The execution of three men who had hijacked a ferry and the harsh sentences handed out to 74 opponents of the Cuban regime in April has generated nearly universal condemnation, at least on the part of the media and most governments. When we analyze this issue, we have to base ourselves on a class position. The interests of the working class come first, both inside and outside Cuba.

Forty years ago, on January 1st 1959 a general strike paralysed Cuba and forced dictator Batista to flee the country. In a few days the July 26 Movement guerrillas, led by Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara entered the capital Havana and were received as heroes by the masses. The Cuban revolution had succeeded. What was the programme of that movement? What was the social basis of that revolution? In order to understand these and other questions we must look back a few years.