(OPE-L) Re: dreams and nightmares

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat May 17 2003 - 08:37:52 EDT

Some brief comments:

1) the Cuban 'dissidents'

The evidence that I have seen to date strongly supports the
case made by the Cuban government against the fraudulent
'dissidents' who were acting as paid agents of the US
government.  In any event, if there is a 'reasonable doubt'
then we as Marxists should be more willing to take the word
of the Cuban government than that of the U.S. State Department
(well known for its disinformation campaigns re Cuba and many
other countries) and the reactionary Cuban exile community in the
U.S.  That should be the case because historically the Cuban
government has shown that it has more (far more) credibility than
the U.S.  government.

2) capital punishment

I think,  along with Fred (and many others), that the imposition of
the death penalty against the hijackers was a political mistake.  But,
I think it was basically a tactical mistake which, as Fred said, plays
into the hands of the enemies of Cuba.   I agree with Alfredo that
opposition to the death penalty should not be a socialist principle
irrespective of  the concrete historical circumstances.  Alfredo is
correct when he says that "There is a war out there and Cuba might
realistically be invaded in the not too distant future" -- we should not
lose sight of this reality.

3) silence

I agree with David  Y that a comparison of recent events in Cuba to the
Moscow show trials is misplaced.  At the same time, I agree with
Riccardo,  rather than Hans, that we do not have the responsibility to
be "silent"  or support "WHATEVER"  a government does when it
is threatened with imperialist attack.   We already have a significant body
of historical experience to warn us of the dangers of such a perspective:
e.g. there were many Marxists who refused to be critical of the "killing
fields" in Kampuchea for basically the same reason and this meant that
they then were complicit with the mass executions.  This, of course, is
not to say that the Cuban government is anything like the Khymer Rouge
government -- but I think it does point to the dangers of agreeing that
'whatever' a government does which is threatened by imperialism should
be supported or, failing that, that revolutionaries in other countries
should remain 'silent'.  When and under what circumstances we should
not remain silent is harder to define since there should be a counter-
principle:  the right of self-determination.  Cuba should have a right to
self-determination and I feel uncomfortable with the idea that we should
be offering criticism on essentially _tactical_ questions from afar: they
have the right to make mistakes and, in the course of their historical
development, to learn from their mistakes.

In solidarity, Jerry

PS to Riccardo on Kronstadt:  did you hear the story about the
communist and the anarchist who were shipwrecked and lived for
five years on a desert island?  When they were rescued, they were
asked "What did you talk about for the last five years ?".  They
answered, in unison, "Kronstadt!".  I'd prefer to avoid the
fate of the 2 shipwrecked sailors.

> In the times of imperialist attack on Cuba I consider it the
> duty of every progressive either to support Cuba or, if you
> feel you cannot do this, to stay silent, because everything
> critical you say at this moment will be used as further
> pretext for the attacks on Cuba.

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