[Marxism] Cuba in 1968

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 30 07:59:51 MDT 2018

Samuel Farber:

This helps explain why Castro maintained friendly relations with corrupt 
and authoritarian Mexico, the only Latin American country that refused 
to break diplomatic relations with revolutionary Cuba. In fact, Castro’s 
government abstained from criticizing Mexico’s crimes, including the 
October 1968 Tlatelolco massacre.

Reasons of state also explain why, after a rough start, Fidel 
established friendly relations with Franco’s dictatorship and why the 
Cuban revolutionary hierarchy, from its official unions and student 
organizations all the way to the top, did not support the French May ‘68 
movement. Not only did French President de Gaulle refuse to toe the US 
line against Cuba, but he had also agreed to continue trade, which had 
became of crucial importance to the island following the American 
blockade. As with Tlatelolco in Mexico, Granma limited itself to 
“objectively” reporting the events of May ‘68. It strictly avoided 
making any political inferences or conclusions.



These people at Jacobin, the ISO and the British SWP have the most 
peculiar ideas about what it took for an island 90 miles from the USA to 
survive in the 1960s. If you applied the same litmus test to the 
pre-Stalinist USSR, you'd condemn it as well for the diplomatic ties it 
tried to establish with Mustafa Kemal who had given orders to drown 
Turkey's Communist leaders. Just read the chapters in E.H. Carr that 
deal with this.

Revolutions are messy businesses, especially when they are carried out 
in vulnerable societies that lacked the economic and military power that 
Marx and Engels assumed they would take place in.

The word for this is idealism. Not the idealism of a boy scout but the 
idealism of Plato's Republic. In the cave, you have people looking at 
shadows while the philosopher-kings can see the reality of the objects 
throwing off the shadows. For a professor emeritus like Farber and a 
narcissistic hustler like Bhaskar Sunkara, this is what you can expect.

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