Cuba’s Light Industry Minister Canned

HAVANA TIMES, June 30 — Cuba’s minister of light industry, Jose Hernandez Bernardez, has been removed from his post announced the local press on Wednesday.  No reason was given for the  replacement of the official by deputy minister of internal commerce, Damar Maceo Cruz.

3 thoughts on “Cuba’s Light Industry Minister Canned

  • Grady, I think you oversimplify what Marx argued for, and conflate it with Leninism and more specifically, Stalinism. Marx didn’t call for long-term Party Authoritarianism. He only called for State ownership insofar as it led to popular (ie democratic) ownership of the means of production, in the interest of building a Communist society. He didn’t rule out worker’s cooperatives, perhaps similar to the ones you recommend. He merely suggested that the inversion of the State was a necessary event in that process. The kind of “workable socialism” you talk about would still need to “concentrate the m.o.p. in the hands of the state” insofar as the state would (1) need to redistribute ownership of the means of production from the current business owners and investors, and (2) still need some kind of stake.

    Not to mention, it is important to recognize Marx’s critique of the market and how it functions as a self-propagating system, which inevitably has crises due to overproduction and speculation. And ownership in the MOP would allow state mechanisms to be used to ensure that basic minimum standards are used in the organization and voting of said cooperatives. Many of Marx’s ideas, as seen in other texts like the Kapital are rich in ideas for Socialists today. I think you discredit Marx too quickly, I appreciate the idea that the Mondragon model offers some interesting ideas but I don’t know if it alone should be the basic structure of society.

  • To grok: I don’t think your attitude toward socialism is at all relevant. You call for democracy, but leave the question of ownership of the means of production unaddressed.

    Workable socialism is not primarily a matter of democracy but of productive property ownership. With legal ownership of the instruments of production by the laboring classes the automatic by-product would be social and political democracy. To call for democracy abstractly, as you do, is to miss the essence and miss the possibility of meaningful reform.

    The lack of social, political and economic democracy in Cuba is not the ailment. It is the symptom of the ailment. The ailment is state ownership of all the instruments of production per the Marxian, Communist Manifesto “principles.”

  • It is not a show of democracy at all, to demonstrate such a complete lack of political transparency by making a mysterious and precipitous move like this. It reeks of imperious fiat, frankly. But then again : who elected this person to their post in the first place..? And the answer is: no one. Not the mass of the informed people, anyway.

    Cuba must democratize — meaningfully — and immediately too: the fate of socialism on the island — and in the rest of the Americas — depends most strongly on this.

Comments are closed.