‘Help’: The Cry of Cuba’s Working Class in a Graffiti

A daring graffiti in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Photo of the Day, Havana, 3 May 2018 — This week, when many workers in Cuba headed to May Day parades in “support of socialism,” a graffiti appeared on a Havana wall showing the hand of a worker grasping a the image of a wrench/person, from the head of which comes the cry “Help,” in English. According to the official media, some 900,000 people in Havana paraded through the Plaza of the Revolution while more than six million marched across the country, without a single one raising a complaint or demand.

The motto launched by the Cuban Workers Center (CTC) was “Unity, Commitment and Victory.” The country’s only legally recognized union preferred to opt for slogans in support of the government and patriotic messages, rather than to address such thorny issues as low wages, poor working conditions or workplace accidents.

After a decade as President of the Councils of State an of Ministers, Raul Castro, who still presides over the Communist Party, sat next to the current president Miguel Diaz-Canel during the two hours of Tuesday’s celebration. The hands that rose to greet them held aloft only phrases of support and stanzas of The International, leaving any dissatisfactions and complaints invisible.

This graffiti, painted on a wall in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood, showed the greatest daring.


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