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Commentary :: Globalization : Human Rights : International : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare : War and Militarism
What the transfer of power in Cuba means
05 Aug 2006
the revolution is still alive. Neither the imperialist blockade nor the disastrous bureaucratic leadership has yet been able to exhaust its strength . . . In case of military aggression we would be unconditionally on the side of Cuba for the defeat of imperialism. But in no case would it mean giving political support to the Castro-ite leadership, which is leading the conquests of the revolution to ruin, demoralizing the masses and opening the road to the restoration of capitalism. It is not possible to separate the struggle against imperialism from the tasks of the political revolution by leaving this for a 'second stage.' The defense of the revolution puts front and center and has as its condition, the intransigent struggle against domination by the bureaucracy and for a regime of workers' democracy
[unofficial translation by Working Class Emancipation: laboraction (at) aim.com http://groups.yahoo.com/group/labor_action/ ]

What the transfer of power in Cuba means
By Diego Dalai, From La Verdad Obrera (Buenos Aires), August 3, 2006

Unexpectedly, after his participation in the MERCOSUR Summit in Córdoba and in the commemoration ceremonies of July 26 in Cuba, on August 1, it was announced that Fidel Castro was delegating power to his brother Raúl, because of an urgent operation that he had to undergo. The news quickly went around the world and became the source of every kind of speculation over the future of the leader and above all of the direction the country would take.

What is certain is that the deed has now opened a new political moment in Cuba with repercussions beyond its borders. For the first time in almost 50 years, there is a transfer of power and various actors have now begun to show their cards for Cuba's political and social future.

The US is maintaining its hard line in favor of Castro's departure and a "democratic transition," without ruling out any measure. Last month the Bush administration revealed its plans for destabilizing Cuba through its Assistance Commission for a Free Cuba, that decided to earmark 80 million dollars for the task, to finance oppositional groups and activities. And on August 1, the White House spokesman stated, "we cannot speculate about Castro's health, but we continue working for a free Cuba" (The Guardian, August 2, 2006).

However, more lucid and less adventuristic voices are also heard in the heart of imperialism: "Washington should make plans to establish contacts with the successors . . . a prompt lifting of the economic embargo could strengthen the mistreated Cuban middle class and help it to play a more active role in the future political transition" (The New York Times, August 2, 2006).

Spanish imperialism, closely connected to Cuba and a necessary link between Cuba and Europe, displayed a conciliatory policy by expressing its desire for Castro's "quick recovery," although Diego López Garrido, the spokesman of the [social democratic] PSOE in the Congress of Deputies, expressed the desire of his party that Cuba would head towards "a full democracy that does not now exist" (Europe Press, August 2, 2006).

The "democratic transition" that all the wings of imperialism (US or European) are hawking, is the formulation that conceals the real objective, the destruction of the conquests of the revolution, of the Cuban workers' state, in spite of its bureaucratic character, and the re-colonization of Cuba by the big monopolies and imperialism.

The Castro-ite bureaucracy, for its part, is trying to show that nothing serious is taking place, that the delegation of power is "provisional," and that it is set in the framework of the legal line of succession. Its policy is one of an "orderly succession," that permits the bureaucracy to stay in power and, by keeping the masses under strict control, to officiate as a dialogue-partner with the imperialist interests. It would be a "Castroism without Castro" with which they will try to keep their enormous privileges that they get from their connections to foreign investment, from hierarchical posts in the state enterprises connected to exports and tourism or from the profits that the black market yields.

However, the "succession" would give a much weaker regime without the irreplaceable figure of Fidel, which would probably weaken the bureaucracy's relation with the masses and unleash the internal struggle for spaces of power for its different wings. In addition, as we have seen, the "succession" does not have the backing of the United States, at least for now.

We revolutionary socialists of the PTS clearly reject any attempt by imperialism to take advantage of the situation to expedite a policy favorable to its interests. Faced with any imperialist provocation, we are for the defense of the Cuban revolution. At the same time, the continuation of the Castro-ite bureaucracy, of a "Castroism without Castro" or with his brother, can only weaken the Cuban workers' state by opening the way for the restorationist forces to grow stronger.

As we said some years ago, "the revolution is still alive. Neither the imperialist blockade nor the disastrous bureaucratic leadership has yet been able to exhaust its strength . . . In case of military aggression we would be unconditionally on the side of Cuba for the defeat of imperialism. But in no case would it mean giving political support to the Castro-ite leadership, which is leading the conquests of the revolution to ruin, demoralizing the masses and opening the road to the restoration of capitalism. It is not possible to separate the struggle against imperialism from the tasks of the political revolution by leaving this for a 'second stage.' The defense of the revolution puts front and center and has as its condition, the intransigent struggle against domination by the bureaucracy and for a regime of workers' democracy . . . based on organs of workers' power, democratically organized from below to above, made up of directly elected representatives, with a mandate from the base, representatives that can be recalled at any moment and who do not earn more than a skilled worker gets." 1

1 Eduardo Molina, "Cuba en la encrucijada," Estrategia International 20, September, 2003, pages 173 and 174.

Full political and organizational freedoms for the workers and political parties that defend the revolution! For the right to strike and self-government for the unions, factory committees or other forms that the workers desire!

A radical revision of the economic policy of concessions to foreign capital! Workers' control of industry and administration of resources! Down with the privileges of the bureaucracy!

No to the policy of peaceful coexistence with imperialism and support for the "friendly" bourgeoisies of the Third World! The defense of the Cuban Revolution is inextricably linked to the victory of workers and poor peasants in Latin America and the world!

For a government of workers', peasants' and soldiers' councils!

Read the Dossier on Cuba in Estrategia Internacional 20, available at www.ft-ci.org
See also:
http://www.ft-ci.org/
http://www.pts.org.ar/

This work is in the public domain
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