[Marxism] Cuban government changes and imperialist and other speculations

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Mar 4 14:02:14 MST 2009

The broadcast below from Free Speech Radio/Council of Hemispheric Affairsj
is a useful source mostly acts as a counter to the more extreme speculations
about the government changes. Fidel Castro's statements are also valuable,
but I will admit that his comments about personal ambitions and the hopes of
the imperialist media in a couple of the reassigned or ousted figures is
cryptic, although Fidel who tries to be completely honest, I am convinced,
though he is also completely human, may well be expressing something real.
Those who know nothing, the category we are all in, are stuck with knowing

I, for instance, knew Roque as a very competent voice of Cuba's
international line. (Not my favorite foreign minister. As an old-timer,
these are Raul Roa and Carlos Rafael Rodriguez. But totally in their line
and tradition.)

I certainly made no assumption one way or the other over whether, in
addition of this, he had the qualifications required of a successor of Fidel
and Raul. Got me there. (Although I admit I kind of have my eye on Elian 
Gonzalez, who I have tended to think since I first heard him speak at the
age of five is an extraordinarily talented and strong-minded young person.)

The radio or podcast or whatever report below makes one statement I would
directly challenge. That is that Hugo Chavez flew into Cuba in the last few
days specifically to ask Raul Castro to retain Roque. I don't think Chavez
makes such interventions in Cuban internal matters, and I know the Cuban
leadership has always regarded such interventions in other countries'
internal government matters as insulting and violations of sovereignty. 

But over time, Cuba's economic, foreign, and social policies have developed
a degree of integration, as well as close cooperation in many political
areas. So I don't doubt that Raul would consider it natural to report to him
directly on changes of this scope.

In the US media, including  some radical outlets, the governmental changes
are portrayed in the context of a fight between "capitalism" and
"socialism," which is portrayed as their only possible explanation. 

"Capitalism" is supposedly represented by the famous "China current" which
advocates the establishment of capitalist relations on the scale that the 
Chinese government. Raul is portrayed as a  sometimes presented as a full
member of the "China current -- desperately awaiting the death of his
brother so that he can reestablish capitalism (also known in bourgeois
terminology as "reality," "practicality" and "reality") and get rid of
"socialism" (defined solely as "ideology" imposed by "ideologues" on a
resistant "real world."  

This conception is really in the, to state my own opinion, Maoist styloe
which has been alien to the Cuban revolution and the Castro leadership style
from the beginning.

And one of the available facts is that although the Cuban "China current" is
world famous, and the US media waits with baited breath for its inevitable
victory, there is no solid evidence that it exists. It is an application of
high-Kremlinological "deep reading" to a Cuban society that is more
transparent (though not totally open) than the analysts care to admit. Do I
deny that it exists? No. Do I think there is a "China current" in Cuba.
Rather doubt it.

However, Cuba faces a consistent problem with organizing and planning its
resources and improving living standards in the country. How can it become,
in a period where Latin America has opened up to Cuba to an unprecedented
degree, a real contributor to the process of Latin American integration. I
see no evidence that Cuba, in restructuring its economy -- a constant need
in fact -- is looking primarily toward Miami or Wall Sreet or Washington, 
DC. I think they are looking not a Miami, Wall Street, or Washington DC.
I think they are looking at Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador,
Uraguay, Argentina, Honduras, El 
Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti. South, not north or west as the "China current" 
mythology has them doing.
Fred Feldman

Cuba Government Shake Up
News Segments Tue, 03/03/2009 - 13:06 

Length: 4:11 minutes (3.84 MB)
Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Cuban President Raúl Castro has shaken up that country’s cabinet, ousting
several of Fidel Castro’s closest advisors. Included in that list is Felipe
Perez Roque, who some thought might be next in line to become president of
the socialist island-nation. It’s unclear if the shake-up connotes a
significant power change or simply a generational change. Aura Bogado speaks
with Larry Birns, Director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric


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