Cuba

On Tuesday 27 September, the Category 3 Hurricane Ian hit Cuba, lashing the island for seven hours with winds that reached gusts of 200 km/h. The eye of the cyclone was for an hour and a half over the city of Pinar del Río, capital of the province of the same name, which was the most affected by the hurricane, leaving scenes of widespread devastation.

At the end of July, a series of economic measures were announced in Cuba, amongst them opening up the retail sector to foreign investment and the opening of a new official currency exchange rate. In order to comprehend the meaning of these measures and their possible impact and consequences, we need to understand the background to the very dire economic situation in the island.

In the early afternoon of 26 April, it was reported that the director of the Cuban student magazine Alma Mater had been dismissed. The decision has caused a huge stir on the island, on social media and beyond.

This article was produced several months ago by our Italian comrades of Sinistra, Classe, Rivoluzione in response to a polemic by Francesco Ricci concerning the counter-revolutionary demonstration in Cuba last year, which he supported. Ricci’s organisation (the PDAC) inherits the tradition of Nahuel Moreno, a leader of the Argentine Trotskyist movement who historically swung back and forth between ultra leftism and opportunism.

On 3 February 1962, US president Kennedy signed proclamation 3447, decreeing an embargo on all trade with Cuba, which was to enter into effect on 7 February. This marked the official beginning of a 60-year blockade (though the imperialist assault had started earlier), which has progressively been strengthened and tightened.

The Cuban Revolution was one of the most inspiring events in history. For the first time in the Western hemisphere, a workers' state was created. The enormous achievements of the revolution in healthcare, education and in securing independence for Cuba from the clutches of US imperialism continue to be a beacon for the oppressed masses of Latin America and the whole world. This video from our British comrades’ hugely successful Revolution Festival explains where the struggle for socialism in Cuba must go from here.

The demonstration called by the so-called ArchipelagoPlatform on 15 November is clearly a reactionary provocation that serves the interests of imperialism. Cuba faces an extremely serious economic situation. The organisers of the 15 November march (permission for which has been denied by the authorities) intend to take advantage of it to launch a process that they hope will lead to the overthrow of the Cuban Revolution, the restoration of capitalism and the destruction of the planned economy. Faced with this situation, we clearly and unequivocally place ourselves at the defence of the Cuban Revolution.

We would like to bring our readers’ attention to this article by Cuban Communist Frank Josué Solar Cabrales, which was published in Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party under the title “The realism of the ‘impossible’”. The article deals with the question of the conditions for Latin American unity. We fully share the author’s contention that this can only be achieved through socialist revolution and the impact that such a development would have on the class struggle worldwide.

The situation in Cuba is serious. On Sunday 11 July, there were protests in various towns and cities in Cuba that have enjoyed widespread coverage in the international media (how could it be otherwise?) Where do these protests come from? What is their character? How should we, as revolutionaries, respond?

Another year, another overwhelming vote at the United Nations General Assembly against the US blockade against Cuba. This time it was 184 votes for the motion, two against (the US and Israel), and three abstentions (Brazil, Colombia and Ukraine). This is the 29th time the UNGA votes against Cuba's blockade since the motion was first put to the vote in 1992, and once again, the USA will completely disregard it.

The Communist Party of Cuba held its 8th congress in Havana from 16 to 19 April, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist character of the revolution on the eve of the attempted invasion of Playa Girón [Bay of Pigs]. The congress was the culmination of the process of replacing the historical leadership in a context of serious economic crisis and of dangerous economic reforms.

In the following polemic, Jorge Martin (editor for marxist.com) responds to a pair of articles in a Cuban magazine, which mischaracterise the 27N movement as being left wing. In fact, this movement of artists and intellectuals for ‘democratic freedoms’ is liberal at best, and openly counterrevolutionary at worst. We also include a letter by Martin, addressed to the Comunistas blog, laying out our differences and calling for communists to stand unequivocally on the side of defending the Cuban Revolution and its conquests.