Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"I Wish I Were Wrong"

Fidel Castro's latest column is an interesting read. Here is the synopsis by Reuters:

Fidel Castro says racist right-wingers fight Obama

Here is the entire column (English translation):

I Wish I Were Wrong!

I have had a number of conversations with friends about Castro and Cuba as a model for social justice. I always give credit to the regime for its health care and education systems, but am not as enthusiastic about Cuba as a model as other progressives, leftists, or revolutionaries seem to be.

- I argue that the people's power for self determination is undermined by a life long leader, but my sparring partners rationalize the need for a strong leader as the only way to fight US imperialism.

- I say that their isolation could have been used to demonstrate complete self sustainability (agriculture for example) and there would be no need to be a part of the "world market" but Cuba supporters think that is impossible for Cuba to be completely self sustaining...not sure why however...

- I argue that a true socialist country despite its history would not show the same racialized poverty (and racism in general) that permeates the rest of the world, but they say history takes time to correct.

I offer this to say, I am not a Castro supporter or hater. In theory, I believe his ideology is correct. In practice, it loses its credibility (as long as Cuba is a class and race based non-democratic society...which it is).

But I completely agree with Castro's latest analysis of Obama's challenges. With the racist white supremacist unable to accept Obama as president, he is being attacked fiercely. Instead of recognizing this and its repercussions on the future, many on the left are caught up in petty politics and also blaming Obama for not being all they want him to be. In getting caught in that trap, I see an opportunity for real democracy slipping quickly.

If action trumps criticism, progressives can have all they want with an Obama administration...but if we continue to let white nationalist fascists frame the mainstream dialogue, an opportunity is wasted for radical change. Read this analysis from Castro carefully...and if you want social justice for all people...take heed.

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