Cuba Will Always Be Socialist

Elio Delgado Legon

Cuba will always be socialist.  Photo: Jaime Prendes
Cuba will always be socialist. Photo: Jaime Prendes

HAVANA TIMES — I’ve recently read a number of articles that make the baseless claim that Cuba is attempting to rebuild a capitalist system, or that socialism is disappearing in our country.

Without a doubt, these assertions aim at spreading discontent and uncertainty among revolutionaries and those who sympathize with the Cuban revolution and defend the socialist system, aware that it is the most humane and successful from the social point of view and that it has achieved important things that no one wishes to lose.

To support these claims, they point to the growth of the non-State sector and the promulgation of Cuba’s new foreign investment law. No socialist theoretician, however, has ever questioned the legitimacy of small private properties. One of the first laws passed by Cuba’s revolutionary government granted farmers who worked for land-owners ownership of the lands they worked.

What the theory of socialism establishes is that the State, representing the entire people, maintains ownership over the chief means of production, to which we could add such service industries as the energy, transportation, telecommunications, health, education and other sectors that service the people directly, with the aim of preventing exploitation by the private sector, which is only interested in profits.

Another false argument wielded by the enemies of the socialist revolution is that the State takes in profits. What they deny is the fact that, in a socialist society, the State administers the people’s property and re-invests all income to the benefit of the people.

Those who write or make such claims refuse to accept that Cuba’s socialist system is irrevocable under the constitution, approved by more than 97 percent of voters through a referendum. Article 3 of Section I of our charter of rights and freedoms establishes: “(…) socialism and the revolutionary political and social system established by this constitution, characterized by years of heroic resistance before aggression of every kind and the economic warfare declared by the government of the most powerful imperialist power that has ever existed, having demonstrated its ability to transform the country and create an entirely new and just society, is irrevocable, and Cuba will never return to capitalism.”

Cuba’s constitution also includes a Special Declaration which states:

“Between the 15th and 18th of June, 2002, the Cuban people almost unanimously expressed its decided support for the constitutional reform bill advanced by grassroots organizations during an extraordinary session held by national representatives on the 10th of June, where the Constitution of the Republic was ratified in whole and the socialist system and political and social system established within it are declared irrevocable.”

Some say they expect an avalanche of US companies to drown the country and slice up the Cuban economy for themselves, but those who say such things know nothing of the new Foreign Investment Law which regulates investments on the basis of the nation’s development interests. Section I, Article I of the law establishes that the legislation is aimed at established the legal framework for foreign investment in Cuba, on the basis of respect towards the law, the country’s sovereignty and independence and to secure mutual benefits that will contribute to economic development, to contribute to a prosperous and sustainable socialist society.”

I recommend that those who are genuinely worried about the dangers facing socialism in Cuba read the new foreign investment law, to see that Cuba is not applying neo-liberal policies that sell the country out to transnational corporations. Cuba will always be socialist.

71 thoughts on “Cuba Will Always Be Socialist

  • And JFK’s Public Safety Program trained death squads all over Latin America. DDR Staats Sicherheit never disappeared anyone.

  • Actually, most nations are dependent on foreign trade. This is generally included in the term “independence”.

  • Fully American and fully Cuban, sometimes I feel like not enough of either. But that’s OK. We’re our own community with our very own identity. And that’s pretty awesome

    “Paraphrased from Alex Alvarez’s -no es fa Cli-

  • Yes indeed and very thankful to be American but I also a true Cuban.

  • Oye….. How many times do I have to tell you? Stop calling the Miami Cubans gusanos. Raul doesn’t want to piss us off! After all it’s the gusanos that are bankrolling Cuba. must be so embarrassing for you huh!

  • But not under a top-down ( totalitarian ) economy and/or government .
    So far anarchist belief that all governments long enough in power , no matter their noble intentions at the start, become self-preserving, corrupt and ultimately totalitarian .
    Cuba has gone this way and as long as the embargo and other U.S. hostilities continue, it has someone else to blame for that lack of democracy.
    Take away those crippling hostilities and the Leninist leadership has no one but themselves to blame or for any one else to blame.
    Democracy is the answer.

  • You might want to look into the purpose of the “wet-foot-dry foot ” clause , the purpose of the embargo as stated by Under Secretary of State Lester Mallory and how the very tough legal emigration process purposely utilized by the USIS drives Cubans to become “balseros” .
    Your post is either hugely and clearly disingenuous or you know nothing of these things and/or the purpose of U.S foreign policy over the years.
    Which is it ?

  • Just a brief correction:
    “All of that is very much what socialism is all about .”
    All the undemocratic and inhumanity you listed are part and parcel of both state capitalism and free-enterprise capitalism and have no bases in an academically defined socialist system .

  • That includes the chads. Any way you recount the ballots, if you do it the same way in every county in Florida, Bush wins. The only way Gore wins is if you do the recount differently in each of the 4 counties, and only those 4 counties, and only according to the rules by which Gore wanted the recount done: Count the chad in one country, discount the chad in another, allow over voting in one county, don’t allow it in another. That way Gore squeaks out a slim margin.

    That was the basis of the legal challenge by Gore, and the USSC refused it on the basis of the Equal Protections cause of the US Constitution: you can’t have different federal laws in different counties. The same laws must apply everywhere to everybody.

  • Mexico’s GDP grew 2.6% for 2014. Cuba’s grew 0.6%. If you call Mexico’s GDP screwed, what do you call Cuba’s?

  • You have no homeland, you are a yuma now.

  • Yes, that is why their GDP is screwed, I guess you slept through your ECO 101 course?

  • Posada Carriles, the butcher is alive and well (showed up at a gusano rally recently in Miami). Unindicted just like all those white cops who have killed black and Latino youth……You can be a murderer and get away with it if you do it for the US.

  • Yes I did, he said “Mexico has done well with NAFTA. They have other problems, but NAFTA is not the cause of them.”
    In fact it is because of NAFTA (as I clearly demonstrated with accurate and official data) just like the violence is cause by the prevalence of weapons bought by the government (now in NARCO’s hand) financed by my and your tax dollar’s, I guess you have not followed the news about the role of the federales? US news media suck….

  • You forgot the “chads”?

  • They are tired of the poverty, the shortages, the corruption, the lack of rights and freedom, the police harassment, and the government meddling in everything. All of that is very much what socialism is all about.

  • It is not socialism, it’s the poverty they have grown tired off. The system needs a bit more individual incentive and competency of the people to improve life for all. Raul is headed in the right direction.

  • You tossed off-topic references to Batista and Posada Carriles into the conversation, so don’t accuse me of being muddled in the past!

  • Socialism does not require state ownership of all means of production. Modern states using taxes and regulatory constructs can manage the greater public good. The last 100 years of economics have demonstrated that incentives matter. Social justice does not require an equal serving devoid of effort to the production of goods and services. Rewarding the more productive while protecting the vulnerable is an achievable balance.

  • …you do know your actually not addressing Griffen’s comments, right?

  • Actually I hope your right

  • not surprising that you would not directly respond to my assertions. Instead, as any good propagandist will, you attempt to change the subject

  • Really? You thought you would toss Posada Carilles into your comment, a complete non-sequitur?

  • The East German STASI trained Castro’s Ministry of Interior police how to repress and control the Cuban people.

  • No they did not. The recounts showed that Bush won the state.

  • That is not what PEDIGA is saying. They do not blame all Muslims for the craziness of some. What they advocate is that immigrants to Germany integrate into German society. They oppose the establishment of sharia in Germany, they oppose the Islamization of Germany. They oppose granting residency to Islamist extremist who engage in terrorism in Germany or abroad.

  • PEGIDA does have a point? So you blame 1.7 billion muslims for the crazines of some? I guess then Muslim can say the same about the US who tortures, kills…etc I am sorry this government does not represent all US citizens in everything it does…

  • Not from Miami, the state that stole the elections in 2000!

  • No comparison, East Germany had very little support from Germans, it was imposed by USSR. Comparing oranges and mangos…

  • You must get you data from Posada Carriles because you are completely erroneous, this comes from IMF, Mexicans Goverment and Center for Economic Policy Research february 2014.

    If NAFTA had been successful
    in restoring Mexico’s pre-1980 growth rate – when developmentalist economic policies were the norm – Mexico today would be a relatively high income
    country, with income per person significantly higher than that of Portugal or Greece. It is unlikely that immigration reform would be a major political issue
    in the United States, since relatively few Mexicans would seek to cross the border.

    According to Mexican national statistics, Mexico’s poverty rate of 52.3 percent in 2012 is almost identical
    to the poverty rate of 1994. As a result, there were 14.3 million more Mexicans living below the poverty line as of 2012 (the latest data available) than in 1994.

    Unemployment in Mexico is 5.0 percent today, as compared with 2.2 percent in 1994; these numbers seriously understate the true lack of jobs, but they show a significant deterioration in the labor market during the NAFTA years.

    NAFTA also had a severe impact on agricultural employment, as U.S. subsidized corn and other products wiped out family farmers in Mexico. From 1991-2007, there were 4.9 million

  • Yes, the Batista regime was obscene. I have never defended Batista.

  • The new citizens movement in Germany, PEGIDA, is not a Neo-Nazi organization. They are protesting what they see as the growing Islamization of the country. They have released a platform of principles which defend traditional Judeo-Christian German society. Some Neo-Nazis have attempted to infiltrate and co-opt PEGIDA, but the leaders of PEGIDA have emphatically denounced the Neo-Nazis and said their views are not welcome in their movement. Critics on the Left have labelled PEGIDA as “far-right”, but their platform does not correspond to rightwing ideology.

    As the events in Paris yesterday horrifically demonstrate, PEGIDA does have a point.

    PS: I don’t watch FOX News.

  • Thailand has a thriving agriculture and exports food. Nope, sadly I mean Cuba. They can’t even feed themselves.

  • Griffin is simply making an observation. Cuba relied on the USSR to survive. As soon as it collapsed, Cuba went into it’s “special period”, a euphemism for deep poverty where I was forced to eat….we’ll I don’t wish to remember. Then came Venezuela to the rescue. Cuba now depends on Venezuela. Also don’t forget the gusanos! We inject millions of dollars a year into Cuba.

    Poor Fidel, must kill him to know it’s the gusanos who fled Cuba that now keep his country afloat, like the rickety rafts used by Cuban migrants to cross the Florida straights

  • What is there to read? He’s a megalomaniac that destroyed my homeland, ran it into the ground. And by writing about Cuban “politics” you mean writing about edicts put forth by the Castro brothers right?

  • 99% turnout in North Korea too. And they share another commonality, the results are always pre ordained.

    Face it, Cuba’s elections are a fraud. As the editor of Havana times has mentioned blog, the Cuban parliament is one big rubber stamp machine, there being little or no dissent, and all votes being unanimous.

    Mention election so a Cuban and they’ll laugh in your face.

  • USSR? you guys are still muddled in the past!

  • I think you are talking about Thailand, not Cuba…

  • I study and write about Cuban politics, I obviously know Fidel’s political and economic perspective than you….read more

  • It will never happen in Cuba…maybe Mcmedianoche but not McDonald.

  • People will do anything to walk on the streets paved in gold of the US (many people are obsessed about that dream). 350,000 have left Capitalist Puerto Rico (which is proportionately larger than all the Cubans who have left Cuba since 2000.) By the way, 90 per cent voted in the 2013 election despite it i not obligatory and since 2008 2013 the leadership of older men and women has been changed for younger leaders. Raul Castro, based on the recently approved term limits will not run in 2018. In the US less than 50 per cent vote and wealthy upper middle class are more likely to vote than working people, the contrary of Cuba.

  • I guess you missed the massive events of the neo Nazis in Germany? You should watch something else besides Fox news.

  • Are you serious? Batista? Is that your best defense?

  • Get off the corn thing. Mexico traded corn, which they did not do so well for Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford, Mercedes Benz and Audi manufacturing which they do as well as anyone else in the world. It’s called progress.

  • If you define “sovereign” by implying a country dependent upon sex tourism, family remittances from Miami and Venezuelan oil teat then I would agree.

  • In October 1989 Erich Honecker said something very similar about the German Democratic Republic.

  • Constitutions do not enforce themselves. Socialism in Cuba will survive only with the active support of the majority of Cubans.
    The heroic struggles of the past are important. The very real gains of the revolution are important (education, health care). The prestige that Cuba has gained for its international aid is important as well.
    But, in addition to all that, Cubans must believe that socialism will bring them out of their current difficulties. I am not close enough to the situation to know what Cubans are thinking.

  • In 1994, when NAFTA was signed, Mexico’s GDP was US $527.3 billion. In 2013, the GDP of Mexico was US $1.261 trillion.

    Mexico has done well with NAFTA. They have other problems, but NAFTA is not the cause of them.

    Go and dredge the Strait of Florida to find Cuba’s dead.

  • You must read minds as well because Fidel did nt expound on his statement.

    It must kill you to see Cuba crumbling away, literally, and know its because Fidel Castro (yes him) ran the country into the ground. I mean really, Cuba can’t even grow enough food for t’s own people, even having some of the most fertile land in the world (most of it lying fallow). There are less head of cattle today (by half) than in 1959! …Really!?

    This is Cuban communist inefficiency at its best

  • You know your position is week Analyzer when you are forced to reach back 55 years in order to justify the repression of Cuban people and the failure of the Cuban system.

    Although Cuba was dominated by Batista for a few years, Cuba at that time was still (relative to that era) prosperous. (You can refer to UN figures)

    You do realize Analyzer that the Cuba situation is not a zero sum game. Its not Batista / Castro.

  • Apparently the Cuban government doesn’t agree with your assessment. It’s the reason they have a dual currency and why the hoard the US dollar. Oh and the same applies in Venezuela and Argentina where the US dollar is a precious commodity.

    And its the Castros who sold out the Cuban people, using them as indentured servants to generate…..wait for it….. DOLLARS for thd Cuban regime.

    …Besides you contradict yourself. On the one hand the US system is a failure and you warn Cuba about getting into bed with the US, and on the other you ask for the removal of the embargo.

    See any contradictions sport?

  • Social Democracy. is sold out to neoliberalism and a not existing.

  • Yea, they’re so committed they just cant wait to get out, rising their very lives on the open ocean to flee your socialist paradise.

    The system can use “improvement” like the Hindenburg could use more hydrogen! …its a lost, cause and everyone knows it.

    The truth is the majority of Cubans could card less as they have no voice in the government and they know its collapse is inevitable. They only care about day to day survival.

  • Elio,
    I beg to differ.
    Absent a worker-run ( from the bottom up ) economy the Cuban system cannot be defined as socialist.
    That democracy is at the center of socialism, communism and anarchy and without that worker control of decisions regarding the work and how the profits from their will be shared , what you have is STATE capitalism where the profits are skimmed off , not by a private owner but by elected officials who then decide how those profits will be used.
    It does not matter if a Rockefeller takes the profit and banks it in Cayman or the state takes it and then it alone decides what will be done with it. It is undemocratic or totalitarian in effect.
    YES, the Cuban government does spend that money to make life livable for all Cubans and, in this it differs greatly from free enterprise capitalism but…… BUT… its heart, it is totalitarian and therefore anathema to a socialist society .
    If you choose to use the term socialist to describe the Cuban system, what then would be a Cuban system in which the WORKERS ran the economy ?
    You cannot use the same term ; socialism, to define two very diverse systems .
    Socialism with a democratic center is what socialism was set out to be by its original authors and you have no intellectual right to now change the definition of socialism to a totalitarian form.
    You make it impossible to debate if you misdefine the meaning of words used in the debate .

  • Ever since we moved the dollar off the gold standard, anti-capitalists have made the same argument you make. In fact, gold dealers use your words (or you use theirs) to sell gold coins on late-night infomercials. Calling the Cuban revolution a success is laughable. You are definitely not Cuban would be my bet. In fact, it is hard to believe that you have ever been there. If so, you would know about not walking under balconies after it rains because the buildings are most likely to collapse when the sun comes out and you definitely never waited at a bus stop for a P11 bus to Cotorro. People who know this don’t say the revolution is a success. I agree we should remove the embargo post haste. Right after the Castros clear out and freedom of speech and open elections arrive in Cuba.

  • Godwin’s Law has been invoked:

    “In any online discussion which is not specifically about the Nazis, the first person to mention the Nazis automatically loses the debate.”

  • Those ten words were his, not mine. Pretty straightforward to me. If he meant the “Stalinist system” why didn’t he say it? Fidel has never been one to cut himself short on words. You are right about “surviving” though and just barely. Thanks first to the Soviet patronage and then later due to a Venezuelan wetnurse. When Venezuela comes up short, and they will soon, who will Cuba beg from? Are you and the other armchair Bolsheviks going to step up?

  • Sovereign? Cuba cannot survive without some sugar daddy paying the rent, be it the USSR or Venezuela. That’s not sovereignty, that’s dependence.

  • As I have stated here many times, Batista was a dictator, a criminal and a thug. He’s also very much dead and isn’t coming back.

    So you can drop your cheap false-dichotomy stunt. The choice is not between Castro and Batista, it’s between the Castro and democracy.

  • Yes, and it is libre because it is socialist. If not it would be like Mexico where they find dead people everywhere, now even imports corn! Viva NAFTA!

  • They already have taken it, the most sovereign nation in the world….

  • Incredible! Now you distort what Fidel meant? I guess propaganda now includes lying? He was referring to the Stalinist system, not to Cuba’s model! It has survived all those who tried to destroy it, including the presidents who tried to subvert it. It defeated the Gusano army, it defeated the racist South African army and now even Obama has to admit the the US policy was WRONG! There is socialism for a while…

  • Yeah, I saw how great social democracy is for the neo Nazis!

  • It is pathetic that still people do not understand the commitment of the majority of the Cuban people to socialism, there can always be improvement, but returning to the past? Para atras, ni pa tomar impulso…

  • For being 76 years old, I thought that by now you might have heard that you should not say the words “always” or “never.” Those words will usually make you eat them some day. I never thought I would experience a unified Germany, or the fall of the Soviet Union, or the start of détente with Cuba by the U.S. I do hope, however, that we’ll never see a McDonald’s Restaurant in Havana. However, I’ll probably be wrong about that!

  • Of course Griffin there was nothing obscene about the Batista regime was there?

  • It is the US system ,owned and operated by the multinational corporations that has failed. The dollar will be /is not worth the paper it is printed on ,it all a scam ,as the US is broke ,it is all fiat and not based on anything of real value except what wall street says it is.The Cuban revolution was/is a success ,as it has persevered in spite of the illegal embargo and sanctions imposed on a sovereign country.It is now up to the Cuban people to be very careful not to sell out to the same people that used Cuba as their whore house and casino prior to the revolution.
    To the people of Cuba,be careful when choosing your friends ,as if you choose wrongly ,by the time you realize the mistake it will be too late .
    Money is good ,but as means of exchange not an end unto itself.Do not get corrupted.Yes Cuba deserves a better future,just remove the sanctions.

  • …and that the Cuban people will always be the slaves of the Castro dictatorship.

    A better future is theirs if they take it…

  • Cuba’s version of ‘socialism’, which is the only version that Elio knows, has failed. Fidel Castro said so himself, when he remarked to an American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in Havana in September of 2010 that “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us any more.” Not that it ever did but even Castro knows the current model has failed. Obviously Elio didn’t get the memo. To declare that Cuba will always be socialist, is to declare that Cuba will always be poor, will always have a shortage of food and medical supplies and that Cuba will always be dependent upon the handouts of other nations. Cubans deserve a better future.

  • Elio,

    The Castro regime has already sold out the country to transnational corporations in partnerships with the giant Cuban corporation, GAESA. The foreign resort operators buy cheap Cuban labour to work on the resorts. GAESA pays the Cuban workers 5% of the fee they charge the foreigners. That’s not “socialism”, that’s tantamount to slavery.

    Sooner or later the Cuban people will rise up and throw off the obscene regime which has ruined the country. Viva Cuba libre.

  • Cuban State Socialism is a disaster for the people of Cuba.
    Social Democracy is the most successful political economic system in the world.
    One hopes that there is a strong movement away from the failed State Socialism toward Social Democracy.

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