10/16/13 - Havana Times - The Duty of the Left in Cuba
Vincent Morin Aguado
HAVANA TIMES Looked at both in a national as well as an international
perspective, the duty of the left in Cuba is to preserve all the positive
things that the Cuban socialist experiment has brought with it, as it
struggles to move on towards a new model which in the words of the
currently fashionable jargon is both prosperous and sustainable .
The right, masked or bare faced, has defined its approach quite clearly: a
return to capitalism under the tutelage of the enormous power represented
by the United States.
Apart from being political suicide, it is naïve to assume a new socialist
model can be created by erasing the last half century of Cuban history,
including its historic leadership. Only by accepting the past, with its
successes and failures, can we build a better future.
Now and this is a practical matter, for those governing this country
today we need to draw up a road map with access channels allowing
freedom of expression to flourish within a broadly participatory society
enabling the left to fulfil this duty.
The guidelines of the Sixth Communist Party Congress plagued by
inconsistency in their application can only be viewed as a program of
minimum reform, a first step towards greater efforts in the mission to
change everything that needs changing. Even so, the scale of change in
my opinion - will need to much greater than whatever is implied by
whoever thought up this historical phrase.
Waiting for her turn at the clinic. Photo: Juan Suarez
We have seen political prisoners being released and yet still peaceful,
law abiding citizens holding opinions at variance with the official
policy line, continue to be harassed.
The scope of self-employment has been expanded, going so far as to all
what are even small business enterprises, while operations involving the
police, restrict long-standing economic activities.
The Cuban press has said it will fight resolutely against the secrecy of
the authorities, but when it comes to facing thorny questions that
urgently need addressing because of their great political and social
importance, it still sticks its head in the sand.
The current political process a gradual one in accordance with the
strategy of President Raul Castro - does not, in my view, have many
enthusiastic adherents among the various power groups, formed after
decades of neo-Stalinist retrenchment.
A friend told me recently - and I will repeat it that today the social
body of the Cuban nation has advanced beyond the body politic as a whole.
And although we might naturally assume in such as situation that cart is
now pushing the horse forward, the opposite is happening. The horse is
digging in its hooves to brake the momentum of the cart. It is a paradox
familiar in Cuban history. Nevertheless to continue the analogy as any
farmer worth his salt will tell you, even with oxen or horses- like
these you still have to plough the soil.
I hope the usual suspects are not offended I allude to no one in
particular. I am referring to the body politic as a whole, which,
naturally includes many exceptions. If that were not the case, the
important steps taken so far, would not have been made.
I emphasize this paradox because of the peculiarities of our history these
54 years that have prevented the emergence of an alternative to the left,
capable of proving a leadership able to ensure compliance with the
enormous tasks in the making.
Internationally we face a giant with seven league feet, who as Martí
warned desires nothing more but to put its boots on us. Such a Goliath
exists, make no mistake, staking the earth, mumbling and threatening.
Photo: Juan Suarez
It is also good to consider the experiences of the New Left, especially in
Latin America, whose revolutionary leaders are developing complex
processes without sacrificing so-called bourgeois representative
Without the revolutionary work created up till now it would be impossible
to attempt to undertake socialist reforms. The errors made, many of them,
including those blown up out of all proportion by the media, are however
no impediment to the impetus towards developing a genuine form of
democracy, but certainly not one in which a single person is allowed to
amass a fortune equivalent to the gross domestic product of some countries
on a troubled planet in danger of extinction.
Socialism has failed so far to be truly democratic, but it is capable of
being so because some of the economic concepts which underpin it are
Capitalism practices a formal democracy in certain parts of the world. But
by its very nature, it abnegates at a political level the sort of
democracy that is so essential for the present and future of humanity, so
much in need of solidarity and common sense.
Engrossed in everyday life, trying to distinguish the forest from the
trees, the left can not ignore the forest as a whole, which is precisely
what is has undertaken to save.
Vincent Morin Aguado : firstname.lastname@example.org
Original Source / Fuente Original:
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