By Erasmo Calzadilla
This is a response to Those Who Say Thanks to the Communist Party, Cuba Has Not Gone Backwards.
A few days ago Grady Ross posted a comment to my diary here in Havana Times which he titled “Why the Party Should Govern.” In it he maintains that if the US were not constantly attacking Cuba, the Party would not have to exercise such iron control over the institutions of government.
He continued by saying that without the authority held by the Party leaders, we would have been defeated a long time ago and subjected to a foreign power once again. He concludes inviting me to struggle against alienation, bureaucratization and declines in productivity.
These comments stirred a feeling of unease that compelled me to write this.
How does he know that Cuba would not have resisted without the tutelage of the Party? Have we ever had the opportunity to test this? Was it the party that fought and organized the Revolution?
You sir, have the same distrust of the people that has always been shown by the leaders of “real socialism,” a distrust that they have relayed to people with words similar to the ones you use, and which turn out to be quite convenient in maintaining their political privileges.
I would like to remind you that the few examples of democracy that have been given to the world have in fact occurred – and not without reason – under the danger of foreign attack; that is to say, foreign aggression is not an excuse for refraining from the call for self-government, but just the opposite.
What I am indeed saying is that authoritarianism has vastly contributed to alienation, bureaucratization, and the decline in productivity that you yourself warn of; all these are immediate consequences of people being divorced from the running of the state.
I believe that this style of leadership – beyond its effectiveness in securing a socially stable state and one which is far from being in abject misery, which sincerely merits an applause-, is untenable, because in the long run it sows its “own gravediggers.”
And I’m not referring to a worker’s movement conscious of itself and of its power, as Marx believed would happen in the final chapter of capitalism, but just the opposite – as you yourself have certainly noted.