Last November 21st, Aurelio Bachiller Álvarez, secretary and organizer of the Independent National Workers' Confederation of Cuba, with the acronym (CONIC), granted an exclusive interview to the Press Agency Lux- Info-Press and to the Independent Bureau of the Information Bridge Cuba Miami, regarding the upcoming XIX Congress of the CTC, the State controlled Confederation of Cuban Workers, set to take place during the first two weeks of April of 2006.
Independent journalist Carlos Serpa Maceira- ¿What are the views of the independent labor movement in Cuba regarding the upcoming XIX Congress of the State controlled Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC)?
Aurelio Bachiller Álvarez – For the independent labor movement in Cuba, the upcoming XIX Congress of the CTC will be a mockery to our labor movement's history and to the fight of the Cuban workers. It is no secret that workers are forced to integrate the CTC, an organization controlled by the State which is a part of the Communist Party, and that the only political ideology permitted within the CTC is the communist ideology. All topics of the Agenda of the CTC Congress will revolve around said ideology. There will be no pronouncements regarding treaties 87 and 98 of the World Confederation of Labor, regarding labor liberties, the right to organize and Collective Bargaining, of which Cuba is signatory and systematically fails to carry out. The XIX Congress of the CTC will keep total silence regarding the 7 independent union workers arbitrarily in jail. That event will be one more travesty amongst the many perpetrated by the CTC.
Independent journalist Carlos Serpa Maceira- ¿Expectations offered by this event to Cuban workers?
Aurelio Bachiller Álvarez – The XIX Congress of the CTC will not offer any expectations to the Cuban workers, already immersed in an economic misery. In Cuba, due to the low salaries and the high costs of living it is very difficult to maintain positions of dignity, honesty and personal integrity. There is only a privileged minority, those who govern. The benefits they obtain serves as blindfold from the misery and oppression perpetrated against the workers. The expectations offered by the upcoming State Congress will be more violations, more oppression, and to continue the vicious circle of the CTC and the government.
Independent journalist Carlos Serpa Maceira- ¿Will the CTC's Congress solve the difficult situation of the Cuban worker?
Aurelio Bachiller Alvarez- It would be naive to think that such event would bring a solution to the present difficult situation of the workers in the island. The CTC gave in to the government and to Fidel Castro, more than 46 years ago and has supported unconditionally every anti worker's measure dictated by the government . Official discourse has prevailed in every CTC Congress and the Communist Party is the one that has the last word. There is no doubt that the celebration of the CTC's XIX Congress will be used once again, by the government as a calling to workers to show their support to Fidel Castro and his totalitarian regime.
Independent journalist Carlos Serpa Maceira- ¿What would be the message of the Independent National Workers' Confederation of Cuba to the workers in the island?
Aurelio Bachiller Alvarez- We send a message of "liberty" to the workers in Cuba, the Independent National Workers' Confederation of Cuba (CONIC), works in the training and orientation of our affiliates in the entire Nation without taking into consideration if they are independent workers or affiliated to the State. We promoted the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the treaties of the International Confederation of Workers. We denounce all labor violations of the Castro regime; and have well documented complaints from workers who were expelled from their places of work due to political ideas, we also participate in the Campaign for the Liberty of Cuban Political Prisoners, placing emphasis on the 7 independent workers arbitrarily imprisoned. Our doors are always opened to Cuban workers; the Independent National Workers' Confederation of Cuba (CONIC) will always be there to defend the workers in Cuba.
The Independent National Workers' Confederation of Cuba, with the acronym (CONIC), has delegations in Pinar del Río, City of Havana, Havana, Matanzas,Villa Clara, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Las Tunas, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and the Isle of Pines. And also counts with the affiliation of 46 other independent trade unions.
Interview conducted from Havana by Carlos Serpa Maceira, independent Journalist with the Agency LUX-INFO-PRESS and Director of the Information Bridge Cuba Miami Independent Press Bureau. Given for diffusion to the Information Bridge Cuba Miami on November of 2005.
Such is freedom in fidel's island workers' paradise.