[Marxism] Broadening political discussion and debate in Cuba

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 17 09:08:27 MDT 2008

On another e-mail list, the Greenleft_discussion list based in
Australia, a provocative question was posed to me about Cuba
and how political discussion and debate might be broadened out
there. Here is that question and my response. It's not really
exhaustive, and probably more could have been said, but getting
a prompt response out to a not unreasonable, though clearly a
provocatively-posted question, seemed a useful thing to try to
do. Anyone who wishes to take up these questions should feel
encouraged to do so. As I've taken to saying regularly, when
I was a good deal younger, I used to think or act as if I had
all of the answers. Today, however, I know that I don't even
have all of the questions. In any event, I hope readers here
will find the discussion of some interest.

Walter Lippmann
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Sorry, I don't recall your asking me this question before.

In general and in the abstract, sure, why not? There are already
individuals doing that among the dissidents and others like Eloy
Gutierrez Menoyo who are opponents of the Cuban government who
already do that and don't seem to be bothered much PROVIDED THAT THEY
DO NOT COLLABORATE with Washington or its other diplomatic allies.

Please keep in mind, however, that I'm just giving my own personal
opinion. I'm a foreigner, not a Cuban citizen, and no matter what
form these things may take in abstract terms, Cuba is, and remains, a
blockaded country. Cuba is subject to the multi-tens-of-millions of
dollars worth of U.S.-sponsored efforts to generate political
opposition and de-stabilization within the island. This means that
the Cuban government, to protect the social, economic and political
gains of the Cuban Revolution would surely monitor such organizations
in the closest manner.

Would I like to see a broadening of political discussion and debate
in Cuba? Absolutely, I would. Let's keep in mind the blockade and the
travel ban against people from the U.S. visiting Cuba, and you can
see that there are many factors operating to undercut discussion and
debate of many questions on the island. The best way to open up
discussion and debate in Cuba is to end the blockade.

It's worth pointing out that channels for debate are opening up daily
in Cuba but that what the country definitely does not need are "red
professors" parachuting in from this or that imperialist country who
usually don't even speak Spanish to give their unsolicited advice and
expertise on what recipes are in order. I know that I thought I knew
a lot when I first visited Cuba as an adult in 1999, but have tried
to learn something, including a bit of humility about a place whose
language I do not speak fluently, and whose history and culture I'm
at a beginning stage of getting to know

Beyond that, of course, there would be additional facts to consider,
because ending the blockade wouldn't end US, and especially
Cuban-American rightist efforts to destabilize and overthrow the
Cuban govenment and the social system it represents and defends.

You, Nemo Etomer, are an example of the kind of trend which, while
essentially harmless on an Internet-based forum such as this, might
well be the source of other kinds of problems were you to go to Cuba
and attempt to hook up with other dissatisfied elements in Cuba

While I don't think this will satisfy a relentlessly hostile person
like Nemo Etomer, I hope that it does at least clarify my thinking
about this question, which is an important one. I appreciate the
question as it gave me an opportunity to try to clarify my own

If you won't now satify my curiosity as to whether or not Nemo Etomer
is a real, living person, where are you based, and do you ever make
appearances in public? I've often wodnered about some of these things,
including whether or not you are part of an actual organization, and,
if you are, what that organization is. Thanks in advance.

Walter Lippmann
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
We are still waiting for Lippmann's answer! 

Do you, Walter Lippmann, agree that political organizations should be 
allowed in Cuba to make propaganda against the ruling government, 
against the state and against the ruling party, as long as these 
organizations don't cooperate or are supported by foreign states, 
business or intelligence?

Nemo Etomer

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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