The Cuban Communist Party and its Opponents

Vicente Morin Aguado

Cuban dissidents being detained on Human Rights Day. Photo: www.aljazeera.com
Cuban dissidents being detained on Human Rights Day. Photo: www.aljazeera.com

HAVANA TIMES — We have been witnessing an unusual increase in the number of dissidents who are temporarily detained in Cuba, sometimes as part of violent arrests that the authorities cannot conceal. For the most part, the victims of these actions are returned home, so that something we could well define as a vicious circle can begin anew.

The authorities also continue to stage so-called “repudiation rallies”, perhaps less frequently than before, and other “countermeasures”. Significantly, these do no awaken the enthusiasm that was their major strength in the past, when those identified as dissidents were actually isolated from society.

Cuban society in general still has a long way to go before being able to openly debate such incidents, silenced by the government, on the one hand, and blown out of proportion by alternative media, on the other, as befits the logic of the social straightjacket.

Many things have changed and continue to change in the country. The same holds for the world in general. These new times demand that the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) develop new ideas, up-to-date responses to its opponents. I say “responses”, not “repression”. Only the violation of the law justifies the exceptional use of force by the authorities.

Line to check e-mails at a government facility. Photo: Juan Suarez
Line to check e-mails at a government facility. Photo: Juan Suarez

The generation that grew up in the post-1990 Special Period and witnessed the dollarization of the domestic market, the massive emigration of Cubans, the arrival of remittances, cellular phones and the Internet is a social sector made up of young people who think and act very differently from those of us who are today over fifty.

However, the average age of PCC leaders at all levels, particularly the highest levels where decisions are made, is, however, over sixty, and these people, as is to be expected, tend to react in conservative ways to the country’s changing reality and the direction it is inevitably heading in.

The facts show that they haven’t reached an agreement regarding what to do. A telling symptom of this is the frequent desertions by high Party and State leaders and especially their relatives.

The reform process, referred to as “updating” by the PCC, its architect, must continue. Likewise it is senseless to try and limit the impact that new communication technologies have on the country’s political life. Putting an end to the sending of remittances is unthinkable – these are, today, the very lifeblood of Cuba’s domestic market.

We’ve seen the emergence of the nouveaux riches, desertions in sectors that ought to be examples of loyalty to the country’s leaders, corruption scandals rearing their ugly heads at all levels – in short, we are going through agitated political times that prompt justified expressions of discontent among the people.

Cuban grandmothers playing dominos.
Cuban grandmothers playing dominos.  Photo: Juan Suarez

It is logical to expect a change of mindset among Cubans, who are increasingly critical of the revolutionary leadership, whose long years in power have made the many mistakes made over time more evident. The historic memory of the younger generations finds no references that can act as a counterbalance to the dramatic reality we are all experiencing today.

Much of the blame for today’s unbalanced opinions is to be laid on Cuba’s official, monopolistic press, which continues to shield itself with the false consensus created in the absence of contradictory opinions that can be conveyed to the population through similar channels.

Expressing dissatisfaction is part of being human, particularly being young. If such dissent is expressly peaceful, there is little or no room for police intervention.

I don’t believe the repressive measures that are coming back into style are a solution to the inevitable political contradictions of the present or future. The Cuban Communist Party, as Cuba’s one party, faces the dilemma of having to find new answers to current problems.
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Vicente Morín Aguado: [email protected]


21 thoughts on “The Cuban Communist Party and its Opponents

  • January 23, 2014 at 2:39 am
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    comments are delete !!!!!

  • January 22, 2014 at 9:27 pm
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    Vicente is a communist and he is following a well planned strategy: Take a topic that is well known outside Cuba and damages the image of the Cuban Communist Party.
    Write an article and give people the impression that there is an historic reason for that and that the Cuban Communist Party will find a solution.
    Give hope and justify

  • January 22, 2014 at 6:03 am
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    Vicente is a communist and he is following a well planned strategy:

    Take a topic that is well known outside Cuba and damages the image of the Cuban Communist Party.

    Write an article and give people the impression that there is an historic reason for that and that the Cuban Communist Party will find a solution.

    Give hope and justify

  • December 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm
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    You make a very good point. The Canadians and Europeans (and even several Americans) who post comments here in support of the Castro dictatorship, don’t seem particularly interested in living under it’s yoke. Sure, they enjoy visiting Cuba for vacations, or for packaged Potemkin village tours of Tropical Socialism. But they prefer to live in the affluence and freedom of Canada, Europe and the USA.

  • December 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm
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    Specifically, Christ did not condemn anybody to Hell. What He said was,

    “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew19:23-26

    Parallel versions appear in Mark 10:24-27, and Luke 18:24-27.

    Clearly, Christ advocated extreme charity, telling the rich man to give away his wealth if he wished to enter heaven. But this cannot be read as an endorsement of the expropriation of private property by Castro’s revolution. Jesus told the rich man to give away his wealth, He did not direct his disciples to rob the rich man.

  • December 28, 2013 at 1:24 am
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    Why aren’t Cubans commenting in this English section? So many Canadians and Europeans loving the Cuba-Paradise propaganda it makes me sick as a Cuban.

    Well, the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) is not a group of people, is whatever Raul and Fidel Castro says, and of course if you own 100% of the economic monopolies you will have 99% opponents (Cubans) and 1% supporters (tourists and foreign investors) there is no need to make a song about this issue and dance about it, since it’s completely visible and whoever says otherwise is definitely being dishonest.

  • December 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm
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    ” The government, ONCE it becomes a bottom-up democracy as intended by Poder Popular and by the tenets of socialism and a future communism then needs to be in control of the economy …”

    Isn’t this the problem? The ‘tenets of socialism’?

    Don’t you have now what you want NOW?

    (Communists, dyed-in-the-wool ‘socialists’ are some of the most confused and confusing ppl on the planet … )

  • December 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm
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    She does. It’s called PRE or “Permanente Residente Exterior”. You should know that if you really are married to a Cuban woman. Still, she has to pay a “token” amount every time she returns based upon the number of months she has been out of the country, as I said earlier. I believe it is offensive that she has to pay to retain her citizenship rights. As far as I know, no other country on the planet has such a policy.

  • December 24, 2013 at 5:16 pm
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    I do not think it would be wise of you to engage me in a debate over religion and especially Christianity .
    After U.S. foreign policy, revealing the fallacies and illogic of the various religions is my second love.
    Fidel Castro did the work of Christ in first alleviating the plight of the poorest in the Cuban society but did so without the superstitious nonsense involved with religion.
    His family’s estate was the first to be turned over to the poor.
    Christ condemned the rich to Hell .
    (Camel /eye of the needle )
    Fidel merely spread their wealth to the poorest as Christ would have us all do and drove the “money-lenders ” to Miami where capitalism: the antithesis of Christ’s teachings, is the religion.
    I am assuming you’re an atheist.
    You cannot be a Christian.

  • December 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm
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    Fidel Castro banned Christmas for many years in Cuba. The Revolution jailed, exiled and executed priests. It’s a sick joke of yours to quote Christ in your defence of the Castro dictatorship.

  • December 24, 2013 at 9:18 am
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    Why doesn’t your wife have salida indefinida status , Moses ? Mine does. She pays some token amount “to the Castros” as you would so dramatically say once every two years. I thought you knew everything about Cuba – or is it just that that story is useful?

  • December 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm
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    Again, Moses I ask you for any proof at all that Fidel wields power in the Cuban government as you persist in stating post after post.
    That which can be asserted without evidence , can be rejected without evidence.
    You are now citing God-given rights as if there actually were a God .
    If you’d care to add belief in an imaginary being to your list of things on which you cannot produce convincing proof , so be it .
    Your position in supporting capitalism which is all about making and keeping money amidst widespread worldwide poverty, runs directly in opposition to the teachings of Christ and more recently Pope Francis.
    You can claim to be a Christian: one who belongs to a church that worships Jesus Christ but not to be a (small “c”) christian: one who follows the teachings of Christ, foremost of which is helping the poor ABOVE ALL ELSE.
    “The devil can cite scripture”

  • December 22, 2013 at 10:02 pm
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    A 22 year-old kid who left Cuba by motorboat last year for the Mexico and then on to the US to play baseball for the LA Dodgers named Yasiel Puig is hardly a danger to the revolution, yet the Castros will not permit him to return to Cuba this Christmas to visit his family in Cienfuegos. Please justify that prohibition. A sinner saved by grace like me needs a lot of things, but none of which are your twisted biblical views. Christ said “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” The Castros have inserted themselves into the place of God and taken from the Cuban people those rights which are God-given. My positions regarding the Castro regime do not contradict with Christian beliefs. As long as Fidel draws breath, he serves as the ideological compass by which the shipwrecked Castro regime continues to be steered. He may not make the decisions anymore but he certainly retains the power to UN-make any decision. To assume he is just another old guy soiling his ‘Depends’ is naïve.

  • December 22, 2013 at 6:28 pm
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    Do you have any idea how many colonialists who fought on the side of the British were not allowed back in the new United States for some 40 years and long after the War of 1812 ?
    It’s the nature of all revolutions to not allow those who are a danger to those revolutions back into a given country .
    I should think that this would be obvious to you.
    Secondly if you insist on constantly saying that Fidel is somehow running the government with Raul when his position is clearly not to be involved interfere and especially in ill health as he is, you really need to offer some proof of this.
    Lastly, let me familiarize you with the teachings of Christ .
    His primary teaching was to aid those in need which the Cuban revolution clearly has done in elevating the health, education and welfare of the poorest of Cubans and just as Christ would have it.
    It is both passing strange and deeply hypocritical for you , as someone who advocates for the extension of the U.S War On The People Of Cuba , and thus working to further immiserate all the poor of Cuba, to even mention the name of Jesus Christ .
    “If you refuse those in need, you refuse me ”
    J.C.
    You don’t see the contradictions inherent in your positions ?

  • December 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm
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    Hello Moses,
    I thank you for your honest reply, however as you appear to be in constant conflict against Fidel, I can only assume that your preferable choice for Cuba is a return to Batista or a similar regime manipulated and financed by you know who, to the detriment of what the Cuban people.
    I have visited Cuba for many years and like yourself as OUTSIDER (as proclaimed in your recent reply to my comments) I despair at your continual and totally negative comments.
    Incidentally if your feelings are so strong about your Cuba, why are you living where you are.
    The Cuban people that I met are honest and want to move THEIR country on without the manipulation of you know who. but regretfully this cannot happen because of the bully boy attitude of you know who??
    Yes Moses I do not doubt your sincerity, however I do DOUBT your reply, as I am a totally retired person living in Scotland, and this reply has taken me xxx time to reply to your comments I suspect that you are working many hours beyond your job commitment, that you have a secretary.
    I thank you for your comments, but I regret to say that I do not have the time in my Retired situation to respond to you
    I would like you to read and reflect on the book written by Nelson Mandela “The Long Walk to Freedom” and perhaps the ALL people worldwide will start to try and build a future for ALL people irrespective of their creed colour or religion.

  • December 22, 2013 at 8:17 am
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    Do you have any idea how many Cubans living abroad are forbidden by the Castros from returning to Cuba to visit their families and friends for Christmas and any other time of year for that matter? Hundreds of thousands at least. And the reason why? Because they decided to leave Cuba without getting the Castros permission. Do you know how many Cubans, like my wife, must pay the Castros a monthly fee, to live outside the country in order to maintain their birthright citizenship? Again, hundreds of thousands. It would seem to me that if it were possible to take the “Christ” out of Christmas, it has already been done by your heroes, the Castros.

  • December 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm
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    Spoken like a true humanitarian.
    Make the men , women and children in your wife’s homeland suffer for as long as it takes to show them the error of their ways .
    The embargo hurts Raul, the long-retired Fidel and the island’s leadership how ?
    You sure manage to keep Christ out of Christmas don’t you.

  • December 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm
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    Out of the woodwork? I have been pretty clear about who I am, at least the part of my background relevant to my comments here on HT. I am an African-American married to a Cuban woman. I live in San Francisco. I work full-time and enjoy telling MY truth about Cuba absolutely for free. Who are you?

  • December 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm
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    I feel that any comments placed in this area is irrelevant, when we have a FULL time agitator or paid commentator of anything the current Cuban Government does is rubbished. Would Moses Patterson come out of the woodwork and declare who he is Cuban or American, his place of residence and who pays is wages for his continual vitriolic on anything the current Cuban regime does.

  • December 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm
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    Thank you so very much for certainly one of the best pieces I have read here at HT.
    Your objectivity is exemplary as is your adherence to fact and not the lies and lies of omission of both sides .
    I believe that a return to the principles and methods of bottom-up democracy set out in the original electoral policies of Poder Popular which have been corrupted by a government under siege by its enemies and too long in power .
    While suppression of foreign- based actions against the revolution are necessary for the survival of the revolution, the Communist Party has come to wiled too much influence in the electoral process and needs to limit itself , cut back its power to maintaining a the state socialist-style economy .
    The government, ONCE it becomes a bottom-up democracy as intended by Poder Popular and by the tenets of socialism and a future communism then needs to be in control of the economy and not the PCC which, as with any party long enough in power inevitably becomes self-preserving, corrupt and ultimately totalitarian as it has.
    This is all my own opinion speaking from an anarchist viewpoint.
    Again, thanks for a voice of exceptional civility and reason .

  • December 21, 2013 at 9:43 am
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    If what Vicente writes is true and the mounting evidence seems to confirm it, then now is NOT the time to lift or relax the embargo. Rather, it is time to maintain the pressure, however ineffective the embargo has been in the past. Limiting Cuba’s access to international financial markets, increasing the costs of imports, and feeding the siege mentality of the aged leadership can only fan the embers of discontent growing the feet of the Castro dictatorship.

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