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HAVANA Cheap Sean Monahan Jersey , May 2 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of thousands of Cubans took to the streets of Havana on Monday to commemorate International Workers Day with a massive parade.
Cubans carried placards that read ""Fidel is here"" or ""Fidel lives on in the people,"" as well as images of Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro.
""There is a lot of commitment to the revolution, to socialism and to this country that has given us everything without asking for anything in return. We will always unconditionally support Fidel, Raul and all Cuban patriots,"" Daniel Martinez, an electrical engineer Cheap Matthew Tkachuk Jersey , told Xinhua.
Raul Castro, 85, has said that he will step aside as head of state in February 2018, after 12 years in power, although he will presumably continue as chief of the Communist Party until 2021.
It was also the first May Day parade following the death Fidel Castro in November.
Martinez said he felt particularly moved because, in his view Cheap Mikael Backlund Jersey , the nation faces new challenges as it works to update its economic and social system.
""It's important to contribute to our society and lead the way in this process to make our socialism prosperous and sustainable,"" he said.
Like Martinez, hundreds of thousands of Havana residents converged on Havana's iconic Jose Marti Revolution Square to show their commitment to the ideals Castro promoted in Cuba after he led the 1959 Revolution to oust dictator Fulgencio Batista.
Caridad Fernandez has attended May Day rallies here at the square for 25 years.
""The revolution freed us, returned our dignity as a nation and gave us the opportunity to have a society of well-being. That is what motivates me to come every year, like the rest of the thousands of Cubans,"" she said.
With this year's event dedicated to the generation that will carry on the legacy of the revolution Cheap Kris Versteeg Jersey , about 50,000 Cuban youth marched at the head of the parade, carrying a banner that stretched across some 10 traffic lanes with the words ""Unity is our strength"" written in red capital letters.
""The revolution must continue forward and that is how it will be. Our leaders and people can count on our youth to continue this project,"" Marta Velazquez, a college student, told Xinhua.
In a brief speech Cheap TJ Brodie Jersey , Ulises Guilarte, the general secretary of the Central Union of Cuban Workers, underscored the country's ""resolute"" decision to continue building a ""sovereign and socialist"" nation, adding Cuba will not renounce its ideals of independence and social justice.
For more than 90 minutes, Raul Castro, flanked by other political leaders Cheap Mark Giordano Jersey , waved to the crowds as they passed Revolution Square.
Workers in groups marched past the square, chanting slogans in support of Raul Castro and in tribute to Fidel.
More than 1,600 representatives of trade associations, institutions and social movements from 86 countries joined the march.
Alejandro Bobadilla, a union leader from Argentina, said ""the Cuban Revolution is also part of Latin America Cheap Jaromir Jagr Jersey , and to celebrate here today with its people is a unique moment.""
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BRUSSELS, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The Council of the European Union (EU) on Thursday adopted a regulation granting visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens.
Under the regulation, Ukrainian citizens holding a biometric passport can travel to the Schengen area without a visa for up to 90 days, but they are not allowed to work or reside in EU countries.
The go-ahead of visa-free travel came on the back of ""necessary reforms"" conducted by Ukraine in a number of areas including ""migration, public order and security Cheap Johnny Gaudreau Jersey , external relations and fundamental rights,"" according to Carmelo Abela, Maltese minister for home affairs and national security, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.
Echoing Abela, the European Commission hailed in a statement that ""Ukraine has come a long way and today this is recognized and rewarded.""
""Now it is important to sustain this progress. The European Union stands ready to continue providing support and assistance to the Ukrainian authorities in this endeavor,"" the Commission said.
""Visa-free travel to the Schengen area will soon become a reality -- it is an important and well-deserved moment for Ukraine and its citizens that will make our already close relations even stronger Cheap Calgary Flames Hats ,"" it added.
After being signed by the Council and the European Parliament and published in the EU Official Journal, the regulations will take effect 20 days later.
The EU launched visa-free talks with Ukraine in October 2008, laying out a thicket of benchmarks Kiev should meet.
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