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Cuban Anarchist on The Other Enemies of the Revolution

cuban revolutionThis is a great read by Cuban anarchist Jimmy Roque Martínez in the Havana Times:

Elio Delgado’s post, “The Enemies of the Revolution,” left me surprised at the ingenuousness and blindness of the content. I know that it’s not much different from other writing by that author, but this time it’s worth the trouble of offering some simple rejoinders.

I’m an anarchist and I don’t feel any desire to save the Cuban Revolution as I’ve known it. But I’m not a counterrevolutionary either.

The example that Elio offers of the May 1stparades is almost offensive to the Cuban workers who – as everyone knows – are not interested in marching to the Plaza. They do so because their workplaces require them to.

It’s absurd to believe that the workers don’t display signs demanding an increase in their salaries because they trust the Cuban government. The salaries in Cuba have been insufficient for more than 20 years and the government hasn’t solved the matter.

The island’s leadership has adopted measures such as raising the retirement age, raising the prices of all products, especially of food, and introducing a tax for workers to pay.

In addition, they’ve imposed a Labor Code that leaves a large segment of Cubans unprotected. The Code doesn’t include any right to strike, and in addition legalizes the government’s theft of a part of the low salaries that foreign firms pay Cuban workers on the island.

These are the measures that the revolutionary state has approved for the workers, who in addition are not allowed to carry signs that call for their rights- not in the May Day parade, or in any other.

They are kept from doing so by the State Security forces and by the fear that has been instilled in them.

Elio refers to anarchy as “the position that argues for the disappearance of the State and all other power and the free association of individuals.” Yes, that’s close to what anarchy is. The free association of individuals is equivalent to liberty and human rights. Who can be against these values?

The author states in astonishment: “Yes, anarchist positions in the 21st century itself.” Doesn’t he know that anarchist organizations have played a decisive role in the foundation of the world anti-capitalist movement; in the events of the 15M protests in Spain and the neighborhood assemblies that were formed afterwards; in the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US; and in the gigantic demonstrations in Brazil in 2013?

People should be free to express their ideas without facing consequences for their lives. That ideal isn’t possible in many parts of the world; it’s true, much less in Cuba.

Finally, Elio, a multi-party system isn’t necessarily more democratic, but the history of the 20th century has shown us that a one-party system is definitely much less so.

You have to converse with people, go out onto the street and observe. You have to love the people and desire their well-being. It pains me to watch the elderly going through the trash. That shouldn’t be happening in a country that allows itself to be called socialist and revolutionary.

Definitely, it’s neither socialist nor revolutionary and every day it moves farther away from being so.

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