On the Death of Fidel Castro—Four Points of Orientation
November 27, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Check out "Three Alternative Worlds," the Supplement to Chapter 2 of BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian.
I. Fidel Castro led a just, genuine, and popularly backed anti-imperialist revolution against the United States. The Cuban revolution of 1959 overthrew the oppressive, hated, and corrupt Batista regime, a cruel enforcer of the interests of U.S. imperialism. The revolution went on to confiscate the land holdings of U.S. investors and to put an end to the economic domination of Cuba by the U.S. Right on the doorstep of United States, a revolution had come to power that stood bravely against U.S. imperialism and that called on others to follow its example. Cuba became a source of hope and inspiration for the oppressed and for radical and revolutionary-minded people throughout the world, including in the U.S.
II. The U.S. imperialists worked viciously, unrelentingly, and unconscionably to cripple and destroy the new regime, and to re-subjugate the Cuban people. The U.S. imposed a blockade that limited Cuba’s ability to obtain vital goods and supplies (such as medicine). In 1961, the CIA armed, financed, and coordinated the Bay of Pigs invasion of mercenaries and thugs that quickly met defeat. Castro was the target of repeated U.S. assassination attempts. The U.S. sought through every means to isolate Cuba diplomatically.
III. In the face of this economic, political, and military pressure, Fidel Castro opted for policies, a road of development, and an international orientation that, whatever his initial intentions, resulted in capitulation to imperialism. Castro brought Cuba into a dependent relationship with Soviet social-imperialism—the Soviet Union had ceased being socialist in the mid-1950s. The Cuban economy remained tied to and distorted by sugar production. The new society established in Cuba was not one that was empowering the masses to uproot all exploitation and oppression. Cuba was not socialist under Fidel Castro... and it is not socialist today.
IV. Fidel Castro played a reactionary ideological role in the world communist movement, particularly in defending the revisionist Soviet Union and attacking Mao and revolutionary China.
*In the early and mid-1960s, Mao Zedong waged a momentous ideological struggle against revisionism and the Soviet Union, which was the global center of modern revisionism. Revisionism guts the revolutionary heart out of communism and perpetuates capitalism in the name of Marxism. Mao scientifically showed that the Soviet Union was not socialist but state capitalist—Fidel Castro upheld and promoted the Soviet Union as socialist. Mao revealed that the Soviet Union was a new imperialist power acting to advance the interests of empire—Fidel Castro aligned with the Soviet Union and prettified and defended its oppressive international role and actions.
*Mao had made the pathbreaking contribution to the cause of communist revolution: the theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, of preventing the restoration of capitalism and carrying forward the revolution towards the goal of a communist world without exploitation and oppression and the division of human society into classes. Mao translated this understanding into the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76—in which tens and hundreds of millions of people were debating and struggling over questions bearing decisively on the direction of society and the world revolution, and which prevented the restoration of capitalism in China for 10 years. Fidel Castro attacked Mao and the Cultural Revolution that Mao led, the high point of the first stage of communist revolution.
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