Cuba and Socialist Utopia

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Sun Jul 9 11:32:08 MDT 1995


> >
> >Guillermo wrote (3 July):
> >When I read today topics, I can't beleive nobody answered to my post.
> >Does anybody want to discuss the actual utopia that 10 million cubans
> >are living today?

Jerry:

Cuba under Castro is many things but it is not a utopia.  Further, I
don't recall ever reading that the Cuban government ever considered their
society to be utopia.  Further, Castro (after the early
post-revolutionary "guerellismo" period) didn't claim that the type of
socialist society that was created in Cuba should be copied slavishly by
revolutionaries in other  countries.  The Cuban leadership, it seems to
me, are very well aware of  the particular and unique historical context
in which the Cuban revolution developed.

Far from being at attempt to create utopia society, the Cuban government
attempted to develop a practical plan for socialism that understood the
concrete historical circumstances that the Cubans found themselves in.
Castro, to my knowledge, never embraced the concept of "socialism in a
single country" and has remained a revolutionary internationalist. Specific
proposals that were developed in Cuba were developed with an
understanding of the inherited character of the Cuban economy (a
primarily agricultural economy in which  sugar production played a key
role), the isolation of Cuba from the world  market economy (due to the
economic blockade by US imperialism), the  threat of foreign invasion
(primarily from the US and "gusanos" funded by the US), and the practical
need to develop economic alliances and receive economic support
(primarily from the former USSR and the former COMECON countries).

If we are to look at the Cuban experience, it would seem that this
experience is better understood in terms of how revolutionaries can attempt
to restructure society with an understanding of specific historical
conditions and circumstances than as a "model" for utopia.

Nonetheless, there are lessons to be learned from the Cuban revolution
(as there are lessons to be learned from all revolutionary experiences).
What do you believe those lessons are?

Jerry

PS: There is no way of predicting before the fact how the list will
respond to particular posts.  There have been many excellent posts
recently which have not been responded to.  List members should not get
frustrated by this as the failure to respond may be due to a variety of
circumstances that we as individuals are not aware of.  In some cases,
failure to respond may simply mean that list members don't disagree with
a particular post, or that they feel they have nothing that they wish to
add, or care to discuss something else, or don't have the time required
for a reasoned response. All we can do is throw out our ideas and see if
others are interested in responding at this time.


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