[Marxism] Translation (Cuba): Guidelines debate 12, Collaboration

Marce Cameron marcecameron at gmail.com
Sat Jul 2 03:00:45 MDT 2011

>From "Cuba's Socialist Renewal"
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Here is Part 12 of my translation of the booklet Information on the
results of the Debate on the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines for
the Party and the Revolution, an explanatory document published
together with the final version of the Guidelines adopted by the Cuban
Communist Party (PCC) Congress in April.

These eight guidelines deal with Cuba's international collaboration.
Cuba's solidarity collaboration with other, mostly Third World
countries is legendary for its generosity, altruism and
professionalism. It's a well-known fact that more Cuban medical
personnel have served on overseas missions than those provided by the
UN's World Health Organisation. Through such solidarity revolutionary
Cuba expresses its humanistic vocation and its internationalism, wins
hearts and minds and shows in a very practical way that another world
is possible.

Such large-scale collaboration also instils and transmits the ethical
values of the Revolution to new generations of Cuban revolutionaries.
These missions may involve considerable risk and personal sacrifice,
though the participants may not see it this way — they experience
something that only those who dedicate their lives to serving others
can experience, an inner richness worth more than all the gold that
the conquistadores stole from the Americas. They also enjoy great
prestige in Cuba. Love of their noble work and the honour bestowed on
them by the Revolution is undoubtedly the main motivation for most
Cubans to volunteer for these missions.

Another is that volunteers earn substantially higher salaries and are
given priority in the allocation of new housing in Cuba. Such
salaries, in the order of a few hundred US dollars a month, are tiny
compared with those of professionals in the imperialist countries, but
they're enough to allow internationalist volunteers to send money home
to their families and to live a little more comfortably when they
return to Cuba. This is an example of how moral and material
incentives can be combined harmoniously to promote socialist values.

In some cases Cuba covers most of the costs of its international
solidarity collaboration, an extraordinary commitment for a small,
poor and blockaded Third World country. Example are the medical,
educational and sports collaboration programs with Pacific island
states and Cuba's solidarity in the wake of natural disasters. In
other cases the recipient country pays Cuba for its services, as with
the Cuban doctors working in the black townships in South Africa and
Cuban literacy specialists in New Zealand, both being wealthy
countries that can afford to pay. In Haiti, Cuba's medical
collaboration programme is supported by Venezuela and Brazil and
partly funded by Norway. Then there's the special case of Venezuela's
Bolivarian socialist revolution that reciprocates Cuba's generous
solidarity and practices its own internationalism inspired by Cuba's

The Guidelines stress the need to integrate such collaboration
programmes into the national economic plan, and the need to ensure
that the money allocated to such programs is accounted for properly
and used efficiently, as in other areas. There's also the suggestion
that "where possible, compensation to at least cover the costs of the
solidarity collaboration offered by Cuba" is negotiated. I'd read this
as saying that those countries that can afford to do so may be asked
to make a greater contribution to the costs, while those countries
that cannot will continue to benefit from Cuba's commitments. The
strategic importance of ALBA is also underlined in the Guidelines.

The format is as follows: number and text of the draft guideline,
followed by the text and number of the corresponding guideline
approved by the Communist Party Congress, followed by the drafting
commission's explanation for the change. You'll find it easiest to
read on my blog where the amended guidelines are in bold.

Link to translation:

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