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British trade unionists join solidarity march in Cuba

A million Cubans marched in Havana to mark May Day — and with them were young British trade unionists and a delegation from the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC).

May Day in Cuba sees mobilisations in towns and cities across the country, but the capital's celebration is the biggest in the country and one of the biggest in the world.

Young British trade union brigaders and CSC supporters talked to the Morning Star in Havana.

Max Cook, 25, a Unison member working for British Gas in Manchester, said: “It’s good to see people showing so much support for their government and socialism.

“I’m pleasantly surprised to see so many flags on the procession from the other Latin American countries and from Palestine. The show of international solidarity today is impressive.”

Anna Lavery, 28, a Unite member, works for an insurance company in Sunderland.

“This is my second May Day in Havana,” she said. “It’s an experience that’s difficult to describe. The sense of international solidarity between Cuba and the rest of the world is very powerful. I will be back.”

Balbir Sohal a National Union of Teachers member from Coventry who is travelling with the CSC group said: “I was reminded of the Marx quote ‘workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.’

“The march was such a show of solidarity, with workers of all ages from all sectors. I had a real emotional reaction to the fantastic atmosphere.”

Sylvia Hargrave from Sunderland, also with CSC, said: “When I see these tens of thousands of Cubans marching with pride in their country and their revolution, it reminds me that another world is possible.”

Jonathan Breheney, 24, a Unison member and Belfast City Council worker with the youth brigade, said: “It’s the most amazing experience. I have never seen so many people standing together in an act of solidarity.”

The British delegations joined others from around the world as the march ended to sing The Internationale.

Sue Turner, with the CSC group, said: “Comrades from every continent stood side by side with their fists raised.”

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