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Kolkata Remembers Cuban Revolution as It Observes Moncada Day

With the city’s decades-long socialist past, the tradition of marking the Moncada Day of 1953 as the start of a revolutionary struggle against imperialism still continues.

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With multiple seminars and public gatherings on the streets of the Kolkata, several Cuba solidarity programs were held in the West Bengal capital to commemorate the Moncada day uprising, which sowed the seeds of the Cuban Revolution in 1953.

The Moncada fortress, situated in the second most important city of Cuba, Santiago de Cuba was attacked by Leftist rebels on July 26, 1953. Though the outcome was a disaster as most of the rebels were either captured or died in the attack, however, it tilled the soil for the future revolution. Then a revolutionary, Fidel Castro was imprisoned in the attack but was later freed after his spirited defence of revolutionary zeal.

In the main programme at PDG auditorium in Kolkata, a seminar was held which was presided over by Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kolkata district Secretary Kallol Majumdar.

Santanu Dey, journalist and an expert on Latin America, speaking at the seminar explained that the reason behind the United States’ aggression was to thwart the success of the Cuban Revolution and that by tightening the economic blockade, they were attempting to slow down the development of Cuba. He said that in some sectors in Cuba there are certain difficulties, which have been a result of the 60 years blockade of the island state by the US imperialists. Using these difficulties and financial power, a negative campaign against Cuba has been launched using some counter-revolutionaries. The maximum number of Cuban people stands with their revolution, and most of them were still for their socialist state order, he claimed. Despite the bestowed hardships, Cuba has been able to nurture and expand its socialist order, he said.

At the programme at Ranucchaya open-air theatre before the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata, Professor Anjan Bera, General Secretary of All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation, West Bengal state committee, highlighted the significance of Moncada day and how it led to the fall of the Batista government in later years. He also said that Cuba still organises July 26 as a National Revolutionary Day and this year when the US White House is trying its best to destroy the Cuban revolution, then remembering the spirit of the revolution is essential for the freedom-loving population of the world, Bera said.

In the Programme, the participants wore aprons with the slogans ‘Let Cuba live’, ‘Lift blockade from Cuba’ and more such slogans. A number of passers-by also participated in the programme.

On social media too, the people from Kolkata shared scores of solidarity messages towards Cuba on July 26.

In a message to the Cuban people on behalf of Friends of Latin America, its general secretary Suman Putatunda highlighted the fight of the people of Cuba against the world’s imperialist hegemony and the fact that Cuba had played an important part in standing for the anti-apartheid campaign and for the African people.

Despite all its difficulties, Cuba has sent medical help to the weaker nations of the world and even India has received the help of Cuban medicos, he noted in his message. Cuba still remains a symbol of people’s resistance to imperialism, Putatunda added in his message to the Cuban people sent through the Cuban Embassy in New Delhi.

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