“We shall fight them on the beaches” said Winston Churchill in his eulogy to Britain’s war effort against the ferocious power of Nazi Germany. We of course, did fight them on the beaches and with the power of the mighty Soviet Union and other allies, we were able to defeat the Nazi hordes and dispel the threat of the invading forces. That was indeed a proud moment for our little island.
Well, another little island has also had to fight an invading force for its right to exist. That island is Cuba. Except, unlike for us, its invader the United States of America never went away. It stayed there, breathing down its neck placing heavy sanctions, and trying with all its might to cripple it. Cuba’s moment of fighting them on the beaches took place during The Bay of Pigs invasion. Even though Cuba won that battle, it was an example of American aggression that they have never forgotten, just as we have never forgotten the Luftwaffe flying over the skies of our island. At the time of this article, the U.S.A listed Cuba as a state sponsoring terrorism. This is laughable considering it comes from a country that has sponsored ISIS, Al-Qaeda and death squads in Nicaragua. Cuba is decidedly not a state that sponsors terrorism.
Nevertheless, the point of this article is not to go after the ruling class who habitually lie through their teeth and slander anything progressive for the working-class movement. The target of this article are the so called ‘socialists’, the Trotskyite left, the soft left, the impossibilists, who have made it their mission to make the ruling class’ job easier.
Recently an article has been making the rounds on these “socialist” forums, which tries to detail all the failings of Cuba and admonishes it to take a few leaves out of the U.S.A’s book of democracy. (Ironically, at the time of the storming of Capital Hill!) Precisely at a time when the socialist state of Cuba needs our solidarity the most, these fake socialists back-stab it.
The author of that poisonous article is Sam Farber who is from Cuba. Farber purports to have engaged in student activism against the U.S puppet dictatorship of Batista, the same dictator that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara led the revolution against in 1959. It brings a wry smile to read that it was precisely that year that Farber chose to leave Cuba for the U.S, to study in an American university. Farber championed his way through academia churning out Trotskyite criticisms of existing socialist countries, and, unfailingly, the liberal left is there to indulge in sharing the fabrications. Let us look at what was said.
Farber laments the soviet model of democracy that was adopted by China, Vietnam and Cuba. He cries bitterly that they “not only repress political opposition but also criminalise it”. For a political scientist who appeals to objectivity, he appears to share the same old theoretical burps that have long plagued the Trotskyite left, which has never failed to laughably disappoint.
Lenin once said,
“Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich — that is the democracy of capitalist society.”
He also said,
“The dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the organization of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy. Simultaneously with an immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists.”
Lenin understood that the state in a socialist society is under threat from capitalist powers. The state exists as the main means of controlling and protecting the gains and advancements made by socialism. It is the main Marxist theoretical point that separates us from anarchists. Castro also understood this, facing the biggest imperialist power in the world, he understood that bourgeois democracy is no democracy at all. Therefore, the Cuban constitution protects socialism and decrees that anything not upholding socialism is unconstitutional. However, Farber pretends that he knows better than Lenin and Castro and even reaches for Tsarist Russia and Batista’s Cuba as examples of true democratic activity. He states that the Tsar and Batista gave true political asylum which was forever lost in the U.S.S.R and the socialist Republic of Cuba. This argument is utterly laughable. The Tsar murdered thousands who went against his rule and in his mad anti-Semitic insanity he killed Jewish people. As for Batista, he also executed thousands who were opposing him. Farber should know. He was there. Apparently.
Farber gives supposedly apparent examples of Cuba ‘smashing down democracy’. However, all his examples are distortions offered out of context. Cuba was/is facing down the biggest imperialist power and impossibilists like Farber – instead of attempting to put across an opinion through the political institutions of Cuba, which are far more democratic than in any western power – choose to create or support military clandestine organisations funded by the U.S.A. Why can’t people like Farber just come out and admit they have a soft spot for imperialism?
Farber goes on to denounce the law 88 of 1999 which punishes those who take things or participate in distributing financial resources from the U.S.A. He states that whilst he understands punishment for things that were of a violent nature, he doesn’t understand why anything non-violent should be punished. He states that they are being punished for things that would be legal in any ‘democratic country’.
Farber is blatantly blind, dumb, and deaf to the seriousness of the sanctions the U.S.A has placed on Cuba. He either doesn’t understand or maliciously ignores the political consequences of allowing harmful media printed in the U.S or financed from the U.S into Cuba. He thinks ‘why not allow in anti-constitutional media that seeks to destroy the state?’, ‘That’s what democracy is, right?’
Farber wants a ‘left’ in Cuba that can accept things coming from the U.S and distribute them liberally in Cuba. Farber wants Cuba, the country that has been invaded, sanctioned and its citizens killed by the imperialist power, to have material from that same imperialist power floating around poisoning the minds of the people. In Britain right now, ‘left wing sources’ are censored in places of education and left-wing groups are stuck on terrorist lists. Maybe Farber should be fighting for us? Don’t hold your breath.
When it comes to the socialist countries, the soft left cannot see compromise. When it comes to imperialist countries, they can never do enough to praise the ‘democratic processes we do have’. One wonders why, if life is so great under the imperialist powers, they ever became socialists in the first place.
Farber finishes his spiel with encouragements for Cubans to seek support not just from American government organisations but also from Cuban exiles. He also supports them in seeking aid from “the U.S civil society – churches, organisations – most of which operate independently of the State Department, the CIA”. Notice his emphasis on the word ‘most’. So, he acknowledges that some do operate with the funding of the U.S state but he encourages involvement anyway. Farber is a cowardly bourgeois academic of the first rate.
Overall, Farber’s article is a toxic attack posing as leftist rhetoric. At such a dangerous time for Cuba, (when one most needs to remember what happens to socialist countries when capital gets its cold grip round their neck, like in the U.S.S.R) the ‘left’ has picked a great time to share such an odious article. We must celebrate Cuba’s achievements and its dedication to socialism and condemn the imperialist beast at every opportunity. ‘But where would the fun in that be?’ asks Farber, after all he makes a living out of this. He occasionally jibes at bad domestic policies of the capitalist countries but mostly sticks to attacking the success stories of socialism because it’s such a good cash cow for him. However, it’s not just Farber. Farber indeed has written this drivel, but the ‘socialist forums’ that have shared it are of his ilk.
These ‘socialist’ forums cry ‘oh why does no one see the light’, ‘the working classes are too ignorant’. They blame the same working classes they apparently seek to liberate whilst they themselves do their utmost to make socialist countries look terrible and assure the working class that ‘their socialism will work though’. They do not come across as ‘revolutionary socialists’, they come across as con artists. The British writer Tolkien, by no means a Communist himself but whose thinking seems rather apt here, once wrote, “The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places”. I believe we have found such a place in the self-defeating fools of the liberal left.
The Socialist Republic of Cuba stands like a beacon, a constant foe to imperialism and an icon to the countries of South America that have for so long been bullied by the U.S.A. May it never falter in its mission of peace and socialism in its isle. Cuba serves as an inspiration to our own little isles of Britain that so desperately need an end to our own exploitation.