Re: [OPE] Latin America

From: Paul Zarembka <>
Date: Tue Dec 16 2008 - 10:28:05 EST


I accept the thrust of your 7-point email. The discussion between Paul B.
and myself was undertaken at a more simplistic level.

Paul B.,

> Can I deduce that you would never offer 'unconditional' support to any
> socialist state held in a condition of semi strangulation by US
> imperialism, since this would apparently compromise your 'critical'
> capacity?

I pass over your words, "this would apparently compromise your 'critical'

Starting from the premise that the state is a "socialist state" begs the
question; instead, it is a Bush-type "you are with us or you are against
us" set-up.

What is the definition of socialism; surely, not what the state calls
itself? Was the Soviet Union "socialist" when Luxemburg made her
criticisms, or in 1922 (e.g., consider for Moscow, "The Russian Workers and
the Bolshevik Party in Power" -- ), or in 1933? Was the
National Socialist state "socialist"? Is Spain "socialist"? Is Cuba or
Venezuela "socialist"? Surely, the state's own definition of itself is

One person on this list who visited Cuba told me he was quite disappointed,
that "socialism" doesn't characterize Cuba on the ground. He may be wrong,
a Cuban visitor to my home was positive, I have positively used in class a
book on Cuban food policy, but I have not been there and so any statement
of mine either way has a quality of being "airy". I have been to and
researched Venezuela, get daily news from there, have a progressive
Venezuelan as a relative, and I'm not at all sure characterizing Venezuela
as "socialist" helps. I may be wrong about that, but why should I support
repression of discussion outside Venezuela of whether extending term limits
for a President (of Venezuela) is a progressive move or not (including of
the principle often offered that constitutional changes should not be of
benefit current holders of office)?

Nevertheless, I unequivocally oppose U.S. destabilization efforts for Cuba
and Venezuela.

"Unconditional support" for those governments is quite unnecessary, and is
furthermore undemocratic as it would suggest that comrades outside
Venezuela suspend any commentary of those governments other than the

I repeat: my stance is close to Luxemburg's practice.

Paul Z.

(Vol.23) THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11 Seven Stories Press soft, 2nd ed. 2008
(Vol.24) TRANSITIONS IN LATIN AMERICA ~~~Research in Political Economy~~~

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Received on Tue Dec 16 10:32:53 2008

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