Cuba: How to defend the Cuban revolution

Following its "victory" in Iraq, North American imperialism, headed by the Bush/Rumsfeld duo, wants to use its "triumph" to strengthen its dominant world position. The invasion of Iraq was in the first place for oil and also formed part of a much broader plan of imposing its domination in other areas of the planet. This is now seen in the threats being made against Syria and the brazen intervention it has made in Cuba.

The central idea behind this criminal policy is to bring down regimes they declare to be "criminal" or "rogue" states. Cuba has been categorised as such a state for a long time.

The US has never hidden the fact that it wants to finish off Fidel Castro’s regime. Ideally they want to do this "from within" without a direct military intervention. They clearly understand that a direct military intervention in the Island would not be like Iraq. The Cuban government still rests upon strong support and the conquests of the revolution still enjoy widespread popularity – not only on the island but amongst the masses of the whole of Latin America.

Military intervention?

Any attempt at military occupation would meet with the armed resistance of the Cuban people – something that did not take place in Iraq – where Saddam Hussein could not count on such support. Moreover, any attempt at military occupation of Cuba by the US would also face mass mobilisations and armed resistance by the workers and youth of the entire continent. For this reason it is extremely unlikely that a military intervention will be attempted at this moment.

For this reason Bush is attempting to finish the Cuban regime by other manoeuvres such as supporting pro-capitalist opposition groups opposed to the government. Individuals and groups are financed and encouraged with the aim of provoking the Cuban government to repress them and in that way allow the USA to step up its political campaign against Cuba.

Revolutionary socialists fight against all such criminal plans and campaigns by US imperialism. However, this does not mean we give a blank cheque to the Cuban regime. It has not been able to respond politically to recent events but has resorted to repression and imprisonment and executions of its opponents. Three people who recently kidnapped a motor launch have been executed. By doing this Fidel Castro has given a political gift to US imperialism and the ruling class throughout Latin America. They have used this to launch a rapid campaign, a "moral debate" about capitalism and socialism. The ruling class has used this very skilfully to split sectors of the left which see Cuba as a reference point for an alternative social system to capitalism.

If in Cuba there existed a genuine system of workers democracy it would include free elections to committees at local, citywide, regional and national level to organise and run society. All delegates to such bodies and government officials would be subject to immediate recall and only receive wages and salaries comparable to those received by the working class as a whole. A democratic socialist and workers’ government would have been able to respond to provocations by US imperialism differently to the repressive measures taken by Fidel Castro. The existence of a single party state is a characteristic of Stalinism. In Cuba the bureaucracy cannot allow the existence of other parties which would threaten its interests. From the "one party system" a ‘leading elite’ arises which claims that it represents the interests of the whole population. We have already seen what happened in the former Soviet Union and the other incorrectly labelled "socialist states" where the regimes collapsed with little support amongst the population of their respective countries.

A genuine workers democracy would allow the existence of different parties – including those that defend capitalism providing they did not take up arms against a workers government in order to impose their ideas on the majority of the population. In such a situation the genuine workers government could count on the support of the mass of the working class and population as a whole. It would be able to expose politically its pro-capitalist opponents which would not present a serious threat to the working class and its government. The fact that the Cuban government has taken such measures shows a weakness on its part and has given a political gift to capitalism and imperialism.

The only way to defend the Cuban revolution and defeat imperialism is to establish a genuine system of workers democracy and build a democratic socialist system on the island. That is to say the Cuban people need to defend and deepen the social changes of the revolution but to change the political system which established a privileged caste separate from the people.

Moreover a workers democracy in Cuba would need to extend the revolution to the whole continent and appeal to the latino, black and white workers of the USA to support the struggle for a socialist transformation of society. Cuba cannot defend or build socialism, isolated and alone. It must be done internationally.


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April 2003