither the invention of Karl Marx, who had died in 1883, nor of the communists, since it is, above all, a call for unity, beyond tendencies, of all workers.

In a very synthetic way, the origin was in the Federation of Organized Trades and Trade Unions of the United States and Canada that in its fourth congress, in 1884, proposed the intensification of the struggle for the eight-hour day that would culminate on the first day of May 1886, which was Saturday.

On the 3rd, at the Mc Cormick factory, and on the 4th at Haymarket Square in the city of Chicago, the events that led to the trial and condemnation of eight union activists occurred, four of them hanged on November 11, 1887: Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel and Adolph Fisher, socialist and revolutionary leaders who fought to obtain demands for their class brothers.

 In Cuba, where the workers’ newspaper El Productor had followed everything that had happened around the aforementioned Chicago judicial process and before the convocation of Paris, some three thousand workers went to the capital. After parading through the streets, they gathered in the corner Consulate and Virtues, in Havana.

With the organization and mobilization of May Day 1937, the first decisive step was taken for the creation in 1939 of the Confederation of Cuban Workers.

In 1945 Cuban workers held the largest May Day celebration for peace and unity, and they called for the application of the progressive ideas included in the 1940 Constitution.

Since 1959, May Day has been a space for revolutionary reaffirmation and defense of the conquests of the Cuban Revolution. It has constituted the highest public manifestation of popular unity, always expressing the unconditional support to Socialism and the precepts instilled by Fidel Castro.


Radio Grito de Baire

Webmaster Jorge Luis Lora Moran Digital Edition Radio Grito de Baire, Contramaestre, Cuba.

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