From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Fri May 16 2003 - 09:10:10 EDT
Re: dreams and nightmaresHi Riccardo and Nicky. To begin with, I think your claim about the repression of homosexuals in Cuba is out-of-date in that it fails to comprehend the reforms that have taken place since the early 1980s. It was valid as a criticism in the 1960's and 1970's, but times have changed and so has the position of the Cuban government (both on paper and in actuality) on homosexuality. As for capital punishment, I think we need to begin with a materialist analysis rather than only an ethical objection. That is, _why_ do we oppose capital punishment in capitalist societies and can that opposition to capital punishment be generalized for all social formations and times? In the kitchen of my small apartment (on the opposite side of the wall where I am typing this message now) there is a poster by Peg Avery from the War Resister's League dated 1978 with the legend "Capital punishment means them without the capital get the punishment." Independently of whether you support or oppose capital punishment under all circumstances, surely you would recognize that there is a different reason in Cuba today for capital punishment. That should be analyzed. As for the "repression of dissenters", I believe that we have to ask *who* these "dissenters" are and *what* is the actual relation that they have to US imperialism. As it happens, this is a topic that has been discussed briefly on the "Capital-and-Class" list in the past day. Two posts that I wrote on that subject, responding to Alan Johnson, are attached. In general, I agree that part of the responsibility of Marxists, that flows from our internationalism, is to adopt a critical standpoint towards the praxis of other socialists internationally. Yet, we also have a responsibility to get our facts straight before explaining our criticism. And we must recognize that the US is a major player in this event rather than it only being a matter of "internal" dissent and government policy. In solidarity, Jerry To defend Cuba, we must today let Castro understand that the behaviour of Cuba's government on capital punishment, repression of dissenters and homosexuals, etc. cannot be justified and supported.
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