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

Shane Mage shmage at pipeline.com
Sun Feb 10 19:53:36 MST 2013

On Feb 10, 2013, at 6:49 PM, Joaquín Bustelo wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> 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."...
Fidel is being a tad...disingenuous here. The Angolan intervention  
(which, to the extent that it was intended to keep Angola out of the  
hands of US imperialism, was not exactly a roaring success) was in  
fact accompanied by intervention in then-USSR-sponsored Ethiopia to  
suppress a Somali national movement in the Ogaden and free Ethiopian  
troops to suppress a national movement in Ethiopia (again, not exactly  
a revolutionary success, at least judging from the present state of  
those three countries).

> ...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 first test of that came soon after,  When the Nigerian comprador  
state, backed by the USSR and the AngloSaxons, used the genocidal  
strategy of starvation to suppress the third-world revolutionary  
movement of the Biafrans, I don't recall Cuban foreign policy doing  
anything to help them, even in words.  Did they?

Shane Mage

"Thunderbolt steers all things." Herakleitos of Ephesos, fr. 64

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