Sunday, May 25, 2008

Castro and World Social Forum


What has enabled the current bureaucracy of Castro to leap ahead in the process of restoring capitalism in Cuba? It is undoubtedly the suppression of the workers' and poor peasants’ revolution in Bolivia, and the containment of the pre-revolutionary situations in Chile and Mexico.

This represents the temporary defeat of the most advanced anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggles of the proletariat and exploited in Latin America.

The Castro bureaucracy could not move towards capitalist restoration without the World Social Forum’s treacherous ‘Bolivarian Revolution’. In the years since the turn of the century the WSF has put all its efforts into preventing revolutions in Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia. It has stopped workers and peasants struggles in Chile and Mexico during 2006/2007 from embarking on the revolutionary road.

The Zapatistas and the Stalinists allowed the heroic Oaxaca commune to be crushed. In Chile, the Castroist FPMR [Popular Front of Manuel Rodriquez] prevented a general strike and allowed the "red pacos" [red pólice] of the Communist Party and the unión bureaucracy of the CUT to save Bachelet’s pro-NAFTA civil-military regime. In the United States the WSF subordinated the emerging opposition to the Iraq war and the struggles of migrant workers to the Democratic Party

Meanwhile, along with Chavez, the Castro bureaucracy is pushing a Contadora and Esquipulas style of agreement to stabilize Colombia by disarming the FARC. This agreement is designed to bring about a situation where the FARC and the Colombian bourgeoisie end the war and the FARC become a legalised ‘Bolivarian’-type party contesting elections.

Just as the betrayal of the Salvadoran and Nicaraguan revolutions in the 1980s allowed the Castro bureaucracy to move towards capitalist restoration, the suppression of the Bolivian revolution, the containment of the struggles in Mexico and Chile, and now the betrayal of the FARC today, has created the opportunity for the Castro bureaucracy to complete the restoration process and turn themselves into a new bourgeoisie.

This process will not be peaceful because to succeed, it has to crush the resistance of the Latin American workers and poor peasants.

So far the Castroists and the WSF have suppressed and contained the Latin American revolution, and the struggles of the US working class at the feet of the Democratic Party, but the continential proletariat has not been crushed by an historic defeat.

Cuba is undergoing the terminal decline of the foundations of the degenerate workers state. It is facing a crisis of insufficient production and shortages similar to that of the USSR in the late 1980s under Gorbachev and his policy of "perestroika”.

All foreign exchange and profits generated in the sector of the economy open to imperialist investment – tourism, nickel, petroleum, etc. – go offshore as royalties, patents and profit remittances to foreign monopolies, and as the income of the bureaucracy that goes into "off shore" accounts in the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands. The convertible peso –the "chavito" – that exchanges 1 to 1 for the US$ shows how profitable this sector is for foreign investors and the corrupt expropriation of foreign exchange by the bureaucracy.

Of those billions of dollars of profits extracted from the island, little or nothing is reinvested in Cuba. This is the cause of the insufficient production and shortages faced by the workers and peasants earning miserable wages (US$ 13 per month) in devalued pesos (34 pesos equal 1 US$!).

The devalued peso reflects the declining labour productivity of the obsolete and defective state sector of the economy. Many people are homeless and most autos are 50s US or Eastern European 60s and 70s models. Most people have ration books for food and the once high standards of education and health are deteriorating dramatically. Thus, as was the case in the 80s in the Soviet Union and the states of Eastern Europe, Cuban workers are left with very few past gains to defend that have not been liquidated or weakened by the restorationist bureaucracy.

This crisis of insufficient production and shortages results from the failure to develop the productive forces within the limits of the traversty of "socialism in one island."

Since the bureaucracy cannot enrich itself on the backs of the declining state economy, the only way out for the bureaucracy is to finish the restoration of capitalism. The alternative of revaluing the peso doesnt work because there is not the production to back the currency, and hyperinflation would result causing increasing social inequality and growing hatred among the masses.

The only alternative for the bureaucracy is to raise labour productivity. But this would need an acceleration of the process of foreign investment in joint ventures with the bureaucracy. This intensifies the exploitation of Cuban workers and drives down its miserable living standards. In other words, another explosive cocktail that could blow up in the faces of the bureaucracy.

This shows that as Trotsky said in The Revolution Betrayed, restoration will not be peaceful. The bureaucracy in its attempts to restore capitalism and become a new bourgeoisie must overcome the resistance of the masses by means of civil war.

Therefore, the only course is the political revolution linked to the Latin American socialist revolution. This is the only way to stop the bureaucracy from becoming the direct agents of US imperialism, crushing the masses, finishing capitalist restoration and inserting Cuba into the global division of labour as a new “brothel” of America."

· For the Trotskyist program of political revolution to overthrow the parasitic bureaucracy, and to create a workers state, a true workers democracy with a government of armed workers, peasants and soldiers councils!

· For a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat that ends all the "privileges, ranks and medals" of bureaucracy, class inequality and wage labour, where the first task is to renationalize under workers’ control and all sectors of the economy that are open to foreign capital and "joint ventures", and to reimpose the monopoly of foreign trade and stop the flight of foreign currency which bleeds the of wealth of the Cuban economy.

This is the only way to end the perverse system of "two currencies", and return to a single Cuban peso, a healthy currency that represents the real value created by the economy of the island once the workers and peasants have regained control from the monopolies and corrupt bureaucracy all branches of the production and all the wealth they have been stealing.

It is also the only way to expel the parasitic bureaucracy and its foreign partners, and create a healthy workers state as a bastion of revolution in Latin America, North America and the world.
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