[Marxism] China's relationship with Cuba is progressive, not "sinister"

michael karadjis mkaradjis at hn.vnn.vn
Fri Mar 4 20:30:52 MST 2005


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Fidler" <rfidler at cyberus.ca>
To: "Marxmail" <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2005 9:01 AM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] China's relationship with Cuba is progressive,not
"sinister"


> Fred Feldman came upon an exchange over on the Green Left Weekly list
> and got a bit befuddled as to who was saying what, and where. That, I
> think, is where he got the quote he mistakenly attributed to me on this
> list.
>
I think Richard has explained the whole situation very well, and has so well
summarised how I would have responded to Fred that it is not necessary to
repeat anything. Nevertheless, I think I did use the word "sinister", which
Fred takes exception to, in a sloppy way which may have conveyed the wrong
meaning to Fred, despite what i said in the rest of the contribution.

I wrote originally:

>> The Chinese report on their 'fraternal' advice to Cuba to massively
>> privatise its economy is important evidence of how sinister the
>> growing Chinese relationship is. Not in the sense that Cuba or
>> Venezuela should not be trying to get as many trade and investment
>> deals as they can from non-US governments (eg Spain, Canada, China,
>> Russia etc), obviously this is essential, but let's not fall into the
>> trap of thinking the Chinese deals have a similar social character to
>> the Cuba-Venezuela integration agreement, or that they have a
>> different social character to the Spanish and Canadian investment in
>> Cuba's oil industry.

The first sentence could suggest the relationship as a whole is "sinister",
which obviously I did not mean when you read the rest, in fact I agree that
the effect of Chinese (and Russian, Canadian etc) trade and investment deals
with Cuba and Venezuela is highly progressive in giving these countries
breathing space given US aggression and blockade (while also agreeing with
Richard that this is motivated by normal economic considerations, not by
'solidarity', just as China's deals with the Columbian oil company do not
represent solidarity with the Uribe regime). The first sentence should have
read:

"The Chinese report on their 'fraternal' advice to Cuba to massively
privatise its economy is important evidence of the dual nature of and the
dangers involved in the otherwise very beneficial growing Chinese economic
relationship."

Unfortunately Fred does not mention the Chinese report itself, which was my
target. And no word less than "sinister" can be used to describe this
report, which is certainly aimed at driving a wedge throught he Cuban CP
leadership. I would hope the Cuban CP is strong enough to resist that
pressure.

However I'm not so sure about the Vietnamese CP, especially as it has
already gone much further than Cuba in that direction. And from where I
satnd at the moment, I can't emphasise enough just how much China is seen as
a beacon of light by the neo-libberal wing of the VCP, by its economic
departments and technocrats and of its youth organisation leadership in
particular, and by the neo-liberal wing of the Vietnamese intelligentsia.
Obviously no-one in their right mind would therefore suggest that Vietnam
should water down its very central political and economic relationship with
China, but we may as well be aware of what the pressures are.

An just to emphasise that i agree completely with Fred that China is not an
imperilaist power and certainly should not be seen as "some kind of fearsome
enemy power".

Michael Karadjis





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