South African CP, Statement in solidarity with the people, the government and Communist Party of Cuba on the 70th anniversary of the 26 July Movement

7/27/23 10:42 AM
  • South Africa, South African Communist Party En Africa Communist and workers' parties

South African Communist Party

Statement in solidarity with the people, the government and Communist Party of Cuba on the 70th anniversary of the 26 July Movement


Wednesday 26 July 2023: Today, South African Communists will join the Friends of Cuba Society in Johannesburg at 18h00, Central African Time, at the Johannesburg City Hall, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the 26 July 1953’s spark that culminated in the success of the Cuban Revolution on 1 January 1959. Named after the revolutionary campaign, Cuba’s 26 July Movement holds a significant place in history.

It is an example of the unwavering determination of the Cuban people to fight for their independence, sovereignty and socialist transformation and development towards economic and social justice. As we reflect on the impact of the 26 July Movement, we also recognise its profound influence on inspiring people worldwide and strengthening the anti-imperialist struggle.

The 26 July Movement, led by Fidel Castro, aimed to overthrow the United States-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and establish a society that prioritised the well-being of its citizens over the interests of a tiny minority of the privileged. This movement emerged at a time when imperialism and neo-colonialism were prevalent in many parts of the world, and the Cuban people's struggle struck a chord with those fighting against exploitation and inequality globally.

Cuba's quest for socialism demonstrated the potential for an alternative socioeconomic system that prioritises the needs of the working class and the marginalised. Through the nationalisation of industries, the establishment of an equitable healthcare system, and the promotion of education and social programs, Cuba has become a beacon of hope for many nations grappling with similar challenges.

The 26 July 1953-armed operation on Moncada barracks ignited the Cuban Revolution, the final victory of which was the arrival of a socialist construction path in the western hemisphere. Cuba remains a bastion of socialism and a continuation of the Great October Socialist Revolution which occurred in Russia in 1917.

The triumph of the Cuban Revolution on 1 January 1959 marked a decisive breakthrough of the national struggles to end colonial rule in Latin America. This inspired others striving to achieve self-determination, social justice, and liberation from imperialist domination and exploitation.

Building on the success of their historic 1 January 1959 revolution, Cuba's international solidarity efforts have made a profound impact on the world stage. Through its medical and education programmes, Cuba has extended a helping hand to nations in need. This has resonated with people around the world, strengthening the global movement for justice and challenging the dog-eat-dog model driven by imperial powers.

Cuba has deployed thousands of doctors, the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade, to help the world in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. It has more doctors providing quality healthcare in several impoverished countries. Many of its scientists and engineers are placing their skills in the service of development. These are shared benefits of the Cuban Revolution.

In South Africa, especially rural areas, we have the support of Cuban medical professionals, engineers, scientists and specialists, all highly qualified, involved in safeguarding the lives of our people, mostly the workers and poor who are rejected in the profit-driven private education and healthcare provision.

The SACP takes this opportunity to reiterate its condemnation and call for an end of the unjust, illegal and criminal United States commercial, economic, financial and wider blockade against Cuba. The blockade is a flagrant and systematic violation of human rights.

Cuba, a sovereign country with a population of 11 million people, upholds the social, cultural, and economic rights of citizens, guarantees the right to employment, education, health, housing, food security, and social protection, and has fulfilled the Millennium Development Goals. Its government has far surpassed the level of social development of many countries, including that of the rich western world, in the extension of human rights guarantees.

The imperialist blockade by the United States seeks to destroy Cuba’s already achieved human development successes and block any further successes to misinterpret facts and propagate the false notion that socialism has failed. Coupled with this, the United States is pushing its imperialist regime change agenda to install a puppet regime in Cuba. 

Joe Biden’s impervious attitude to global appeals for the lifting of the unjust blockade is a disgrace to the legacy of Nelson Mandela, at whose memorial service the first steps to normalise relations between the United States and Cuba were taken.

Many United States Americans are also affected by the blockade in various ways.

The SACP stands firmly in solidarity with the Cuban people in their struggle to secure their fundamental rights of self-determination, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The SACP calls for the unconditional removal of every economic, commercial, financial and other sanctions and the entire blockade the United States has imposed on Cuba. In the same vein, the United States must unconditionally end its occupation of and evacuate Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay.

We condemn the US’s attempts to destabilise Cuba’s economy and its interference in Cuba’s sovereign affairs.