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

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 08:20:21 MST 2013


I found John Wesley's comments offensive. "most of whom had probably
never left Cuba in their life". Wow. The gauge of internationalism
being how miles you have on your United card?

To my knowledge, they were all volunteers. I know this through
anecdotal discussions *with them* when I was in Grenada 30 years ago.
Almost all the Cuban construction workers in Grenada were veterans of
Angola. These guys were a little older than me at the time they went
to Angola. They joined for many of the following reasons: they wanted
to help the Angolans fight the S. Africans. They also wanted to get
out of Cuba for the excitement...seriously, this has a wide appeal,
not unlike some Americans who join the army here for the same reason.
They did not get paid...at all. There was no 'career path' for them.
They had all been in the army, and joined when an appeal went out for
volunteers. Apparently it was not 'public' but went through army
channels. I suspect they didn't want the U.S. to know that "The Cubans
Are Coming! The Cubans Are Coming!" to help the Angolans.  I talked
with a small group of them on 2 occasions. Once at a bar in St.
Georges and once at the Grenada - Cuba football/soccer game. They
always had beer in their hands and they reminded me in many ways of
American construction workers in the same social settings.

None of course said "we are internationalists". But in effect,
politically, that's exactly what they said, just not in so many words.
The idea of fighting racists was appealing to them and they saw this
actually as extension of Cuban nationalism and patriotism. We traded
political buttons with them (they had those enamel emblazoned little
pins with Cuban flags and construction brigade identifications). Nice
bunch of guys. Oh, and these guys were also in Grenada for room and
board, too. They had some script for things like buying booze and food
once a week or so.

Soccer: Most of us rooted for the Grenadians (they were the underdogs
and in fact lost), however, and there were no hard feelings. Oh, they
loved the beer in Grenada. I thought it was terrible like most lagers
throughout the region.

David




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