(fwd from David McDonald) Re: Trotskyism and the Cuban revolution/ratfinks

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Sun Jul 6 10:11:59 MDT 2003

[ David, time for you to subscribe to the list ]

Melvin P is quite correct to rant against the "ratfinks" who bring their
morality and attempt to impose it on a living revolutionary process that is
doing quite well, thank you. I like his arguments and his tone is justified.

At the beginning of the "special period" Fidel summarized the situation like
this (paraphrase): "until now, the revolution has enjoyed the purity of the
convent." In a similar manner Lenin, in the debate with Bukharin on workers'
democracy, said (also a paraphrase) "when I heard Comrade Bukharin speak
just now of the sacred right of workers democracy, I almost crossed myself."
That is, aid from the Soviet Union and the socialist camp generally helped
to keep Cuba from experiencing the worst effects of the world market and the
pressure from the blockade. In its absence, Cuba was subjected to it all.
Only ahistorical fools could think that Cuba would not experience social
shocks from such forced immersion.

Consider for a moment the fact that dollars circulate freely in Cuba, as one
of the legal currencies. Why is this? Because, first and foremost, many
Cubans receive dollars from American relatives. What were the Cubans to do?
They could either remain firm and "revolutionary" and force a huge number of
Cubans into a criminal class of willy-nilly black marketeers, or they could
recognize reality and attempt to turn a negative into a positive. Not the
least of the problems: if those millions of dollars sent to Cuba were not
legal tender for anything, how could they circulate in Cuba outside the
black market and make their way into the government's coffers where they
might be used on the world market to buy stuff not purchaseable with Cuban
pesos, like oil?(Alea's movie "Guantanamera" takes up the question of dollar
circulation worthily.) This is yet another example of how the world market
penetrates a socialist country.

The outraged whining about the executions of the hijackers (coming from
alleged socialists, who ought to know better, whining is a defendable
formulation) is equally obnoxious. It places the question of abolition of
the death penalty outside history. The truth is, despite their PERSONAL
opposition to the death penalty, the Cubans were forced to use it as a
method of class struggle against the American empire (as noted by Fred
Feldman). They didn't lapse, they didn't forget, they didn't have a bad
human rights day. Furthermore, the fact that the death penalty remains on
the books in Cuba today is just a wise if unfortunate recognition by them
that they do not exist outside of history and that it is not enough to
merely have good ideas.

David McDonald

More information about the Marxism mailing list