Streamers and Confetti / Fernando Dámaso

Reading what is published by the Cuban press about Labor Day in different countries, there are no surprises. It turns out that in countries whose governments have a close relationship with Cuba, workers marched in a festive atmosphere, without raising any claims or demands. This happened in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and even in Russia, where the massive parade was staged by about 150,000 workers (quite a few for a city like Moscow).

However, in countries whose governments do not maintain this relationship with Cuba, workers staged massive marches, strikes, demonstrations and other calls, demanding respect for union rights, more economic stimulus policies, less welfare cuts, reducing unemployment and so on. This happened in the U.S., Spain, France, Greece, Italy, UK, Chile and Germany, where in Berlin 5,000 people marched (quite a few for a city like Berlin). In all of Spain it is said that nearly one million marched (quite a few for a country like Spain).

If we compare these figures with those published for participants in Cuba, we see that in Havana 500,000 marched in Santiago de Cuba 430,000, 400,000 in Villa Clara, Ciego de Avila 30,000, 110,000 Guantanamo, Holguin 200,000 and even Mayabeque (a new province) 138,000. It happens that in any city in Cuba, however small, more workers marched than in major cities worldwide.

The same thing happened at the level of the country. If we include all provinces and municipalities, where according to press there were parades, and add it up, we see that here nearly 100% of the working population marched, which is hard to believe, regardless of the mechanisms used to compel workers to attend.

All this is nothing more than simple mathematics, using the data published by the official Cuban press.

May 5 2012