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Discussion Articles

Problems of the Cuban Revolution

(October 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 49, 28 October 1933, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

In the face of the monstrous odds, the workers of Cuba today must assume their historical task. They, and they, alone, can achieve the liberation of Cuba. Only the workers can set up an efficient form of government in Cuba, defeat the intervention of American imperialism, and solve the disastrous contradictions that have plunged and kept the Cuban masses in degradation. Successful American intervention will mean a disastrous defeat for the Cuban proletariat. The tragedy of the Cuban proletariat must be prevented!

The Cuban masses are militant. Seizures of plantations have already occurred. Embryonic revolutionary Soviets are in the process of formation. But unless the movement is led into the proper channels, the Soviets will become only a parody; American imperialism will restore its rapacious hegemony.

Revolutionary Party Needed

The Cuban workers cannot succeed unless a genuine revolutionary party is immediately formed, and takes the initiative; unless the international revolutionary proletariat, particularly of Latin America, the United States and Canada is mobilized in defense of the Cuban revolution. The criminal policies of Stalinism, the collapse of the Comintern have left the Cuban workers without their most necessary, essential and important weapons of struggle; they have no revolutionary party to lead them in battle; under the leadership of Stalin the international proletariat cannot come to their support. These weapons can and must be forged In Cuba, the Left Oppositionists must immediately call for the formation of a true Communist party. Internationally, the Left Opposition must inaugurate a united front in defense of the Cuban workers.

Time is precious now. Every day is equal to a decade. In the very heat of the struggle, the proletariat of Cuba can and must gain the time necessary to consolidate its ranks, and form its vanguard. Upon its success or failure rests the fate of Cuba. With clarity and boldness on the part of the vanguard a great victory can be gained.

At this juncture, it is suicidal to talk of the immediate seizure of power. In the period directly before us, a defensive battle must be waged. A serious decision to begin a systematic and regular struggle is developing in considerable masses of the workingmen. But first of all, it must exist in the ranks of the revolutionary vanguard. Lacking this condition it is impossible to proceed to a direct organization of Soviets. Insofar as this condition does not exist, the direct realization of Soviets must not be fostered. On the order of the day is not insurrection, but the slogan of REVOLUTIONARY NATIONAL DEFENSE! Self-determination for Cuba! Down with the Platt Amendment!

Defeat American Intervention

Before there can even be talk of passing to the offensive, the Cuban workers must ward off and defeat the immediate threat of American intervention.

Only the Cuban workers can prevent the formation of another puppet regime, a replica of the Machado dictatorship, this time with Fascist trappings.

The vanguard must lead in demanding the immediate convocation of the Constituent Assembly. The masses must be mobilize under the banner of transitional demands. At the same time, with these democratic slogans (Free speech! Free press! Freedom of assembly!, etc.) must be widely agitated the slogan of nationalization (banks and industries – particularly sugar and tobacco plantations).

But first and foremost, the vanguard must organize the united front against American imperialism; and in this united front must be included not only all workers’ organizations but any and all sections of the petty bourgeoisie that are willing and ready to struggle against the common enemy.

Only in this way can the tragedy of the Cuban proletariat be averted.

Last updated: 4 January 2016