The following statement marking Cuba's national day was issued by the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance.
Revolutionary congratulations and international solidarity are due to the Cuban people and government on July 26, their national day.
July 26 celebrates the storming of the Moncada Barracks in 1953 by a small group of revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro. Although unsuccessful, the storming sparked the movement that led to victory over the US-backed Batista dictatorship on New Year's Day, 1959.
In 36 years of revolution, Cuba has made massive social gains. Despite the imposition of a crippling trade blockade by the USA since 1961, Cuba has today the most doctors per capita of any country in the world. Cuba also has the most teachers per capita, with one per 10 students, or one teacher per 37 inhabitants.
From its beginning, revolutionary internationalism has been a hallmark of the Cuban Revolution. More than 15,000 Cuban doctors have given free medical service in dozens of countries. More than 26,000 teachers have taught as volunteers overseas.
The central role of Cuban internationalists in supporting the struggle in southern Africa against the apartheid South African army during the 1980s was fundamental to the liberation of Namibia, and played a crucial role in the later dismantling of apartheid. Cuba gained the respect and admiration of the African people for its solidarity.
Cuba has also developed a political and economic democracy with deep roots in the masses. The Cuban people are guaranteed control of government by direct elections, as well as mass participation in the formation of policy. At the factory level, Cuban workers play a substantial part in running their enterprises.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the break-up of eastern Europe, Cuba has entered a special period, losing 84% of its foreign trade. At the same time, the US tightened its blockade with the introduction of the Torricelli bill in 1992; it is now considering further legislation to strengthen its economic aggression against Cuba.
Faced with the extraordinary difficulties of the special period, Cuba has radically restructured its economy to meet the challenge. The economy has again begun to grow.
Despite the hardships imposed by imperialism, support of the Revolution among the Cuban people is overwhelming. The Cuban Revolution remains an inspiration to the people of Latin America, to the Third World generally and to supporters of justice everywhere.