From the January-February 2015 issue of News & Letters
When Fidel Castro, after carrying out an independent revolutionary struggle without Russia’s help, chose, after the Revolution, to align himself with Khrushchev and company (as the U.S. continued to isolate Cuba), and to construct a single-party state within Cuba, he could explain away his action as needed to defend the Cuban Revolution against the reality of Yankee imperialism. What possibility did the Cuban masses have to pose and debate liberatory alternatives for life and labor while the armed belligerency of the U.S. behemoth persisted? Fidel could use this reality against any in Cuba who wished to be independent of the U.S. and, at the same time, wished to pose an opposition to the state-capitalist direction in which Cuba was headed.
The U.S. proceeded to use the fight against “Cuban Communism” to destroy freedom movements in Latin America who rightly opposed U.S. imperialism and who were searching for an emancipatory alternative. Castro used the reality of U.S. imperialism as one way to prevent open debate and genuine socialism within Cuba.
Where do we go from here? The U.S. has certainly not given up bringing down the Castros; only the method is different. The pulls of neoliberal capitalism, the world market, are now the weapons. Within Cuba there are still those who search for an authentic socialism as opposed to state-capitalism. Do they have any possibility of resisting the vortex of capitalism’s world market?