A Smidgeon of Courage Would Be Enough

(Concerning the Communist Party Conference in Cuba)

Erasmo Calzadilla

The Party is the guarantee for the historic continuity of the revolution.

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 29 — In 1976, the Cuban people (or what appeared to be the majority) committed the political blunder of passing a constitutional referendum conceding supreme power to a single party.

Article 5 of the “law of laws” states:  The Communist Party of Cuba, a follower of Marti’s ideas and of Marxism-Leninism, and the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, is the highest leading force of society and of the state, which organizes and guides the common effort toward the goals of the construction of socialism and the progress toward a communist society.

Unfortunately the damage has already been done. The important thing now is to correct it so that (seeing if we can) the helm of the nation finally falls into the hands of the self-organized people.

Let’s say that in ‘76 we weren’t ready, that we needed a tutor – let’s just accept that ridiculous idea for one second.

Assuming this, let’s ask one question: What has the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) done over all of those years to promote the transfer of power to its rightful holders?

To the contrary, the top leaders of the PCC have taken every little chance to consolidate their own personal rule with weak institutions, a situation that threatens to sink us into chaos or allow us to fall under another iron fist (neoliberal? military?) once they’re no longer among the living .

Therefore, with regard to the Party Conference that’s currently being held, I invite any Cuban with any bit of self-esteem to think about how to rectify this nonsense, how to get rid of that burden that is crippling the civic and economic development of the nation and of course act accordingly.

For now, the notion of active peaceful resistance doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

2 thoughts on “A Smidgeon of Courage Would Be Enough

  • Grady, all political parties should be legal regardless of political or economic program. Which party gets to govern is up to the voters. The US with only two dominant political parties is very much the exception among democratic countries. Most (especially those with proportional voting systems) have anywhere from four to six political parties competing for power.

  • Thank you, Erasmo, for clarifying the legal origin of one-party rule on Cuba. You are surely correct in saying that the constitutional basis for this was a serious mistake. Socialist state power–in any country–needs at least two legal, loyal political parties through which to constantly refine the strategic social program of transformation.

    It wasn’t so much the one-party law apparently that brought about so much dysfunction in Cuba. It was the fact that an incorrect, unnatural economic mode of production was forced on the people. The legal, one-party-in-power simply misunderstood the nature of workable socialism, and made government monopoly of all things productive the basis of development.

    Given the fact that there was no second loyal, legal political party to help refine the strategic program meant that the social experiment could not be analyzed and corrected over time.

    The good news is that Cuba’s experience in this regard assists our movement in the US to craft a political program for our country that would not make the same one-party mistake. The bad news is that Raul and Fidel still do not “get it,” and will probably pass from the scene without ever seeing true socialist democracy and prosperity.

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