[Marxism] How Cuba can survive
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Oct 29 11:13:35 MDT 2007
“Cuba: the only way out is to spread the revolution throughout Latin
By El Militante - www.elmilitante.org
Monday, 29 October 2007
The Spanish Marxist journal, El Militante, recently interviewed Frank
Josué Solar, a Cuban university lecturer and communist. As he says, “the
only way out is the extension of the revolution throughout Latin America
to create a socialist federation.”
El Militante: What would you highlight on the situation in Cuba during
the last year?
Frank Josué Solar: The most important feature was the shock provoked by
Fidel's illness. He made a call for calm at the time, contrary to the
expectations of the enemy. The United States was hoping and working for
an insurrection or something like that. The reaction of the Cuban
community in Miami was illustrative for the Cuban people; they came out
like a pack of wolves. This gave us an idea of what capitalist
restoration and the return of these people would really mean for Cuba.
They seemed like wild beasts. This actually generated cohesion and unity
in Cuba; for example, crime levels decreased.
This year has been very quiet, which is exactly what the United States
doesn't want. The government gave out some tasks to its members, and
close relations with Venezuela continued. The best gifts that Fidel
received were the visits of Hugo Chávez.
Fidel remains the highest authority of the revolution - the indisputable
leader. Raúl's authority is seen as more linked to every day problems
(food, transport, etc). For example, he has organised the movement of
urban agriculture, to create vegetable gardens in cities and villages.
Today these gardens guarantee the greater part of vegetables consumed in
the cities. Raúl has said that Fidel can only be replaced by the Party.
To me this is very important, because I believe that the Party will be
one of the guarantees for the revolution to continue, though I do not
think this is the most important one.
The fundamental guarantee for the continuation of the revolution is the
deepening of the mechanisms of popular democracy - the development of a
collective process of decision-making on a popular level and controlled
It is necessary to change things that have not worked, mistakes that
have been made, and things that were copied from the Soviet model. This
idea of constant change and deepening of the revolution relates to the
Marxist theory of Permanent Revolution. Raúl said that these changes
come out of a public debate, where all popular sectors of Cuban society
must take part, where all problems are posed and solutions found.
El Militante: Do you think that in Cuba there could be a situation
similar to that of China, with the introduction of market measures in a
FJS: What I think is that in China, socialism has receded, especially on
the level of private property. At the beginning, when the economic
reforms started in China, the intention was to keep the most important
levers of the economy in the hands of the state. Today however, they are
being privatised. There have been significant steps backwards in the
social conquests of the revolution. I do not think that this is a viable
model. Somehow, you have a great superpower which consumes enormous
amounts of raw materials (like oil), but only a minority benefits from
this process, while other invisible sectors of society are really
feeling the burden of all these reforms.
In Cuba, we all know that these market reforms have provoked inequality
in our society. Fidel himself has insisted very much upon this: "China
is not a viable model!"
El Militante: "What is the relation between the Cuban revolution and the
international processes taking place, especially in Latin America?"
FJS: Step by step Cuba is coming out of the "special period" that
followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is not a linear process,
but one with contradictions. Cuba has been very vulnerable to the
fluctuations of the international economy, which is a proof of the
impossibility of socialism in one country. At this moment in time, Cuba
imports the majority of its food and in the last year the world market
prices have skyrocketed. The economic projects with Venezuela, Bolivia,
Nicaragua, etc., have helped to lay down some ambitious measures, like
building new housing. However, if the scenario is one of continued
isolation of the revolution, without socialism spreading to other
countries, and within a context of introduction of market reforms, then
I believe that we would see the strengthening of the sectors most in
favour of capitalist restoration. There you could have a breach, a split.
The key to the question is the following: in a socialist transitional
economy, which is isolated and blocked with very scarce material
resources, (we are not talking about the USSR,) and with the most
powerful imperial power only 90 miles away, you can apply markets
reforms and survive, (as the Bolsheviks did with the NEP); but it is
essential that this be only a life-belt measure - a transitory measure.
It cannot be the solution.
El Militante: "What in your opinion is the most favourable scenario for
the revolution to advance?"
FJS: The true solution is to integrate ourselves with other socialist
economies. That is to say, the only way out is the extension of the
revolution throughout Latin America to create a socialist federation.
Thus, we could complement each other and our cooperation would not be
based on the market, but on a plan. That is why Venezuela is so
important. What happens in Venezuela is the key for the situation in
Cuba. If the revolutionary process advances in Venezuela, if the move
towards socialism and the revolution is completed, that would mean a
tremendous impulse for Cuba.
Fidel has been warning for some time already about the ill symptoms of a
capitalist system in decay, which is leading the world into a terrible
disaster - even to the destruction of humanity. I believe that the only
way out, not only for the Cuban revolution but also for the rest of
Latin America and the world, is socialism. Socialism has always been the
solution, but today we must add that there is no time to experiment with
other things. The senile decadence of capitalism has reached such a
point that it has taken humanity to the verge of disappearance. That is
why we must hasten the revolutionary processes in Latin America on their
way towards socialism, because that is the only way to sort out our
problems. The theory of the permanent revolution is valid today more
than ever before. I think that that is the ideal scenario for the Cuban
revolution and Latin America.
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