TimAlphanumeric on Cuba

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Tue Aug 27 08:36:58 MDT 1996

On Tue, 27 Aug 1996 TimW333521 at aol.com wrote:

> My point is that Cuba falls far short of any reasonable concept of democracy,
> workers or otherwise.  Without the competition of political parties -- and I
> might add a civil society to nurture such parties (free speech, press, etc.)
> -- the use of the term "democracy" is pure fraud.  Without democracy workers
> cannot rule in a workers state. Period!  Period!  Period!
> How do you like them apples?

Louis: There has never been socialist democracy as you define it in the
20th century, including the USSR in its infancy. Since you tend to
demonize Lenin as much as Castro, this observation is of some indifference
to you. The simple reason for the inability of the USSR, Cuba, etc. to
live up to your model is that they are extremely backward societies in a
state of siege. In the USSR, there is the added complication that the
bureaucracy used its political power to aggrandize itself materially.
There are no material advantages to being a bureaucrat in Cuba. Today,
during the neo-NEP period opening up there, you can make more money
working as a waiter in a tourist hotel than you can as a director of a
state farm. (That is, of course, unless you are getting a bribe from a
Western company that is co-developing the farm.)

Having said all this, we must examine "democracy" in Dominican Republic,
Jamaica, etc. I maintain there isn't any, while you have not really
addressed the question in a serious manner. Elections, etc. there are
simply part of a mechanism to enforce class rule.

With respect to Nicaragua, the election in which Ortega was voted out of
office was hardly an exercise in "civil society". The United States was
openly giving money to Chamorro's party. It was subsidizing the
anti-Sandinista press, etc. The last election was simply another tactic
imperialism employed in the decade-long struggle against true democracy in

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