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The brain drain

posted by F Espinoza | 18.07.2007 11:56 | Education | Health | Migration | London

Our world order appears to have been designed to foster the egoism, individualism and dehumanization of humanity...

The brain drain

I mentioned something and included a quotation on this topic for an example I used in my last reflection, titled "Bush, Health and Education", which I dedicated to children. In this reflection, aimed at the first class to graduate from the University of Information Sciences (UCI), I shall delve more deeply into this thorny issue.
These graduates were the pioneers, from whom I learned much about the intelligence and the values our young people can cultivate when they study assiduously. I also learned much from the excellent staff of professors, a great many of whom had studied at the José Antonio Echevarría University Complex (CUJAE).
Neither can I avoid to mention the example of the social workers, whose organizational skills and spirit of sacrifice enriched my knowledge and afforded me new experiences, nor the thousands of educators who graduated recently, who made the goal of having one teacher for every 15 students, in the seventh, eighth and ninth grades of our junior high schools a reality. All of them began their university studies almost simultaneously, infused with the ideas which were born and were applied in the battle to have a 6 year old child who had been kidnapped returned to his family and homeland, a child for whom we were willing to give our all.
In two days, 1,334 computer sciences engineers from around the country, whose exemplary conduct and knowledge earned them university scholarships, shall graduate from UCI. Of these, 1,134 have been assigned to different ministries, which provide important services to our people, and to state agencies which manage crucial economic resources. A centralized reserve of 200 young and carefully selected graduates, which shall grow larger every year, awaits different assignments. This reserve is made up of graduates from all of the country's provinces who shall stay lodged at UCI residences. A total of 56 percent are males and 44 percent females.
UCI opens its doors to young people from Cuba's 169 municipalities. It is not grounded in the model of exclusion and competition among human beings which developed capitalist countries advocate.
Our world order appears to have been designed to foster the egoism, individualism and dehumanization of humanity.
A Reuters press dispatch published on May 3, 2006, titled “African brain drain deprives Africa of vital talent”, reports that, in Africa, "it is estimated that some 20,000 skilled professionals are leaving the continent every year, depriving Africa of the doctors, nurses, teachers and engineers it needs to break a cycle of poverty and under-development". Reuters adds that "the World Health Organization (WHO) says that Sub-Saharan Africa bears 24 percent of the world's global burden of disease including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. To face that challenge, it has just 3 percent of the world’s health workers”. “In Malawi, only 5 percent of physicians' posts and 65 percent of nursing vacancies are filled. In the country of 10 million, one doctor serves 50,000 people”.
Quoting a report from the World Bank, the dispatch reports that, "stymied by conflict, poverty, lethal diseases and corruption, much of Africa is in no position to compete with richer countries that promise higher salaries, better working conditions and political stability”.
“Brain drain deals a double blow to weak economies, which not only lose their best human resources and the money spent training them, but then have to pay an estimated $5.6 billion a year to employ expatriates”.
The phrase “brain drain” was coined in the 1960s, when the United States began to hoard UK doctors. In that case, one developed country dispossessed another; one emerged from the Second World War in 1944 with 80 percent of the world’s gold reserve in bullions, the other had been severely hit and deprived of its empire in the course of the war.
A World Bank report titled "International migration, remittances and the brain drain", made public in October 2005, yielded the following results:
In the last 40 years, more than 1.2 million professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean have emigrated to the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. An average of 70 scientists a day has emigrated from Latin America in the course of 40 years.
Of the 150 million people around the world involved in science and technology activities, 90 percent is concentrated in the seven most industrialized nations.
A number of countries, particularly small nations in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America, have lost over 30 percent of their population with higher education as a result of migration.
The Caribbean islands, where nearly all nations are English-speaking, report the world's highest brain drain. In some of these islands, 8 of every 10 university graduates have left their native countries.
More than 70 percent of software programmers employed by the US Company Microsoft Corporation are from India and Latin America.
The intense migratory movements, from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union towards Western Europe and North America, which began following the collapse of the socialist block, are worthy of special mention.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) points out that the number of scientists and engineers who abandon their native countries and emigrate to industrialized nations is about one third of the number of those who stay in their native countries, something which significantly depletes indispensable human resource reserves.
The ILO report maintains that the migration of students is a precursor of the brain drain. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that, at the beginning of the new millennium, a bit more than 1.5 million foreign students pursued higher studies in member states and that, of these, more than half were from non-OECD countries. Of this total, nearly half a million studied in the United States, one quarter of a million in the United Kingdom and nearly 200 thousand in Germany.

Between 1960 and 1990, the United States and Canada received more than one million professional immigrants and experts from Third World countries.
These figures are but a pale reflection of the tragedy.
In recent years, encouraging this type of emigration has become an official state policy in a number of North countries, which use incentives and procedures especially tailored to suit this end.
The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act —approved by the US Congress in 2000— increased the temporary work visa (H-1B) allotment, from 65 thousand to 115 thousand in the 2000 fiscal year and then to 195 thousand for fiscal years 2001 through 2003. The aim of this increase in the visa cap was to encourage the entry into the United States of highly qualified immigrants who could occupy positions in the high-technology sector. Though this figure was reduced to 65 thousand in the 2005 fiscal year, the flow of professionals towards this country has remained steady.
Similar measures were promulgated by the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Australia. Since 1990, this last country prioritized the intake of highly qualified workers, primarily for sectors such as banking, insurance and the so-called knowledge economy.
In nearly all cases, the selection criteria are based on the worker's high qualifications, language proficiency, age, work experience and professional achievements. The UK program grants extra points to medical doctors.
This relentless plundering of brains in South countries dismantles and weakens programs aimed at training human capital, a resource which is needed to rise from the depths of underdevelopment. It is not limited to the transfer of capital; it also entails the import of grey matter, which nips a country's nascent intelligence and future at the bud.
Between 1959 and 2004, Cuba has graduated 805,902 professionals, including medical doctors. The United States' unjust policy towards our country has deprived us of 5.16 percent of the professionals who graduated under the Revolution.
However, not even the elite of immigrant workers enjoy work conditions and salaries like those of US nationals. In order to avoid the complicated paperwork which US labor legislation requires and reduce the costs of immigration procedures, the United States has gone as far as creating a software ship-factory which keeps highly-qualified slaves anchored in international waters, in a kind of assembly plant which produces all manner of digital devices. Project SeaCode consists of a ship, anchored more than three miles off the coast of California (international waters), with 600 Indian computer scientists on board, who work an uninterrupted 12 hour daily shift for four months out at sea.
The trend towards the privatization of knowledge and the internalization of scientific research companies subordinated to big capital has been creating a kind of "scientific apartheid" which affects the vast majority of the world's population.
The United States, Japan and Germany combined have a percentage of the world's population similar to that of Latin America, but their investment in research and development is of 52.9 percent, as opposed to 1.3 percent in the latter. Today's economic gap foreshadows what tomorrow's may be if these trends are not reversed.
That future is already upon us. The so-called new economy mobilizes immense capital flows each year. According to a 2006 report published by Digital Planet, a World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) publication, the global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) market accounted for three trillion US dollars in 2006.
More and more people have access to the Internet each day —in July 9, 2007, the figure was almost 1.4 billion users. However, in many countries, including numerous developed ones, the people with no access to this service continue to be the majority. The digital gap spells dramatic differences, whereby part of humanity, fortunate and connected, has more information at its disposal than any generation before it ever had.
To have an idea of what this means, suffice it two compare two realities: while more than 70 percent of the population of the United States has access to the Internet, only 3 percent of Africa's entire population has such access. Internet service providers are based in high-income countries, where a mere 16 percent of the world's population lives.
The underprivileged situation our group of countries faces within these global information networks, the Internet and all modern means used to transfer information and images must urgently be addressed.
A society in which millions of human beings are considered superfluous, the brain drain of South countries constitutes a common practice and economic power and new technologies are wielded by only a handful of nations cannot be called human, not by a long shot. Overcoming this dilemma is as important for the destiny of humanity as mitigating the climate change crisis which scourges the planet, two problems which are completely interrelated.
To conclude, I need only add:
Whoever has a computer has all published knowledge at their disposal and the privileged memory of the machine belongs to them too.
Ideas are born of knowledge and ethical values. An important part of the problem would be technologically solved, another must be cultivated restlessly. Otherwise, the most basic instincts shall prevail.
The task ahead of UCI graduates is grandiose. I hope you are able to fulfill it. I am confident that you will.

Fidel Castro Ruz

July 17, 2007

11:05 am

Other websites: (Complete serie of "Fidel's reflections")

posted by F Espinoza

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Hide the following 16 comments

Dictators Fan Clubs

18.07.2007 12:30

Hey, why stop at Fidel? How about posting some of the musings of Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong Il or any of that lot in Burma? Come on, what about a bit of Stalin or some Mao?

Don't forget that Fidel's dictatorship has seen the imprisonment of trades unionists, anarchists and syndicalists, gay activists and plenty of others. But hell, what does that matter if he's 'objectively' anti-imperialist?

Progressive Contrarian
- Homepage:

"What the hell is a progressive contrarian"?

18.07.2007 17:19

You say . " The only true differentiator is between those who believe that human progress is both desirable and possible , and those that don't ".

I suggest you take a look at the" human progress " Cuba has achieved and contributed to third world countries .

Then again , what the hell is a progressive contrarian?????


so its ok to lock up and silence the dissenters as long as you do a little good!

19.07.2007 07:18

You will find that these fan clubs are predominately made up of middle class clueless idiots who find it cool to support castro, guevara and the likes without understanding exactly what is happening. Wake up and smell the shit folks!

state hater

little good???

19.07.2007 23:04

Ask the Cuban people who either remember pre 1958 , or have knowledge of it (most of them ) which they prefer ?
Gangsters , mass illiteracy , mass unemployment or wage slavery.
I've been to Cuba and have met many , many "dissenters ", none of which were in jail.
Cubans I found , have a great cultural and political awareness.
Do not be fooled!
Unfortunately , most of the "free ", "democratic " countries of the "civilised " world choose to hinder and block the efforts of the progress which you seem to hold so dear.
Because they are scared to death of a system succeeding in something other than consumerism and permanent war.
I've woken up and can smell the stench of shit , right on the doorstep of my 100 quid a week , privately rented , working class Sheffield doorstep......and I live nowhere near the sewerage works.
And by the way Ernesto Guevara is a national hero in Cuba , even to the youth of the country.
Because he was and still is a shining example.
If a few , and I mean a few paid insurgents end up in jail....tough titty pal!


You miss the fucking point pal!

20.07.2007 06:39

Oh you have been there and stayed in expensive tourist allocated hotels cos castro only allows you to stay in these dives away from the reality of the secret police on all corners reporting on dissent and quashing free speech. Sure they have a good health system and basic foodstuffs but at what cost. Freedom of movement, freedom of speech, risk of life imprisonment for speaking out. And sure the hardship, injustice and equality in shefield or london speaks for its self but we can try and leave if we want pal!

state hater

Read my points and prove them wrong... come on..pre 58 or not?

20.07.2007 15:03

You accuse me of being a middle class , clueless idiot without understanding.
WRONG, read and take me on with the arguments above.
I stayed in ' casa particulares ' (not hotels) in Santiago de Cuba , Holguin , Santa Clara and Habana.
I ate in 'Paladares' (peoples homes)
Got invited to a birthday party , where the whole street jumped into the back of two old army trucks ( massive cake , whole pig on a spit and lots of rum ) and off into the hills to sing , dance , eat and drink.
It was terrible , apart from my girlfriend and a french bloke with a guitar not a tourist for miles and lots of dissent.

As I said earlier , further progress in Cuba is stifled by the so called "freedom" loving "democracies".
Please answer my question


The Cuban Repression...

20.07.2007 19:29

A little example of Cuban repression...

F Espinoza

What a weird choice of pic to emphasise your argument!

20.07.2007 20:12

What next? A naked lady working in the passport office!

You folks are pretty screwed up.. Down with all dictators

state hater

still waiting

20.07.2007 23:38

still waiting
well what do you know... no answers to my simple questions.
"Down with all dictators"
Down with flu.
Down with sore throats.
Down with ups and up with downs.

I bet the state that rules you is shitting itself .
USA I'm guessing.
The largest one party dictatorship in the world.
Anyway I'm awfully bored with this in depth debate we have not had.



Continue holidaying in other peoples misery

21.07.2007 06:48

When a long-lasting and bloody dictatorship such as that of Fidel
Castro in Cuba is nowadays capable of imprisoning a large number of
dissidents for many long years and of executing by firing squad three
Black young men accused of unproved crimes by means of fallacious
evidence, it is impossible for any human being to remain in complicit
silence. We don�t believe that leaving such feats uncontested is
an honest attitude. An attitude we can�t assume, regardless of
how much simpathy one might feel for Castro�s fascism, on the
contrary, it is imperative to condemn and denounce this abuse of
power. State terrorism, capable of any crime, has shown with these
judicial aberrations its cowardice and hatred of its own people.
Castro�s national socialism demonstrates to what lows of
depravity it has sunk.

An indispensable prerequisite to maintain a dictatorship is the abuse
of power and the need to incarcerate and assassinate its opposition.
Condemnation of this totalitarian conduct is a necessary act of
integrity. Silence would be another betrayal to the Cuban people.
Faced with these sad events it is our inescapable duty to demand the
freedom of all political prisoners and to demand that all repressive
laws that uphold the regime, including the death penalty, be forever
abolished from the Cuban judicial system.

The Cuban Libertarian Movement, with over forty years of constant
struggle against Castro�s fascism, declares its most energetic
repudiation against the Cuban state and asks all anarchist comrades
all over the world to show their solidarity with our people�s
freedom and to put an end to the complicit silence some still maintain
in favor of the Castro dictatorship. A man alone does not exercise
power. Repressive thugs, intellectual eunuchs and silent collaborators
within and without Cuba are guilty accomplices of keeping a people on
its knees for over forty-three years. It is time that as anarchists we
demand and proclaim freedom and justice for the Cuban people.

We hope all our comrades of every country that have not yet done so
will unite with us in this collective protest against Castro�s
despotism and by doing so will take their place among the world�s
free human beings.

An anarchist commentary about Cuba
Date Sat, 25 Mar 2006 13:50:41 +0200

James Petras’ Photographs of Cuba Before and After Developing:
An anarchist commentary on his declarations about Cuba
* The Cuban Libertarian Movement (MLC – Movimiento Libertario Cubano)
makes some pertinent observations about certain declarations by somebody
who was until recently an unconditional defender of the Cuban revolution.
It’s long been known that James Petras is one of the most devoted in the
choir that sings the praises of the Cuban government. Even in that rare
moment when the doors of critical reflection opened up for a left long
used to look askance – March and April 2003, notwithstanding death
penalties and massive imprisonment – Petras shot at those followers who
dared hesitate and doubt more than the usual, an article that soon
mutated into a command: “The intellectuals’ responsibility: Cuba, the
United States and human rights” (
; May 6 2003). There, among other genial
blunders he brands morality as “lack of honesty”. He also recklessly
attacks those who, when talking about Cuba, «make a gamut of unjustified
accusations and falsifications out of any context that could help
clarify the questions and provide a well reasoned base for …’the moral
imperatives’». According to Petras, the critics of that time were
victims of a sudden attack of irresponsibility: «The total lack of
seriousness in Chomsky, Zinn, Sontag and Wallerstein’s moral diktats is
due to their failure to recognize the imminent threat of war by the
United States with weapons of mass destruction, advertised beforehand».
Having lost all sense of moderation, he pronounces the more or less
definitive sentence: «What’s truly shameful is that they ignore the big
accomplishments of the Cuban revolution in labor, education, health and
equality, ignore her heroic and principled opposition to the imperial
wars – Cuba is the only nation that says it clearly – and ignore her
steadfastness resisting almost fifty years of invasions» (sic). Back
then, in spite of gross violations of human rights, the Cuban government
enjoyed total immunity and whoever dared minimally transgress the
inviolable precept would see falling upon their heads James Petras’
imprecations; the very same exalted thinker who systematically assumes
radical and socializing positions everywhere in the world except in
Cuba, shamelessly vying for the top spot among the temple’s guardians.

As time went on, and while the threats from the United States continue
in a state of cataleptic and repetitious routine and the invasions never
happen; Petras seems to have mellowed some, putting aside for the moment
his avenging sword and his fiery condemnations. For starters, on Monday
February 20 of this year, in an interview by CX36 Radio Centenario of
Montevideo (Uruguay) and reprinted [in Spanish] a day later in La Haine
) he
critically examines the Cuban situation, doing so, surprise surprise,
not against the most egregious abuses of power by the centralized and
excluding government, but against the supposedly unassailable social
achievements of the “revolution”. Keep in mind his statements, and to
avoid any misunderstanding we repeat them verbatim below:

«-There are things I believe are part of a process of development, these
are the contradictions Cuba has shown in regard to the challenges,
belatedly the government starts to take measures which I believe
necessary, as with the housing problem with a deficit of approximately
one million houses. The government’s plan is to build 100 thousand
houses per year as the housing situation is dire and there’s great need.
- The people demand the start of this program given the positive
international policies Cuba maintains with respect to health assistance,
but I believe that conditions at clinics and hospitals in Cuba have
gotten worse, in my personal opinion. I believe they have to concentrate
more on development and restoration, on the improvement of the medical
infrastructure that I think is badly deteriorated in Cuba, in spite of
some efforts at mending them currently underway. In contrast, I think
there are some clinics in Africa and Venezuela that are better than what
the Cuban people has. This internationalism is very positive but I
believe people demand more internal development; this is something that
has to be balanced.
- The government has begun an exploratory program on health and
education and it is to be seen whether this internal development program
succeeds, which is necessary as they now have more resources, and the
political decisions on how this surplus is utilized are very important.
This surplus comes from an electricity savings plan that according to
Castro could climb to one billion dollars.
- There’s also the problem of wastefulness, even the theft of state’s
resources, particularly gasoline; this has been acknowledged and thrown
at the new generations as a challenge to rectify the situation and
replace the gas vendors who are committing these crimes. But I’ll tell
you (…) what worries me, more than the petty theft of individual
functionaries or employees is the problem of ministers tolerating the
theft of hundreds of millions. What were they doing? I asked, were they
asleep or were they involved in the theft and didn’t fire anybody? I
asked why, if this were to happen in any public or private enterprise,
they didn’t own up. This is very serious. They should get a kick in the
ass at the minimum, take them to trial.
- They have launched a program to rectify, mobilizing people and setting
some urgent matters straight. I believe the current team is politically
responsible and begins to acknowledge these problems, and also the
problem of balancing black people’s participation in society. One
notices in many places a disproportionately white presence and I believe
there’s a lot of work to do here.
- I believe these points are real; it’s a shame people have to wait for
Fidel to throw the ball for things to start to take shape. I believe the
intellectuals and the politicians have to take initiatives and not
always wait for Fidel to give the speech in order for the problem to
suddenly come to the surface.»

Thus, Petras regales us with a series of six photographs of Cuban
society that, even if he doesn’t say it with the requisite drama and the
essential punch, touch upon main features of the “socialist” construct.
They’re still negatives of photos, blurry with undefined contours,
without obvious articulation; but, even in this confused state, are more
than enough to embark on some exemplary reading. Most curious in this
affair is that if these photos had been taken by a militant of the MLC,
we wouldn’t have long to wait before hearing the usual list of
accusations: “imperialism useful idiots”, “worms in the service of a
foreign power”, “incorrigible dividers”, “hopeless liberals” when not
actually “CIA agents”. Like it or not, these photos don’t belong to us,
they’re James Petras’ who, as we insinuated, is a loyal and
incorruptible “friend of the process of building socialism”; that is, in
plain language, friend of the Cuban government, definitively,
irrevocably and “revolutionarily” constituted as such.

º Developing shows the inconsistancies

Let’s add the first drops of development solution and let’s try to
decipher with a bit more light, one by one and in order, the skimpy
proposals of Petras’. What do they tell us?

1) Cuban “socialism” suffers from a huge housing crisis since we face
not only a very large deficit but you would also have to consider the
decrepit state of the existing housing stock and the many situations of
overcrowding. In the short term we see social struggles for access to
urban space and even a budding squatter movement that has yet to be
granted that noble condition by part of the revolutionary left.
2) Cuba’s health organization, a showpiece of the “process of building
socialism” doesn’t have the remotest resemblance to the official
version. This begs acknowledging and this is a feather on Petras’ cap,
but he could also have remarked the not so socialist distance that
exists between Maradona’s medical treatment or the ophthalmologic
“miracles” and the medical treatment the common people get; which
according to him can be worse than in Africa.
3) The “electricity savings plan” rather than a proactive governmental
policy must be seen as an energy catastrophe –even with the generous oil
subsidy from Venezuela – which the Cuban people suffer, mostly under the
guise of continuous and unbearable blackouts. But sometimes light comes
from the shadows and the people have started to make use of the darkness
to paint graffiti and put up posters against the government.
4) Cuban “socialism” in its current stage of development has also
created corruption and according to Petras’ well founded suspicions, it
would be not just a bunch of anonymous bureaucrats at the bottom of the
pyramid, but that corruption had found a home in the very Council of
Ministers; that is, nothing less than the headquarters of the
“revolution”, presided over, in public and with great notoriety, by the
“commander in chief” in state.
5) After 47 years, 1 month and 20 days have passed since January 1 1959
and the date Petras wrote his opinions, it is finally acknowledged that
the “revolution” has been incapable of solving the problem of racial
discrimination, the latest confirmation that the state’s discourse on
the matter lacks the ability to modify the real social dynamic. It’s
obvious that Cuba’s black population noticed the problem long ago and
there we also see stirring tremors of opposition.
6) The much touted critical culture alive in Cuba is a myth or a
carefully planned clandestine exercise. It’s incredible that Petras
shows surprise and complains that the “enlightened” discoveries and
initiatives always come from Fidel Castro, more so when he himself
should know well that the in depth critics that historically anticipated
him had no choice but to pay the price by death, jail or exile.

In any case these observations are only a preview and now we must do the
development proper, having already established a sketch as yet imprecise
but very real of a popular mobilization in embryo rejecting the
government’s performance. Now, whether James Petras likes it or not, the
conclusion that follows from his naively sincere but also measured and
partial photographic impressions is just this: the total failure on
every count of a model of socialism militarized and under the spell of
the caudillo. How can one think otherwise after confirming problems in
housing, health, education and electrical supply; more so when they only
affect the popular sectors but never even brush past the ruling elite?
How is it that situations of social inequality go deeper than class
position and affect the very large black population in the country? How
come when it’s a proven fact that corruption affords the dominant class
extra income above and beyond the institutionalized privileges they
enjoy? When all the state traditions, customs, habits have established
for all eternity that only Fidel Castro – the one and only, unequalled,
indispensable shepherd of the Cuban people – can talk about the
thorniest problems with no hanging noose of state’s repression tied
around his neck nor “moral” and “revolutionary” condemnations falling
upon his head? How can one think otherwise when it looks like neither
the blockade nor the threats of invasion nor the clownish pronouncements
of Condoleeza Rice nor the 90 miles that separate Cuba from Florida have
anything to do with this situation? How come, James?

James Petras’ analytical limitation is because his camera is only
capable of capturing the most glaring manifestations of the situation
but misses the inner substance. In other words: the chronic problem with
Petras is that he blindly believes in the misnomer of “rectification of
errors” but can’t see that almost all of them could be reduced to a set
of congenital, basic and fundamental errors-horrors that few in power or
their clique of bored bureaucrats seem disposed to seriously discuss in
depth. What we’re talking about is not confronting once again the dull
succession of marches and countermarches or arguing whether the people
will be allowed or not to have dollars in their hands; or if the
peasants may or may not sell their produce in the towns, if the
“paladares” [privately owned home restaurants –tn] will create a new
class of “nouveau riche”, or whether the 60 watt light bulbs have to be
replaced by 15 watt units in a new cycle of austerity, if gas station
attendants will have to be replaced by social workers or if the
construction of “socialism” depends on the recipe for Coppelia ice
cream. No: the subject is much bigger and demands to put aside the
eternal and erratic “talents” of Fidel Castro and deserves to be treated
once and for all with due seriousness.

º The hidden image

What would therefore be the in-depth discussion the dominant elite are
not willing to tolerate in any way? In Cuba, today as always, the only
dilemma worth considering is the autonomous action of the people vs. the
never ending and unbearable tutelage of the “Communist” Party and its
maximum pontiff; a self-awarded tutelage forever that has nothing left
to rectify but its own existence. If James Petras is incapable of
understanding the reasons why “intellectuals and politicians” don’t take
the initiative that is precisely because his superficial perception of
the problem doesn’t let him develop the photos he himself has willingly
taken of Cuban reality. Because in that reality problems officially and
legitimately acquire such status only when the infallible helmsman
decides to make a turn more or less ingenuous that “rectifies” his own
past decisions. Can anybody think that nobody but the “commander in
chief” is the maker of all the “wonders” but always keeps himself behind
the scene and completely away from whatever disaster has happened,
happens and will happen in the process of “building socialism”? The
answer to this is obvious and it’s long overdue that James Petras and so
many like him dare take the necessary bad step and loose their
virginity. We now add some additional details.

The failure of Cuban “socialism” is the failure of Leninist centralized
planning in its impure Caribbean version. It is the failure of a
strategy for “building socialism” based on the scientific hegemony of
the techno-bureaucratic elite supposedly “enlightened” whose opinions
and “vanguard” wisdom lie forever above self-management praxis. It is
therefore the failure of an idea that infuses hierarchy in all state
decisions – it doesn’t matter if it is planning the budget in the
Guevara style or based upon the surplus value theory according to the
old soviet vision; as they have alternated in Cuba - rather than of
people’s autonomous decisions articulated in grass roots organizations.
Besides it is the failure of a style upon which a militaristic
leadership has been superimposed that dismantles the minimal
“rationality” the soviet model could boast of; and not precisely because
we think the latter worthy of admiration but because the Cuban version
falls squarely in the terrain of the nonsensical. How else can we
consider the centralized planning of a small peripheral country that
gives such importance to a very expensive and wasteful police-military
establishment whose only use is the control of the people and its daily
operations for the greater glory of Castro? How else can we consider the
inclusion in the centralized plan of all the occurrences and whims of
the caudillo that go –in its most sublime expression and taking the
productive achievements of “socialism” as if it were an Olympic event –
from that failed sugar harvest of the 10 million tons to the building of
freeways totally out of proportion with the number of vehicles, to such
“brilliant” ideas such as raising crocodiles, or transforming every
square meter of land into a coffee plantation or the exporting of
toothpicks? James, could it be true that this may have something to do
with the systemic lack of initiative on the part of the “intellectuals
and politicians”?

The key to the Cuban problem has long ceased to be a problem to decipher
and consists in basing the only possible form of socialist construction
in the conscience and the will of the people. Today those single note
echoes dare recognize that Cuban “socialism” can be reversible as a
consequence of all its own errors and not because outside aggression:
even Fidel Castro, in its speech of November 17 last year, took care of
extending to his minions the corresponding “permission” to make such
opinions. However, the latest check yields a very different result. The
“socialism” built by the “Communist” party and its leader is not
reversible for the simple reason that it never was and the only chance
in sight is nothing less than the development of a vast autonomous
project that returns to the people everything the state and its
“vanguard” perversely took from them. And this is inseparable from an
ample and lasting and unrestricted regime of liberties: liberty to think
and opine, liberty to organize, liberty to mobilize and liberty for
people to take charge of their own lives without mediation or
interference. Because in the end, socialism will be libertarian or it
will not be: a historical confirmation that James Petras’ timid,
hesitant and belated step forward doesn’t quite acknowledge.

state hater

Lookout Fidel the anarchists are comin to get yer

21.07.2007 22:28

A very interesting article you' ve picked up there Statehater.
Did you you understand it?
I notice you've made no reference to any of it I doubt it?

So what we'll do is turn Cuba into an anarchists paradise.
I'm all for that.
Trouble is Bush and his boys will be there quicker than you can say black bean co-operative.
Then what you gunna do?
Moan on Indymedia that Bush is locking people up for no reason in Cuba.
Whoops hes already doin that.
Don't hear you moanin about that , or the millions of others locked up around the world by this regime or that regime.
I feel for people unjustly treated any where in the world.
I could give you a list longer than the article you've just cut and paste.
Cuba is no socialist paradise but its way ,way down the list human rights abusers and you know it.
Try going a little higher up the list... a little closer to home maybe.


Way down the list of human rights abusers?

22.07.2007 06:35

Oh so that makes it all right to support Castro cos he is not the number one oppressor but a bit further down the list!!. Daggle go back and play politics with your middle class student mates cos mate you have not got a clue! Your attitude is indicative of the problems that the anarchist and general activist movement face in this country!

Freedom fighter

I'm a realist..give me an atlas a pin and i'll give you a negative.

22.07.2007 20:56

Everytime , where ever it lands.
Just tell me the utopia you're looking for or one single example of it anywhere in the universe.
Why do you cowards pick on one little third world island.
A little speck on the map , that threatens no other nation , has never attacked any other nation , is constantly attacked economically , is attacked by terrorists trained openly on U.S. soil , whose leader has had numerous attempts on his life by the mighty CIA and whose biggest export after sugar , cigars and rum , is doctors free of charge to other third world nations.
As I said, if you "intelligent" people can't , won't or are too scared to look a little higher up your lists of nasty , brutal , murdering , warmongering bastards , then I'll assume your thick , cowardly and politically have a big problem.

Look a little closer to home...have you a problem with it too scary for you?


Bet daggle is a member of swp!

23.07.2007 15:53

"Boo hoo, picking on a tiny third world nation you cowards" What the hell are you talking about daggle you fucking moron! Just because people oppose a dictatorship in Cuba, or wherever in the world does not mean that they are unable to also oppose the political systems that exist in many countries as most are corrupt and benefit only the rich. You seem to be solely obsessed with the dictatorship in Cuba but not intelligent enough to see past the propaganda you have been fed by whatever little trot group you make placards with. The only coward is you!! Enough said, do something positive with your life and for once and think of the oppressed!


Hooray .. at've found a world map.

23.07.2007 21:28

" there are political systems that exist in many countries...most are corrupt and benefit only the rich "

So when Cuba sent 50,000 troops to Angola to help topple the apartheid regime(many died) .
you would've opposed that.
When at the U.N. Cuba constantly defends the plight of the Palestinians , usually as a lone voice. You oppose that?
Cuba still has many , many doctors in Pakistan long after the rest of the world has forgotten about the earthquake victims. You oppose that?

It is you who seem obsessed with Cuba... of course in a negative way.
Does Cuba's political system benefit only the rich?
Ask the South Africans , Palestinians , Puerto Ricans , Argentinians , Bolivians , Venezualens , Jamaicans , the list is a long one.

By the way whats a trot group? Is that like err .. jogging or something?
SWP? Sheffield Wednesday Philanthropists... maybe?

One last thing , don't ever slag Sheffield Wednesday'll make me really angry.
Ah well back to the placards "Sheffield Wednesday Philanthropists against those naughty Cubans"
You've converted me with the precision of your arguments. ( big big belly laffffffs!)


How Cuba "benefits the rich":

24.07.2007 06:40

Cuban Solidarity (Misión Milagro in Venezuela Bolivariana)
Cuban Solidarity (Misión Milagro in Venezuela Bolivariana)

You can see a little documentary about the Cuban solidarity in:

Other webs related with Cuba/Venezuela Solidarity:

Some Videos:

- "Misión Milagro", Roberto Chile:

- "Montaña de Luz":

- "Operación Milagro en Venezuela":

- "Médicos cubanos en el Himalaya":

- "En las laderas del Himalaya":

- "La Solidaridad Internacional":

About the Cuban participation in Angola:

Civilian personnel: +/- 50 000

Internationalists cuban fighters: 300 000

Casualties: 2 077 dead

F Espinoza


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