•  HOME 
  •  BOOKS 
  •  WWP 
  •  DONATE 
  • Loading

Follow workers.org on
Twitter Facebook iGoogle

Meeting celebrates socialist Cuba on 26th of July

Published Aug 3, 2011 8:02 PM

Guests from all over Los Angeles and Southern California began to arrive early on the evening of July 26 to celebrate and demonstrate their solidarity with socialist Cuba. The occasion was the anniversary of the guerilla assault, led by Fidel Castro, on the Moncada garrison in 1953, which paved the way for the triumph of the Revolution in 1959. July 26 is a national holiday in socialist Cuba.

Many lent a hand with the set-up for the outdoor party, popping up the canopies, setting up tables and carrying the heavy trays and pots of the Cuban dinner prepared by Cuban hosts. Isabela Manzanares, a young, new Workers World Party supporter in Los Angeles, volunteered her entire morning. She helped the hosts prepare for the party, then bartended and greeted each guest with a Cuban beverage.

Authentic rice, black beans, roast pork, sweet plantains and yucca were served to the rhythm and flows of Cuban salsa, mambo and guaguancó, giving the party a real Cuban flavor.

Speakers hail solidarity with Cuba

The night’s program began with a talk by Aracely Espinosa, a Cuban member of WWP and life-long revolutionary, who spoke about the history of the July 26th Movement and how it paved the path to victory for socialism. John Parker, West Coast coordinator of the International Action Center, enlightened the audience with a history of Cuba’s solidarity with the Black Liberation Movement in the U.S. and Africa.

Nicaraguan community leader Carlos Escorcia of ALBA-USA gave a talk on the historic relationship of the Cuban Revolution to the Nicaraguan Revolution. Shouts of “Viva Cuba” and “Viva Nicaragua” came from the crowd.

Daniel Montes, a Mexican organizer of Union del Barrio, reminded the audience that Mexico was the only country in the Western Hemisphere that never broke relations with the island after the Revolution. Not only was it the original meeting place of Castro and legendary hero Ernesto Che Guevara, it was also the starting point from which the Cuban revolutionaries began their journey aboard the ship, the Granma. Shouts of “Viva Mexico” came from the crowd.

Service Employees union Latino Caucus leader Rosie Martinez reminded the listeners of the importance of the Cuban Revolution to trade unionists and workers in the United States. She recounted her trip to Cuba in the 1970s with the Venceremos Brigade and how it changed her life forever. She said, “For a long time I’ve wanted to celebrate days such as this in Los Angeles with compañeros. Thanks to the Cuban Workers World comrades, today that day is a reality.”

Lawrence Reyes, a former Young Lord and also a leader of SEIU’s Latino Caucus, talked about the long history and solidarity shared by Cuba and Puerto Rico, describing them as “two wings of the same bird.” Among the many struggles shared by both island nations he pointed out how Cuba, yearly without fail, demands freedom for Puerto Rico in the United Nations.

Celebration attendees were honored to have Carlos Montes, a Chicano militant and Freedom Road Socialist Organization member, at the event. He recounted how the Cuban Revolution inspired the Chicano Liberation Movement for self-determination and how it still inspires him today to never give up fighting for socialism.

Erica García of the Southern California Immigration Coalition and Ron Gochez of Union del Barrio closed the program with shouts of “Viva Fidel! Viva Cuba socialista!” and “Long live revolutionary Cuba!”

In Cuba the July 26 Movement brought together revolutionaries from all walks of life in the struggle against imperialism and for a socialist program. Although the initial action failed, the July 26 Movement rallied the Cuban people to call for the release of the imprisoned revolutionaries and later to join them upon their return to the island.

The July 26 event in Los Angeles was held in that spirit of unity, and it will help pave the way for victories to come in the future.