January 3 marks 50 years since the victorious Cuban revolutionary army marched into Havana, liberating the Cuban people from centuries of foreign colonialism and imperialism, and from the oppression and corruption of the Batista regime which had collapsed two days earlier.
Several days later, the leader of the rebel army, Fidel Castro and his close comrades-in-arms, Raul Castro, Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, along with thousands of valiant peasants and workers who had fought in the revolutionary war, were greeted by the long-suffering people of Havana as heroes who could bring their hopes and dreams to reality.
Since then, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba, and led by Fidel and now by his brother Raul, the revolutionary goal of building socialism in Cuba has not wavered, despite setbacks and unrelenting aggression and slander by US imperialism.
The Cuban people now enjoy free education, childcare and hospital treatment. The standard of literacy is the highest in the Americas and the quality of Cuban medical expertise has been recognized across the world, especially in the dozens of countries which have benefitted from the medical teams sent abroad with true internationalist generosity. Cuba is building an all-rounded socialist economy and achieving expertise in many industrial and agricultural technologies. Cuba is also a world leader in environmentally sustainable permaculture and food production, utilising modern organic methods.
No longer is Cuba an isolated backwater. Despite the blockade, hundreds of countries enjoy trade and cultural exchanges with the Republic and more than 2 million tourists visited Cuba in 2008. The United States is now the one isolated and despised, not socialist Cuba.
The people and revolutionary party of Cuba have withstood and defeated the US-controlled Bay of Pigs invasion, hundreds of acts of sabotage and terrorism, assassinations both real and attempted, the endless cruel blockade, and decades of lies, distortions and fabrications.
They have survived the superpower missile crisis and overcome the legacy of dependence on Soviet revisionism.
They have stood up to the number one terrorist in the world today; demanding the release of their five heroes unjustly held in American prisons for more than ten years for the ‘crime’ of exposing US-sponsored terrorist activities against Cuba; demanding the closure of the US terror-prison at Guantanamo Bay.
They have overcome the setbacks of frequent natural disasters such as hurricanes, torrential storms and flooding, and set in place procedures to quickly mobilise the people to protect human life, to defend the gains of the revolution, and to recover and move ahead once more.
In all of this, the Communist Party of Cuba and its leadership have put utmost faith in the Cuban people. Despite many hardships and deprivations, the Cuban people have responded to the challenges and will continue to make progress in building socialism.
Along with many millions of people across the world, the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) congratulates the Cuban people, the Communist Party of Cuba, President Raul Castro and Comrade Fidel for their courage, their achievements and their example.
Long live Socialist Cuba!