As the Black community and others reel still from the unjust and racist verdict allowing a killer to walk free, as George Zimmerman did July 13 in Sanford, Fla., the people of this country would do well to look at the revolutionary island of Cuba for inspiration.
Socialist Cuba shows us the potential and possibility of living in a society where the system puts equality and justice for the working class front and center, by putting the needs of the people first before capitalist profits.
In fact, Cuba has eradicated class exploitation altogether.
The people of Cuba most certainly face economic hardships, but this is due to U.S. foreign policy, not the policy of the Cuban government. It is due to the fact that the revolutionary leaders inherited a Cuba wrecked by 500 years of Spanish and U.S. occupations.
Times are tough in Cuba not because of Cuba’s socialist system but because the world is dominated by the capitalist economic system and Cuba is forced to swim in those sharklike, infested waters. Times are tough because the longest economic and political blockade in U.S. history has been imposed on Cuba by every single presidential administration beginning with Dwight Eisenhower.
But there are no Trayvon Martins in Cuba. There are no CeCe McDonalds or Matthew Shepards. There are no bank foreclosures on homes or bankrupted cities like Detroit.
In Cuba, there are no billionaires who own the government and dictate to the military their demands to maintain the capitalist system of exploitation.
Cuba is not perfect, but in Cuba the working class has been liberated from imperialist domination; it has been emancipated from capitalist relations and therefore, the playing field has been leveled for all. Education and health care are free for all!
Revolution began 60 years ago
So it is important for the solidarity movement to join with Cuba this July 26 as it celebrates the 60th anniversary of the movement that changed its course of history forever. On July 26, 1953, a group of revolutionaries, men and women, led by one of the greatest leaders of all times, Fidel Castro, attacked the military barracks of Moncada in their attempt to overthrow the repressive and hated government of Fulgencio Batista, a total U.S. puppet.
Their aim was to seize the weapons in the barracks and distribute them to the people so that an uprising could take place that would overthrow the Batista dictatorship. It aimed to win Cuba’s independence and sovereignty.
This revolutionary act 60 years ago was not successful. But it was an important part of a movement that finally did result in a new beginning for Cuba.
On Jan. 1, 1959, the revolutionary movement was indeed victorious and broke the tyranny of Batista’s oppression and ended U.S. imperialist domination on the island.
Soon, the revolutionaries declared Cuba to be a socialist society; a revolutionary society that liberated all of its sugar fields and factories. All the resources and wealth were now in the hands of the workers to use for people’s needs and not for the profits of the banks or corporations.
This earned the ire of U.S. imperialism forever.
Cuba is the complete opposite of the U.S. Here, things are getting worse and worse for the people and no one can count on either the Democratic or Republican parties as time and time again they have shown that they represent the interests of Wall Street and the Pentagon.
The Zimmerman verdict reveals that the legal system, just like the educational system, just like everything in this country, reflects the interests of one class and one class only: the capitalist class. This system needs racism to maintain its divide and conquer rule over the workers and oppressed.
But if the tiny island of Cuba can liberate its people so can the people of this country. In memory of Trayvon Martin, the people of this country should rise up and build Justice for Trayvon Martin people’s assemblies. This movement can and will win jobs, health care and education for all, instead of mass incarcerations and cutbacks.
Ultimately down the road, the workers and oppressed in the U.S. must rise up and abolish the capitalist system altogether. Cuba, just 90 miles from the shores of the U.S., shows us it can and will be done.