Workers Party salute Cuba on 50th anniversary of Revolution

Statement from the International Committee of the Workers' Party of Ireland on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution

Fidel & Che 1959

On 8 January 1959 Fidel Castro, then 32 years old, entered Havana, victorious, after the defeat of Fulgencio Batista. Less than six years after the historic assault on the Moncada Barracks, after many battles in the Sierra Maestra and on foot of a sweeping revolutionary offensive Batista’s corrupt tyranny collapsed on 1 January 1959. The victorious Cuban Revolution was a reaction not only to the immediate social and economic conditions of the people but also an objective of the Cuban nation from colonial times. The Revolution fulfilled the ambition of full national political and economic independence and laid the ground for an end to exploitation, discrimination, oppression, inequality and injustice. 


The situation in Cuba prior to the Revolution was characterised by US intervention, corruption, poverty, the violation of human rights, criminality and exploitation. One and a half percent of the landowners held 46 per cent of Cuban land. Foreign monopolies owned the natural resources: nickel, cobalt, iron, chromium, manganese and the oil concessions. On 6 August 1960 the Cuban Revolution began to take the necessary steps to construct a socialist economy by nationalising the main US companies and later in September 1960 by nationalising all the US banks. On 13 October 1960 the Cuban and remaining foreign owned banks together with 382 large enterprises were also nationalised.  On 16 April 1961 on the eve of the Playa Giron imperialist incursion Commander Fidel Castro officially proclaimed the socialist nature of the Cuban Revolution.


The Cuban people have had to fight to preserve the gains of their revolution. From the earliest days of the Revolution the US commenced a campaign of aggression including economic and financial sanctions, sabotage, assassination attempts, slander and misinformation, military training of Cuba’s enemies, attempted invasion and open terrorism. Since 1960 the United States has waged a war against Cuba. On 5 July 1960 the US decided to cut off Cuba’s sugar quota in the US market. When a total embargo was imposed on Cuban products the remaining US enterprises in Cuba were nationalised on 24 October 1960. Simultaneously, attempts to murder Fidel and other revolutionary leaders, armed aggression and acts of sabotage increased. The response of the Cuban Revolution was to arm the people, create a workers’ and peasants’ militia and to organise the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution. 


These acts of imperialist aggression continue with the aim of destroying the Cuban Revolution, reversing its gains and bringing Cuba under US control. The continued imprisonment of the five Cuban patriots in the US together with the ongoing economic war against Cuba are evidence of imperialism’s continuing efforts to extinguish Cuba as a beacon of hope and socialism for progressives throughout the world. These efforts have failed and will fail. International respect for Cuba has grown stronger and the commitment of the Cuban people to national independence, socialism and solidarity is undiminished.


The Cuban Revolution remains an inspiration for the workers and poor farmers of Latin America and the world. The popular revolution which triumphed on 1st January 1959 established the sovereignty of the people over the land and its resources.


The Workers’ Party salutes Comrade Fidel Castro for his immense contribution to progressive and revolutionary politics, for his critical role in creating and preserving the Revolution, his support for progressive movements and parties across the world and his work in the Non-Aligned Movement. The Workers’ Party sends greetings to President Raul Castro, the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people on the 50th anniversary of the Revolution. Our Party wishes to strengthen and increase solidarity with the Cuban Party and people. The Workers’ Party will defend Cuba against imperialist slander and attack and will work to raise public consciousness of and support for Cuba and the Cuban people.


Issued 1st January 2009

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics