Solidarity Leaders endorse CPD anti-Cuba petition
juliohuato at hotmail.com
Thu May 1 15:57:34 MDT 2003
Louis Proyect wrote:
>In a very real sense, however, the question of how to understand Cuban
>society theoretically is far less important than how to react to US
>warmakers when they have identified Cuba as part of the "axis of evil" and
>when the chief US diplomat on the island, by his own admission, was openly
As individuals, we are entitled to our own cute opinions about Cuba. What
cannot be justified is the use of the US government, its resources, to
undermine Cuban institutions. Governments should subject themselves to
international law. I don't observe the Cuban people -- or American exiles
in Cuba or other special interests -- using the Cuban government to try to
change the U.S. regime. Yet there's evidence -- in fact overt admission by
the U.S. government -- of the exact opposite.
Marxists should know that "criticizing" the actions of the Cuban government
under current circumstances has objective consequences. We're not
discussing the social nature of the Soviet Union or the prospects of the
Sandinista revolution. This critique doesn't occur in a political vacuum.
It occurs in the face of a blatant attempt by the US government to undermine
the Cuban government.
There's is really NO need for a Marxist argument here. Of course, rights
are not enforced by themselves. But the circulated petitions are about the
legal and/or ethical implications of one or another government's actions.
So, this is about rationales, justifications, rights, and fairness. This is
a battle for the minds of people -- who are sensitive to fairness arguments.
In that realm -- just like the U.S., Cuba is entitled to its national
sovereignty, to give itself the system of government that fits its fancy.
Just like the U.S., Cuba has the right to determine its own laws and enforce
them as it desires. In spite of the US' recent trampling of these
principles -- the recognition of this principle is the cornerstone of the UN
If some Americans or Europeans cannot take it anymore and wish to have their
governments intervene legally and legitimately in the internal affairs of
Cuba, then they should make a broad appeal to the international community --
perhaps through referenda in all UN member countries and a few rounds at the
UN general assembly -- and promote a radical change in international law.
Consistent with the high democratic principles advocated by the civilized
world, we would expect that process to involve -- and express the will of --
the world citizenry. That's how you ensure the new law will be deemed
That will be nice. Of course, such change would allow the Cubans -- and,
most notably, the people of China and India -- to dictate Americans and
Europeans what kind of economy, political institutions and judiciary are
acceptable or not acceptable in the United States and Europe. Pretending
otherwise is inconsistent and hypocritical.
The Cuban revolution has been absolutely adamant about asserting national
sovereignty -- even against its own strategic allies. It is, of course, a
matter of survival. How else can you seriously try to build a different
type of society next to the big, richest, and most powerful capitalist power
in history -- a power used to deciding for others -- if you don't assert
this right recognized by international law and stick to it invariably? In
this particular matter, international law -- however thin its principles may
be for all practical purposes -- is entirely on Cuba's side.
This is really as simple as the Golden Rule. The issue is not whether
Cuba's political system, laws, and law enforcement resemble someone else's
or fit some ideal standards. The issue is whether Cuba should decide by
itself its own affairs. So, even if we were to conclude that Cuba is not
building "socialism" (whatever our definition of socialism may be), we would
still have an obligation to defend Cuba in the current context... I mean,
if we are fair-minded people.
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