[Marxism] Translation (Cuba): Alfredo Guevara & Students 4

Marce Cameron marcecameron at gmail.com
Sun Jul 31 07:25:14 MDT 2011

>From "Cuba's Socialist Renewal"
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Here is the final instalment of my translation, slightly abridged, of
Alfredo Guevara’s candid dialogue with students and staff hosted by
the Faculty of Chemistry of Havana University. Guevara comments at
some length on the rise of the Stalinist bureaucracy in the USSR and
how this contributed to the miseducation of communist cadres in Cuba.

It’s worth noting that he does this without once mentioning Leon
Trotsky, the key leader in the struggle against the bureaucratic
degeneration of the Soviet state and Communist Party. This may be
because Guevara is unfamiliar with the role of Trotsky in this
struggle. Trotsky’s works have not been widely available in
revolutionary Cuba and only recently have a few of them been published
on the island. Or, it could be that Guevara felt that given decades of
Stalinist demonisation of Trotsky, this is a controversy best left for
another occasion. It may, of course, have been purely incidental and
one should not read too much into it. What’s important is that
Guevara’s analysis of Stalinism converges with that of Trotsky on key
points, and Guevara makes these arguments explicitly and publicly.

If Cuba were really ruled by a Stalinist bureaucracy, as some leftists
imagine, it would hardly allow a prominent public figure such as
Guevara to say what he says here. Nor would such a ruling bureaucracy
allow Cubadebate, a semi-official website hosted by distinguished
Cuban journalists based on the island, to transcribe and publish such
an exchange. In other words, Cuba’s working people have an ally
against bureaucracy in the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) leadership.

Guevara also touches here on an important debate that took place in
the 1960s between Carlos Rafael Rodriguez and Che Guevara on economic
management in socialist-oriented Cuba, and praises the PCC secretary
for Granma province, Lazaro Exposito, for his energetic efforts to
clean up the city of Santiago de Cuba and provide decent dining out
options at affordable prices. Rather than cloning Exposito, as his
admirers suggest on a blog, what really needs to be cloned is
Exposito’s work methods, says Guevara.

Link to translation:

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