Is the Future of Cuba’s Revolution Truly Guaranteed?

Cuban "Pioneros" - Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, March 22 — After 50 years of a socialist government and highly personalized leadership, lots of people on and off the island are wondering what’s next for Cuba when Fidel Castro and his brother Raul are gone.

Some supporters of the Revolution had put their hopes on a generational change in leadership, which included younger cadres like former Vice President Carlos Lage or Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque.

However, that possibility went down the drain after these men were sacked by the government on grounds of corruption.

If you browse through the Juventud Rebelde newspaper website, you can find several articles referring to recently held meetings of top Communist Party officials with the Young Communist League (UJC).  At most of those meetings an often used phrase was heard: “The future of the Revolution is guaranteed.”

What’s your opinion?

Are the Communist Party officials a bit overoptimistic?

What will happen when the lives of the historic leaders inevitably come to an end?

Will young Cubans be convinced enough to carry on with the economic model that their predecessors have bequeathed them in the name of social justice?

Or will they opt for a less paternalistic and less centralized political system?

Will the transition be smooth and gradual, or will there be turmoil involved?

Join the debate


14 thoughts on “Is the Future of Cuba’s Revolution Truly Guaranteed?

  • March 28, 2010 at 6:47 pm
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    If socialism is in fact based on “revolutionary science,” then the question of workable reform of the present system ought to proceed in a truly scientific manner.

    Science is based on the Scientific Method, and the heart of this method is “experimentation.”

    Pursuit of reform in Cuba therefore should ask: “Upon what experimental hypothesis should the further Cuban experiment be based?”

    Our nascent US movement recommends that the historic revolutionary leaders look at the successful, worker-owned, cooperative corporations in the Basque region of northern Spain. We believe these “Mondragon” cooperatives show the world movement a workable “economic” basis for socialism–if coupled with state power is in the hands of a sincere revolutionary party.

    The new hypothesis should be: 1) cautious, experimental transfer of part ownership of most state enterprise to cooperative, worker-controlled corporations on the Basque model, and 2) respect for small entrepreneurs.

  • March 25, 2010 at 3:31 am
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    This is very interesting. I did not find any comments from Cuban citizens
    As long as the younger generations continue to be isolated from the rest of the world do not expect the germ of democratic institutions to grow. Without the freedom to associate and create solid civic institutions it will be a one man for itself when the “Titanic” fiasco of 50 years of absolut goverment controls come to its inevitable end

  • March 24, 2010 at 9:22 am
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    The question largely depends. However, I challenge the Cuban people to consider the alternatives in how to move towards reform more thoroughly than Eastern Europe or East Asia. The Eastern European model of reform, the dismantling of socialism and its replacement with absolute free market, created entrenched oligarcies increasingly dominated by ex-Stalinists the further east you go. Today, oligarchies and crony capitalism dominate Russia, Ukraine, and their neighbors.

    As far as China is concerned, you have increasing wealth disparity and a dictatorship which is politically both far more parternalistic and authoritan than the Cuban state. Market Communism and China’s NEP has corrupted the ideology and party in the process, and racial minorities remain oppressed.

    Reject both models. Cuba should move in the direction of the idealized Communist democracy and abandon its stalinist routes, where free speech, democratic ownership and transparency regulate what the market does not.

  • March 24, 2010 at 3:55 am
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    It’s fairly certain that, if the leadership doesn’t zero in on the central question of reform, and come up w/ the correct answer, the Cuban experiment in socialism will follow the Soviet and other European experiments. This means of course that it will disappear.

    What is the “central question” of reform? It is the nature of a “workable” socialist economic mechanism.

    What reforms would make the present dysfunctional, unworkable, demoralizing system functional, workable and exuberant?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The hypothesis of “concentration of all the instruments of production in the hands of the state” has been well tested in the honest laboratory of history. It works, but is works very badly, and for only a certain number of decades–perhaps 5 to 9.

    For a new hypothesis the PCC should look at the Mondragon, Spain cooperative experiment. Our movement suggests worker-owned cooperative corporations with only partial state ownership.

  • March 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm
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    a conflict of generation ( the old ones don`t understand the youngsters and vice versa) is not only a problem of capitalist countries. Give more strenght to the youth and listen to the wisdom of the elderly would be an ideal combination, as well as open up more room for private iniciatives. If someone doesn`t feel well, you have to ask why, the same thing with the youngsters. The leading people should listen to their voices, involve them more, and once motivated more, I don`t see why socialism should end with the older generation.

  • March 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm
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    it. I agree that ALBA qill be essential for the survival. Another fact is that the young generation hasn`t lived the period of the revolution of 59 and clearly they very often have a very different view on things or simply don`t understand why, how and what`s going on. also this feeling of being cut off from the rest of the world, not having on a large scale access to the internet and all its possibilities it offers ( no one becomes more or less socialist through that, we all are using the internet and know where we stand), to communicate, discuss items wirh other youngsters throughout the world, if necessary explain and defend the country or get rid of a false image about capitalist countries ( everybody`s rich and happy, drives big cars etc). they have to be equipped with the most modern technology in this struggle. But motivation above all, seems to me, is one of the most important things. With all admiration for the “old” gard of revolutionaries, conditions have changed, and a

  • March 23, 2010 at 8:25 pm
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    Aas I mentioned in my spanish commentary (sorry for my somewhat simple Spanish, I´m trying to improve) I think the motivation of the youth is one of the most important factors. Widespread lethargy can be found, not that the youngsters would be anti-socialist, they simply feel not being involved in any decision making. The huge gap between work-salaries and costs of living has to be resolved, one way or the other. how far decentralization should go ( some coordination is necessary even in capitalism in the sense of public economy). Freedom of expression, where there is not or maybe not enough has to be guaranteed, without sterotypic brabdmarking : counterrevolutionary, revisionist etc. More discussion epecially with he young has to be established… the spark toward a colourful, broad open minded democratic socialism. How to overcome hostilty from the outside is still one of the biggest problems the young generation will have to cope with ( included the economic problems linked to

  • March 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm
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    If the present stalinoid power structure in Havana cannot gracefully (& soon) cede real, ‘de facto’ power to the participatory-democratic councils & communes of the laboring cuban masses — as is the true meaning of what “soviet” & “council” stand for, historically: & as Hugo Chávez at least constantly & very explicity promises & strives to ‘make so’ — then any “transition” will surely be so rocky & problematic indeed, that it very well might simply COLLAPSE & FAIL in the face of concerted subversion by the imperialists & their agents. & that would certainly be a very real disaster indeed for all cubans — & all latin americans. & everyone else — except the Rich.

    & for that matter: corruption can only exist not only where material resources are chronically in short supply — but most especially where transparency & democratic control are in short supply as well. It’s the same thing, really.

    All Power to the Workers’ & Farmers’ Councils and Communes.

  • March 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm
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    Once both Castros are gone, economic change is likely to occur. The pressure is there and comes up repeatedly through the ranks to senior officials, only to cut off by Fidel (and possibly Raul). Even now we are seeing major changes in agricultural policy.

    Once economic decentralization and private enterprise begins to grow the pressure for political change will follow. The major question will be the government’s ability to manage the change. I think it will be very difficult, but a Chinese type scenario may be possible, at least for enough years to allow for a peaceful political transformation. Otherwise, sooner or later, the system will collapse.

    One caveat: a major oil find could perpetuate the system for another generation.

  • March 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm
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    As a life-long north american marxist, I repudiate the typical superficial slurs of the 1st 2 commentators here.

    Nothing is ‘guaranteed’ of course — but this also includes the future of the World hegemony of capitalism itself. As I’ve written here often enuff, ‘socialism’ in any form cannot continue indefinitely in 1 isolated small country — even if it is fortunate enuff to be an island, which is more easily defended, militarily. If ALBA does not work out, the Cuban Revolution will be in dire straits indeed — & so ALBA must be made to work. Which means defending the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ as well, whatever the failings of both processes. & Bolivia, etc.

    Since stalinism is clearly a complete dead-end & guerrilla ‘focoism’ clearly a very limited option — not being mass class-struggle — the Cuban and Bolivarian revolutions will have to strive to come together around some objective center of gravity which reflects real socialist — & thus democratic — values.

  • March 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm
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    Unfortunately the previous commentaries are just primitive polemics. Based on nothing,Lacking all kind of seriousness.

  • March 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm
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    The question is silly. Nothing is guaranteed in life. Cuba’s success will depend on a combination of objective factors and the ability of the island’s leadership to address it’s issues effectively. Some luck is also involved as well.

    Past performance may not guarantee future results, but considering Washington’s blockade of the country, a factor unmentioned in this questionnaire, the Cuban Revolution may well continue to survive despite Washington’s best efforts and the island’s own domestic problems.

  • March 23, 2010 at 3:24 am
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    Why on earth would Cuba’s young want to continue the path of economic disaster Cuba has been on for over 50 years? Enough is enough. The Revolution speaks for itself, and it has been found wanting.

  • March 23, 2010 at 1:50 am
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    The worst/best scenario is that Hugo Chavez gets asylum in Cuba and continues on the Bolivarian Revolution after Venezuela implodes.

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