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cwiCuba: Socialism and Democracy

by Peter Taaffe



Chapter 1 - Cuba Today

1. Financial Times, London, 24 March, 1999

2. Keesing’s Record of World Events, 1991, p37814

3. Ibid, p38141

4. The Independent, London, 20 July, 1998

5. Cuban Foreign Trade Minister, Ricardo Cabrisas, 2 May 1996, quoted in Keesing’s, May 1996

6. The Guardian, London, 16 November, 1999

7. The Independent, 19 October, 1999

8. The Guardian, 10 August, 1998

9. John Percy, "A History of the Democratic Socialist Party – The First Two Decades", p33

10. Ibid, p35

11. Ibid, p47

12. This individual attended the International Executive Committee of the CWI in November 1997, as a visitor with full rights to speak and participate in the weeklong meeting. Yet, he achieved the rare feat of not uttering a word in the official discussions, and very little in any private discussions which took place!

13. Doug Lorimer, "The Cuban Revolution and Its Leadership: A Criticism of Peter Taaffe’s Pamphlet ‘Cuba: Analysis of the Revolution" in The Activist, p3

14. Percy, p37

15. Three Conceptions of the Russian Revolution, Writings of Leon Trotsky (1939-40), p59

16. Ibid, p60

17. Trotsky, The Permanent Revolution, Pathfinder, 1969, p142

18. Lorimer, "Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution: A Leninist critique" p13

19. Ibid, p14

20. Trotsky, The Permanent Revolution, pp171-2

21. Ibid, p226

22. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p8

23. For example, John Bulaitis and Phil Hearse opposed our proposals to change the name of our party from Militant Labour to the Socialist Party. However, once our conference had rejected their position by a massive majority they promptly deserted, Hearse to Mexico City and Bulaitis to his own tiny sectarian organisation in Britain. Bulaitis has ended up as a self-confessed ‘liquidationist’; he no longer believes in the need for a revolutionary party based on the ideas of democratic centralism, while Hearse occasionally threatens to come out of retirement to denounce the CWI. He was invited to the DSP-sponsored ‘Socialism 2000’ held in Sydney at the beginning of that year.

24. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p3

25. Ibid, p3

Chapter 2 - Lenin & Castro

26. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p5

27. Peter Taaffe "Cuba: Analysis of the Revolution", p5

28. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, pp6-7

29. Carlos Franqui, Family Portrait with Fidel, p149

30. Ibid, pp152-153

31. Franqui, ‘Journal de la révolution cubaine’, quoted by Janette Habel, Cuba: the Revolution in Peril, p107

32. Franqui, Family Portrait with Fidel, p153

33. Ibid, pp153-154

34. Castro quoted in Hugh Thomas, ‘Cuba – The Pursuit of Freedom’, p829

35. Ibid, p831-2

36. Ibid, p833

37. Ibid, p921

38. Ibid, p921

39. Che Guevara, Notes for the Study of the Ideology of the Cuban Revolution, republished in Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution, p133

40. Jon Lee Anderson, "Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life", p235

41. Ibid, p245

42. Tad Szulc, "Fidel a Critical Portrait", p373

43. Ibid, p391

44. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p7

45. John Reed, Ten Days That Shook the World, p129

46. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p7

47. Che Guevara, The Essence of Guerrilla Struggle, the first part of chapter 1 of La guerra de guerrillas, republished in Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution, pp76 and 77.

48. Thomas, pp1108-1109

49. Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution, p79

50. Taaffe, p5

Chapter 3 - The World Balance of Forces

51. Szulc, pp397-398

52. Anderson p413

53. Ibid, p414

54. Ibid, p415

55. Szulc, p424

56. Andrew St George, ‘A Visit with a Revolutionary’, published in ‘Coronet’, February 1958, and reprinted in Robert Scheer and Maurice Zeitlin, ‘Cuba: an American Tragedy’, p63

57. Quoted by Scheer and Zeitlin, p64

58. Look magazine, November 1960, quoted by Scheer and Zeitlin, p64

59. Anderson, p476

60. Javier Pazoz, a son of a former president of the Cuban National Bank, who himself was a civil servant in the Ministry of Economics before going into exile, reported in New Republic, 12 January 1963 and quoted by Scheer and Zeitlin, p87

61. Anderson, p482

62. Ibid, p471

63. This is a reference to the Cuban Stalinists and not to genuine ‘communists’.

64. Franqui, Family Portrait with Fidel, pp32-33

65. Interview in Scheer and Zeitlin, pp341-342

66. Franqui, Family Portrait with Fidel, pp76-77

67. Franqui is wrong to describe Russia as imperialist. It is true that the Russian bureaucracy acted in the world arena to ensure the maintenance and enhancement of their own national interests. However, it generally supplied Cuba and other states in the neo-colonial world with resources, particularly primary products, at below their prices on the world market.

68. Franqui, Family Portrait with Fidel pp77-78

69. Ibid, pp78-79

70. Ibid, pp104-105

71. Ibid, pp219-221

72. Szulc, pp428-429

73. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p12

74. Ibid, p18

75. Szulc, p482

76. Ibid, p513

77. Ibid, p514

78. Ibid, p514

79. Ibid, p530

80. Ibid, p531

81. Ibid, p532

82. Ibid, pp532-533

Chapter 4 - Is there a Privileged Elite?

83. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p13

84. Anderson, p593

85. Ibid p503

86. Maspero in Habel, preface, p.xxiii

87. Ibid, p.xxii

88. Aspillaga was associated with the British secret services.

89. Habel, pp58-60

90. Ibid, p60

91. Franqui, Family Portrait with Fidel, p145

92. Originally in Nation magazine by Maurice Zeitlin, republished in Scheer and Zeitlin, p238

93. Ibid, pp233-234

94. Ibid, p234

95. Ibid, p238

96. Ibid, p238

97. Zeitlin, "Cuba’s Workers, Workers’ Cuba, p.xvi

98. Ibid, pp xix-xx

99. Franqui, Family Portrait with Fidel, pp117-118

100. Ibid, p118

101. Zeitlin, 1969, pp.xxv-xxvi

102. Ibid, p.xxvii

103. Ibid, p.xxviii

104. Ibid, p.xxix

105. Ibid, p.xl

106. Ibid, p.xlvii (Zeitlin’s emphasis)

107. Ibid, p.xlviii

108. KS Karol, Guerrillas in Power, pp184-185

109. Ibid, p328

110. Ibid, p452

111. Ibid, p459

112. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p16

113. Habel, p81

114. Ibid, p81

115. Ibid, p82

116. Pisani, writing in Le Monde diplomatique, December 1987, quoted by Habel, p84

117. Szulc, p29

118. Ibid, p498

119. Félix de la Uz, quoted in Habel, p80

120. Pisani, ibid, quoted by Habel pp84-85

121. Habel, p85

122. Anderson, p416

Chapter 5 - Foreign Policy

123. Che Guevara, ‘Cuba: Historical Exception or Vanguard of the Anti-Colonialist Struggle?’ First published in Verde Olivio, 9 April, 1961, quoted in Anderson, p505

124. KS Karol, ‘Cuba and the USSR’, in ‘Cuban Communism’, p759

125. Marx was referring to the prolonged mass uprising of the peasants against feudalism in Germany in the sixteenth century.

126. The size and influence of the Indonesian working class is indicated by the following extract from the excellent pamphlet of the CWI on Indonesia: "The total labour force in Indonesia is 86 million strong. About 15% work in the manufacturing and petrochemical sector, 35% in service industries and 50% in agriculture. The number of industrial workers has vastly increased in recent decades because of the industrialisation of Indonesia. At the beginning of the ’90s there was a big rise in the number of working class struggles. In 1994 there was a total of 1,130 strikes – an increase of 350% in relation to 1993! In the same year there were 100 student demonstrations and 50 peasant actions." [‘Indonesia: An Unfinished Revolution’]

127. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p22

128. Ibid, pp22-23

129. Ibid, p23

130. Habel, p124

131. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p24

132. Ibid, p26

133. Castro, speaking on 23 August 1968, quoted ibid, p24

134. Ibid, p26

135. Anderson, p586

136. Taaffe, p13

137. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p26

138. Ibid, p27

139. Szulc, p527

140. Tony Saunois, Che Guevara, Symbol of Struggle, p54

141. Lorimer, The Cuban Revolution, p27

142. Szulc, p535

Chapter 6 - Conclusion

143. Szulc, p499

144. Ibid, pp499-500

145. Quoted in Szulc, p500

146. Ibid, pp498-499

147. Financial Times,4 January 2000

148. Ibid

149. Saunois, p62

150. Ibid, p63