Cuba Group Speaks Out on Arab Rebellions

HAVANA TIMES, March 9 — The following statement was released Tuesday by the Critical Observatory of Cuba on the recent turmoil in the Arab World.


For weeks we have been witness to popular rebellions in countries of North Africa and the Middle East as they have simultaneously demanded political freedom, social justice, economic development, popular and national sovereignty, and integral democracy.

They have exposed authoritarian caudillos (old pals of the globalized North or old anti-imperialists) and they have confronted them demanding universal rights and institutions that are open to participation – without turning to false solutions of religious fundamentalism or pacts between elites.

In Egypt and Tunisia the citizenry remain on a war footing in the face of the new military and bourgeois “transitional” governments since popular demands are not satisfied with simple changes in political regimes. Moreover, these same masses of people are tackling key social questions such as control over the means of production and life.

In Libya, massive involvement in a civil war is deconstructing the idyllic portrait of a supposedly popular government that has enjoyed the blessings of successful economic development.

In other countries, people have also demanded much more than the simple change of ministers and the exit of corrupt rulers.

These events are exploding the colonial and racist myths of “barbaric peoples” as the faces of modern, lay societies and defenders of their best traditions exhibit. These are the faces of people who have surrounded the plazas, factories and cyberspace, combining firmness and resolve with creativity.

People have taken control of their lives with astonishing and exhilarating self-organizational capacity and have returned the word “REVOLUTION” back to everyday use, whereas previously it seemed to have been banished.

While this is happening, the “great powers” threaten military intervention, with their sights set on the wealth and the privileged geopolitical position of the area. Likewise, some Latin America governments offer unjustifiable solidarity — which seeks to confuse the defense of people’s sovereignty with impunity for those who oppress them — in a clear, pathetic and perverse exhibit of “raison d’Etat.”

Because of all this, because of the vital implications of these events for humanity, and in consonance with our sustained positions of civic commitment, activists of the Critical Observatory are expressing our solidarity with the revolutionary movements in the countries of the Arab nation.

We also reject any maneuver that strengthens the interests of imperialism, the perpetuation of dictatorial oppression of those peoples or the return of domination under “emancipatory” robes.

We also demand respect for the historical demands of self-determination by the peoples of Palestine, the Western Sahara and southern Sudan, as well demands being made by working people in the USA itself, demands that should not be eclipsed by the recent Arab rebellions.

However, we do not cease to be aware that neither “self” governance (for those who still do not possess it) nor the change of a government solves the problem of human emancipation.

In any part of the world, such as in Cuba today and in “Our America,” the struggle against capitalist, bureaucratic and patriarchal domination will only culminate with the expansion of a radically free society under the principles of solidarity, self-management and autonomy.

We reject others dividing up the right to decide in the lives of people, because we believe that only collective force with clarity in making denunciations and the action of international solidary will allow peoples to carve out their paths to sovereignty, freedom and justice.

For your freedom, and for ours!

In solidarity,

The Critical Observatory Activist Network (OC) of the Cuban Revolution

2 thoughts on “Cuba Group Speaks Out on Arab Rebellions

  • There are many Left groups, trade unionists and members of the PSUV in Venezuela who are supporting the people of Libya and condemning these atrocities against them.

    Once again the bureaucracies in Cuba and Venezuela are wrong and rather than conduct a foreign policy based on “proletarian internationalism” and standing with the oppressed they still are stuck in a the misplaced concept and bourgeoisie foreign policy of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

    Comrade Che Guevara wrote that “The revolutionary [is] the ideological motor force of the revolution…if he forgets his proletarian internationalism, the revolution which he leads will cease to be an inspiring force and he will sink into a comfortable lethargy, which imperialism, our irreconcilable enemy, will utilize well. Proletarian internationalism is a duty, but it is also a revolutionary necessity. So we educate our people,”

    I have a feeling that what “but i hope not” what Santiago Alba Rico and Alma Allende said and warned about in a February 24 Rebelion article, “From the Arab world to Latin America” may be coming into being.

    “Any kind of Western interference must be opposed, but we don’t believe, truly, that NATO is going to invade Libya; it seems to us that this threat, just barely pointed out, has the effect of entangling and blurring the anti-imperialist camp, even to the point of making us forget something that we ought to know: who Gaddafi is.Forgetting this produces three terrible effects in the end: breaking the ties with the popular Arab movements, giving legitimacy to the accusations against Venezuela and Cuba, and granting new prestige to the very damaged imperialist discourse on democracy. All without a doubt, a triumph for imperialist interests in the region.

  • For those who are progressive and internationalist in their political thinking, it has been extremely distressing to read the ambiguous opinions on the ongoing popular revolt in Libya coming out of Havana and Caracas. One must forcefully reject any such or implied apologies by drawing on a quote from the distinguished leader of the Cuban revolution himself addressing the tragic events leading to the debacle of the Grenadian revolution in 1983:

    “No doctrine, no principle, nor position proclaimed as revolutionary and no internal division can justify savage methods such as the physical elimination of Maurice Bishop and the outstanding group of honest and worthy leaders who died…” Fidel Castro

    In the same vein, it must be declared that nothing, absolutely nothing justifies the war that has been declared on the noble and heroic people of Libya by the brutal despot and pseudo-revolutionary, pseudo-theologian, Muammar Ghaddafi.

    Ghaddafi is no progressive, no revolutionary, no democrat but a 40-year despot, whose tyranny – far from the deceptive slogans and ideological posturing – relied on brutal state violence, nepotism, tribalism and a perverse corruption of Libya’s oil wealth to sponsor terrorism and decadent family enrichment. He may have come to power through a nationalistic putsch but in the end he depended on secret oil deals and political agreements to be part of Western imperialism’s Grande Armee against African immigrant invasions and Al Qaida. In the end, for all the anti-zionist noise-making, he desperately resorted to foreign mercenaries supplied by an Israeli arms merchant with Tel Aviv’s approval. Nothing justifies leadership that declares war on its own people. Nothing justifies a leader’s resort to war against his own country just to stay in power after 4 decades.

    What in the world is anybody pleading on Ghaddafi’s behalf for? The 30% unemployment and the 1/3 of the population that lives on or below the…

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