Re: (OPE-L) dreams and nightmares

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Mon May 19 2003 - 22:04:50 EDT

I wrote in an earlier post:

> >>  I think our main responsibility - those of us in the US - with
> >>  regard to Cuba at the present time is to STOP THE US ECONOMIC
> >>  AGGRESSION AGAINST CUBA, and of course to fight against a military
> >>  invasion if that materializes.  I am convinced that if the blockade
> >>  were lifted, and especially if US tourists were allowed to travel
> >>  freely to Cuba, the Cuban economy would improve dramatically.  This
> >>  would demonstrate even more clearly what is possible for the rest of
> >>  humanity.  And I also think that the greater economic prosperity
> >>  would also make possible a movement toward more free and democratic
> >>  political structures at the national level.
> >>
> >>  Our main task right now is not to criticize Cuba for its lack of
> >  > democracy at the national level (there will be time for this
> >  > important topic later), but rather to defend Cuba, and the gains its
> >>  people have made, against US aggression.
> >>
> >>  I intend to work hard on this task, and I urge others to do so as
> >>  well.

To which Riccardo replied:
> Frankly I am not able to undertsand. I don't see what impedes that:
> (i) harsh criticism is levelled against US aggression;
> (ii) solidarity is expressed to Cuba against aggression, and the
> positive results (health policy, education) are recognized and
> supported;
> (iii) friendly but strong criticism is raised against the dramatic
> errors of Cuban government.
> I, for one, would support this kind of statement, which would be more
> effective than the other, and not reduced to gain support only within
> the few as the one I read on this list (which I also think was and is
> wrong).
> the phrases by Fred in bold are incredible to me: democracy,
> 'important topic', but we will deal with it later, we will have time.
> in USSR, in China, in North Korea etc (all faced by imperialist
> aggression) thhey waited, and wait, for long. and we know why: after
> the XXth century, and criticism from the left, we cannot say we
> didn't knew what was happening, and that there was and is a way to be
> against capitalism and  do not support death penalty and a socialism
> which crashes democracy *for all*.  this issue must be dealt now.
> this is the true help we can give to Cuba. let them understand this
> important point, which is (and was) vital to any revolutionary
> experience.

Riccardo, do you want the Cubans to make their political system more
democratic at the national level NOW, under the current circumstances,
when everybody knows that a more open democratic system would be exploited
to the hilt by the US government and by Miami Cubans (a few hundred
millions of dollars goes a long way in Cuba)?  Or do you want to voice
criticism now in order to improve the chances of democratic changes later?

If the latter, then there is not much difference between us, and I might
mostly agree with you.

But if the former, then I disagree, for the reason stated.  It is an
illusion and a recipe for disaster.

It is my sense that what most Cubans want NOW is: (1) the US off their
backs, and (2) a higher standard of living - usually with the belief that
(2) will follow from (1).  Greater democracy at the national level is
something they also want, but that is not their main concern right now.


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