The Russian Revolution did get support from the Caribbean, then called the “West Indies,” when it shook the world in 1917.
Russian Revolution at 100
History records that Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the Jamaican who led the largest organization of Black people in the Western hemisphere ever, quickly dispatched a letter from the United Negro Improvement Association, on behalf of its millions of members in the United States, the Caribbean and South America.
Garvey’s letter to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin expressed support from the UNIA on behalf of all the workers of the Caribbean region, which was under complete colonial rule.
The colonial rulers resisted his attempts to organize the tens of millions who were not only UNIA members, but also unattached workers of all types on all islands and in all British colonial territories across the region.
Lenin the “Greatest”
Following Lenin’s death in 1924, Garvey also heaped glowing praise on the leader of the Russian Revolution.
In a speech in New York on Jan. 27, soon after Lenin’s death, Garvey said, “‘One of Russia’s greatest men, one of the world’s greatest characters, and probably the greatest man in the world between 1917 and 1924, when he breathed his last and took his flight from this world. We as Negroes mourn for Lenin because Russia promised great hope not only for Negroes but to the weaker people of the world.”