[Diggers350] Common sense solution is taboo! - Cuba shows way out of financial crisis

david bangs dave.bangs at virgin.net
Fri Feb 24 15:59:47 GMT 2012

Re: [Diggers350] Common sense solution is taboo! - Cuba shows way out of  financial crisisIndeed, Julie...though i'm not sure how much of the marxist left (which i belong to) would disagree with you about Cuba's lack of democracy...

The Socialist Party, the SWP, and the other groups in the Trotskyist tradition, like my own, all share a common critique of Cuba's bureaucratic dictatorship.

It is those groups and individuals from the Stalinist tradition (like the CPB who produce the Morning Star) which are supportive of the one party dictatorship,

Dave bangs
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Julie Jordan 
  To: david bangs ; Massimo ; Tony Gosling 
  Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 12:29 AM
  Subject: Re: [Diggers350] Common sense solution is taboo! - Cuba shows way out of financial crisis

  I agree that there is much to admire in Cuba's health and community initiatives in the face of great adversity, but while the repression of people who attempt to speak out for tolerance of diversity & direct democracy continues, it's not a system I believe that should be held in such reverence as is often the case by the Marxist left, cheers from Oz :) 

  On 24/02/12 4:29 AM, "david bangs" <dave.bangs at virgin.net> wrote:


    The cuban revolution has indeed many huge achievements that we must defend...but its achilles heel is that the leadership does not test that popularity through a free democracy...and I don't mean a bourgeois parliamentary democracy but a thoroughgoing democracy of self management at all levels of society...with freedom to form parties and factions and an uncensored domocratically owned media (as opposed to media controlled by the party or owned by private capital).

    As long as this remains a one party bureaucratic dictatorship the revolution's security is undermined...

    Dave Bangs


      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From:  Tony  Gosling <mailto:tony at cultureshop.org.uk>  
      To: Massimo <mailto:diggers350 at yahoogroups.com>  
      Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 5:08  PM
      Subject: [Diggers350] Common sense  solution is taboo! - Cuba shows way out of financial crisis


      Cuba Sets a Global Example for the Achievements of  Socialism

      By Peter Phillips
      In an all day  conference, February 10, 2012, some 120 authors, professors, and journalists,  from dozens of Caribbean, American and African countries, met with Fidel  Castro. Those attending were invited participants for the Intellectual  Encounters for Peace and the Preservation of the Environment event at the  Havana Convention Center. Topics discussed in the nine-hour session were world  peace, environmentalism, neo-liberal capitalism, and the continuing importance  of socialism.
      Fidel Castro (age 85) urged those assembled to a  moral duty to prevent the extinction of humankind and challenge the expanding  predations of neo-liberal global capitalism. He expressed concern for the  inevitable collapse of Wall Street and the international monetary system.  Paper money is worthless without backing from gold or other assets, Castro  asserted. Environmental destruction is classless in that eventually all will  suffer-both the rich and the poor-if neo-liberal capitalism continues on its  rampart global destruction, he professed. 
      Castro's main message  was clear. Cuban socialism is an international example of a humanitarian  economy in the world.  "We have over 80,000 doctors," he said, and "we  are currently training 830 Pakistani medical students and many others from  around the world." 
      Fidel Castro, reverently referred to as  "Commandante" by many of those present, was flanked by the Cuban Minister of  Culture, Abel Prieto, and the president of the Cuban Book Institute, Zuleika  Romay.  The participants in the encounter were invited guests to the 2012  International Cuban Book Fair that ran from February 10 to 19 in Havana.  
      The nine-hour session went from 1:00 PM until after 10:00 PM,  with only two short coffee breaks. Fidel gave extended responses during the  event, commenting on the presentations, asking questions, and recalling the  history of the Cuban revolution and Cuba's humanitarian efforts over the past  fifty plus years.  Some 40 people presented briefings on their  concerns.  The lies and propaganda of the corporate/capitalist media were  important themes for the day. One participant remarked how the global  corporate media seeks to create a monoculture of the mind inside the  capitalist countries.  
      As an invited author for the  International Cuban Book Fair, I was honored to participate in the discussions  held with the "Commandante." His energy is inspiring and his command of  history and contemporary issues is phenomenal. Castro had serious health  issues a few years back, but remains mentally alert. He walked with assistance  from his bodyguards, but remained fully participatory in the nine-hour  session. 
      Cuba is an international example of the potentialities  of socialism, and an ongoing symbolic challenge to marketplace capitalism. In  the United States there is a continuing propaganda drumbeat against the Cuban  revolution. Castro is often described as a military dictator repressing his  people and blocking freedoms in Cuba. But this description ignores some  undisputed social advances under his leadership that could serve as an example  of what a society can do when it turns its resources to humanitarian purposes.  
      Contemporary neo-liberal capitalism undercuts wages, unions and  social welfare, which results in the expansion of poverty, hunger, and extreme  inequality. Cuba is a demonstration that humanitarian socialism can work for  the masses. Cuba is the number one organic farming country in the world. Cuba  has full employment, zero starvation, and some of the best health care in the  world.  Cuba's life expectancy is equal to the United States and  education up through university is paid for by the state for all students.  
      As a media-reform advocate, participant and observer, I watched  tens of thousands of young people arrive at the International Book Fair in the  old Spanish fort overlooking downtown Havana. These are multi-generations of  people who have never suffered media advertisements. Three University of  Havana literature majors, with whom I spent a full day, laughed hysterically  when I asked them if they wanted a McDonald's Happy Meal. They represent a  people who accept the equality of socialism and collective growth of human  betterment, and will strongly defend their way of life if necessary. As  literature majors they have completed three years of Latin, and are starting  classical Greek. They have had courses in historical and modern Latin American  and European literature, and art. Their university education costs them  nothing, and the government provides all textbooks and living expenses.  
      After the collapse of the USSR, Cuba lost most of it subsidies  from the socialist block of nations. The early 1990s were a difficult  transition. This was when Cuba opened it doors to those who wanted to leave.  Some 30,000 people choose to move to the United States. Yet, ten million  people choose to stay and build the independent socialist country that Cuba is  today. Several other South American countries, notably Venezuela and Ecuador,  have taken note of Cuba's successes and are moving in a similar direction  seeking socialist equality. 
      Some in the US believe that when the  senior Cuban leadership from the 1959 revolution passes away, US corporations  and displaced Cubans abroad will waltz back into Havana to return capitalism  to the island. It is very clear to me, and many contemporary observers, that  multiple generations of socialist Cubans will never allow this to  happen.
      Peter  Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and President  of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored. He co-edited with Mickey Huff  Censored 2011, which was published in Spanish for the International  Book Fair in Cuba. Mickey Huff is the director of Project Censored and editor  of the recently published Censored 2012, which was presented to Fidel  Castro February 10, 2012. 
      On Feb 22, 2012, at 4:58 AM, Tony Gosling  wrote:


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