Guest Post by Hubert Gieschen
Ever heard of Salvador Valdes Mesa or Carmen Rosa Lopez? The former spoke at the TUC Congress in 2009? Well, they are the former and current heads of CTC, the Cuban trade union federation. But should he have? Cuba, is a self-proclaimed country. So, the leader of the Cuban trade unions must be a very important men. Clearly millions of Cuban workers would have voted for him. Well, actually that is not the way things are done in Castro's Cuba. A recent notice in Havana times shows differently:
Go to: http://www.havanatimes.org/? p=90118&cpage=1
"To replace Valdes Mesa on an interim basis until the next congress of the CTC, the Party chose Carmen Rosa Lopez, the deputy secretary of the union and also a member of the Council of State."
Wow, does that not say something about the role of the so-called Cuban trade unions a transmission belts of the party. In Cuba only the Communist Party is legally allowed to exist. Its leadership and the leadership of the government are interchangeable. In other words, The government tells the so-called worker representation who to represent the workers when talking to the government. How convenient for Cuba's leaders to have a yellow union that does exactly as told. This is the same trade union that announced its support for government lay-offs in the public sector.
By the way Mr Salvador Valdes Mesa has gone on to become vice-president of Cuba, in which role he will now attend trade union meetings. Perhaps, next time the TUC invites a guest speaker from Cuba it should think twice before making the same mistake again.