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                                        Dave Silver

The nature of the relentless and continuing colonial and imperialist
domination of Cuba by Spain and the United States especially since 1898
changed dramatically with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.  The
imperialist vulture to the North was driven out militarily, economically,
politically and culturally. However the imperialists, fearing that a new
humane and just model for the overwhelming masses of people would not be
good for exploitation and their super profits, used new methods of
destabilizing the new Cuba.  On October 8, 1987, the 20th anniversary of the
death of Ernesto Che Guevara,  Fidel  said that Che “was totally opposed to
using and developing capitalist economic laws and categories in building
socialism.”  Che advocated that the “building of socialism and communism is
not just a matter of producing and distributing wealth but is also a matter
of education and consciousness.”

It then becomes apparent why Cuba, a beacon of internationalist solidarity
for oppressed peoples worldwide, became anathema not only to the
transnational corporate ruling class and their political puppets in Wall
Street, western Europe and Tokyo but also those who have rejected Marxism
for more pragmatic philosophies; liberals, neo-liberals, neo-marxists,
anarchists and various trends within social democracy.  Those who have never
recognized a really existing socialism, who have embraced opportunism, were
not prepared for nor could they accept the arming of the Cuban masses, or
the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, the Peoples’ Assemblies,
the voluntary work or the use of moral incentives which were later modified
under the pressures of the imperialist Blockade-an act of war-according to
international law.  No these folk could not accept Revolutionary Cuba’s
attempts at creatively applying Marxism-Leninism.

The revisionists and opportunists discount the terrorist acts, over flights,
the C.I.A. funded Radio Marti, assassination attempts and the support for
counter revolutionaries in and outside of Miami.  No, they call for “free
elections” bourgeois style which offers the evil of two lessers to the
masses.  Or they call for freedom for “dissidents” another useful code word
that masks their counter revolutionary acts within Cuba and connections to
western imperialist sources.  Some like the former Chief of the U.S.
Interests Section in Havana, Wayne Smith, calls for an end to the “embargo”
(a more benign term) not because Cuba is a sovereign state which first and
foremost means the right to self determination including the right to build
socialism, NO. He and his ilk want to end the Blockade for ulterior motives
namely to bring a little perestroika and glasnost to the island.  In short
they, like the gusanos, look to a smooth “post Castro transition” really
meaning a post socialist Cuba.

Cuba’s nationalization and collectivization under the guidance of the
Communist Party was a political and economic declaration of war against the
capitalist countries and their financial representatives at the IMF and
World Bank. (Canada is a partial exception)  Cuba’s staunch international
solidarity includes supporting the armed struggle in Angola to providing
doctors and training university students from other countries. This too is
deeply hated by those who would like to bring the “benefits” of gangsterism,
corruption and poverty now “enjoyed” by the Russian people.  Those whom
Brecht called the intellectual pimps for the bourgeoisie belittle the heroic
accomplishments of a Cuba under siege such as safeguarding the high standard
of health, education, and literacy services while seeing to it that no one
goes hungry or is homeless.

Does this mean that this beacon and alternative model to the “free market”
has solved all basic social, political and economic questions?  Of course
not.  In his eulogy honoring Che, Fidel asks “what are we rectifying?”
Self critically including his own mistakes he says that “we’re rectifying
all those things –and there are many- that strayed from the revolutionary
spirit, revolutionary work, and revolutionary responsibility; all those
things that strayed from the spirit of solidarity among people.  We’re
rectifying all the shoddiness and mediocrity that is precisely the negation
of Che’s ideas, his revolutionary thought, his style, his spirit, and his
example.”  Of course Fidel had in mind a developing bureaucracy as well as
technocrats and some intellectuals that never appreciated the fact that
while there may be compromise in dealing with other states and Parties there
could never be a compromise of the fundamental ideological underpinning of
the Revolution-Marxism-Leninism.

Cuba is a multicultural mixture of Spanish, African and Indigenous peoples.
Yet quite legitimately many comrades and friends have questioned Havana’s
policies and efforts toward bringing more people of color into higher
government, Party and professional positions.  The Central Committee of the
Party acknowledged this problem 15 years ago and made decisions accordingly.
About three years ago I had the privilege of attending a meeting arranged by
Black comrades who invited a member of the Department of International
Relations of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.  Our guest
Adelina, is a Black woman who was in the U.S. on a Fellowship to study the
institutionalized racism in the U.S.  There were many hard and challenging
questions as to the proportionate representation of people of color and
particularly those of very dark complexion in all spheres of society.  Our
guest provided data and policy decisions of the Party in the social,
economic and political areas whose goal was to significantly improve this
situation.  The results of this truly affirmative action by the Party and
government more than doubled the number of people of color in the leading
bodies of society.  This was accomplished in less than 5 years. 

Comrade Adelina indicated that the Party has made this an ongoing priority.
Unlike China, who, while professing socialism and the supremacy of the
Party, is well on its way to dismantling its socialist infrastructure and
accepting the IMF version of globalisation meaning an entry of
transnationals into their economy using extremely cheap labor while a
comparatively few become wealthy.  The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is at a
crossroads and seeking most favored nation status while Nike sets up an
outpost there for capital accumulation.  It is too early to tell whether
North Korea will travel the same path.  Of course there are enormous
contradictions between these countries and the developed nations.
Frequently the former are forced into taking anti-imperialist positions
which should be fully supported.  Cuba does have joint ventures with Canada
and Germany for instance but under conditions that guarantees  benefits to
its economy.  We must be crystal clear that there is no hybrid third way.
While certain compromises and even retreats are necessary at a particular
historic juncture, (such as Havana’s need for hard currency and the
development of a mini parallel economy around tourism) the fundamental
course is either socialist or capitalist.  Solidarity with and material and
ideological support for Socialist Cuba deserves the highest priority from
all who seek to better the human condition.

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