Cuba

With the Cuban workers, not the Cuban police state!
Castro and Khrushchev
AWLSun, 01/04/2018 - 10:24

(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.

Add new comment

Letters

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 9:14

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.

Add new comment

Letters

Submitted by Matthew on 25 October, 2017 - 10:29

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.

Comments

Submitted by martin on Thu, 26/10/2017 - 15:07

Oppose Brexit even short of socialism

I'm entirely with David Pendletone (Solidarity 452) that we should seek to win the labour movement and the Labour Party to a program 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 20-fold in the next year - 20 times more activists, 20 times more readers, 20 times more influence - we may not win Labour conference 2018 to that program.
And, even if we do, a workers' Europe is not a program that can realised by action in one country alone. A revolutionary socialist stand by the Labour Party would surely spark great upheavals in labour movements across Europe, but we cannot guarantee that we will have revolutionary socialist majorities in the big countries' labour movements, and they will have won government, by March 2019.
If we don't, even a Labour Party entirely won to the politics of this newspaper will have to offer an immediate response when the Tories try to ram through their Brexit package.
What do we do when the Tories try to force through a nationalist, rights-removing, anti-migrant, economically-regressive deal in early 2019?
We should try to stop them. We should demand a referendum, even if the Labour Party doesn't, and even if Labour's official line on Brexit is as rubbish as it is now.
Not to do so would be like workers faced with a wage cut saying: we want our union to commit to socialist revolution. If we can't win that in time, or if we do win it in time but other unions are not yet sufficiently revolutionised to enable a workers' government, then we should not busy ourselves with crappy alternatives like low wages or even lower wages, but just grin and bear it.
Yes, a referendum is a poor form of democracy. Yes, pretty much all referendums are a choice between the status quo and some description of change. Yes, of course we might lose that 2019 referendum, or face a nasty backlash after we'd won it narrowly.
But a poor form of democracy is better than none. A referendum, as the only way to exorcise the June plebiscite, is better than giving the Tories free passage.
The status quo - however nasty the politics of many pro-EU politicians, like France's president Macron - is better, as a baseline from which to fight, than a re-raising of barriers between Britain and the rest of Europe which will be very difficult to reverse in any medium term.
David, if I understand him right, would not be opposed to a Labour Party which had been won to a workers' Europe program demanding a referendum on a Tory deal.
But, as socialists, we should not limit ourselves by what the top leaders of the Labour Party may or may not be pushed into in this or that timespan. We fight for our ideas in the Labour Party. We also say what we think independently, and promote it as energetically we can, in the workplaces, in the unions, and on the streets, as well as in the Labour Party.

Add new comment

Cuba: the role of the working class

Submitted by AWL on 3 October, 2017 - 7:30 Author: Pablo Velasco
Castro and Guevara

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.

Add new comment

Guevara is not our hero

Submitted by Matthew on 3 July, 2017 - 12:44 Author: Pablo Velasco
che guevara

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.

Add new comment

Trump freezes US-Cuba relations

Submitted by Matthew on 21 June, 2017 - 10:59 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.

Add new comment

Fidel Castro — no hero of ours

Submitted by cathy n on 27 November, 2016 - 9:52 Author: Pablo Velasco

Fidel Castro, one of the last remaining leaders of a Stalinist state, died last week at the age of 90. Among sections of the left there is near-hysterical outpouring of eulogy, while bourgeois commentators blithely dismiss him as a communist despot. A third camp socialist assessment of Castro’s politics is needed.

Comments

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 28/11/2016 - 19:04

i agree with the article; despite low cost Foods he mentions, there was always a permanent hungercrisis in Cuba, which cant be blamed only on the us-embargo any longer, cause since the year 2000 foodimport is no more boycotted. the world hunger help,a german based Organisation (welthungerhilfe) runs several Projects in Cuba.
what the article didnt mention,is
-cuba´s Napalm(!) Support for the ethiopian Military government in fighting eritrean Independence
-cuba´s horible role in supporting one faction inside the MPLA of angola, helping them in torturing and murdering of 20.000 comrades
-castro´s Support for the islamic dictatorship in Iran
the only Point where the author was a bit too negative, is the Situation of gays, which changed dramatically to the better in the last 20years,since the daughter of che guevara, a physician as her father, stated that not homosexuality is counterrevolutionary, but homophobia (i guess that she might have been the only one who could risk an Argument with fidel castro). given this, and the biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig concert of the rolling Stones in havana recently (longtime labelled as western decadence),it seems that they wanna give a bit more individual freedom now- probably in the Frame of a private capitalism(as here),i guess.

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 28/11/2016 - 19:31

i forgot to mention, that Prostitution of both, woman and men, did increase dramatically in Cuba since it opened up for tourists. castro said immediately after the Revolution, he wanna end this Situation,that half Cuba does prostitute itself for the american tourists. nowadays they do it again,whether the tourists may be europeans or americans.

Add new comment

Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution

Submitted by martin on 26 November, 2016 - 3:08 Author: Sam Farber

Cuban socialist Sam Farber surveyed the story of Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution of 1959 in an interview a few years back.

Comments

Submitted by jayrothermel on Mon, 28/11/2016 - 01:03

What a snotty, snobbish, and arrogant dismissal.

The Cuban revolution has done more internationalist solidarity in the world than any other country. Not just medical aid. Internationalist missions like the one that helped defeat South Africa's apartheid army at Cuito Cuanavale in 1988.

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 28/11/2016 - 19:15

In reply to by jayrothermel

how did it really look like?
-cuba´s Napalm(!) Support for the ethiopian Military government in fighting eritrean Independence
-cuba´s horible role in supporting one faction inside the MPLA of angola, helping them in torturing and murdering of 20.000 comrades
-castro´s Support for the islamic dictatorship in Iran
and fine,that they brought so many medicaments somewhere- in Cuba there always was much to Little of it and the People couldnt afford them.

Add new comment

Obama and the Platismo dissidents

Submitted by Matthew on 23 March, 2016 - 10:52 Author: Sam Farber

Barack Obama’s arrival in Cuba will mark the first visit by a United States president to the island since Calvin Coolidge went in 1928. His trip follows the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba on 17 December 2014 and various other steps taken to normalise relations — a welcome change after decades of hostility that include an ongoing economic blockade, sponsored invasions, and terrorist attacks.

Add new comment

Cuba: alternatives after the thaw

Submitted by AWL on 27 January, 2015 - 5:38 Author: Sam Farber

On December 17, 2014, Washington and Havana agreed to a pathbreaking change in a relationship that, for more than fifty years, was characterized by the United States’ efforts to overthrow the Cuban government, including the sponsorship of invasions, naval blockades, economic sabotage, assassination attempts, and terrorist attacks.

Add new comment

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.