[Marxism] Richardson advocates dialoque with Cuba, Venezuala

Ruthless Critic of All that Exists ok.president+marxml at gmail.com
Tue Jun 10 22:24:20 MDT 2008

On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 12:10 AM, Eli Stephens
<elishastephens at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Clueless asks:

> "If you define the Cuban Five as pol. prisoners, why do you call those
> in Cuban jails as "alleged" political prisoners?"
> I'm glad you asked that. The answer is really very simple.  As a socialist, I TAKE SIDES in
> the class struggle.

Of course you (and I) do so. But the point is, while we are socialists
and we *support* socialists, we cannot and should not pretend that
those whose politics are anti-socialist are not *political*.

British fascists were imprisoned by Britain during World War II. As
socialists, do we support British fascists? Of course not. But were
they imprisoned for political reasons? Yes. Did that make them
political prisoners? Yes, of course. (Going by your expansive
definition of "political").

So, while I vehemently disagree with the specific politics of many
imprisoned Cuban dissidents, I don't see how one can deny them the
label "political prisoner" if one calls the Cuban Five "political

Or maybe you're thinking that calling someone "political prisoner"
implies an automatic endorsement of the politics that put them in
jail?  I don't see why. You seem to be using "political prisoner" as
just a kind of synonym for "prisoners whose politics I happen to
like". Then the term loses its descriptive power.

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