I don't actually agree with this. For
to hold out as long as they did, defending their Marxist and Socialist ideals,
took a lot of guts. They are the only country to hang on to Marxist-Leninist
ideals, while all the other countries in Cuba Latin America
caved in. They have paid a heavy price. They have lived with a strangled
economy. They have been an underdeveloped country since the revolution of 1959.
When the Soviet Union collapsed they could
have surrendered to imperialism as almost all the other Marxist regimes. But
they didn't. Now they have the possibility of rebuilding the infrastructure of
their economy and bringing in tourist, which not only bring in badly needed
cash but also allow them to show off their .
I can't blame them for what they are doing. It may do more good in the long run
than trying to support the now defunct pro-Cuban revolutionaries who have all
but vanished in Marxist Island Latin America. I will post
this, anyway- out of the spirit of fair play. -សតិវអតុ
From A World to Win News Service:
What future for
did the handshake between Barack Obama and Raul Castro herald? Cuba
It was a heartbreaking moment when the chief of a government that once symbolized defiance to the despised "Yankee empire", as Cubans and others in revolt against U.S. domination labelled it, shook hands with the "honest man", as Castro now praised the man currently in charge of that empire.
In 1959, Raul Castro's older brother Fidel, Che Guevara and others, led Cubans to overthrow a hated U.S.-backed regime that murdered as many as 20,000 people in its last years and exemplified the empire's disdain for the lives of the people of Latin America and the oppressed everywhere. When Fidel came to speak at the UN in
New York shortly after, thousands of African-Americans
and others thronged to the hotel in Harlem he
chose to stay over the luxury accommodations of other heads of state. Today's
handshake was a bitter moment for Cubans and people globally, including in the
U.S., where Obama and the state machinery in general would like this gesture to
relieve some of the discredit earned it by the man who is now presiding over
the "slow genocide", as it has been called, of African-Americans, and
wars of aggression and attempts to reboot American hegemony throughout so much
of the world.
One especially bitter element in this moment was the way Obama focused on the possibility of removing Cuba from his government's "international terrorism" list as a way to bludgeon the submissive Castro regime into even more submission. It is the U.S. that held sway over Cuba through terrorist tyrants for decades, that attempted to invade Cuba to bring back the old regime two years after it was overthrown, that mounted all sorts of terrorist attacks on the new regime including, most notoriously, blowing up an Havana-Caracas flight full of civilians, and constantly plotted to bring down the regime through the assassination of its leaders. The history of Cuban-American relations is a history of
violence unrestrained by law and any decent morality. U.S.
Sugar cane is a crop that thrives on human flesh. Under first Spanish and then
sugar plantations ate up much of the arable land. The U.S. sucked wealth out of
Cuba in two ways, by dominating big agriculture and other businesses (such as
rum, a sugar-dependent industry), and selling food and nearly everything else
to a country that used to be extremely fertile before its forests were burned
down to make way for this export crop. U.S.
People worked unbearably hard in dangerous and life-shortening conditions during the harvest months and went hungry the rest of the year. A sugar cane mill worker killed in a strike was found to have no underwear or socks to be buried in. Cubans worked on U.S.-owned cattle ranches, but only a tenth of the people in the countryside ever drank milk and less than half of that percentage ever ate meat. In fact, it was often family labour on tiny plots of land that enabled people to survive from harvest to harvest in the cane fields. Small farmers, often poor whites, were not much better off than plantation workers.
Cuban society was as devastated as its economy. Under the watchful eyes of
's ambassadors, the U.S.-based
Mafia set moral standards and the Catholic Church gave its blessings. Among the
most sacred values was men's right to rule over women and women's confinement
to the categories of mother, wife, mistress and prostitute. Washington
Prostitution flourished – in brothels and on the streets, ten percent of
's population "served" American
military men, civilian sailors and sex tourists. The biggest growth industry
was casinos. Even as Havana
became known as a country where "anything goes" for rapacious
foreigners, ordinary Cubans had no rights. The aspirations of the better-off
middle classes and professionals were trampled underfoot by the country's
corrupt, arbitrary, vicious and tiny ruling class in association with the
ultimate rulers, the Cuba U.S.
monopoly capitalists and their political representatives in . Washington
The 1959 revolution was an inspiration to people everywhere at that time, not a "disaster" as some commentators call it, nor some obscure "Cold War" quarrel as Obama claims.
But that revolution was not led by a party with a real understanding of and commitment to what it would take to end all forms of oppressive economic and social relations and thinking they engender, despite use of the names "Communist Party" and "socialism". Its leaders traded dependency on the
U.S. for dependency on the Soviet
itself had already abandoned socialism in the 1950s and had become "social
imperialist", socialist in words, monopoly capitalist and imperialist in
reality.) Since the fall of the USSR
that leadership has floundered, and not just economically. They have been
unable to offer the Cuban people a viable alternative to an uninspiring and
untenable status quo. USSR
The unrevolutionary character of the Cuban regime led by Fidel Castro was apparent in the continuation of the island's submission to sugar (now to be sold or traded to the
in forms that reproduced the old relations of exploitation and oppression in
old and new ways. Neither the dependent economy nor the society created on the
basis of that economy were ever thoroughly liberated. The lack of political
rights and the ferment of dissent that the Cuban regime's reactionary critics
complain about was stultifying. Yet the most central right such people never
talk about and will never agree to anywhere, and that the Castro regime never
dreamed of, is the right of the masses of people to increasingly take part in
running society through a new kind of state, transforming economic, social and
political relations and themselves, leading to a world free of all oppressive
relations among human beings. Raul Castro's attempt to ensure his regime's
survival by crawling to the U.S. imperialists, the biggest criminals against
humanity today and Cuba's historic slave masters, is painfully ugly, but it is
consistent with the nature of the regime and society he and his brother Fidel
have led. USSR
The country's dependency is shifting from sugar plantations to tourism plantations, an "industry" that offers no hope for economic independence and the fulfilment of human potential. And prostitution, which has been reintroduced and thriving for decades, is both a metaphor and mechanism for the further destruction still to come as the "free market", whose awful power was never abolished in
now to be stoked by
capital, further destroys bodies and souls. U.S.
The lust with which the
U.S. now looks at is
terrifying. More generally, however, the Obama-Castro handshake does not
represent a new and durable triumph for Cuba imperialism, but manoeuvring
in a world where American hegemony is increasingly endangered. An understanding
of why the Cuban revolution has ended up where it is today, and why that was
not and is not inevitable, would be important for people everywhere whose
revolutionary aspirations have not been quenched. U.S.