Interesting and strange photos of May Day in Cuba

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Parade in Baganos Holguin. Photo: Facebook profile of Yanara Serrano.

By El Toque

HAVANA TIMES — After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cuban government has called for May Day parades across much of the country, with the largest taking place in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolucion , the traditional setting for these parades.

The celebration of May 1, 2022 was in a way the government’s attempt to reflect the country’s return to “normal”, after the deaths caused by the pandemic, then the country rocked on July 11, 2021 by the largest wave of protests that the country has known in the last 60 years.

While they normally follow a fairly predictable script, there are always photos of the May Day parades in Cuba and its “initiatives”, which are no longer forgotten, thanks to the multiplying power of the Internet and social networks.

Many corporate “curiosities”, entities, institutions or mass organizations brought to the parade are a perfect symbol of a strange country going against the grain, rather than beautiful expressions of the joy of the proletariat.

Some people proudly shared their photos on social media and as proof of the “creativity” of the workers. However, many of them became the object of ridicule.

It is a well-known fact that every workplace is making ‘calls’ and ‘calls’ for workers to make Workers’ Day posters, banners and designs to ‘add color’ to the parade. The most inventive unions are even rewarded in some cases.

But without technical and artistic rigor and few resources, many of the fashion show’s “initiatives” had the opposite effect.

Sunday’s parade was the first mass, national event since SARS-CoV-2 hit the island. In 2020, the government called on Cubans to celebrate International Workers’ Day at home, through social media.

In 2021, the Central Union of Workers of Cuba (CTC) called on workers to celebrate the occasion with an online parade. At that time, the national commemoration ceremony took place in the Plaza de la Revolucion, in a reduced format, with the presence of Miguel Diaz-Canel and other leaders, but that was about it.

Afraid of a sentence

This year, the International Workers’ Day Parade was organized and unfolded in an atmosphere marked by initials that challenged the status quo in Cuba.

The protesting expression “DPEPDPE”, which in Spanish means “From Pinga El Pais From Pinga Este“went viral and began to appear not only in memes, but also in tattoos, t-shirts, caps, bags, as a form of silent protest.

Some people announced on social networks that they would go to the parade dressed in clothes bearing these letters and the circles of power and State Security worried about this eventuality.

Frequent hidden threats have been made in recent days to people on social networks who would have had the idea of ​​wearing clothes with the DPEPDPE logo during the parade.

“I swear any worm I see wearing one of these sweaters will end the show half naked. Like in the Bay of Pigs, if you try to leave, they will stay. We will see each other in the square,” Jorge Lopez, a supporter of the Cuban government, said on Facebook. The message was reported to the platform for incitement to violence.

Some people reported that the police searched for them at their homes to warn them about wearing this T-shirt.

“Let’s see, they’re after those of us who bought the DPEPDPE shirt. And the people who made them, of course. That’s how they know who all their customers are,” user Maggie said.

Human rights activists, relatives of political prisoners and independent journalists have been arrested or placed under house arrest to prevent them from participating in activities related to the day.

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