Cuba

Unofficial protest in Cuba

Author

Simon Nelson

On 11 May, an unofficial Pride protest in Cuba was disrupted by the Cuban police, with some violence, and several activists were detained at the protest or in the run-up. Nevertheless, around 300 people, many of them young, joined the protest with slogans including “Viva gay marriage”, “A diverse Cuba”, and “Yes, we can.” It was the first time in many years that a civil society protest has gone ahead in Cuba without a permit.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Patrick Murphy, Jim Denham and Jean Lane

At its 28 February meeting, the National Executive of the NEU (National Education Union), the country’s fourth largest trade union considered a proposal to support two separate international delegations in the coming year. Following a pattern established by the NUT, the countries chosen were Palestine and Cuba.

No excuses for Cuban labour fronts

Author

Pablo Velasco

Bernard Reagan, national secretary of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, has eulogised the Cuban ″trade unions″ in a laughable piece of semi-Stalinist sophistry (Morning Star, 9 February).

Reagan makes out that Cuban workers have been struggling continuously since the Cuban Workers’ Confederation was founded in 1939. It is true that workers fought to overthrow the dictator Batista during the 1950s – something every socialist supports. The disagreement comes after the Castro movement took over and linked up with the old (Stalinist) Communist Party.

Socialism is not Cuba

Author

Rhodri Evans

Fidel Castro’s 26 July Movement overthrew the corrupt Batista regime, and took power in Cuba sixty years ago, at the start of January 1959. The early period of the Castro regime improved social provision and living standards for the poorest in Cuba. Increasingly it did that while also suppressing the independent trade unions and political pluralism which existed, even though harassed and weak, under Batista.

With the Cuban workers, not the Cuban police state!

Author

Workers' Liberty teachers

(The following text was printed as a leaflet; that leaflet was ripped up by the organisers of the Cuba Solidarity fringe meeting to whom it was addressed, in a half-hearted attempt to emulate the Cuban police state...)

A Letter to Delegates

It is a disgrace that over the last two years the National Union of Teachers [now National Education Union] has spent £48 000 subsidising delegates on “solidarity” visits to Cuba.

This is an enormous waste of money, and politically it is positively harmful, too.

Letters

I’m entirely with David Pendletone (Solidarity 452) that we should seek to win the labour movement and the Labour Party to a programme for a workers’ Europe.

But what if we fail to win a majority for that before March 2019?

We should assume no “inevitability of gradualness”. But even if we, around Solidarity, increase our forces twenty-fold in the next year — twenty times more activists, twenty times more readers, twenty times more influence — we may not win Labour conference 2018 to that programme.

Letters

I agree with the front page and the vast majority of the editorial "Stop Brexit" (Solidarity 451). However, I disagree that revolutionary socialists should advocate a second referendum.

Cuba: the role of the working class

Author

Pablo Velasco

What role did the Cuban working class play in the 1959 revolution? This is the key question discussed in Steve Cushion’s provocative book, A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution: How the Working Class Shaped the Guerrillas’ Victory, (Monthly Review, 2016). Whilst the book demonstrates the active role workers played in Cuban history during the 1950s, the author is soft on Castroism and inflates the role of the Stalinists.

Guevara is not our hero

Author

Pablo Velasco

Che Guevara is lionised as a revolutionary icon by wide sections of the global left. Even those claiming some Trotskyist heritage, from the various “Fourth Internationals” to the British SWP, publish mostly uncritical appreciations of the individual and his politics. Yet Guevara was never a working class socialist nor even a revolutionary democrat. He helped overthrow the hated dictator Batista in Cuba, but only to replace it with a Stalinist regime.

Trump freezes US-Cuba relations

Author

Cathy Nugent

Donald Trump has introduced new restrictions on travel to Cuba and on US companies trading with Cuban businesses owned by the state’s military and intelligence services (which includes most of the tourist sector). Trump has revised, but not as he originally threatened reversed Obama’s policy on Cuba.

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