Revolution #232, May 15, 2011
Letter from a Reader on Cuba
The following letter is from a student reader of Revolution, who told us that many students on campus think Cuba is an example of communist revolution. This letter is part of the reader's answer to this.
Revolution warmly welcomes letters such as these, grappling with questions of the revolution. While the views in this letter are the reader's, we greatly encourage the example of working to contrast phony socialism with the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal). We particularly welcome letters from students speaking about their experiences and what they're running into on campus. We invite others to join the conversation and correspond on these letters and more.
Publishing these letters does not necessarily indicate agreement from Revolution, and authors letters to Revolution newspaper are not responsible for content on the rest of revcom.us.
The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) recently held its Sixth Congress, and this event really gives us all insight into what phony communism today looks like.
Of note is the fact that the Congress, originally scheduled for 2009, was postponed until April of 2011 due to the global economic crisis. This is the first indication of the real leanings of the PCC. If the PCC was really dedicated to building socialism, then the capitalist economic crisis would not have affected the country. Furthermore, the voice of communists should be loud during the various crises of capitalism, not hushed! What better time to really prove that communism is not only the viable alternative, but the alternative that our world needs!
Raúl Castro endorsed the “benefits” of reducing the public sector and spoke of decentralization and deregulation. There is now the possibility for Cubans to buy and sell homes as well. All these policies are going to do is open up the possibilities for the further growth of class divisions in the “socialist” society of Cuba. The goal of socialism should be the constant narrowing of class differences, the resolving of the contradictions inherent at society at a given moment. These new policies represent the exact opposite. This is not to say that a socialist economy cannot be flexible; indeed, it really does need to have a solid core with a lot of elasticity. If a worker in socialist society has an idea on how to make production more efficient, or how to reduce differences between leaders and the masses, or whatever, that person should be encouraged to voice their ideas. We can all collectively struggle with new ideas, discussing and trying to understand what really represent the socialist road. This is what elasticity should look like under socialism. Still, we need a solid core of the state planning the economy. It is critical that socialist economies have goals, and each goal that is met should always be a means through which to further reduce class distinctions.
As true revolutionaries we really need to criticize what is happening in Cuba. We must understand that it does not represent what socialist society should look like. Still, we should look to Cuba to understand what we do not want our world to be, while still taking some lessons from the Cuban experience. If we really can synthesize, as Bob Avakian has, both the past and present experience of socialist and “socialist” states, we can move towards a better, more developed socialism. So long as we constantly strive to understand the true nature of things and always seek to narrow class divisions, the dream of communist society is not only a hope, but rather a very practical reality that we can truly achieve.
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