Soviet-Empire.com U.S.S.R. and communism historical discussion.
[ Active ]
[ Login ]
Log-in to remove these advertisements.

Cuba: Socialist or Revisionist?

POST REPLY
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1598
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 23 Feb 2004, 22:46
Party Member
Post 15 Dec 2004, 15:19
This is an essay I did for a debate on another message board, so I decided to share it with you guys:

"Cuba: Socialist or Revisionist?"
by Andrei Andreiovich Mazenov

In 1959, a popular uprising led by Fidel Castro toppled the Batista dictatorship and is backers, the American imperialist lackeys within Havana. Gangsters and pimps were run out of the country, U.S. holdings and the nation's old businesses were nationalized. When the Americans tried reinvade Cuba AGAIN in 1961, they were crushed outrightly through the sheer force of the Cuban masses, and when the American government has tried to hold Cuba down with its embargo and it various military and political actions against them, the Cuban people have resisted with upmost strength. Because of this, as well as the fact that the Cuban people enjoy wonderful social services and living standards as compared to the rest of the "third world", as well as the fact that most of the nation's industries are under state ownership and the Communist Party of Cuba is in power, it is easy to think that Cuba is a socialist nation. However, when we look deeper into the facts, such an assumption could be seen as rather questionable.

Soon after the Cuban Revolution, the Communist Party of Cuba decided not to dismantle the one-crop sugar economy or carry out a thoroughgoing agrarian revolution in the countryside. They broke key ties to the U.S., but did not break capitalist economic relations characteristic of colonialism. Instead, Castro moved Cuba into a new relationship of dependence--with a new foreign imperialist master, the Soviet Union (which had restored capitalism in the mid-1950s- see my post about the USSR from 1956 to 1991). As the Maoists predicted at the time, this non-revolutionary road had many negative consequences for the Cuban people and for the revolutionary movements of Latin America. Without the thoroughgoing revolutionary transformation of agriculture, Cuban "socialism" basically came to mean doing a better job at running the same old plantations! In fact, Cuba never succeeded in developing socialism- instead of seeing socialism as building up an economy to serve social needs, they only saw the development of profitable forces in order to step up their trade with the USSR in 1963- which laid the ground for the Cuban economy to be driven by profit rather than social need- thus laying the groundwork for a capitalist system.

This was all rooted in Cuba's inability to break free of its dependency on sugar cane. From 1963-1970, the Cuban government attempted to run the economy by direct command from top officials to achieve increased sugar production- something which created an unequal development of productive forces (in other words, most of the country's money was going into sugar production and very little was going into growing other crops and building up other industries that could have been used to help better the people's lives). Cuba worked for "Russian" goals- i.e. accumulating surplus in the most profitable sectors of the economy rather than in an all-around way, based on balanced and simultaneous development of agriculture, light industry, and heavy industry. Castro subordinated everything to sugar production, and by 1965 the Socialist Republic of Cuba was a fully state-capitalist nation that was imperialized by the USSR.

In 1965, to better trade with the USSR, Cuba adopted the same economic calculus formulated by the Soviet revisionists during the Kosygin Reforms of 1965. Basically, this form of economic theory formulates economic plans by weighing possible profit and loss, as well as simulating free markets and applying market-capitalist criteria at every level, while maintaing state ownership over the most basic means of production. An interesting thing to note is that while all of these theories were immediately and completely implemented in Cuba, they were not fully implemented in the Soviet Union until Gorbachev's perestroika- so, in a sense, the Cubans had perestroika before the Soviets did!

At the First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba in 1975, it was declared that "The peso should control all economic activity." This declared that accumulating capital was the sole purpose of the nation's economy- admitting, basically, that they were no longer socialist! The Worker's Councils in Cuban workplaces are largely inactive and forgotten; as one of Cuba's economic planning board leaders said to one researcher in the late 1980's, "We do not discuss balance of payments problems with factory workers." In 1980 the Cuban government gave their managers the right to hire and fire freely as well as determine the basic modes of production within the factories, workplaces, etc. The managers pays became far higher than the workers with far less work on their part- something that points to the rise of a new bourgeoisie within the state and party, something which Mao Tse-Tung observed when capitalism was restored by Khrushchev and other counterrevolutionaries within the CPSU in the USSR in 1956.

Some argue that without producing sugar cane for the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc nations that Cuba would have collapsed economically a long time ago, but the sugar industry itself (which was originally built up intending to get more money to build the nation) is the driving factor in Cuba's economic disasters; it has only brought them increased dependency (be it with the USSR or with Western Europe). 1/3 of Cuba's economy is devoted to the sugar cane industry- and 75% of arable land is devoted to cane (while arable land is decreasing due to soil exhaustion). Imagine if the Cubans had instead tried to carry out land reform and used more land for livestock and growing a rich variety of other foods which they have shown to be very capable of growing! Imagine how much better off the Cuban people would be and how much closer they might be to self-sufficiency! What prevents Cuba from developing socialism isn't a lack of natural resources, but the simple fact that it continues to allow commodity relations, capital, and profit to determine their economy- and because of this, Cuba is dependant on importing and exporting most of what it produces, trapping it as a victim of imperialism.

"Imperialism?! What do you mean by imperialism?!" you may say. It's true- Cuba's sugar is useless without imperialist trade transforming it into capital to produce more sugar (instead of that money going to help develop other industries and overall boost Cuba's economy). Castro did not achieve economic independence or national liberation; if Cuba had burned their canefields, distributed the land to the masses, and built of industry and agriculture in an all-around even way that served the needs of the people, it would have achieved national liberation and socialism. Unfortunately, it did not, and from 1959-1991 Cuba was dependent on Soviet social-imperialism and today is dependent on Western Europe and many other parts of the world into keep up these imperialist production relations.

Many people argue that nevertheless the Cuban goverment has brought forth a better life for the people with its amazing welfare state and social services. Well, that's all fine and good, but social services does not a socialist system make! Sweden is much like Cuba, but nobody's under the delusion that Sweden is a worker's state. Cuba does have a high life expectancy of 73, one of the best health care systems in the world, the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, and a literacy rate of 99-100%. And yet...

The Cuban people have a rather high suicide rate (21.7 per 100,000 deaths) and their average diet is, nutritionally, very poor (thanks to the lack of agrarian land reform). Because of this diet, the Cubans have trouble with many health problems such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, etc.- things that the United States has a big problem with! Most Cuban families live in the same home or village they did when Batista was in power- something that shows how little social transformation has occurred in Cuba since 1959. And personally, I find it rather suspicious that Cuba ha the same percentage of its population in prison as the U.S. (30,000 out of 10.36 million), and sometimes that figure is higher! The Soviet Union's prison population was never that high during the genuinely-socialist Stalin administration. Not to mention the fact that the government encourages private construction and private ownership of housing, something that Castro seems to have learned a bit from good ol' Maggie Thatcher...

Going back to the question of imperialism in Cuba, some people say that Soviet aid is not necessarily social-imperialism. Well, that's true- the People's Republic of China was aided by the Soviet Union during the 1950's, but always used that aid in an all-around way that eventually allowed them to become self-sufficient. Soviet aid to Cuba took 3 forms: aid for particular projects, subsidies in the form of favorable prices for import and export commodities, and balance of payments loans to cover the difference between was Cuba exports and its import needs. Soviet developmental aid was always the smallest component of Soviet aid, amounting to $883.5 million in 1986. It is true, as some argue, that the Soviet Union paid Cuba far above the world market price, but less that 20% of the world's sugar was (and still is) sold at that price! The U.S. does the exact same thing to places like the Philippines and Haiti, but certainly not out of benevolence or in order to help those nation's economies! Long-term above-market contract-price contract arrangements are advantageous because they secure an assured quality and quantity of sugar at an assured time, which is of great importance for the continuous operation of vast markets. Even the Cuban Central Bank itself admitted that "Soviet aid to Cuba conceals Soviet extraction of Cuban surplus value"- something that blatantly admits that this ain't simply trade between two socialist nations!

The USSR's loans to cover Cuba's negative balance of trade ($5 billion) were on unequal terms and were on the exact terms of America's old loans during the Batista era. Even the Soviet-Cuban oil trade was imperialistic too: Cuba imported more oil than it needed, but used all of it for re-exporting at world market prices to Europe, Africa, Asia, etc. so that it could pay off its debts to the USSR. It paid for the oil by selling 3/4 of its sugar to the USSR- which meant that 56.25% of Cuba's economic output went to the USSR instead of its own people! This uneven trade relation still continues today, with the former Soviet republics and Western European/E.U. nations continuing to do the exact same thing to Cuba- in fact, Cuba gets most of its oil that it uses not from its own oil wells or from the former USSR; it has to import from other Latin American nations such as Venezuela because of the vampiric imperialist relations it has trapped itself in. In 1988 alone, Cuba's debt to U.S.-bloc Western European nations such as the U.K., France, (West) Germany, etc. reached $5.7 billion. Cuba's oil and non-Soviet sugar sales were (and still are) based on the U.S. dollar and the North American/European Union market despite the U.S. embargo- something that has made the Cuban economy basically dependent on capitalist nations and allowed it accumulate one of the highest debts in the "Third World". This only has resulting in extending the reproduction of dependent relations, and has moved the "Socialist" Republic of Cuba farther and farther away from genuine socialism.

Since the fall of the Eastern Bloc nations, Cuba has decided to make tourism account for 40% of its present export earning. This means more mooney is going into the profitable (notice that rather capitalist word coming back in again?) tourist industry rather than going to serve the needs of the Cuban masses. Even prostitution, the exploitation and sexual objectification of women, is allowed by the Cuban government in some tourist areas. What kind of socialist nation is that?! Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao all clearly stated that the purpose of production under socialism should be to serve the people at ALL TIMES and do EVERYTHING for them, instead of basing the economy on profit and "supply/demand" bourgeois economics. If the law of value determines what gets produced and how, capitalist exploitation will be reproduced. Social inequalities will be considered too costly to overcome and social inequality, economic injustice, and political oppression will stay in place. This is why Cuba has never become genuinely socialist and it is why it depended on the social-imperialist/state-capitalist Soviet Union to bail it out all the time from 1959 to 1991.

Castro constantly praised Gorbachev and adapted Cuba's economy to his policies; if the Soviet-Cuban trade partnership were simply a socialist trade partnership, Cuba wouldn't have had to change its economy alongside the USSR's in order to survive! Cuba's entire army was for decades dependent on the USSR and aided in the Soviet invasions of Eriteria and Angola. Many people defend Cuba's resignation to social-imperialism saying that without it that the USA would have invaded them again and this time succeeded. But after the Bay of Pigs incident, the USA was rather demoralized in terms of Cuba, and it was too busy protecting its interests in Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, and many of its other Cold War disputes; thus it is doubtable whether the USA would have crushed Cuba or not. That is beside the point, however- even is Cuba WAS crushed, it wouldn't have made it wrong to have tried, since the USSR and China were also overthrown and they certainly weren't wrong for trying to developing socialism (also, keep in mind that the level of "living standards" should always be subordinate to the goal of advancing toward communism; in other words, it is better to go without if the only way to obtain certain desired goods is by falling back on capitalist strategies or by becoming a new exploiter state)!

If the Cuban masses are to truly attain national liberation, build socialism, and pave the way to communism, they must grasp Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as their ideology and build a New Democratic Revolution with a protracted People's War. They must overthrow the old revisionists and pro-social-imperialist lackeys within the old government and establish a new, TRUE Socialist Republic of Cuba guided by the revolutionary science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This is the only way they can achieve liberation, and this is what we must uphold for them.

Sources:
1. "Burn Down the Cane Fields!: Notes on the Political Economy of Cuba, Part II" A World to Win! magazine #15, 1990.
2. Lina Fuller, "Power at the Workplace: The Resolution of Worker-Management Conflict in Cuba", in Andrew Zimbalist, ed. 1987 p. 152
3. Cuban Central Bank study cited by Zimbalist and Eckstein, p. 20.
4. The First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, 1975.
5. Latin America Regional Reports: Caribbean, 21 July, 1988
6. "Elian Amid the Sharks", Revolutionary Worker newspaper #1051, April 23, 2000
Comrade Andrei Mazenov
2007 Winner of Soviet-Empire's A View to Kilt Award

Image
Soviet cogitations: 15
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Jun 2004, 01:33
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 28 Dec 2004, 02:38
Are you saying that Castro is one of these "old revisionists and pro-social-imperialist lackeys"?
As fire destroys paper, so will Red destroy White.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1598
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 23 Feb 2004, 22:46
Party Member
Post 28 Dec 2004, 22:07
Yes, I think that while he was revolutionary-minded originally, I think his dependency on the USSR turned him and the Cuban state into an instrument of social-imperialism and a mouthpiece of revisionism in Latin America, for the reasons I have stated above.
Comrade Andrei Mazenov
2007 Winner of Soviet-Empire's A View to Kilt Award

Image
Soviet cogitations: 20
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Jun 2004, 16:48
Pioneer
Post 06 Jan 2005, 00:53
Cuba is degenarate workers state .
Karol Wojtyła , jebaj go z tyła.
Soviet cogitations: 113
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Dec 2004, 12:11
Pioneer
Post 06 Jan 2005, 05:11
it has elements of so-called state capitalism, but Cuba is a socialist state, and among the most revolutionary countries in the world today, or for the last twenty years for that matter. i have been there, i support them, certainly not uncritically, and believe in their internationalism.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 10759
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 06 Jan 2005, 18:44
Castro was not socialist, he started the revolution to gain power, he only said Cuba was socialist (or communist) with the help of people such as Che.
Image

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 9306
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Mar 2004, 15:19
Ideology: Other Leftist
Old Bolshevik
Post 06 Jan 2005, 18:46
Red Rebel wrote:
Castro was not socialist, he started the revolution to gain power, he only said Cuba was socialist (or communist) with the help of people such as Che.

Back that claim up.
Image

Fitzy wrote:
Yes, because I am poisoning them. They are my children.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 10759
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 07 Jan 2005, 01:06
Some quotes from the book Critical Lives Che Guevara by Eric Luther and Ted Henken:
Chap 4 Pg 71 -72 "Che had a mission to go with his ideology. Although Castro and his rebel forces were not directly aligned with socialism and communism (Casto's espoused plans were rooted in a much more constitutional vein), they were all focused on rebellion and the overthrow of Batista."

Castro's Manifesto No. 1 included
*the restoration of the 1940 constitution
*elimination of the feudal landowning system by the country's oligarchy
*an agrarian plan to distrubute land to the peasants
*a profit-sharing system in the sugar mills
*the nationalization of public services
*a mandatory rent decrease
*an ambitious housing and education program to benefit all Cubans

So Castro wanted rebellion and power and Che wanted a socialist/communist nation.
Image

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1702
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Oct 2004, 21:15
Party Member
Post 07 Jan 2005, 01:17
Red Rebel wrote:
Castro's Manifesto No. 1 included
*the restoration of the 1940 constitution
*elimination of the feudal landowning system by the country's oligarchy
*an agrarian plan to distrubute land to the peasants
*a profit-sharing system in the sugar mills
*the nationalization of public services
*a mandatory rent decrease
*an ambitious housing and education program to benefit all Cubans

So Castro wanted rebellion and power and Che wanted a socialist/communist nation.

How does any of that place Castro in a position of significant power? They sound like socialist aims to me.
"Shake your chains to earth, like dew / Which in sleep had fall'n on you: / YE ARE MANY-THEY ARE FEW." - Percy Bysshe Shelley, 'The Masque of Anarchy'
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 10759
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 07 Jan 2005, 01:22
Yes they do sound something like socialist aims. But Castro constantly said he was not socialist or communist because the US would have reacted rather harshly.
Image

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1702
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Oct 2004, 21:15
Party Member
Post 07 Jan 2005, 06:15
So... you're saying someone that looks like a socialist and talks like a socialist isn't a socialist because he said under duress that he's not?
"Shake your chains to earth, like dew / Which in sleep had fall'n on you: / YE ARE MANY-THEY ARE FEW." - Percy Bysshe Shelley, 'The Masque of Anarchy'
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 10759
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 07 Jan 2005, 18:12
Quote:
So... you're saying someone that looks like a socialist and talks like a socialist isn't a socialist because he said under duress that he's not?


I'm saying that Castro (right after the revolution) said he was not socialist because he was afraid the US would attack them (because any country after a revolution is weak). Now Cuba is stronger (even though not at a superpower level) and when it had the USSR to back them up, Castro finally admitted to his ties to the communist party.
Image

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1702
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Oct 2004, 21:15
Party Member
Post 07 Jan 2005, 19:37
I could possibly buy that. You should have stated it that way the first time.
Quote:
Castro finally admitted to his ties to the communist party.

A communist party in Cuba, or the communist party of the Soviet Union? If you're saying that he had ties to the USSR prior to the Cuban revolution, please show your source.
"Shake your chains to earth, like dew / Which in sleep had fall'n on you: / YE ARE MANY-THEY ARE FEW." - Percy Bysshe Shelley, 'The Masque of Anarchy'
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 10759
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 07 Jan 2005, 23:40
I'm pretty sure that it was the Cuban communist party (i'm not sure though).
Image

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1598
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 23 Feb 2004, 22:46
Party Member
Post 08 Jan 2005, 16:46
From a similar discussion:

Socialism is not welfare measures, despite what many defendants of Cuba claim.

You can't "prove" a place is socialist by listing "free education" or "guaranteed jobs."

And socialism is not simply the existance or dominance of state ownership as a form of property relations.

After all, if the bourgeoisie owns the state, then state ownership is a bourgeois property relation.

socialism is something very different.....

That is why the transition (in Cuba) from western-style private-owned sugar plantation system to Soviet-style state-owned sugar plantation system was not a socialist measure...

It was, in fact, the prevention of the socialist road in agriculture, which can only happen through agrarian revolution, cooperatives and then "higher" forms of social ownership (including communes and collectives.)

Let me give you an example:

In Peru, there was a military dictatorship in the 1970s. It was oppressive, but leaned toward the Soviet Union. And it sought to impose changes in the interior of the country -- largely by replacing the old aristocratic ranching and farming system (called gamalismo) with state collectives.

The Maoists in Peru called this change "new gamalismo" -- because the pro-government peasants in charge of these collectives quickly set themselves up as new aristocrats and oppressors, and (like the old gamalismo) could rely on the army to back them up (against the peasants!)

In fact, the agrarian revolution in peru (Led by the Communist Party of Peru, known as Shining path) was aimed at overthrowing both old and new gamalismo, giving "land to the tiller," and then on the basis of those revolutionary changes, developing new forms of revolutionary collective ownership in a new society.

so, once again, it is common in the U.S. for conservatives to equate "socialism" with "government ownership" and varoius "welfare measures." As if the liberal reforms are "creeping socialism."

This is not the kind of socialism that maoists are fighting for -- and it is not what "socialism" means in Marxist discussions.

Socialism is a transitional society -- between capitalism and communism. It is a tumultous period of transition, in which there are corresponding production relations.

This issue of production relations has three levels:

1) There are "ownership relations" -- i.e. at what level in society is the decisionmaking make over the production units.

2) there are relations OF production -- i.e. what are the relationships between human beings like within the production process (is it one-man management? is it nose to the grindstone and punishment? Are new socialist and communist relations happening, where managers work, and workers manage?)

3) There are relations of distribution (which affects what real world production relations are like -- if goods are distributed extremely unequally, as they were in the Soviet Union for example, and if such inequalities are widening, as they have been in Cuba -- it reflects the underlying totality of production relations).

Fundamentally, a society is socialist if its relations are being transformed through revolutionary struggle to the degree possible, and if the structures, remnants, dynamics of capitalism (and commodity production0 are being exposed, overthrown and restricted.

This is a very different view of socialism from western conservatives (see above) or Soviet revisionists (who essentially portray socialism as "state ownership plus some welfare guarantees.")
Comrade Andrei Mazenov
2007 Winner of Soviet-Empire's A View to Kilt Award

Image
Soviet cogitations: 23
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Oct 2004, 22:25
Pioneer
Post 29 May 2005, 17:01
but surely after its revolution cuba needed somebody to trade with for the basic reason that its climate is not suited to the production of all food and other raw materials, and since the only person who it could realistically trade with was the ussr and possibly yugoslavia it would have forced castro to change the economy to suit the ussrs needs! i am only small so if this a stupid post please just correct me and dont shout for i get scared
Soviet cogitations: 25
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Jun 2005, 00:28
Pioneer
Post 13 Jun 2005, 17:32
I think that comrade Mazenov is too hard on Cuba's situation. Cuba is a SOCIALIST country, in a very primitive and embrionary form, but it is. It is true that it is not socialist becuse of he guarantees a wellfare, or own the economic production resources; Cuba is SOCIALIST because is a state run by the proletarians, by the workers class, and that it is what really define the meaning of a Socialist state. Socialism is not a single form of state ther is more primitive and more advanced forms, that are linked to the actual reality of the country where the socialism is implanted. Marx talked about the importance of the revolution in the most advanced capitalist countries, and Lenin insisted in the same point, because the version of socialism you get in a developing country is very primitive and incomplete. But the truth is that doesn't mean you can develop socialism in a poor country. We could discuss for months about the meanings and interpretations on the marxist-leninist teachings, but there is a key to resolve more of them, when you analize something under the perspective of the marxism and the you don't get an answer that can be in the side of the proletarians, you are doing the wrong way. It is a common error, beginning by the so called trostkist, made interpretations of reality that diminish the proletarian position. So if we deny the socialism nature of cuba, who gains? the workers or the capitalist?.
Of course I'm not saying that Cuba is the best example of orthodoxian (that could be anyway the secret of their success) nor there is not any pssible criticism on Cuba, and I believe Cuba could improve even more, but lets say this, make things perfect is quite impossible, so even doing that way Cuba is a succes in most fields.
Cuba has been able to survive the post-soviet era, and that just being 90 miles away fron the USA and whith a ferocious oposition which has piles of cash. Cuba hasn't walked the reformist way to became a populist regime. When the situation has been favorable he gained Venezuela for his side, being able to break the aislacionism.
So, I really believe that Cuba with all their flaws and errors is still the first line in the socialist fight, and may be the light of hope for a wordl that ask a better future.
Soviet cogitations: 305
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 17 Mar 2004, 23:34
Komsomol
Post 30 Jul 2005, 10:05
Fidel Castro tries his best under an almost impossible situation. He is pragmatic but at present Cuba does not have the resources to provide prosperous egalitarianism. Few countries do have enough resources to be truly self sufficient. The first world countries for example only has the resources, through the exploitation of the third world. They sap their resources like parasites, while the corporations grow richer and the third world economic growth is stunted.

And while Fidel did take on a Kruschevite monetary socialist economy, the needs of the people where still of high priority to government projects, and with the soviet aid some fantastic progress was achieved. The needs of the people where always at the forefront and where met, and Cuba was in a very good condition in the 80's before the fall of USSR. It was even getting the confidence to flex its own muscles around the carribean area and africa. Trying to help the leftist cause their.
Truth, Honour, Compassion, Fairness!
Loz
[+-]
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 27 Apr 2012, 18:55
Sorry for such necroposting, but i think that this article written by comrade Mazenov is very interesting and very relevant even today. Actully, it's especially relevant today.
Also, some people would otherwise miss it since the thread is 7 years old after all, so that's why i decided to post this.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 4394
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 27 Apr 2012, 20:23
Loz, why couldn't you let this ridiculous Maoist bullshit be? Do you even accept the notion that the USSR was to Cuba "a new foreign imperialist master" which had "restored capitalism in the mid-1950s"? I will agree that Cuba would have done well to diversify its economic base, which would have lessened the harsh effects of the destruction of the Soviet Bloc, but how was Castro supposed to predict the coming to power of the likes of Gorbachev? Lack of diversification was partly the USSR's fault, given that they decided to buy Cuban sugar at subsidized rates above world market prices, but how this constitutes 'social imperialism' I just can't understand, given that the aim of imperialism is to take from poor countries and to give to the rich. Up until the mid-1980s the Soviet leadership had always felt an internationalist obligation to give based in the fact that the USSR was a socialist counterbalance to global imperialism, and this bears out not only in relation to Cuba, but to pretty much every other nation which the USSR was on friendly terms with.

Essay wrote:
In 1965, to better trade with the USSR, Cuba adopted the same economic calculus formulated by the Soviet revisionists during the Kosygin Reforms of 1965. Basically, this form of economic theory formulates economic plans by weighing possible profit and loss, as well as simulating free markets and applying market-capitalist criteria at every level, while maintaing state ownership over the most basic means of production. An interesting thing to note is that while all of these theories were immediately and completely implemented in Cuba, they were not fully implemented in the Soviet Union until Gorbachev's perestroika- so, in a sense, the Cubans had perestroika before the Soviets did!


In 2005 I was not fully informed of the details of the Maoist arguments against the Kosygin reforms, but today I can say with confidence that they are built on as much demagoguery as the rest of their debating points. The 'profit' indicator had always existed in the Soviet planning system from the implementation of Stalinist industrialization and collectivization efforts which converted the country into a 'fully planned' economy (i.e. from 1928 on). The reforms associated with Kosygin's name attempted to play around with indicators, increasing the importance of the profit indicator in an attempt to improve economic efficiency. These reforms neither planned or succeeded in introducing elements of the market economic system into the Soviet economy, because prices remained state controlled, there were no 'owners' or even CEO-style managers to take economic advantage of these reforms, and most importantly because the ministries successfully resisted any attempts at reform. The Maoist obsession with the profit indicator in a socialist context leads me to conclude that they have no comprehension of the differences between its use in a socialist economy, whose goal remains to serve the national interest in the most efficient way possible, and a capitalist one, where it is used to serve the interests of the bourgeoisie. Perhaps Red Rebel can explain to us the structure of the Cuban economic system prior to 1991, but I am extremely weary of trusting the Maoist critique here just as I am in virtually any situation.

Essay wrote:
The Cuban people have a rather high suicide rate (21.7 per 100,000 deaths) and their average diet is, nutritionally, very poor (thanks to the lack of agrarian land reform).


Essay wrote:
Not to mention the fact that the government encourages private construction and private ownership of housing, something that Castro seems to have learned a bit from good ol' Maggie Thatcher...


Essay wrote:
It paid for the oil by selling 3/4 of its sugar to the USSR- which meant that 56.25% of Cuba's economic output went to the USSR instead of its own people!


I don't know how much really needs to be said about the kinds of demagoguery, stupidity and quackery in calculation found in points like these. Yes, Castro has taken points from Thatcher, has consciously decided to starve his people, and has failed to make his country exist outside the confines of the standards of global international trade. How could he consciously trade away Cuban economic output to the USSR when he could have kept it all, while continuing to receive Soviet imports and aid?


Essay wrote:
Castro constantly praised Gorbachev and adapted Cuba's economy to his policies; if the Soviet-Cuban trade partnership were simply a socialist trade partnership, Cuba wouldn't have had to change its economy alongside the USSR's in order to survive! Cuba's entire army was for decades dependent on the USSR and aided in the Soviet invasions of Eriteria and Angola.


Castro and Gorbachev had very poor personal relations once Castro realized from about 1988 what Gorbachev was attempting to do to the socialist bloc. There is absolutely no evidence to back the statement that Castro attempted to emulate Gorbachev, and in virtually every source on the matter Castro has been lumped together along with other 'hardliners' such as Honecker, Husak and Zhivkov who to the end of their days resisted Soviet attempts to pressure them to counterrevolutionary reforms. Gorbachev's cool reception in his 1989 visit to Cuba should be evidence enough to anyone doing any real historical analysis on the subject that Castro successfully resisted pressures to initiate a destructive perestroika of his own.

Essay wrote:
in other words, it is better to go without if the only way to obtain certain desired goods is by falling back on capitalist strategies or by becoming a new exploiter state)!


Yes, and the USSR should have gone to war with the United States in the 1950s instead of traitorously calling for peaceful coexistence.
Typical Maoist fanaticism. It's easy to do some armchair philosophizing when you're not actually in charge of a small bastion of socialism, with few allies, a hostile and powerful northern neighbour, and a population that has to eat and live.

Essay wrote:
If the Cuban masses are to truly attain national liberation, build socialism, and pave the way to communism, they must grasp Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as their ideology and build a New Democratic Revolution with a protracted People's War. They must overthrow the old revisionists and pro-social-imperialist lackeys within the old government and establish a new, TRUE Socialist Republic of Cuba guided by the revolutionary science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This is the only way they can achieve liberation, and this is what we must uphold for them.


I'm sure a revolutionary protracted people's war would work out real well for Cuba, with absolutely no danger of foreign intervention and the restoration of imperialist hegemony...
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Alternative Display:
Mobile view
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Soviet-Empire.com. Privacy.