A video from The Real News shows how May Day (also called International Workers’ Day) celebrations in Cuba look different from those in other parts of the world: Instead of marching to demand rights, workers gather in celebration of rights they secured after the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

Eduardo Fabré, a postal service trainer, explains the history behind the celebration in Cuba: “A group of North American workers protested against their bosses and many workers were massacred. And ever since then, this day has been known as Workers’ Day.”

“Capitalists don’t like workers getting together and demonstrating,” he adds. “[Such] meetings are against their interests—but not ours. In other countries, Workers’ Day isn’t like this. In other countries, you’ve got strikes and repression, but here it’s a party!”

Many of the workers celebrated in support of the Communist Party’s plan for market reforms, which are aimed at modernizing the Soviet-style centrally-planned economy. Some waved signs reading “United for our Socialism” and “Viva Fidel.”

However, not all are in agreement that the day ought to be celebrated, given the low standard of wages in the nation.

“It’s the same as every year,” said Lucia, a 45-year-old schoolteacher who did not wish to give her full name, “and we continue to do the same or sometimes worse.”

posted by Emily Wells

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