Taaffe and Cuba

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Sep 5 00:02:54 MDT 2001

Andy writes:

> Is it my fundamental assumption or the assumption of those who are
> uncritical of Cuba, feel it is a democratic socialist society and state to
> be emulated as is?

Let's be clear.  As far as I've seen there are no uncritical supporters
of Cuba on this list.  The people who have posted who are hostile to
Taaffe's book - Jose, Louis, Carroll, me, Adam - have all said that we
have no problem with peole making criticisms of Cuba.  We just haven't
been impressed much by Taaffe's.

I think it is also necessary to think about Taaffe's politics.

This guy was the #2 in the Militant Tendency in the 70s and 80s, when
Militant - for a while the biggest Trotskyist group in Britain and one
with a small, but real, base in the working class.  This outfit *went
along with* British imperialism in relation to Ireland, refusing to do a
single thing to build a movement to get the British troops out of
Ireland.  Then, when Britain attacked Argentina and invaded the
Malvinas, Taaffe and Militant supported that as well.  I was at the
Labour Young Socialists conference in Britain that year, where some of
us (I was in the LPYS at the time) tried to put an emergency motion
condemning the British war moves and demanding the withdrawal of the
British fleet which was heading full steam down to the South Atlantic at
the time.  Militant, which dominated the LPYS - the whole LPYS
leadership were members of the Militant Tendency - *defended* the
British imperialist force, opposed calling for its withdrawal, and
denounced Argentina!

Basically, Taaffe is a pro-British imperialist ratbag.  And his
organisation is a bankrupt bunch of social-chauvinists.

Criticism of Cuba coming from him needs to be put in this context.


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