Cuba: The unalienable decision to build socialism

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Text of the speech given by Salvador Valdés Mesa, CTC general secretary at the central event for May Day in the Plaza de la Revolución

Comrades from the Party, state, and government leadership,

Distinguished guests,

Workers; Compatriots

WE are celebrating this May Day with the joy of doing so during the year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the CTC.

A day like today must also be to celebrate, out loud and at the height of what we are and how much we have built through the efforts and sacrifice of several generations of Cubans, who have been model protagonists of revolutionary work, taking unity as the cornerstone of the resistance and victory of our people.

We arrive at this glorious date amidst daily work to eliminate substantial damage suffered last year as a result of the lashing of three hurricanes, which became the most destructive in our history. Amidst the extraordinary effort displayed by workers and the entire people, who have shown their solidarity, sacrifice, and will to move forward once again.

The recovery from the effects on the economy, infrastructure and housing stock is advancing in a gradual manner and it will still be necessary to dedicate much effort and resources to it in the future in order to heal the wounds that these natural phenomena inflicted on the country.

Even more so, at a time when humanity is immersed in a global economic crisis making the political, economic and social situation more complex globally, this impacts on the people, and workers face bleak prospects from which no country can escape.

In our case, this is compounded by the effects of the ironclad economic blockade that the U.S. government has maintained for almost half a century, with the obsessive and failed object of destroying the Revolution.

The unity and resistance in the face of any obstacle, which Fidel has formed within us, are pillars on which the Cuban Revolution is triumphantly erected and have become the central and constant battle flags. We will continue supporting with determination the measures that our government adopts to reduce the effects of the crisis on the population.

It is our task as workers to be in the frontline of this battle, with a greater dedication to work, which is the principal source of the creation of wealth; to raise production and productivity; to reduce spending and costs; to increase exports and all the conditions that reduce imports. For the achievement of these objectives it is imperative to work with more discipline, with more quality in all services and develop a culture of saving, as the most important source of resources within our reach.

Cuba's prestige is growing. In Latin America, popular governments are increasing and social movements are becoming stronger, and we are broadening and strengthening our relations with them. We rejoice at the demonstrations of support and respect expressed by many presidents from the hemisphere during the recent ALBA and Americas Summits. It is satisfying to see how wills are uniting and a genuine program of regional integration is advancing via the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.

At this commemoration, we are accompanied by labor union leaders, leaders of social movements, and other important figures from all over the world who wish to celebrate May Day in Cuba. We thank them for the gestures of solidarity and support that they have made throughout the decades to our people.

We would like to take the opportunity to express our fervent thanks to the international labor movement, workers and solidarity organizations, and all the people around the world who are organizing events and supporting the release of the five Cuban heroes who are unjustly locked away in U.S. prisons.

Workers and compatriots of the capital and the entire country.

We raise our flags and our voices so that they make resound, from one pole of the planet to the other and from one continent to the other, the inalienable decision of this extraordinary and combative people to construct socialism under the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba, of Fidel and of Raúl.

You will never have Cuba!

Let the parade begin!

¡Viva el 1ro de Mayo!

¡Vivan Fidel y Raúl!

¡Viva Cuba Libre!

Translated by Granma International