Cuba Can Learn from Chavez and Venezuela

Pedro Campos

Hugo Chavez. Photo:http://www.presidencia.gob.ve

HAVANA TIMES — President Hugo Chavez has again won the presidential elections in Venezuela. We of Cuba’s “Participative and Democratic Socialism (SPD) platform congratulate the Venezuelan people, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and especially Comrade Hugo Chavez for this victory.

In this triumph, the ideas of a new form of participative and democratic socialism are focused on the solution to the problems that affect the people.

The recognition by the opposition of Chavez’s triumph left gasping for air all those who aspired to create social chaos in which they hoped to destroy the Venezuelan revolutionary process.

The president’s call for dialogue and “coexistence,” as well as his recognition of the role of the opposition are new paradigmatic milestones of the new form of socialism being sought.

Popular enthusiasm around the elections in Venezuela, both by Chavez supporters and the opposition, shows that the democratic system of parties has a place in the future of what some call “socialism of the 21st century” and in today what’s being attempted in Venezuela.

For Cubans, Chavez’s victory is particularly important, given the ties we have with his people the and the large amount of economic exchanges based primarily on exchanges of medical and other types of services for Venezuelan oil.

Cubans mustn’t respond to the process that has just taken place in Venezuela only with our solidarity. We need to also draw from those experiences and use them to continue radicalizing our own relatively stagnant revolutionary process.

The Cuban Revolution began the second stage of the independence of “Our America”; but today it is our responsibility to learn the way independence is being best guaranteed by the Bolivarian peoples of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.

These countries have democratic processes, referenda, freedom of the press and association, free access to social networking websites, respect for different ways of thinking, recognition of the role of peaceful and democratic opposition, the direct election of their presidents, new forms of participation, community powers, the development of social enterprises and cooperatives, and programs of direct assistance for the most needy.

 

 


11 thoughts on “Cuba Can Learn from Chavez and Venezuela

  • July 6, 2013 at 8:49 am
    Permalink

    Great response and a better article Pedro i love it Esp this part

    Cubans mustn’t respond to the process that has just taken place in Venezuela only with our solidarity. We need to also draw from those experiences and use them to continue radicalizing our own relatively stagnant revolutionary process.

    The Cuban Revolution began the second stage of the independence of “Our America”; but today it is our responsibility to learn the way independence is being best guaranteed by the Bolivarian peoples of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.

    I say this because it is up to CUBANS to make transition work not outsiders

    – See more at: http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=79946#sthash.uzMdk0rC.dpuf

  • October 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm
    Permalink

    Months ago I commented that Cuba could learn much from Venezuela. I still believe that. Lawrence suggests that the people can start the process rather than depending or asking for the government to do it all.

    As for Democracy, what democracy are we talking about? The one the US wants to shove down peoples throats with bombs and guns if necessary? Or that of Venezuela, which starts in the neighborhoods and Barrios and winds up with over 80% of the voting population turning out.

    Many of the dissidents writing here bitch about everything, but offer few positive suggestions to change things. Isn’t there a ‘Block Organization’ in every neighbor hood and community? You know, those neighbors who spy on your every move and know the names of all your lovers? What if you attended all the meetings, and brought your friends? If you kept attending, and made valuable suggestions, you too could become a member, nominated for the next highest organization.

    This is called politicking, and Democracy. Give it a try – Even god didn’t make the world in one day. Hell, even Fidel took 7 years to build the Revolution.

  • October 12, 2012 at 5:54 am
    Permalink

    Griffin, just a note Venezuela is still a capitalist country and has not entered socialism as of yet.

    Cort

    *The Bolivarian process then has entered a crucial conjuncture. The victory
    in the elections was its basic condition for survival. The strengthening of
    self-organization and independent popular class politics from below is what
    will ensure its deepening into the future – particularly one ridden with
    dangers of bureaucratic consolidation, economic instability, and right-wing
    advances in the state governorship elections.
    *
    http://upsidedownworld.org/main/venezuela-archives-35/3911-latest-step-in-a-long-road-the-venezuelan-elections

    *Latest Step in a Long Road: The Venezuelan Elections*

  • October 11, 2012 at 9:54 am
    Permalink

    Chavez has lead the Venezuelan economy into a disaster. If this lauded as a “socialist success”, I’d hate to see a failure. But given that Chavez has another 6 year term to wreck his country, we will soon find out.

  • October 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm
    Permalink

    the embargo will remain and so will the present cuban political system. it is very unlikely that either will come to an end in the foreseeable future. the original purpose of the embargo half a century ago was to bring down the regime so that oligarchs could get their property back as well as united fruit getting back their banana and cane plantations. there is a surplus of sugar and bananas at present and for many years.

  • October 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm
    Permalink

    Well Pedro, I think you’re completely right!

    Certainly Venezuela learned a lot from Cuba since Mr. Chavez was first elected, investing so much from its budget on social programs, the ‘misiones’, the Cuban doctors… why shouldn’t Cuba learn from Venezuela or other Latin-American countries? Wasn’t this Che’s dream? We share similar Histories. We must unite – respecting each other sovereignty – recognize the errors from our past, and move forward!

  • October 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm
    Permalink

    I’ll repeat what Moses for ‘some reason’ didn’t bother to reply:

    “Moreover, as a few single-minded commentators to this blog love to request, one sure-fire end to the embargo is a democratic Cuba. Should Cuba allow a multiparty system and a free press FIRST, the embargo would be lifted. What is to fear?”

    Don’t be so naive. The embargo will be lifted only if the rich Cuban exiles in Miami recover their expropriated property lost in the ’59 Revolution, regardless of the Cuban political system. China and Vietnam claim to be socialist and are free to trade with anybody, for example, and Saudi Arabia probably has the most ruthless, backwards regime on the face of the Earth and is Uncle Sam’s second best friend in the Middle East (the first being, of course, Israel). I say: US, stop treating the rest of the world as if it were your backyard FIRST, then the injusticed people of the world will stop burning your flag.

  • October 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm
    Permalink

    Here we see the ‘hard-nosed’, gloves off ‘Moses’, delivering an unvarnished, we-are-all-powerful-so you might as well surrender message. He regularly delivers it:

    “Cubans can protest until the cows come home” but the blockade will remain.

    Cuba MUST “transform into a democracy FIRST … BEFORE the embargo can legally be lifted by the US Congress.” Note how American laws supersede ALL others – UN resolutions, most spectacularly.

    “You too can whine all you want” but “nothing will change until Cuba …changes.”

    Is any other comment necessary besides pointing out what ‘Moses’ represents? I can’t think of a better one.

  • October 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm
    Permalink

    Cubans can protest until the cows come home and the embargo will remain. It seems to be clear to everyone but you that Cuba must transform into a democracy FIRST with open, multi-party transparent elections BEFORE the embargo can legally be lifted by the US Congress. You too can whine all you want, nothing will change until Cuba, as Pedro states, changes.

  • October 9, 2012 at 9:00 am
    Permalink

    Thank-you Pedro. Your wrote, “Cubans mustn’t respond to the process that has just taken place in Venezuela only with our solidarity. We need to also draw from those experiences and use them to continue radicalizing our own relatively stagnant revolutionary process”.

    It left me thinking how this can be done. What is possible under the circumstances? I know I must sound like a tired old record, stuck in a groove, repeating the same song over and over that young Cubans seem to be tired of hearing.

    We humans become desensitized to recurring experiences – we shut out traffic noises outside our windows over time, only hearing them again when friends visit and comment on it. Corporate media saturates us with sensational reporting of conflicts, then drops the story due to ‘lack of interest’ just when we start to learn in-depth details.

    NATO bombed Yugoslavia for 76 days straight. Over time, we became anesthetized to the horror that was committed in our name. The same has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both subjects were excluded in the US presidential debate and no one complained.

    The blockade has been around now for several generations. It’s become the ‘norm’ – same old, same old. And now my bringing up the subject time and again is no doubt becoming part of the ‘wallpaper’ on HT. But like traffic noise and war crimes committed in our name, we may become desensitized, but it doesn’t make the reality go away.

    I assume that when you write about wanting to “continue radicalizing our own relatively stagnant revolutionary process”, it includes not just at the government level but at the citizen level as well which involves more than just detailing what is expected from government.

    Like Obama, Kennedy talked the talk better than walking the walk, but the famous quote from his inaugural address seems to apply here. “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”.

    Your last paragraph provides an extensive list of the freedoms and democratic institutions that the “Bolivarian peoples of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia” have who are not under a blockade. It is a wonderful list that should be held up as an ideal for Cubans to seek after.

    Your list consists of “what your country can do for you” but I don’t see anything about what Cubans can do for their country.

    Would it be safe to say they could fight the desensitizing process to not forget that the blockade is the major economic problem that their government is up against?

    Would it be safe to say they could work hard to understand what is possible and what is not possible under the blockade and to provide reassurances to the government that they want to retain the revolutionary ‘baby’ whilst throwing out any dirty bathwater that it may be sitting in?

    Would it be safe to say they should never relent asking for the possible whilst showing forbearance for what is not, in order to relieve as much frustration as possible directed at the government?

    And finally, would it be safe to say that protesting publicly and continually against the US blockade makes more sense for achieving what the Bolivarians have than hunger strikes, anti-government blogging and forming alliances with rightwing people from overseas that Paya and other activists got caught up with?

    Changes are taking place overseas. Support for Cuba continues to grow. Chavez’s victory has enormous significance, for Cuba, Latin America and the world.

  • October 9, 2012 at 8:10 am
    Permalink

    Most people concerned with the well being of Cuba and its people, must agree fully with your post. Cuba political arrangement worked for years during the cold war. The world have changed, the correlation of forces are different of the prevailing environment in most of the XX Century.

    Cuba need to upgrade its political approach to the XXI century, adjust it modus operando to the new environs, open its elective process, social structures and business opportunity to demonstrate to the world as Venezuela did so dramatically, that money poured into the country to buy souls and minds, scare tactics, demonizing its leaders, false polling results and yellow journalism sponsored by their enemies, can not reverse the will, conviction and patriotism of the people.

    History is on our side!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *