I read in the official press: the biggest workers’ parade in the world. How wonderful! Congratulations! But I ask myself: how does this help Cubans on a day-to-day basis? Does it resolve any of their many problems? Maybe it would be better, although without trying to be the biggest or highest, to improve the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and production, productivity and quality of what little we make, increase our present salaries and miserable pensions, sort out the shortage of houses, and carry out maintenance on the ones that do exist, perfect our health care and education systems, repair our streets and avenues, ensure the regular supply of water and the proper working of the drainage network, and lots of things besides.
It appears that triumphalism is an evil we are stuck with, and it keeps popping up, in spite of all the discussion about poverty and how to deal with it.
The extinct Soviet Union kept organising the biggest workers’ parades, every May 1st in the historic Red Square in Moscow. Did it solve anything? Did it prevent socialism collapsing and disappearing? And what remains of that now? The only thing it achieved was that their leaders, lined up on the stand above Lenin’s Mausoleum, believe that the workers, totally united, supported them unconditionally and were happy with everything they did. Are we going to make the same mistake here?
May 1st is just a day in which, in democratic societies, the workers insist on improvements and concessions from the current government, and, in non-democratic societies the government uses the workers for political propaganda.
Translated by GH
2 May 2014