The scene was much the same as in previous years... hundreds of thousands of Cubans and guests from around the world crowded into Revolutionary Plaza to mark the international day of the worker, a traditional day of celebration which holds special meaning in Cuba. The images are powerful: Hundreds dressed in the colours of the July 26th Movement, the principal organization of rebels during the struggle to oust Batista in 1959. Hundreds more marching under the banners of their organizations - construction unions, electrical workers' unions, and groups from Chile, México and North America. Cubans and guests - sharing a common expression of solidarity and respect for workers worldwide.
-read President Fidel Castro's address (highly recommended)
-visit Granma International's May Day gallery
But apart from appearances, this year's May Day took place as dangerous clouds gather on the horizon. Fresh from its "victory" in the middle east, the United States has maintained its aggressive rhetoric against all those nations it considers an "enemy," and that includes Cuba.
The U.S. has once again placed Cuba on its list of "state sponsors of terrorism" - a hypocritical listing, particularly considering that the U.S. is itself the home and base of operations for various terrorists and terror groups, many of which are responsible for acts of terror against Cuba. (Source: Doug Saunders, Globe & Mail, February 18, 2003)
What does the U.S. consider to be the solid evidence upon which to slander Cuba with the label of "terrorism?" Biological weapons - by which they must be referring to Cuba's production of the only vaccines in the world for some forms of meningitis and hepatitis, since former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and others easily refuted those preposterous claims. (for detailed analysis, see THIS ARTICLE).
This is part-and-parcel of a newly reenergized campaign against Cuba being promoted by the U.S. regime and the western corporate media. The fuel for that fire is the sentencing of some 75 "dissidents" to jail terms for working on behalf of the U.S. to undermine the Cuban government, and Cuba's recent execution of three men, part of a group of armed ferry hijackers.
The global outrage at the jailings and executions is extremely unfortunate and disappointing, particularly since many of those voices raised against Cuba had been seen as friends of the Revolution. In this change of heart, one can give great credit to the architects of U.S. policy for a job well done. The U.S. provoked, constructed and funded the current crisis, orchestrating a public relations bonanza for enemies of the Revolution.