The Freedom Socialist Party statement, “FSP demands an end to the U.S. blockade and intervention against Cuba while supporting the right of Cubans to protest for survival needs,” is beyond irresponsible. If you need information that proves that what the U.S. is saying about repression occurring in Cuba is false, there is plenty to be had.
The Cuban government has said that there are some who are protesting as a result of the shortages (which are solely due to the U.S. blockade) and have legitimate concerns. The response to the protests of 1,000 people July 11 has been unprecedented in terms of dialogue with the protesters and lack of militarized or judicial response.
Your statement overall, although more sophisticated than the first version (now removed from your website), uses reports that have been contradicted with evidence showing them as outright lies or missing essential information for proper context — but the choice is made to believe the narrative that fits your conjecture about the Cuban leadership’s supposed opportunism, corruption and “top down approach,” which so conveniently dovetails with U.S. imperialist propaganda.
Cuba’s exemplary achievements against COVID-19 are also ignored. In spite of the lack of resources due to the U.S. blockade, Cuba developed effective treatments to prevent much of the spread of the virus, in addition to coming up with its own vaccines and sending doctors throughout Africa, Latin America and Europe to help those most vulnerable fight the virus. Cuba has carried out this international solidarity and exemplary work to minimize deaths from the virus despite the essential resources — like energy needed for electricity production, drug supplies and other vital resources — that were sacrificed to do this. This is not even mentioned.
Cuba, a country the same size as Los Angeles County, has a little over 2,000 deaths from COVID-19, while Los Angeles now has nearly 25,000 — and LA, like the U.S., has far more resources than Cuba since it hasn’t been under a crushing blockade for 60 years and derives its wealth from the misery of other nations.
And you ignore the over 100,000 Cubans who came out in support of the socialist government on July 17 — since that also undermines your narrative, which attempts to legitimize the lie that those who are protesting the Cuban government are possibly a majority in Cuba.
Your article spits in the face of the Cuban nurses, doctors, scientists and other health workers who literally sacrifice their lives under unbearable conditions in heroic work against the pandemic. You choose to ignore their labor and the socialist government’s superior handling of the crisis despite having little to work with. Instead, your statement gives the impression that the Cuban government is to blame for the pandemic’s effects on Cuba.
You ignore the articles even from capitalist sources, like the Reuters piece “Fake news muddies online waters during Cuba protests,” admitting that many of the videos and photos of mass protests were fake or misattributed. Your organization arrogantly ignores the research of many progressive Cuban Americans, Cuba solidarity activists and organizations that have traveled to Cuba, and the information provided by the National Network On Cuba.
Just because something is claimed doesn’t make allegations against Cuba or Venezuela or Syria or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or any target of U.S. imperialism necessarily true — you have to dig deeper and you especially shouldn’t encourage the primary and immediate justifications for military action against Cuba. That’s what this statement and your first on this crisis are doing, no question about it.
The evidence does not justify your opinions. As Marxists, as social scientists, we have to use evidence, not just go with the waves of imperialist propaganda that may seem easier to swim with.
This is not to say that the Freedom Socialist Party has not done important work in other areas of the struggle. It has and that is understood. That’s why this stand is so disappointing. Regretfully, since this position was made publicly and assists the furthering of U.S. war using sanctions and regime change tactics, it must be publicly addressed.
The fact remains that supporting the false ideological justifications for imperialist intervention in Cuba plays a reactionary, not progressive, role.
John Parker, Socialist Unity Party, Los Angeles