Cuba May Day parade defies Trump over Maduro support

2nd May, 2019 10:57:14 printer

HAVANA: The scent of the Cold War hung over Cuba’s May Day parade where marchers bellowed defiance against US President Donald Trump for his threats to punish the Communist-run island’s support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by extending the six-decade US embargo, reports AFP.

Hundreds of thousands of Cubans turned out in the capital Havana, many of them gathering on Revolution Square from before dawn under the still-illuminated giant mural of Che Guevara.

The atmosphere crackled with Cold War-era defiance. Communist Party chief Raul Castro was joined in the reviewing stand by the visiting Russian Communist Party vice president, Ivan Melnikov.  

“We’re here given the current context in Cuba, in Latin America, which is increasingly under threat from US imperialism,” 27-year-old student leader Heidy Villuendas told AFP as she marched.

“We’re also here in response to the US embargo against Cuba, to the threats faced by Venezuela, a nation of people to whom we affirm our solidarity, our commitment,” said Villuendas.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who took over when Castro stepped down a year ago, set the tone for the parade with a tweet responding to Trump’s latest threats.

“We will give a strong, firm and revolutionary response to the threatening statements and provocations, the lies and slanders of the Yankee empire,” Diaz-Canel wrote.

“Cuba confirms that we are free sovereign, independent and socialist,” he tweeted.