An orderly retreat

Jon Flanders 72763.2240 at compuserve.com
Tue May 7 21:58:03 MDT 1996


 >> No matter how many volunteer brigades Fidel organizes, no matter
 how many speeches he makes, no matter how many Militant articles
 are written on his behalf, he is up against powerful class forces that are
beyond his control. Not to recognize this is utopian. There is little
 that can be done to resist these forces. Lenin was clear about the
impossibility of building socialism in an isolated USSR, so why should
 we expect Cuba to accomplish miracles that the Bolsheviks themselves
 could not? <<Louis Proyect

 Jon Flanders:

  In the case of Cuba, I don't agree with this. While it may not be enough,
who knows?, the Cubans are doing a lot to counter the adverse effects of the
NEP style retreat. The huge May Day celebration is one evidence of that. Then
there are the ongoing discussions in the unions that the Militant has covered
quite a bit.

  The Cubans have had thirty years to build up a base for socialism. It is not
going to be so easy to overthrow, even with a bunch of NEP men and foreign
investors running around. Hell, even in East Germany, the resistance is
growing to the ravages of W. German capital.

  If there is a tested Communist leadership anywhere in the world, it is in
Cuba. Could any other country go through the wrenching cutbacks that Cuba has
endured without huge protests and strikes? In Ecuador, where my wife spent
some time in the 70's, there would be big strikes in Quito over a penny rise
in bus fares.

  The Cubans have had far more time to consolidate that did the Bolsheviks in
the twenties, due in large part to the aid they got at the first from the
Soviet Union. The SU was never a socialist equivalent of a Germany, but the
aid they could give a small country like Cuba was proportionately quite large.

  Most importantly, there was time for the development of class consciousness
in the working class. Time and again, they rose to the occasion, during the
early years, the Angolan war, the Nicaraguan revolution and the invasion of
Grenada. That is what I would put my money on in Cuba's case. That and the
best of the Cuban leadership, like Fidel, who seems to have perfect pitch when
it comes to the tactics and strategy in  relationship to imperialism.

  He has to be one of the greatest of what in tennis would be called a wrong
foot artist. Clinton leans one way and POW, the ball is on the other side,
just out of reach. The State Department must have a special office just for
counseling people who have gone crazy trying to deal with Fidel.

 Best, Jon F



  E-mail from: Jonathan E. Flanders, 07-May-1996




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