Monday, October 22

Fidel Castro on Yesterdays Municipal Elections

From PSLweb: This first appeared Oct. 20 in Cuba's Granma Daily. Over 8.3 million Cubans will participate in municipal elections on Oct. 21, well over 90 percent of the eligible voters.

Our elections are the antithesis of those held in the United States, not on Sundays but on the first Tuesday of

November. Being very rich or having the support of lot of money is what matters the most there. Huge amounts are later on invested in publicity, specialized in brain washing and the creation of conditioned reflexes.

With honorable exceptions, no one can hope to be appointed to an important post without being backed by millions of dollars.

Being elected President in the U.S. requires hundreds of millions, which come from the coffers of big monopolies. Elections can be won by a candidate earning a minority of votes.

Less and less citizens are going to the ballots; there are many who would rather go to work or spend their time doing anything else. There is fraud, tricks, discrimination against ethnic minorities and even violence.

Having more than 90 per cent of all citizens voting in the elections and school children guarding the ballots is an unheard of experience; it’s hard to believe that this occurs in one of the "dark corners of this world," a harassed and blockaded country named Cuba. That is how we exercise the vigorous muscles of our political awareness.


Renegade Eye said...

The Communist Party in Cuba, is supposed to have a national congress every five years. They haven't had one for 12 years.

I think opposition parties should be allowed, as long as they oppose private property, and are not linked to Florida. The Floridians will turn Cuba into Haiti, privatizing healthcare and education.

Dave Marlow said...

I agree with Ren. Opposition parties are a key component to any free democracy. I am always uncomfortable with the claim that Cuba is an example of socialism in action. Though there are elections (a fact often "overlooked" by bourgeois propagandists), the nation still faces immense authoritarianism from the CPC.

Though Chavez expresses great admiration for the Cuban Revolution, I fervently hope Venezuela does not head down that road.

LeftyHenry said...


Really? I've heard otherwise, I'm sure I've read on the Granma internacional website about upcoming congresses.

Ren and Dave,

I don't think there is a need for "opposition parties" comrades, the need for multiple parties comes out of the fact that the ruling class is a small minority alienated from the vast majority of the people. It's parties aim to try to win us working class people over. However, we only have one party. We only need one party which can lead and express our interests. This doesn't mean the party isn't full of vibrant dissent and disagreement on how to go about excercising out power and such, and that's why Cuba is democratic centralist, and along with community councils, CDRs, and other mass organizations where the people excercise power independent from the CPC (although CPC members play large roles and try to be the leaders of these organizations), it has elections like the ones on Sunday. That's what Leninism is all about. I personally don't have a problem with opposition parties, but I also don't have a problem with the current political system. I think though that political parties would just split the movement. Because the Cuban people express their will through one party, I think they've been able to resist the US for so long despite material conditions and remain a base and a rally-flag for marxists, leftists, and anti-imperialists everywhere, especially in Latin Amerca.

Dave Marlow said...

I need your e-mail to send an invitation.

Renegade Eye said...

Everyone's analysis is based on Cuba 50 years ago. Not much good analysis around.

Henry: There is a lack of democracy within the Cuban CP. They haven't had a national congress in 12 years.

Dave: Venezuela has different dynamics than the Cuban revolution. Elections have been a major part of the Venezuelan experience.

At times Chavez sounds wacky. Still he is opening up the door for socialists. Many on the left don't understand, that Chavez is raising expectations of the workers and peasants, creating a dynamic toward socialism.

If you were in Venezuela, nobody would listen to you, if you are against Chavez. Supporting Chavez opems doors for you, that being on the outside can't.

My comrades support Chavez in Venezuela, the Labor Party in UK and Israel. In Pakistan we are in Parliment representing the Marxist wing of Bhutto's PPP party.

I only endorse my comrades, I support leftist causes that build a socialist base.

You don't have to endorse Chavez, but you should support him.

Leftwing Criminologist said...

Hi I agree with what Ren was saying about Chavez, he is opening people's eyes as to another wya being possible, but to truly get rid of capitalism there, it's necessary for workers to organise independently so they can take measures such as expropriation etc. to guarantee and improve their standard of living. Unfortunately Chavez isn't breaking completely with capitalism, the nationalisations (which should be welcomed) don't go as far as Chile did prior to Pinochet.
I have to say I think the IMT perspective on the former mass workers parties is way out. Coming from the UK I know the labour party is dead as a vehicle for social change (no doubt the immenent collapse of RESPECT may lead to one last reclaim the Labour Party hurrah, though that's just the fault of the SWP for being bureaucratic centralists and having no internal democracy)
Anyway, back to Cuba, what the CCP in Cuba desperately needs is internal democracy and discussion, I would also support the right for alternative parties to stand.

Dave Marlow said...


I both support and endorse Chavez and the Venezuelan socialist effort. It's for that very reason that I hope it doesn't follow down the same path as Cuba. Your point about elections being a key component of the movement is well-taken. I see it as extremely similar to the election of the Sandinistas in the 1980's.

LeftyHenry said...

comrade, I don't think just because the PCC hasn't had a congress since 1997 (10 years) it lacks internal democracy. Sure, the PCC isn't perfect, but interparty democracy is expressed in other ways. Party Congresses, afterall, occur after there is major support within the party for change. The congress in 1991 for example, changed the party from the Working class to the working class and whole nation. It also elevated National Liberation hero, Jose Marti to the ideological significance of Marx and Lenin. This just means that there isn't a significant movement within the party for reform.

blackstone said...

Does anyone else find this ironic?

Being elected President in the U.S. requires hundreds of millions, which come from the coffers of big monopolies. Elections can be won by a candidate earning a minority of votes

None of that is necessary in Cuba apparently...I wonder why...

leftyhenry, link my blog comrade