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Vol. 75/No. 29      August 8, 2011

Cuban Revolution sets the example
(editorial, feature article)

On July 26, 1953, a group of 160 fighters led by Fidel Castro attacked the Moncada garrison in Santiago, Cuba, determined to open a popular revolution against the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Fifty-eight years later the Cuban Revolution remains an example of how working people can organize to win political power and transform society and themselves in the process.

Amid a capitalist crisis ravaging workers and farmers today, it is an example that needs to be emulated in the United States and the world over.

The Moncada attack was defeated. But the July 26 Movement that arose from it defied Batista’s prisons and torturers and, on Jan. 1, 1959, led Cuba’s workers and farmers to power. Ninety miles from U.S. shores, the new revolutionary government began acting in the interests of the exploited majority, beginning with a deep-going agrarian reform that confiscated the plantations of the U.S. sugar companies and wealthy Cuban families and distributed land to the peasants. The government outlawed segregation of Afro Cubans in jobs, housing, education, and society as a whole.

From the day it took power, Cuba’s revolutionary state power stopped enforcing laws banning abortion. In 1965 that medical procedure was legalized, making Cuba the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean to do so. (To this day, only Guyana and Puerto Rico, in addition to Cuba, allow abortion on demand.)

Cuba’s workers and peasants didn’t back down in the early 1960s when their course came into conflict with the U.S. government and U.S. companies Washington protected. Instead, they deepened their revolution, taking over U.S.- and Cuban-owned industry, banks, and farms and organizing them for the benefit of the Cuban people.

For that the imperialists have never forgiven them.

If working people in the United States, the richest nation on earth, emulated the example of Cuban workers and farmers by taking political and economic power out of the hands of the capitalist class and beginning to organize society to meet human needs, imagine what we could accomplish. Imagine the solidarity we could mobilize for struggles by working people the world over.

That’s exactly what the capitalist class in the United States does not want us to organize and carry out. Every U.S. administration since the Cuban Revolution came to power—including that of Barack Obama—has sought to overturn the Cuban government. Our response must be to demand: Lift all U.S. restrictions on travel to Cuba! End the U.S. economic embargo!
Related articles:
Miami protest hits bill to further curb Cuba travel
Role of women’s platoon in Cuba’s revolutionary war  
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