Crisis in Cuba forces Castro dictatorship to severely scale down its May Day celebrations

Between worsening food and fuel shortages and growing protests, the communist Castro regime has decided to cancel the major May Day celebration it holds at the Plaza of the Revolution. During better times, the Cuban dictatorship would forcibly bus in tens of thousands of Cubans to march at the plaza in celebration of the Marxist holiday, and the event was one of the regime’s favorite sources of propaganda. This year, however, orders have gone out to keep it small and localized, to avoid the need for public transportation.

Via Diario de Cuba (my translation):

Crisis forces regime to cancel May Day celebration at the Plaza of the Revolution

The General Secretary of the Cuban Workers’ Central (CTC), Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, announced this Sunday that the central event for May Day will be held this year at the José Martí Anti-Imperialist Tribune, as published by the official newspaper Juventud Rebelde.

Guilarte de Nacimiento stated that the decision of the only legal union in Cuba “corresponds to the call to celebrate the date throughout the country with gatherings in squares, towns, and workplaces that do not require mass transportation.”

Rarely has the regime foregone its propagandistic show or changed the usual venue at the Plaza de la Revolución, where hundreds of thousands of students, workers, and foreign members of sympathetic union organizations or pro-Castro movements are mobilized at great expense. Last year, the central event was also held on the Malecón in Havana and was delayed for several days due to inclement weather and power outages.

Nevertheless, the leader, a member of the Communist Party Politburo, stated that “May Day will be a moment to reaffirm the unwavering support of the vast majority of the people for its social project” and to denounce the “criminal nature” of the embargo, which he described as “the main obstacle to Cuba’s economic and social development.”

According to the official, about 200,000 workers and their families residing in the municipalities of Plaza, Habana Vieja, Centro Habana, Cerro, and the closest areas of Playa have been summoned to the central event for International Workers’ Day at the José Martí Anti-Imperialist Tribune, and they will reach the location on foot.

In the leader’s words, workers whom the regime prevents from unionizing independently and who see inflation squeezing their pockets “will continue to pay particular attention to everything related to economic recovery and will efficiently utilize the resources they have to increase the supply of goods and services as a way to rescue the purchasing power of wages and pensions.”

Guilarte de Nacimiento and the member of the Central Committee of the Party and its first secretary in Havana, Liván Izquierdo Alonso, led a voluntary work initiative on Sunday at the Fontanar organoponic, belonging to the Metropolitan Agricultural Company of Havana.

The mobilization was part of a national voluntary work day in which Miguel Díaz-Canel also participated, with the usual focus of official propaganda on his performance and shortly after the ruler proposed a return to this practice as a solution to the agricultural crisis and food shortages.

“If the president of the country has to go to the countryside to work for there to be food, we are in bad shape”; “this is marketing, an election campaign, the president is there to manage and ensure that everything the farmer needs is at hand, to be able to tackle the tasks of the land”; “Cut, cut (…), excellent performance,” were some of the comments received on the official Cubadebate portal regarding the advertising of the event.

In its call for the May Day activities, the CTC urged to uphold “the flags of unity in diversity as a strategic weapon against imperialism to preserve peace, closely linked to development, defending the achievements of the global labor movement and the just causes of our peoples,” just as the regime has increased fuel and electricity prices.

Additionally, the dollar, euro, and freely convertible currency (MLC) have skyrocketed on the black market, reducing the minimum wage of Cubans (2,100 pesos per month) to six dollars.

Neither the precarious conditions in which Cubans work nor the low wages, nor the delays by the State in paying what is stipulated in contracts, are addressed in the activities organized by the regime for May Day. These are intended to showcase the satisfaction of Cubans and their support for the authorities.

The CTC demonstrated this in its call, affirming that “we will celebrate this day with the decisive participation of workers, the dignity, and the creative resistance of the people,” in a repetition of Díaz-Canel’s mantra, while Cubans who can choose to emigrate and stop resisting.

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