Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have attended a May Day rally in Havana, where a local labor leader encouraged Cubans to stay on the path set out by former President Fidel Castro.

Many of the marchers wore red T-shirts and waved Cuban flags Thursday as they marched through Revolution Square. During the rally, President Raul Castro made his first May Day appearance as Cuban leader, but did not speak.

Since succeeding his older brother in February, Raul Castro has lifted several restrictions on Cubans, including the purchase of cell phones, DVD's and computers. Cubans are also now able to stay in hotels if they can afford it. The average salary is about $17 per month.

May Day celebrations are being held around the world. The annual event marks International Workers Day.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.