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Vol. 75/No. 20      May 23, 2011

We build movement in U.S.
to emulate Cuba’s example
Message from U.S. socialist leader to Communist
Party of Cuba on occasion of its Sixth Congress
(feature article)

Below is a May 2 message from Jack Barnes, national secretary the Socialist Workers Party on behalf of the party’s National Committee to Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), on the occasion of the PCC’s Sixth Party Congress held April 16-19.

The National Committee of the Socialist Workers Party sends its warmest fraternal greetings and congratulations to the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba on the success of the Sixth Party Congress.

Your congress opened on April 16, following celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the massive Havana rally at which Fidel announced to the world the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution. That solemn occasion five decades ago mobilized the working people and youth of Cuba for the battle that would go down in history as the first military defeat of U.S. imperialism in the Americas. Playa Girón demonstrated what toiling humanity is capable of when ordinary men and women fight for their principles with the leadership they deserve. That political and moral victory, as important as its military counterpart, has stayed Washington’s hand ever since.

We joined you in celebration on the 16th. Your congress then turned to the work before you in 2011. A few days later our National Committee convened a meeting to do the same.

The unprecedented world capitalist crisis—of which we have experienced only the opening years—has already had a devastating impact, not only on toilers around the world but also on the lives and livelihoods of millions of working people in the U.S. who have lost, or live in daily fear of losing, their jobs, their homes, their meager life savings, their access to medical care, and their hopes for younger generations. The reaction to the cumulative toll this has already taken has begun to express itself in many ways, including the recent sizeable mobilizations of workers and farmers in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere throughout the wider Midwest. Working people are beginning to react against the consequences of the dictatorship of capital. They are starting to question and increasingly to reject the endless web of bourgeois nostrums long peddled by capitalist politicians of every hue.

As communists whose sole reason for being is to build a proletarian revolutionary movement capable of emulating here in the bastion of imperialism what the workers and farmers of Cuba accomplished more than half a century ago, and the workers and peasants of the tsarist empire more than forty years before that, we have learned the folly of exaggerating the pace of objective changes in the class struggle here or elsewhere. Revolutions are not the product of wishful thinking.

We are convinced, however, that what is today occurring is a measurable shift in broad objective responsiveness within the working class to ideas and perspectives most would not even have been considered a few years ago. We have already begun to see this registered in the broader and more thoughtful consideration given by working people to the program put forward in the pages of our weekly newspaper, the Militant. There is a new openness to discuss, to look for explanations and radical, popular answers that depend on class solidarity and combativity. Not to rely on “those who created this mess” to begin with. Most importantly, this broad shift in responsiveness is irrespective of perceived electoral affiliations. Whether workers and farmers identify themselves as Democrat, Republican, Independent or Libertarian, conservative, liberal or whatever, the interest in serious and civil exchange is similar.

These are changes of vital importance. They shape the world the leadership of the Cuban Revolution as well as we ourselves confront. This is the context within which we have followed with closest attention and solidarity the economic and political challenges the Communist Party of Cuba has been dealing with in the months leading up to and through the Sixth Congress. The newly elected Central Committee and Political Bureau—the leadership decisions that have, to the best of anyone’s ability, placed the most experienced, tested, and capable cadres in positions of greatest responsibility—are especially important.

For our part, we will continue to do everything we can to make the living example of the Cuban Revolution understandable and accessible to working people in the United States, and to the youth who are attracted to their struggles. This will be even more important as new struggles are forced upon us all by the deepening crisis of capital.

At the center of our efforts will continue to be the battle to win the freedom of our Five Cuban comrades who, against their will and ours, today serve with honor on the front lines of the class struggle in the United States. Their dignity and steadfastness remain the most powerful expression of the character of the revolution that made them. They will return.
Related articles:
Conference in Havana called to win support for Cuban Five  
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