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Newsletter (in English)

Archive for the Category 'Latin America'

Christian Castillo, a leading member of the PTS and Vice-presidential candidate for the Workers Left Front, stated that “in the context of a conservative election, where the working population has chosen to back the government as a lesser evil to the bosses’ opposition candidates, we received massive support from workers and young people in these primary elections. The projection made by the official electoral authorities shows that we will surpass 500,000 votes. We have achieved a big increase, compared to the total of 200,000 votes received by the component parts of the Front in the 2007 Presidential elections, and the 400,000 received in 2009. We know that a large number of our supporters agreed with our condemnation of the new electoral law approved by the Kirchnerites and Radicals which bans small parties from taking part in elections if they do not obtain at least 1.5% of the vote in the primaries. We will continue fighting for the repeal of this law, which has already led to the Proyecto Sur being unable to stand in the October elections. »»»»

Impressions from the electoral campaign of the „Frente de Izquierda y de los Trabajadores“ („Left and Workers’ Front“, FIT) and the participation of the PTS

On June 12th, Alejandro López, worker in Zanón and leader of the Ceramic Workers’ Union in Neuquén („Sindicato de Obreros y Empleados Ceramistas en Neuquén“, SOECN), won a seat in the provincial parliament of Neuquén in the first provincial elections in which the FIT presented itself as an electoral front. This victory is an important step in the FIT’s electoral campaign and can serve as a first example of a revolutionary electoral campaign as well as of what to do with a seat in the parliament from a Marxist point of view. In this sense, I would like to write down some impressions of the work of the FIT so far, and especially of the PTS within this front. »»»»

Election of a Workers’ Left Front candidate in Neuquén welcomed by workers and left activists all over the country

Christian Castillo, national leader of the Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas (“Socialist Workers’ Party, PTS), who shares the presidential ticket of the Workers’ Left Front with Jorge Altamira (PO, “Workers’ Party”), greeted the political achievement in Neuquén where the Front won a provincial representative. »»»»

Raúl Castro has announced that the much-delayed congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) will take place in April 2011. The fifth congress of the PCC was held in October 1997, and the sixth has been postponed countless times. But after an interval of thirteen and a half years, the PCC’s (formally) highest body will finally meet. »»»»

Where is Cuba Going? A Marxist Analysis of the Perspectives for the “Socialist Island”

Cuba seems like an anachronism in today’s world. Other formerly “socialist” states reintroduced capitalism in the upheavals of the 1990s. In Russia, the Communist Party was toppled and its system collapsed. In China and Vietnam, the Communist Parties themselves led a controlled process of reforms to reestablish a market economy. Cuba alone has maintained to this day an economy which is dominated not by the laws of the market but by a plan. Will Cuba experience a chaotic reintroduction of capitalism like in Russia? Or a controlled restoration like in China and Vietnam? Will it remain an “anachronism”? Or will it develop in an entirely new direction?

Introduction and Chapter 1: Cuba today
Chapter 2: The Cuban Revolution
Chapter 3: From olive green to red
Infobox: The Cuban Revolution began in 1917…
Chapter 4: Cuban Bonapartism
Chapter 5: A degenerate workers’ state
Chapter 6: The “Special Period”
Chapter 7: Stabilization
Chapter 8: The military, the bureaucracy and the party
Chapter 9: The development of the economy
Chapter 10: The trajectory of the Cuban regime
Chapter 11: The “Chinese” road
Chapter 12: Three possible roads
Chapter 13: Tasks of Marxists + Bibliography

The first draft of these theses was written by Wladek Flakin (RIO, Berlin) in April 2010 and discussed at RIO’s seminar on Latin America in June 2010 and its Summer Academy in August 2010. Based on these discussions the text was expanded by Victor Jalava (RIO, Kiel). Members of the Left Block (LiBRo) from Rostock, the Marxist Initiative (MI) from Berlin and the New Anticapitalist Left (NAL) from the Czech Republic contributed to the discussion. Following, we will publish one chapter from the theses every two days for a month.


Revolutionary Marxists outside Cuba have several fundamental tasks. We must defend the gains of the Cuban revolution against imperialism, particularly opposing the criminal US blockade of the island. At the same time, we must defend these gains against the plans of the ruling bureaucracy itself when it tries to take further steps towards capitalism. For this, we must strengthen the only conceivable social base of a second Cuban Revolution, an independent workers’ movement on the island. »»»»

The PCC’s last congress was in 1997. The sixth congress, originally scheduled for 2008, has been postponed indefinitely. This is a sure sign of cracks within the bureaucracy which the top leadership is working to mend before they can show themselves at a congress. »»»»

The development of China since the early 1990s shows clearly that capitalism can be restored in a degenerate workers’ state without major changes to the political regime. It is noteworthy that the official Cuban press still refers to China as socialist, even though 2/3 of the country’s millionaires (and there are many!) are members of the Communist Party of China. More importantly, the entire economy with few exceptions is dominated by the laws of the market. China’s “economic miracle” has been based on the super-exploitation of hundreds of millions of peasants herded into the cities to work as cheap labor for multinational corporations. »»»»

The Cuban regime is known for its internationalism – Fidel Castro was saluted by Nelson Mandela for the contribution made by Cuban troops to the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. Cuban doctors in Venezuela and all over the world have made important contributions to raising the standards of living in the poorest countries. »»»»

The defining feature of the Cuban economy today is the blockade imposed by the United States government in 1962 under the “Trading with the Enemies Act”, tightened again in 1996 with the “Healms-Burton Act”. Cuban sources estimate that in the last fifty years the Cuban economy has lost roughly US$86 billion due to this blockade[38]. »»»»

Cuba’s joint ventures are run primarily by the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR). The long-time leader of the FAR and now prime minister of the island, Raúl Castro, has been considered a “reformer” since the 1980s. Military companies are now the largest partner of foreign capital in Cuba, controlling some 40% of GDP: the tourism holding company Gaviota S.A., owned by the FAR, is one of the largest companies on the island[33]. »»»»