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

dms dmschanoes at
Sun Jul 6 21:22:35 MDT 2003

We do live in a real world, and we do come to grips with real social forces.
No one on this list criticized prostitution in Cuba from a "moral" position.
Prostitution was recognized as symptomatic of deeper problems in the economy
and before you use the term "ratfink" again, be advised that Fidel Castro
himself has spoken, and in public, of prostitution being just that symptom
of a deeper problem in the economy.

Now if somebody wants to justify prostitution as necessary or progressive as
it allows hard currency to find its way into the Cuban economy, well then I
suggest that person start turning tricks himself and forwarding the money to
Cuba.  And I do mean himself, as this business, this trade,  is mostly
provided by younger women of color in service to older white men.

Nobody excoriated Cuba for having a tourist police.  The discussion
concerned the impact of a tourist economy on the Cuban people, the
segmenting of the population along lines of access to dollars, i.e. a high
school mathematics teacher will earn 20-30 dollars a month, while a waiter
in an international hotel can make more than that in tips in one night.  Now
is that socialism rewarding socially necessary labor time?  You tell me.
The tourist police issue came up in reference to that discussion as an
adjunct to maintaining those social relations.

For the record, I did not take exception to the execution of the hi-jackers,
but I certainly could make an argument based on politics, on class, against
such actions.  I would argue that such a maneuver was unnecessary, would be
counterproductive in the real world of real dealings with real European
bourgeois governments, when in fact the hi-jackers had been neutralized.

I could argue that execution of socially powerless individuals committing
non-lethal crimes (and these hi-jackers killed no one, right?) undercuts the
ability of the revolutionary process to win over the groups of similar
individuals and will only exacerbate disillusion among those dissatisfied
with the current state of the economy but not yet ready to give themselves
over to capital.

I could say that this is a perfectly appropriate discussion to have among
revolutionists and with the public, and if such a discussion didn't take
place in Cuba, on such a critical issue, the taking of life from those
already captured and imprisoned, then the revolution is in more  danger from
that than from the hi-jackers.


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