[Marxism] Did Cuba end up 'towing the moscow line'?

John Wesley godisamethodist at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 10 19:00:53 MST 2013


I often wonder if the Cubans who died in Angola (most of whom had probably never left Cuba in their life) were exhilarated by the fact that they were dying for the cause of "proletarian internationalism"?
 
El pueblo armado jamas sera aplastado!


________________________________
 From: Joaquín Bustelo <jbustelo at gmail.com>
To: Mr. Goodman <godisamethodist at yahoo.com> 
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 5:49 PM
Subject: [Marxism] Did Cuba end up 'towing the moscow line'?
 
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On 2/9/2013 10:05 PM, John Wesley wrote:
> Why do all these accounts overlook the fact that the Soviets, tired of all the Guevarist revolutionary romanticism, by 1968 gave Fidel the choice of either towing the Moscow line, or be left to the mercies of the US ?


These accounts "overlook it" because it simply wasn't so.  See, for example what Fidel says about 40 seconds into this clip from episode 18 of the CNN documentary series "Cold War." It is about Cuba and the Soviets in relation to Nicaragua and the civil wars in Central America in the 1980s.

http://youtu.be/lct7SkpYfKA

Referring to U.S. accusations that the was a Cuban-Soviet plot to take over all of Central; America, Fidel responded:

"Look, if a Soviet-Cuban master plan actually existed we would have won the Cold War. (Laughs) If there had been a master plan. But unfortunately there was no such plan, quite the opposite. Cuba's actions conflicted with Soviet interests at that time."

Nor was that something new.

Five years ago on this list I documented another such divergence between Cuba and the Soviets -- the decision to send troops to Angola in 1975 to prevent a takeover of the country by  CIA- and South Africa-backed Angolan groups on the eve of the country's formal independence.

http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2008w08/msg00117.html

Here are a couple of excerpts.

Interview: Fidel Castro, president, Cuba:
"The Soviets knew absolutely nothing about it. We took the decision because
of our long-standing relations over many years with Neto, and with the
independence movement in Angola."

"It was a question of globalizing our struggle, vis-à-vis the globalized
pressures and harassment of the U.S. In this respect he did not coincide
with the Soviet viewpoint. We acted ... but without their cooperation. Quite
the opposite! There were criticisms. So?"

Interview: Karen Brutents, Communist Party Central Committee:
"In Moscow this was greeted without enthusiasm. It was only when the Cubans
had landed that we got involved. Because the Cubans kept asking us for help.
They wanted weapons; they wanted food supplies. Once we started sending
things to Angola, we were soon in over our heads -- even though it wasn't in
our plans to go there."

The links inn that post to the CNN cold war transcripts no longer work, but the material is available in the wayback machine of the internet archives.

The URL for the first episode is:

http://web.archive.org/web/20081210013042/http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/01/

By changing the 01 to 17, 18 or whatever, you can access the web material about the various episodes, 24 in all. There are links to episode summaries and complete scripts.

The episodes are now --finally!-- available on DVD, but have also been posted to youtube. This playlist has them all:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aIRMcySCjU&feature=share&list=PL3EF0284C45EAFE84.

Trying to help revolutionary movements in Latin America and the Third World has been and remains, the North Star of Cuban foreign policy since 1959.

The Spanish version, which I produced, had all of Fidel's statements (and those of other Latin Americans) without overdub translation, but AFAIK was never released on VHS or DVD.

And looking again at this material really  brings home how much bourgeois media has degenerated in the past 20 years.

Joaquín

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