Cold War II: After 53 years of U.S. hostility to Cuba, something may be changing. A policy held hostage by supporters of Batista in Miami, moronic anti-communists and the full weight of the U.S. military and CIA is now challenged from within part of the U.S. ruling class. The Right's visceral hatred of Castro and Che led to plots against one and the death of the other. After all, no country in the world except Israel supported the cruel U.S. boycott of Cuba. Obama is desperate to do the things he only talked about 6 years ago - due to the mass refusal of voters in the 2014 elections to back the Democrats. He perhaps realized he does not need to continue to pander to all forms of Republicanism - just most. Well and good. It is time to celebrate Cuba’s resistance to the imperial colossus to the North. ‘David’ has won.
Yet there is a hook here. Obama said the obvious – ‘why keep doing something that has failed…” What has failed is ‘regime-change.’ This statement reveals that the real goal of ‘normalization’ is counter-revolution - by other means. The Cuban Communist Party is aware of this, but they too are now to be subjected to the siren song of privatization and capital intrusion. IF this policy is fully enacted, which is doubtful at this point given the strong reactionaries in the U.S. Ironically, it was a 1996 law enacted under Clinton that will give them the most ammunition to stop normalization.
U.S. corporations are salivating at building more internet architecture and tourist hotels, creating agricultural and energy dependencies, gentrifying Havana’s aged Malecon and the like. Not to mention importing the best cigars and rum in the Caribbean, or using Cuba as a cheap source of cane sugar and manufacturing labor. Or prying Cuba away from Russia. Obama glorified getting the U.S. version of the internet – and the NSA - into the Cuba. It might not be that easy...
The Caribbean sea was named for the Caribs, a tribe who were exterminated by the Europeans. Let that be a warning. If the travel restrictions actually go away, visit Cuba. This tropical Atlantis is worth the trip. If the forces of corporate capital remake the island into a neo-Cancun, the Cuba of today will be a dim memory. Let us hope the Cuban working classes are strong enough to resist the road of Poland or Hungary. Cuba should remain an independent country with a nationalized economy, and an organized working class able to go forward to real socialism in league with others in Latin America.
That is the final Cuban liberation. Let’s drink to that. That would be a Cuba Libre without the Coca-Cola.
December 21, 2014