Cuba: Action, Reflection, and Self-Critique

By Angel Guerra Cabrera on October 7, 2021

‘The Changes in Cuba are for More Socialism’ photo: Bill Hackwell

Roughly three months ago, on July 11th, the hegemonic media predicted the end of the Cuban Revolution, supposedly overwhelmed by “peaceful” popular protests. In truth, what really happened that day was the withering defeat by the Cuban people of a counterrevolutionary plan that took the United States years of preparation.

Yes, there were peaceful protests with legitimate demands, compatible with the broad freedoms guaranteed by the socialist rule of law. However, at lightning speed, the stateless counterrevolution, which for months had been using sophisticated mechanisms of poison [see:] in the so-called social media to call for protests in the streets, launched its mercenaries. Oiled with millions of Yankee dollars, they engaged in blinding brutal attacks on unarmed police and civilians while groups of criminals looted and vandalized public and private property. Had it not been for the revolutionary mobilization to the streets called by President Miguel Diaz-Canel, chaos and a spiral of bloodshed would have been enthroned. But the revolutionaries, civilians or unarmed members, I insist, of the public force, dissolved the enemy’s attempt while the popular offensive began an upward trend which crosses horizontally and transversally more and more sectors and territories of the country.

Where were there demonstrations of discontent? In vulnerable neighborhoods, terribly hit by the decades-long blockade, tightened by Trump during his term in office and which Biden keeps intact, to cut off the island from any source of foreign currency and cruelly aggravate the suffering caused by the pandemic. These are populations that are insufficiently served or neglected by the government – for the Revolution is a human effort with its imperfections. This was aggravated by the prolonged quarantine, which reduced to a minimum the political work in the communities, with all the revolutionary forces directed to confront the spread of the virus and attend to the sick. In the midst of that, a wave of blackouts as a result of the difficulties in acquiring spare parts for the electrical industry.

That is why Díaz-Canel is so right when he states: if the perversity of the genocidal policy of the U.S. government has been manifested in anything, it is in having maintained the blockade, intensified by the Trump administration in pandemic conditions, asphyxiating, suffocating a people, condemning them to die.

The current complex situation requires – as Diaz-Canel added in a recent meeting with all the municipal presidents of People’s Power – great sensitivity, differentiated work from person-to-person, better attention to the problems of the population, to their proposals, of which the current work of revitalization of the neighborhoods is an example. But he also reflected: “and why didn’t we do what we are doing now, years ago?… Because we were being lethargic”. The fact is that revolutionary Cuba has never had it easy. That is why the president and party leader recalled, as a lesson from Raul Castro’s, his “yes we can” which shook off the lethargy in the midst of the monumental economic crisis following the disappearance of the USSR aggravated by an intensification by Washington of the economic asphyxiation – one of the many extreme situations that the Cuban people have had to face.

From the 11th (of July) onwards, revolutionary actions have multiplied. Despite the enormous sacrifices and difficulties imposed by the US siege and the economic paralysis caused by covid, Cuba is promoting the reopening of the economy, including vital tourism, through vaccination, with its own drugs, which already covers 97 percent of the population over two years of age with one dose and 55.7 percent with a complete scheme; at the same time, it maintains preventive measures. At the same time, Cuba is strengthening popular power and participatory democracy from the community, promotingfood production with measures such as stimulating small and medium enterprises, and encouraging national debate on the very advanced draft of the Family Code, which recognizes and protects the diversity and heterogeneity of today’s society and the rights of girls, boys, grandmothers and grandfathers.

At the aforementioned meeting, Díaz-Canel warned that the blockade will continue and that while denouncing it “we must continue to be capable, with a blockade, to advance further, and advance with our own efforts and with our own talent”.

The president reflected openly that the enemies of the revolution are embittered by the stability and governability that exists in the country and will continue their campaign to discredit Cuba in search of another 11th in which they hope to succeed. That is why today it is transcendental to maintain revolutionary vigilance.

Source: La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English