[Marxism] Cuba: Winning The War Against Imperialism (CPI-M, India)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 8 16:17:07 MST 2006

(Excellent analysis of how Cuba has succeeded in beating Washington's
blockade from a genuine mass party with a Marxist-Leninist outlook, a
party which holds government power in some parts of India. Detailed,
specific, and with no empty rhetoric. this essay is vital reading for all of us. 
The document is significantly longer than this, so I've placed only the final
section here. Marla? Other comrades from India? Please tell us more!)

Important related Reuters analytical piece:
Chavez victory bolsters Cuba's succession hopes

Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Vol. XXX No. 49

December 03, 2006


Cuba: Winning The War Against Imperialism 
C P Chandrasekhar 


With hindsight, the response of the Cuban government to this
aggression was three-fold. The first was to declare the "Special
Period in Peacetime", which made access to foreign exchange a
principal concern for the government, since earning foreign exchange
was crucial to growth. This involved introducing elements of the
market economy, encouraging tourism and opening doors to foreign
investors, all within an environment closely monitored and regulated
by the State. The second was to legalise use of the dollar acquired
in the form of remittances, incomes in sectors linked to tourism and
as part payment for workers in government enterprises. This however
brought with it problems of a dual – dollar and peso – economy, and
the challenge of inequality. The third was to respond to specific
problems with innovative solutions. Reduced access to fertilisers and
pesticides that were earlier imported meant that organic forms of
farming had to be encouraged. Shortage of medicines meant that the
domestic drug industry had to be strengthened. The inability to
continue with reliance on electricity generators imported from the
Soviet Union at low cost necessitated an alternative energy strategy.

The success of this multi-pronged strategy is now more than visible.
Though the decline in GDP was halted in 1994, and the rate of growth
raised from 0.7 per cent in 1994 to 7.8 per cent in 1996, growth
slowed in 1997 and 1998 to an estimated 2.5 and 1.2 per cent
respectively. However, growth recovered again in 1999 and has picked
up smartly in recent years with the figure for 2005 placed at a
remarkable 11.8 per cent.

These growth figures conceal certain special features of Cuban
economic growth. There has been a successful and scale-wise shift to
organic farming with model organic farms even in urban areas. The
country is going through a biotech boom with biotechnology
institutions of international standard, with several patents on drugs
and large foreign exchange earnings. Finally, Cuba is reportedly
going through an energy revolution, involving efficient energy use
and reliance on efficient small-power generators linked to a
synchronised network. In sum, an enlightened and committed leadership
and population have been able to convert extreme adversity into a
virtue that has helped shape a better pattern of growth.

Seen in this sense Cuba’s success in the face of sanctions remains an
inspiration for two reasons: first, it has demonstrated that
imperialist aggression can be defeated in its own backyard by a small
country with a committed people and enlightened leadership; second,
it has proved that there are ways to development other than the
inequalising, socially depriving and environmentally degrading
trajectory that capitalist elites impose on their people in the name
of globalisation. It should surprise no one that the rest of the
world rushes to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with this country when it
moves to condemn US aggression in the form of sanctions.

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