The evolution of Cuban Communism or Cuban Socialism? (Reposted)

Charlotte S. Wellen cwellen at
Sat Apr 27 03:07:11 MDT 1996


(Sorry about reposting this--I am trying to fix the earlier errors in tra=

Comradely Greetings from Wei En Lin,

Recently Louis wrote,


=B3The Cuban blockade was the effect of the left turn of the Cuban revolu=
tion, not the cause of it, nor=20
the cause of alignment with the USSR.  As I pointed out in my previous po=
st, the only way the Cuban=20
economy could develop was by breaking with imperialism. If you break with=
 imperialism, you need=20


I want to begin by complementing you, Louis, for your detailed examinatio=
n of the Cuban revolution. =20
One of the best postings I have read on this list.

I agree that =B3The Cuban blockade was the effect of the left turn of the=
 Cuban revolution, not the cause=20
of it.=B2  If there was one cause of the =B3left turn=B2 it was the Bay o=
f Pigs invasion.  But Castro was a=20
leftist in the very beginning, even if he was not an avowed Marxist.  He =
always claimed that his=20
revolution was made on the behalf of the downtrodden, those who suffered =
as a result of the alliance=20
between the Cuban financial elite and US capitalists, mafiosos, etc. =20

Nevertheless, it is not entirely accurate to say that Castro broke with i=
mperialism.  He was willing=20
enough to support Soviet Social imperialism in Eastern Europe.  You are a=
ware, probably, that when=20
the USSR invaded Hungary, there was a period of silence in Havana.  The o=
il tankers bound for Cuba=20
>from the USSR waited for a time outside the port city. Finally, Castro fe=
lt compelled to issue a=20
statement supporting the Soviet invasion. =20

The simple fact is that Castro had to support Russian/Soviet Imperialism =
in order to continue=20
implementing his own domestic agenda, which was, and continues to be in m=
any ways, admirable.

I have lived in Latin America for a few years, in Colombia, and visited P=
eru, Brazil, Venezuela,=20
Mexico and Costa Rica.  I have talked to Union Leaders of all stripes, an=
d revolutionaries there.  They=20
take great inspiration from the Cuban revolution.

Still, what does the title of your posting mean?  =B3The evolution of Cub=
an communism=B2  Are you=20
claiming that Cuba is a communist state, that it has already achieved com=
munism, that it is evolving=20
toward communism, that it is socialist, that it is a genuine worker=B9s s=
tate,  or that it is a benevolent=20
dictatorship which (for now) acts mainly  in the interests of the workers=

Despite my tremendous admiration for Castro (as compared with other dicta=
tors)--and let us make no=20
mistake:  he is a dictator--I think that when he dies Cuba will not be pr=
epared to continue the=20
=B3evolution of Cuban communism.=B2  Will Cuba even remain =B3socialist=B2=
 in any meaningful sense of the=20
word (as Costa Rica partly is)?  If Cuba does not continue to work toward=
 communism, US=20
imperialism will be largely to blame.   But Castro shares some of the res=
ponsibility, since he has not,=20
to my knowledge, given democratic control of the means of production to t=
he workers.  That is, he has=20
not allowed the workers to vote for their managers, directors, foremen, o=
r industry branch leaders. =20
Appointments are made from the top down, are they not?

I know that Castro has allowed some grass roots political democracy to de=
velop, not unlike County and=20
City elections in the United States, more democratic the more local the c=
oncern.  But I do not think he=20
has democratized the economy.   I would like to know more about this.

I wonder Louis if you could give me some clear definitions of Socialism a=
nd Communism.  I do not think=20
Cuba is a Communist country; though there are many in Cuba working to bui=
ld Communism.  Or at the=20
very least, even though the goal of the Cuban system may not be to give c=
ontrol over the means of=20
production to the workers, Cubans are working to improve education, healt=
h, sanitation and guarantee=20
an overall improvement in working and living conditions.  Furthermore, I =
do not think it makes sense=20
to call Castro a Stalinist, even though he used the Soviet Union as his p=
rimary patron for so many=20
years. =20

Sincere Regards,

Wei En Lin.

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