Cuban & Venezuelan Revolutions

Written in 2009
By Doug Lorimer

Never before in world history has there been a social crisis like that of the capitalist system we live in today. Not even the bloodbath of the first and second world wars or the great Depression were as severe as the current crisis. As Venezuela’s socialist president puts it, the choice is stark: between socialism and barbarism. If we do not make the right choice, there may be no 22nd century – the devastating impact of capitalist industry on the world environment today threatens the very existence of human society.

The Activist – Volume 17, Number 3, April 2007
By Doug Lorimer (Sydney branch)

At the February 12 National Executive meeting I stated that while I agreed with the general political line of the report that was orally presented by Comrade Stuart Munckton, particularly as summarised in the “conclusion” section (and thus voted accordingly), I had reservations about some of the points made and formulations used in the report. Most of these reservations have been eliminated after reading the printed version of the report (Activist Vol. 17, No. 2). Nevertheless, there are a few passages in the report that I think need further clarification:

The Activist – Volume 16, Number 2, February 2006
By Doug Lorimer, Sydney branch

At its April 2003 plenum, the DSP national committee adopted a report on the international political situation which made the observation that “[t]throughout the 1990s one of the greatest factors bearing down on the morale of the Cuban revolutionaries was the Cuban Revolution’s isolation in Latin America – the fact that there was not a single other revolutionary government in the hemisphere. Today, however, the Cuban Revolution has an ally in Latin America – the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez, which has made significant progress in dismantling the institutions of capitalist power in an oil-rich, partially industrialised country with a population more than twice the size of Cuba’s”.

The Activist – Volume 15, Number 15, November 2005
By John Percy, Sydney branch

The Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela led by Hugo Chavez has been an important and inspiring event, the “first revolution of the 21st century”, not just shaking up Latin America, but giving hope to socialists around the world.

Socialism 2005 Conference – September 9, 2005
By John Percy

1. Exciting developments are occurring today throughout Latin America, in fact there’s been turmoil on that continent for decades. But a revolutionary process is underway in Venezuela. There’ve been mass mobilisations in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay – strikes, demonstrations, governments toppled, and sometimes left governments elected. But in Venezuela, a revolution is happening, the masses are taking that road.

Green Left Weekly #629 – June 8, 2005
By John Percy

For all the hypocritical crusading rhetoric of US President George Bush about his “war on terror”, in practice he is promoting and sheltering real terrorists – the right-wing Cuban emigres who have been waging a terror war on revolutionary Cuba for decades.

Green Left Weekly #430 – November 29, 2000
By John Percy

The governments of Cuba and Venezuela are seeking the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, a notorious Cuban terrorist with a long record of attacks against the Cuban Revolution. Posada has close ties with the US Central Intelligence Agency.

The Activist – Volume 10, Number 9, October 2000
By Doug Lorimer

Last year I wrote a letter to Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan, responding to his request for our leadership’s disagreements with the Committee for a Workers’ International’s view of Cuba. The letter took the form of an extended polemic against Socialist Party of England and Wales (SPEW) general secretary Peter Taaffe’s 1982 pamphlet Cuba: Analysis of the Revolution. The letter was subsequently printed in The Activist for the information of DSP members. In June this year [2000] the CWI published a book by Peter Taaffe replying to my letter to Comrade Tariq entitled Cuba: Socialism and Democracy.

Resistance Books 2000
By Doug Lorimer

Peter Taaffe’s pamphlet on Cuba (first published in 1978 and reprinted in 1982) consists of three articles taken from the paper of the British Militant organisation (now called the Socialist Party), of which he was, and still is, general secretary. The first article presents an analysis of the revolutionary struggle in Cuba up to the expropriation of capitalist property and the establishment of a planned economy. The second article analyses the character of the group which led the Cuban socialist revolution, the central conclusion of which is indicated by the article’s title: “Power in the Hands of [a] Bureaucratic Elite”. The third article is an attempt to substantiate this view in the light of the foreign and domestic policies of this leadership group.

The Activist – Volume 9, No 4, 1999
By Doug Lorimer

Peter Taaffe’s pamphlet on Cuba (first published in 1978 and reprinted in 1982) consists of three articles taken from the paper of the British Militant organisation (now called the Socialist Party), of which he was, and still is, general secretary. The first article presents an analysis of the revolutionary struggle in Cuba up to the expropriation of capitalist property and the establishment of a planned economy. The second article analyses the character of the group which led the Cuban socialist revolution, the central conclusion of which is indicated by the article’s title: “Power in the Hands of [a] Bureaucratic Elite”. The third article is an attempt to substantiate this view in the light of the foreign and domestic policies of this leadership group.