Fourth Int'l leaders direct some of fire at Castro

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed May 14 12:06:56 MDT 2003


This statement from the leadership of the Fourth International  criticizes
the Cuban government for "the executions of three Cuian citizens and the (my
caps) HEAVY PRISON SENTENCES IMPOSED ON OTHER CITIZENS WHO WERE EXPRESSING
THEIR DESIRE TO EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT OF CRITICISM."  This seems to me to be
a very crude prettification of what the U.S -paid and -organized dissidents
were doing.  The Fourth International is exercising its right to criticize,
rightly or wrongly, as tare he dissidents who are free as birds in Cuba, and
buttonholing foreign reporters every chance they get.

I find the supposed contradiction between executing three violent hijackers
(leaving aside the growing world consensus against the death penalty, with
which Cuba identifies) and the Cuban decisions to allow mass migrations on
two occasions to be a very false "irony."  Cuba did this because it refuses
as something close to a matter of principle to undertake mass repression
against ordinary people who are losing heart because of difficult economic
conditions and anxious times, and decide they must go to the United States
which is refusing visas to inspire such a crisis.  I think the Cubans will
do the same thing again, especially if Washington ratchets up the pressure
qualitatively by barring remittances to Cuba.

I think this reflects the FI's long standing reluctance to tell the straight
truth to European left liberal/ radical/ far left public opinion. I'm not
trying to dredge up old factional disputes but this has been a constant
theme in my experience with this grouping over forty years.
Fred Feldman

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FI-press-l                             Fourth International Press List
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The fact that the Communist Party of Cuba has felt the need to write
to "fraternal parties and organizations"* shows the scope of the
problem that Cuban leaders are facing as reactions come in to the
execution of three Cuban citizens and the heavy prison sentences
imposed on other citizens who were expressing their desire to
exercise their right of criticism.
For our part, the Fourth International recalls that we have taken the
side of the Cuban revolution ever since 1959; and that we have
defended crucial decisions made by the Cuban leaders from criticisms
and attacks, not only from the ruling classes and their governments
but also from most Communist and social-democratic parties and from
leaders of the so-called "really existing socialist countries". We
have highlighted the original aspects of the Cuban revolution as well
as the aid that it has given in an internationalist spirit to
revolutionary movements. But when we have considered it necessary to
make criticisms - particularly of the Cuban government's attitude
towards the leaderships in the Soviet Union and other non-capitalist
countries or towards the Mexican PRI government, or of the
bureaucratization of the Cuban regime - we have done so openly.
Today, the methods adopted during the recent tragic events are
unacceptable from a revolutionary democratic point of view and
unacceptable for the defense of the revolution and its social and
cultural conquests. Our response is unambiguous. The Cuban government
adopted by the way an entirely different attitude on other occasions,
particularly during the attempts at massive, illegal emigration in
1980 and 1994.
It is true, as the Cuban CP's letter indicates, that "the Bush
Administration's hostility towards Cuba has exceeded that of all
previous administrations"*. The ruling classes, the US ruling classes
first and foremost, have always used barbarous methods; but fighting
against these policies cannot justify the use of undemocratic
methods, including the unacceptable death penalty, by a government
that claims to be socialist. Precisely because certain methods are
characteristic of the exploiting classes, revolutionaries must not
resort to them.
Undeniably, Cuba is in an even more difficult situation than in the
past. Bush and his gang have demonstrated that they are prepared to
use any means at all to impose their hegemony still more on the whole
world. Cuba's best defense is to ensure the active, more and more
democratic participation of the broadest layers of the population in
the arduous tasks of defending the revolution, with full rights of
self-expression and criticism. The best defense consists at the same
time in the broadest solidarity from friendly parties and
organizations and the peoples of other countries. But recourse by the
Cuban leadership to extreme repressive methods makes this kind of
solidarity much more difficult.
Once again, while criticizing unambiguously the recent measures taken
by the Cuban leadership, we reaffirm our solidarity with the Cuban
people against the US-imposed embargo.

Executive Bureau of the Fourth International
14th May 2003



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