[Marxism] FW: Release of Cuban Five opens new chapter in Cuba-US relations

Richard Fidler rfidler_8 at sympatico.ca
Mon Dec 29 18:58:18 MST 2014



The release December 17 of the remaining three of five Cubans held for 15 years in US prisons is an historic victory for the Cuban people, their government and supporters around the world. 

Ramon Labañino, Geraldo Hernández and Antonio Guerrero joined Fernando González and René González, released earlier, in an emotional reception in Havana with President Raúl Castro. 

The five were arrested in 1998 while working in Miami to uncover terrorist plots against the people of Cuba being masterminded by anticommunist extremists in Florida. In a 2001 report to the United Nations, the Cuban government catalogued 3,478 deaths on the island as a result of terrorism, aggression, acts of piracy and other actions. Many of these actions were attributed to operatives of the CIA. 

For background information on the case of the Cuban Five, see http://www.freethefive.org/. 

Announcing the release of the Cuban intelligence agents, US President Barrack Obama acknowledged that his country’s half-century attempt to defeat the Cuban Revolution had failed. He said Washington would now move toward normalizing relations with Cuba, beginning with establishment of embassies by both countries. 

However, although he also spoke of easing economic and travel restrictions the US has imposed on Cuba, Obama made no promise of an end to the inhuman economic blockade of Cuba first imposed by Washington in the early years of the Cuban revolution. Ending the blockade remains a pressing task for the solidarity movement that did so much to publicize the case of the Cuban Five. 

In the following article, first published in mid-November, Argentine Marxist Claudio Katz outlines some of the outstanding achievements of Cuba’s socialist revolution, highlights the challenges — now given added force by the restoration of diplomatic relations with Washington — and critically analyzes issues raised in the far-reaching economic reforms now under way in Cuba. This article has been widely circulated in Latin American media. My translation from the Spanish is based on the text as published December 2 in Cubadebate. The endnotes are mine. 

– Richard Fidler 

* * *
The Cuban epic

By Claudio Katz* 

Cuba brought the greatest ideas of social transformation to several generations of Latin Americans. Its revolution touched the youth, convulsed political organizations and shook the left. 

In the Sixties Castroism broke with all the dogmas, demonstrating that a socialist process was possible on the continent. Ninety miles from Miami the conspiracies of imperialism were met with generalized nationalizations. And they were followed with heroic attempts at the regional extension of the revolution. 

The Cuban decision to resist capitalist restoration after the collapse of the USSR amazed us again. The population of a small island adjacent to the imperial center confronted a suffocating international isolation and managed through fantastic efforts to maintain their independence. 

The durability of this process was decisive in the change that has been registered in the South American scenario. The reinstallation of a US colony in Cuba would have blocked the resurrection of the radical processes and limited the victories achieved in opposition to neoliberalism. 

In fact, it is very hard to imagine the advances made by Venezuela and Bolivia without the example of a country that knew how to confront the power of the United States. The repetition in the island of the trajectory taken by Russia or Eastern Europe would have buried for a long time all the revolutionary traditions transmitted to the continent. 

More than two decades have elapsed since the collapse of the USSR and its international economic bloc (COMECON), and important transformations have been registered in Cuba. Those changes contain enormous possibilities and unquestionable dangers.

Full: http://lifeonleft.blogspot.ca/2014/12/release-of-cuban-five-opens-new-chapter.html

or http://tinyurl.com/o6xlc9u

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