Havana, Cuba Moscow, 29 December 2008

Dear Comrades,

Speaking for its affiliated organisations national trade union centres in the Commonwealth of Independent States and the industrial Trade Union Internationals of the region, the General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU) extends its warm fraternal greetings to trade unions of the Republic of Cuba on the forthcoming glorious jubilee, the 50th Anniversary of victorious Revolution of 1959.

This Victory, which brought liberty to the people of Cuba, came as the outcome of a long courageous struggle by Cuban revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro that started with the attack on the Moncada Barracks and the landing of a rebel detachment from the Granma schooner. The heroic years of armed struggle against the Batista dictatorship won broad popular support, and finally caused the collapse of the tyranny and put an end to Cubas political dependence on the USA. As it gained its full sovereignty as a result of the Revolution, your country set an inspiring example for all peoples of Latin America struggling for national liberation.

Your Revolution opened up a new era for Cuban workers, an era of independent socialist development, successful accomplishment of sweeping socio-economic transformations, and building of a new society. Over the years of independence, despite the strong outside pressure, war provocations, economic sanctions and blockade, Cuba has made enviable progress in socialist economic construction and reached a high level in culture, medicine and health service, sports and public education.

An indisputable contribution to these achievements has been made by the trade unions of your country. The Cuban Workers Trade Union Central (CTC) has been successfully representing workers interests, defending the principles of social justice, promoting stable development of the national economy, full employment and higher living standards, and educating workers in the spirit of patriotism and internationalism. The Cuban trade unions have been consistently struggling with the destructive consequences of economic globalisation, and contributing towards stronger international solidarity of workers, and preservation of peace and security in the Caribbean and elsewhere in the world.

On this day commemorating the distinguished Victory of your Revolution, we wish you, dear Comrades, new success in your struggles for the prosperity of your Motherland, for the interests of Cuban workers, for the triumph of the freedom and justice ideals, and for further strengthening the role of the CTC in your countrys political and public life.

Long live the people and workers of Cuba!

General Confederation of Trade Unions