[Marxism] Cuba

Joonas Laine jjonas at nic.fi
Sat Apr 17 11:01:34 MDT 2004

Hello, I read Louis Proyect's article on Cuban democracy on the marxmail 
site, which was very
interesting. I would like to ask for some counsel, as I am not very well 
read into Cuba related
stuff in general.. especially I would be interested in material that 
would better equip me to
respond to liberal / the usual critique of Cuban society. I am a 
sympathiser of the revolution,
but at present I don't feel self-confident enough to be an active 
defender of it, and I hate the
prospect of staying in the closet forever. With this in mind, please 
correct me if you think
that I have false premises in framing my question etc..

In the article L.P. writes:

> For the Cubans the term municipality has a somewhat definition than we 
use in the US, where New York City is
> considered a municipality. Havana, Cuba's largest city, is not a 
municipality. Instead, it is considered
> a province and contains 15 municipalities within its borders. August's 
book is a study of the elections in
> one such municipality in Havana, and in particular, one of the 104 
wards contained therein. This ward, number
> 12, is about 8 square blocks and is home to 1,291 citizens. They are 
entitled to one municipal delegate.

> Candidates were nominated in a public gathering, usually consisting of 
500 people. Any citizen has the right
> to nominate any other. Personal integrity and the respect of the 
community are decisive factors in selecting
> a candidate. Once candidates are selected, photos and biographies are 
posted in public areas. Candidates need
> no money to run, nor for that matter is it allowed.

I think that the critique to this would probably be that "yes it all 
sounds very good, but what can these
people really decide?" I am sympathetic to the argument that things 
would be better if the embargo wasn't
there, but even if this is so, what are the "unfortunate" (or whatever) 
measures that are in place because
of it, that wouldn't be there without the embargo..?

So far I have really read only two books, peter schwab's
'Cuba facing the US embargo' and Mona Rosendahl's "Inside the 
revolution'. If you have an opinion on these, I'd be
interested in hearing it.

Links, book recommendations and replies would also be most 

jjonas @ nic.fi

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