Letter from FI Member to FI

Alex LoCascio alexlocascio at mail.com
Mon May 19 05:54:16 MDT 2003

>From FIC member John Kirkland:

Subject: Re: FI Statement on Cuba

Comrades, I want this to be very clear, I am speaking only
for myself and not for the organization Solidarity, or for
the Fourth International Caucus of Solidarity  of which I'm
a steering committee member.

I strongly object to the tone of this statement and I think
it get some of the basic facts just plain wrong.

In reference to the "dissidents" convicted in Cuban courts
the statement criticizes punishments imposed on, "other citizens
who were expressing their desire to  exercise their right of
criticism." This is not the reality in my opinion. These so-called
dissidents were taking money and resources from the US Interests
Section in Havana. Wouldn't you say that this goes beyond the mere
expression of opinions? The fact that a dissident magazine was published
by the US Interests section and that the dissidents were caught in
possession of thousands of dollars in US currency should play a role
in how we see this incident.

If either Solidarity or Socialist Action were to meet regularly with
the head of the Cuban Interests Section --taking money, political
direction,  and resources -- it would be a violation of US law and we
would be subject to prison sentences.

There is also a reference to the letter sent by the Cuban Communist
Party to fraternal parties. Why wasn't this letter sent through for
our consideration also? How about the reply of the leader of the CTC to
the leader of the CGT? Or, for that matter, the piece by James Petras,
"The Responsibility of Intellectuals," which I think is quite good.

THe Statement also makes reference to the past emigration from Cuba of
1980 and 1994. Was the context the same? Were there numerous plane and
boat hijackings with Cuban citizens held at gun and knife point? The
statement also refers to the use by the Cubans of the death penalty as
unacceptable. It also seems to draw an equals sign between the
exercise of the death penalty in Cuba and its use in imperialist countries.
The US uses the death penalty as a weapon of class terror against workers,
particularly workers of oppressed nationalities. There are literally
hundreds of US workers on death row. How is this the same? Are we
saying that the death penalty in Cuba is also a weapon of class terror?
Whose class against which class? Again, in my opinion, revolutionary
governments should have recourse to the death penalty without second
guessing from revolutionaries in more developed countries.

Finally, the Statement goes on to "reaffirm our solidarity with
the Cuban  people against the US imposed embargo." Does this say
enough? It's really more than an embargo, isn't it? There has been a
relentless campaign of destabilization and terror against Cuba. Where
is there mention of the 5 Cuban political prisoners in US prisons? In
a time where Cuba is under renewed attack this statement simply joins
the chorus of left "critics."

I agree that there are real problems of workers democracy in Cuba and
that the only hope for this revolution to survive is for the revolution
to become more democratic and for the socialist revolution to spread
internationally. However, another public pronouncement from fellow
revolutionaries from outside is not the way to go.

in struggle, John K., US FIC

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