On July 26, 1953, revolutionaries stormed the Moncada Barracks in Santiago, Cuba. Less than six years later, Fidel and his guerrillas ousted the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship, marching into Havana during the first days of January 1959.
That same year, Workers World newspaper began to publish. After years of anti-communist reaction, the Cuban Revolution helped revive interest in revolutionary socialism in the U.S. It found an eager supporter in this newspaper. The more outrageous the anti-Cuba propaganda of the big business press, the harder Workers World fought to tell the truth about this great victory over U.S. imperialism.
When, on Jan. 3, 1961, the U.S. announced to the United Nations that Washington was breaking diplomatic relations with Cuba, Workers World’s first editor, Vince Copeland, led a protest inside the U.N. chamber. His booming voice could be heard on WNYC radio shouting that Ambassador James Wadsworth “speaks for the bankers, not the people.”
Anti-Cuba propaganda turned into sabotage and an outright CIA-directed invasion that April. Workers World closely covered the efforts of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, the Committee to Defend Francisco Molina and other organizations in solidarity with the Cuban people. And when the Kennedy administration threatened a nuclear attack in 1962, Workers World’s front page demanded “Hands off Cuba!”
Cuban troops helped liberate Angola from racist colonial rule. Tens of thousands of Cuban medical workers have gone to Africa, Latin America and Haiti to fight disease. Cuba even offered to send doctors to U.S. regions shattered by Hurricane Katrina. But Washington said “no.”
In the early 1990s, Cuba endured great economic hardship after the USSR fell and the U.S. tightened its blockade of the socialist island. Workers World helped build the Peace for Cuba International Appeal, which brought thousands to New York City’s Javits Center in January 1992, calling for an end to the blockade, the travel ban and all intervention against Cuba.
The brutal blockade has failed to overturn the Cuban Revolution. Now Washington is discussing normalizing diplomatic relations with Havana. Workers World supports Cuba’s precondition that the U.S. close its illegal base at Guantánamo and the torture prison there and return Guantánamo to the Cuban people.
Assata Shakur, an African-American freedom fighter, has lived in exile in Cuba for 31 years. Washington wants her sent back to the racist hellholes of mass incarceration here. We support Cuba’s insistence that its sovereignty be respected, including the right to give shelter to those fleeing repression.
Our readers are familiar with Workers World’s support for the IFCO/Pastors for Peace caravans that carry medical and other essential supplies to the island and the yearly Venceremos Brigades. You know our role in the campaign to free the Cuban 5 heroes.
We hope you will help us keep up this tradition of standing firmly with Cuba and its people. Donations from our supporters have been a big factor in getting our pro-Cuba writings in print, distributed and posted online at workers.org.
We invite you to donate to the Workers World Fund Drive, our biannual fundraising campaign. Send checks to Workers World, 147 W. 24th St., 2nd floor, New York, NY 10011, with your name and address. Indicate for “Fund Drive.”
Also, please join the 38-year-old WW Supporter Program and make a regular donation, no matter how modest. Go to workers.org/donate/ or send checks to the above address; write “For WWSP.”
We appreciate your help in growing the revolutionary media in the U.S.
Photo: Taken by the legendary Cuban photographer Alberto Korda on May 1, 1960 — barely a year after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.