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Viva Cuba

Victory for Chavez in Venezuela continued from page 1 residence with chants, music and fireworks. As expected the opposition ‘categorically refused’ to recognise the result, alleged fraud and demanded a manual count despite Gaviria and Carter’s assurance that the referendum result was ‘fair and trustworthy’. While international governments sent messages of congratulations to the Venezuelan Government, it began an audit of the election in which ironically the hypocritical opposition refused to take part. With international recognition, moral authority and a powerful social base, the Bolivarian government is ready to deepen the process of liberation that has moved from a nationalist and sovereign project into an antiimperialist one. By November there will be 3,000 centres operating in the distribution of prepared food for the poorest sections of the population and three million free books will have been distributed to promote reading especially amongst children and youth. Chavez has announced the government’s intention to reform two key sectors: ● Legal change on media regulations, as the privately-owned anti-government media (400 radio stations, 20 TV channels and 100 newspapers) belongs to the right-wing multimillionaire oligarchy, which uses them openly to lie and promote terrorist subversion. ● United internal security force. While the army is progressive and actively involved in agricultural and housing programmes, the police have proved repressive and even killed protesters during the April 2002 coup attempt. Obviously, the white ruling class and their imperialist backers are unwilling to let the world’s fifth biggest oil producer stay into the hands of the oppressed majority and won’t hesitate to use violence to try and stop the Bolivarian Revolution. Ex-President Carlos Andres Perez, hiding from Venezuelan justice with the help of his friends in the Miami-based 2

Cuban-American mafia said ‘We Venezuelans have to end Chavez through violence, we have no other choice’. The US government is funnelling millions of dollars through the National Endowment for Democracy and other organisations to the Venezuelan reactionaries and their Miami mafia terrorist protégés. The US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs, Roger Noriega, promoter of death squads in Central America and bombs in Cuba, stated recently ’We have invested a lot of money in this process because we have confidence in the civil society which is the pillar of democracy’. The Venezuelan people now understand what this so-called capitalist democracy is all about. Both candidates for the US Presidency, Bush and Kerry, have expressed the need to increase pressure on their ‘backyard’ in the coming period in order to maintain their longterm strategy in the Middle East. The resistance of the Cuban Revolution and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela are examples of independence and social change that could prove very dangerous for US imperialist interests in Latin America. Bush’s latest measures against Cuba (see Viva Cuba bulletin 33) could be followed by more support for the undemocratic Venezuelan opposition. There is only one way forward for Venezuela. To defend itself against imperialism it will have to forge political unity of all the forces committed to the Revolution, develop urgent campaigns of political and ideological education, unite popular militias with the Armed Forces, to implement quickly reforms that will benefit the poor and to deepen the links with other revolutionary movements in the continent. Cuba represents the most solid support for the Bolivarian Revolution. Both revolutions look beyond their borders, to fulfil Bolivar and Che Guevara’s dream of a united America free of colonialism, slavery, plunder, and imperialist

Britain’s middle class ‘revolutionaries’ are pa

We must defen ‘Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful’ (Paolo Freire, Brazilian revolutionary). The significance of this quote can be seen in Britain today when looking at the relationship that the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has with the solidarity movement for Cuba. The SWP do not support Cuba: they do not campaign to give political or material support to the Revolution. They do not even write about Cuba regularly (in fact barely at all) in their weekly publication Socialist Worker, which means that they keep their readership ignorant of the developments in Cuba. In fact, they have a spokesperson for Cuba in the name of Mike Gonzalez who is regularly given public platforms from which he denigrates the Cuban Revolution, lies about the history of Cuba and even about the current situation in Cuba (see Socialist Review July/August 2004 in which Gonzalez says that Fidel Castro is not elected – this is a lie). Now the SWP have a new book, Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution, written by Mike Gonzalez, available in most bookshops.

I

n this book, Mike Gonzalez and the SWP attempt to portray Che Guevara as a middle class man who knew little about Marxism and an idealist who laid too much emphasis on moral incentives. In a degrading manner worthy only of a counter-revolutionary, Gonzalez describes Che Guevara as a man whose contact with the working people was little more than sexual liaisons with women workers (pages 16-17). The book reduces the Revolution to what Gonzalez calls the ‘command model’ whereby the participation of the masses especially the urban underground movement was marginalised and Gonzalez has the gall to state, with no reference whatsoever, that the July 26 Movement received money from the CIA.* Since the triumph of the Revolution in Cuba in 1959, the bourgeois media in the imperialist countries has been involved in regular and usually baseless criticism of Cuba. This is predictable, as Cuba provides an example of an alternative society, based on cooperation not competition, providing for human need and allowing each individual to meet their greatest potential, as opposed to capitalist societies based on exploitation and ignorance, where individual greed is encouraged, the profit motive reigns supreme and where the rich prosper at the expense of the poor. However, when the SWP, the biggest organisation in Britain calling themselves socialist, takes on the same role as the capitalists, progressive people, revolutionaries and all those with a conscience about the future of humanity must take a stand. It is for this reason that members of Rock around the Blockade felt compelled to make an

intervention at the SWP’s annual Marxism conference in July. We listened to Mike Gonzalez talking about his book, not mentioning Cuba or any of the gains of the Revolution, never apologetic for his lies or confabulations, for fifty minutes. We had a speaker by the name of ‘Chris Bacardi’, chosen to speak from the floor. Then we got up and put a banner on stage. It read: ‘The oppressed people of the world support socialist Cuba – why doesn’t the SWP?’ We cannot allow Mike Gonzalez to spread his lies unopposed. New people coming in to left wing politics in Britain must be inspired by the example of Cuba, not turned against their Revolution. The explanation for the SWP’s reactionary position can be found in the their ongoing ties to the Labour Party and British imperialism. Their view of socialism is only a prettified capitalism. They are unwilling to challenge the basis of capitalist relations and therefore need to find excuses for why the Cuban Revolution is not socialist, leading them to a position where they cannot even allow themselves to recognise the advances for humanity that the last 45 years in Cuba have achieved. Ten million children die needlessly every year due to imperialist plunder of the oppressed nations; of the 600 million disabled people worldwide less than 3% receive any attention; in the US, there are 44 million people who have no medical insurance; in Britain today one in five families on low income do not have enough money for food. In Cuba, they are working towards a society that ‘leaves no child behind’. For instance, the school for autistic children in Havana has a ratio of

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