Comunistas Cuba, an organization of dissident Cuban socialists, sent greetings to the December 2022 Freedom Socialist Party convention. Their passionate statement, translated below, speaks to the importance of the U.S. Trotskyist movement for those on the island nation standing up to an entrenched bureaucracy during a devastating economic crisis.
Comrades of the FSP: While it would seem that the world stopped spinning on its axis and rotated 24 hours around Qatar, you revolutionary Marxists are holding your national convention. While it seems that the crimes of the Qatari organizers [of the 2022 World Cup] are crueler than U.S. imperialism, you revolutionary Marxists are holding your national convention. While billions of people do not even question that the United States as it exists today can disappear with a Socialist Revolution, you revolutionary Marxists hold your national convention. Simply being a communist in the U.S. is a heroically beautiful gesture. To go on to organize around a communist organization in the U.S. is even more beautiful, and to then want and believe that you can defeat imperialism, is to be an exceptional person. As if that were not enough, you have built an organization free of all dogma and alien to the sectarianism that plagues many Marxist parties: that is one of the reasons why we are sending this greeting.
The FSP is the only U.S. Trotskyist party that maintains close relations with us and this is no accident. We see in you the example of the small revolutionary organization that does not exhaust itself and that also struggles and grows. We need to learn more from you: from your insistence, from your work between revolutionary feminism and the Marxist perspective of the struggle for LGBTQ+ and racial rights.
All this is very important for Comunistas. Cuba is experiencing the worst crisis of political legitimacy since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.
The municipal elections held in Cuba last Sunday, November 27, showed a 20% increase in abstentionism. If in 2017 89.1% of the electorate went to the polls, in November 2022 only 68.58% of those who could vote participated.
The defenders of the Cuban bureaucracy will say that this is a normal figure in many countries of the region. But the fact that in 5 years abstentionism has grown by 20% — even more, considering that previous turnout at the polls was always higher than 89% — speaks of how serious is the crisis of political legitimacy the government is going through. If we add to this the fact that the null and blank votes totaled 10.89%, then we see that 42.31% of the population does not believe in the Cuban government.
But the greatest rebellion lies in that 31.42% of the population decided not to even be part of the elections, that is, they do not believe in the government at all. With these official figures one can understand why there were thousands of demonstrators in the protests of July 11, 2021, and in the roadblocks in Havana between September 29 and October 3 in 2022.
Added to this, the Cuban economy continues to be in crisis. Shortages and long lines do not diminish, a situation aggravated by low wages, a constant devaluation of the dollar, and the constant growth of inflation. Obviously, U.S. harassment hits the Cuban economy hard, and therefore the Yankee blockade must be condemned. But today the crisis in Cuba is far from being due solely to the imperialist blockade. For its part, the Cuban bureaucracy is increasingly allying itself with China. Recently the Communist Party of Cuba held a political training event to study the thinking of Xi Jinping and “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” which was attended by ministers, vice ministers and directors of important Cuban institutions. The event was also coordinated by the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
In the midst of this scenario is Comunistas Cuba, a small revolutionary Marxist collective that opposes the Cuban bureaucracy. We are poor and small, going through a difficult time, marked by the growth in Cuba of disinterest in politics and the rise of the right wing. This is something that is gaining a lot of strength in the Cuban youth. However, we will continue to fight to our last strength.
Comrades: we wish you success in this national convention and in the future battles against capitalism.
Long live the struggles of the U.S. working class against capitalism and for the construction of socialism!
Comunistas Cuba, November 29, 2022