Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/165/7860
Successful launch for Cuba book
SOCIALIST PARTY general secretary Peter Taaffe launched his new book about Cuba at a 40-strong public meeting in Hammersmith, west London on 29 June. Peter outlined how Cuba had become a vital and topical issue in the socialist movement once again.
Elian Gonzalez's return to Cuba - a defeat for the ultra-reactionary Miami Cuban exiles - was a turning point in US-Cuba relations after 40 years of blockade and sanctions against Cuba by the USA.
The fact that Cuba, a deformed workers' state, had continued in existence over the last decade in contrast to the collapse of the Eastern European Stalinist states, was also significant.
Peter pointed out that Cuba made enormous strides on the basis of a planned economy after the 1959 revolution. He gave examples of how Cuba out-performed the USA in health care.
The Castro regime in Cuba had held on by its fingertips in the 1990s after losing its massive subsidies from the former Stalinist states in Eastern Europe.
However, despite some recent economic growth, Cuba's ruling bureaucracy was becoming more open to, and dependent on, the capitalist market. At some stage in the future, this will jeopardise all the gains of the revolution.
Peter argued that socialists should support Cuba against capitalist sanctions and defend the gains of the revolution by arguing for the institution of real workers' democracy, through workers' councils to control and manage industry.
Four new people applied to join the Socialist Party and £542 was collected for our fighting fund. At a book signing following the meeting, 41 copies of the new book were sold.
In The Socialist 7 July 2000: