Cuba with Progress and Memory

Martin Guevara

Photo: Robert Hills

HAVANA TIMES – In this timid first approach between Cuba and the United States, it’s pitiful to contemplate those people wanting to hold fast to their squalid privileges as golden exiles in the USA and accordingly wishing for no resolution to the few things that could be agreed upon, especially when you consider their island compatriots: tired, fed up, sick of shortages, of belts, of ropes around their necks.

But it makes me almost more indignant to watch all those two-bit opportunists, the world’s most obsequious and pusillanimous figures that could be found in the market of cowardice. Those who made a career out of sniffing the behinds of the managers, the Commander “Carrot Brothers”, agreeing to any adventure or any directive no matter how contradictory, even when this meant stomping on the rights of all of their fellow citizens in order to do so, or cursing their own blood, and calling them gusanos [worms].

These people condemned everything that came out of the “society of evil”, be it someone who preferred to live in the US or who merely thought differently; that “rabble full of filthy material objects”. (Of course, this was their public face – in private they were always the ones who had the most goods from the capitalist camp). Or, paraphrasing, using their own two favorite terms: that Scum and that Worm-hole.

Today, these same people are displaying clearly the ethical grain that constitutes their lives, as they quickly proceed to accommodate themselves to a future of close relations with the United States, gazing lasciviously at the empire’s genitals with their insatiable drooling tongues that will lubricate no more the Soviet, Chinese and Venezuelan dicks.

Expressing their love for the “Yankees” as they would scornfully call them – and as some of us predicted years ago – we will now surely see them doing dirty business with them, selling everything up to their parents’ underwear, unless of course they are kept from doing so by an aware opposition organized by the principled sector of the Cuban people in their now barefoot working classes, and in their incipient middle classes.

I feel a mix of both things.

To those possibility seekers who want to close the door and look the other way, I only say that they should take a look at Spain today, forty years after the death of the dictator. The entire Transition should be reviewed, because that business of accepting the condition of untouchables from the dictatorship that ceded to democracy as a postponable gift didn’t turn out to be as successful as it had promised to be.

Progress, yes, but with memory intact.

Cover photo by Robert Hills

6 thoughts on “Cuba with Progress and Memory

  • It is difficult to pin down fascist economic policy because it varied between countries and periods On the whole though they “favoured corporatism and class collaboration, believing that the existence of inequality and separate social classes was beneficial (contrary to the views of socialists)”.

    Fascism also believes in racial purity, elitism, the militarization of society. Also traditional religion, the occult, regalia, warrior mythology, cult of death and the subjugation of other nations and minorities. None of these apply to China, Vietnam or Cuba.

    Interesting theory, but it is going nowhere.

  • Most political labels have a number of different definitions to them. Fascism especially so.

    Still, the essential characteristics of fascism are an all powerful State, a dominant role of the military, and a planned economy based on an alliance of the State-corporate monopolies and compliant unions. Myths of macho national heroism abound in Cuban propaganda, in the violent birth of the nation from a corrupt past. That’s classic fascist hagiography. This fits Raul Castro’s Cuba very well.

    Traditional fascist states were overtly anti-communist (as well as anti-liberal and anti-conservative). Rather than openly renounce Communism, the ruling parties of Vietnam and China simply hollowed out the Marxist or socialist aspects of their ideology, while maintaining the strict party control. Cuba is following in that path today.

    By the way, it doesn’t matter why Raul has handed so much economic and military power to the FAR. The fact is they have it, which is a characteristic of fascism. You ascribe kinder motives to Raul than I would. The FAR controls over 70% of the Cuban economy through GAESA and CIMEX because these corporations provide the Cuban military with a revenue stream outside of government control. They are self-funding and therefore immune to any attempt to reign in their power. Cuba has effectively been taken over by a coup of military officer-managers.

    If it goose-steps like a fascist duck, quacks like a fascist duck and poops like a fascist duck, then it’s a fascist duck.

  • You are bandying the word fascist round a bit too much. Neither Cuba, China nor Vietnam can be described as fascist. The army in Cuba is fairly small but has influence in government and economy for two reasons. One is that Raul comes from that background so he tends to promote people that he knows and has worked with before and secondly the FAR has proven itself more efficient and less corrupt in running companies than other sectors. Neither of these suggest fascism.

    I agree with your second point and think you should have listened to me a bit more. Obama’s motivations are mainly national interest ie his desire to mend the relationship with Latin America, though he is also personally anti-embargo believing rightly that it is counterproductive. He is also correct that a sudden collapse of the country would not be beneficial to anyone.

    I hope this change of policy will be a lesson to the dissidents that they can’t hide behind the US apron strings and expect that country to do anything for them.

  • As I have commented previously, the reforms introduced by Raul Castro seem to be aimed at transitioning Cuba toward a Fascist dictatorship on the model of China or Vietnam. The recent agreement announced in Washington & Havana are aligned with that goal.

    In the opinion of many observers, the Obama administration has indicated their preference for the smooth transition Raul is making rather than a sudden collapse of the Castro dictatorship. Any real attempt at establishing democracy in Cuba will be ignored in the interest of stability and profits.

    This suggests a tragic future for the Cuban people.

  • Good point!

  • Spain made a transition from a religious right fascist state under Franco to a neo-liberal state under the present government.
    What stayed the same was Spain’s capitalist economy and because of the retention of this also totalitarian economic form, there was no chance of a basic change in the social order .
    The rich and powerful rule in Spain as they do in every capitalist country .
    Cuba, if it re-adopts free enterprise capitalism in place of the present STATE capitalism, will be making the same illusory change that Spain made that, in reality, is no change at all as far as moving towards democratic forms.
    Let us see if Cuba can make the transition from a revolution under siege to a democratic worker’s state unlike all the other so-called revolutions in the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam etc.
    We may get the chance to find out if and when the U.S. normalizes relations which is unlikely given that particular foreign policy history.

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