‘My Gift to Cuba’: Baltimore socialists’ contribution to festival

SLL photo: Sharon Black

Lars Bertling, Russell McClain and Sharon Black, three reporters for Struggle-La Lucha, members of the Socialist Unity Party, and representatives of the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, are participating in the 31st IFCO-Pastors for Peace U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan that arrived in Havana on Nov. 15. 

On Nov. 20, the Friendshipment Caravan delegates and their hosts held a festival of experience called “My Gift to Cuba,” with contributions from each state participating in the caravan. This was our contribution:

We are from Baltimore, Maryland, where the police murder of Freddie Gray sparked a rebellion of the people of our city who were fed up with racist police terror.

Our delegation represents the Peoples Power Assembly, which does community work, including setting up weekly free food distributions because our government won’t feed the people, and also a “saving lives campaign” to demand vaccines for our community.

Among our own organizers, six people contracted COVID-19, four were hospitalized, and six other volunteers died. Only 60% of the people of Baltimore are vaccinated.

We know the Cubans like to say, “We are not perfect.” But what we have seen and will take back is heaven to us in comparison to our conditions under capitalism.

We want to add that we are also writers from Struggle-La Lucha and members of the Socialist Unity Party. Our young comrades have a poem they wrote and a t-shirt to present as our gift.

Cuba you’ve welcomed us
Like an old friend
But soon comes the day
When our time here will end

We’ll venture back home
A capitalist hell
But we’ll breathe revolution
As did Comrade Fidel

You’re a socialist project
That’s been under attack.
And we’re gonna show you
That we’ve got you back

Because your existence
Is no far-off dream
It’s an ongoing process
Where the people are supreme.

So soon comes the day
When our time here will end.
Love and solidarity —
Until we meet again.

Viva Cuba!