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.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun May 18 2003 - 00:00:01 EDT