Esteban Morales Booted from Cuba’s Communist Party

Pedro Campos*

Esteban Morales. photo: Patricia Grogg, IPS

HAVANA TIMES, June 28 – Esteban Morales, PhD., has been “separated from the ranks” of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) for his publication of an article denouncing what he considers the counter-revolutionary corruption and bureaucracy that exists in the country.  The Playa Municipal Committee of the PCC communicated its decision to the grassroots level of the Party.

The phenomenon of corruption within the State (almost everything belongs to the State here) has been recognized by the highest leadership of the Party, everyone in Cuba knows about it, and articles have even been published on it in the official government-party media.

At this moment Morales is preparing his appeal.

His Party membership card was stripped from him by his punishers, though communist commitment remains in Morales.

In No. 55 of the Bulletin SPD (Participatory and Democratic Socialism) of this past June 17, I published an article titled: Dialogue Without Sectarianism: A Necessity for Revolutionary Cohesion, in which I pointed out that after the publication of his article, Esteban Morales had disappeared from the nightly Mesa Redonda news/commentary program.  He was customarily invited on there every time an issue concerning the United States was approached.  It appears I was not being subjective in relating those two facts.

I have known Esteban personally since 1991 when I worked under him as a researcher at the Center on United States Studies at the University of Havana, where he was the director.  From his extraordinary seriousness and academic depth, his high human qualities and from the revolutionary caliber of this scientist —who comes from a humble background— any honest person could testify on his behalf in any one of his qualities.

I won’t try to write the biography of someone who, for me, is the most accomplished researcher and expert on the US among our academics.  I simply want to record the fact that I have serious doubts about those who made that decision to remove him, as well uncertainties regarding their moral stature and their intellectual capacity.  Certainly, there action confirms the validity of the assessments made in Morales’s article.

If this bureaucratic sanction is not corrected quickly, very confused messages will be sent to party activists, to the Cuban people and to the international left.

We must all ask some disturbing questions:

Is the Party honored or dishonored by this decision?

Where does there remain the capacity for individual criticism by Party activists?

Is it only possible to be critical when, where and how it is decided upon by those above?

What relationship can this action have with “Fomenting frank discussion and not see a problem in there being discrepancies, but the source of the best solutions…” as was expressed by President Raul Castro this past April 4th when summarizing the Fourth Congress of the Young Communist League (UJC)?

Esteban Morales, right, on the Roundtable TV program. Photo:

Are they trying to show that Raul is proceeding in one direction and the leadership of the PCC —by not allowing criticism from within the ranks— is moving in another?

Should party activists and the general population reach the conclusion that the calls by the historical leadership for internal criticism and debate are false?

Can one be honest and a Party activist at the same time?

Is this part of some sinister plan concocted by factions of the political bureaucracy to destroy the Party so that people desert its ranks en masse?  Will this reaffirm the decision made by many youth to not join the party, or will they seek to take advantage of the double standard in the ranks of the Party and silence criticism?

Are the most retrograde elements in the leadership of the Party testing their strength to attempt even more reactionary and anti-democratic actions?

Are we confronted with yet another coup by the political bureaucracy of the Party (which is a group with its own activists and its own ideology) against the Revolution, against the future of socialism in Cuba, against dialogue between revolutionaries; against Fidel and Raul, who were the ones who asked the Party activists and the people to act critically against corruption and the bureaucratic strata, which have now placed the Cuban revolutionary process in danger of being reversed?

How does this Stalinist style repression fit in with the internal operations of the Party, with the negotiations that are taking place with the opposition via the Catholic Church?

Where is the party democracy that Raul spoke of?

Is the leadership of the Party distancing itself from its own left at the same time that it is entering into dialogue around “reconciliation” with émigrés, the opposition and possibly the US itself?

Might those in the international left be right when they estimate that the revolution has already begun moving backwards toward capitalist restoration, carried out by the hand of the State’s own bureaucracy?

How long will they keep committing these acts of nonsense?

Are they working to see a new party created by us, the communists who don’t fit into the Communist Party of Cuba?

The list of questions could be expanded. Several more come to mind, but I prefer not to write them down.

Let’s hope that someone up there up soon revokes this divisive, sectarian and irresponsible decision.  It’s the sole answer that responds to these questions.

*  Pedro Campos articles can be read in Spanish in the SPD bulletin.  

Leave a Reply

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