Mike and Condi, two of a kind

‘How can the Cuban people regain control over their own society? There is no simple answer other than to continue to organise and fight for the right to organise freely and democratically in defence of their own interests. This was denied under Fidel...’

Another mealy-mouthed offering from Condoleezza Rice, outlining the US administration’s plans for a ‘post-Castro’ Cuba, perhaps, as when she announced ‘We are empowering Cuban civil society to better organise and advocate for democratic change. We’re working... to broadcast the truth about [the Castro regime’s] deplorable treatment of the Cuban people’?

No, that first bit of poison comes not from some vitriolic Bushite neocon, but straight out of the pen of the SWP’s Mike Gonzalez, in Socialist Review September 2006. That the Vice-President of Cuba, Raul Castro, should have been asked to assume the role of Acting President during Fidel Castro’s illness, has been whipped up by Gonzalez’s febrile and reactionary imagination into a ‘dynastic succession’ and gleefully transmogrified into another stick with which to beat Cuba. Gonzalez uses the opportunity to accuse Cuba, as ever, of lack of political democracy – ‘there remains as little control from below over the shape and direction of Cuban society as ever’, coupled with economic liberalisation and inequality. Inevitably, he shows no understanding of the incredible economic and political feats achieved by Cuban communists over the last 15 years, in steering their society through the harsh economic realities and political compromises demanded by the Special Period to the economic growth and regeneration of political consciousness increasingly evident today. But then why would he? Gonzalez and his ilk are of a privileged, reactionary political stratum that kowtows to the warmongers, racists and fat cats of the Labour Party in Britain while criticising from on high those actually transforming the lives and conditions of the poor in the oppressed nations. But the SWP leadership are fast becoming a caricature of themselves: as the tide of revolutionary movements in Latin America sweeps on, history is leaving them looking increasingly stranded, clinging to a fossilised position that even many of their own members now find ridiculous. No wonder Socialist Review is now titled ‘SR’. These people wouldn’t recognise socialism if it trussed them up and flew them from a flagpole.

FRFI 193 October / November 2006


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