14ymedio, Madrid, 28 January 2022 — The left, in solidarity with the July 11th protesters, “fulfills its socialist commitment to support the working class,” stated Comunistas Cuba, a Trotskyist group that opposes the current government leadership and which published a statement positioning itself against the trials of the July 11th protesters.
In a long preamble referencing Marxist theory, Comunistas Cuba stated that those who took to the streets on July 11, 2021, were a group of workers who experience hunger and need, tired of “the bureaucracy which sharpened the economic crisis when it imposed the Ordering Task*” and which does not suffer its consequences.
In line with what it considers the opposition, Comunistas Cuba believes that the population there was making demands that were not only economic but also political because “they clashed against a political system, which increasingly reserves the revolutionary and socialist only for discourse. They cannot think as the people think if they do not live as the people live,” they add.
The statement accepts the concept of the “imperialist blockade,” but refuses to completely attribute the social uprising to it. However, it believes there has been enormous neglect of the most populous neighborhoods for a long time, from the infrastructure and basic supplies to lack of spiritual services and increasing inequality.
“What can the Cuban working class do when faced with this if the bureaucracy does not listen; when each time its young intellectuals critique, they are questioned politically, even branded as counterrevolutionaries; when syndicates** are far from fulfilling the mandate of the working class and the working class is far from wielding power? July 11th was nothing more than a desperate expression of the Cuban working class,” they write.
The statement takes stock of the data provided by the prosecutor’s office on January 24th, which stated that 790 people have been indicted and that, according to Comunistas Cuba, underestimates the number of people who took to the streets since the 790 represents only a small portion of those who were arrested, and not all who participated were arrested.
Furthermore, it is strongly against the reaction of the authorities and security forces. “A State which represses the working class for protesting demanding economic changes is a State which is far from being socialist.”
Comunistas Cuba requests that its defense of antigovernment protesters not be confused with support for right-wing opposition, or those who work for the United States, “and try to impose on Cuba a pro-imperialist, anti-communist capitalist dictatorship” and specifically mention José Daniel Ferrer.
“Our claim is in solidarity with the working class, not with those who conspire to impose a system which subjects the working class to imperialist exploitation,” they specify.
The statement believes the marches were historic and the international left has an obligation not to “turn a deaf ear to what occurred before and after the protests.”
Comunistas Cuba also highlights how young the protesters were and deplores any attempt to stain their reputations by describing them as delinquents when only 21% of them had prior records, according to data provided by the prosecutor’s office; these data have been questioned by other organizations due to the types of crimes with which they are charged, among other reasons.
They also consider the trials unacceptable, “clearly politically motivated,” and the imposition of sentences “exemplary.”
“The Cuban Communist Party’s strategy against the July 11th protests is Machiavellian, not Marxist.”
Another sector that does not escape the criticism of the group is the civilians who are willing to do the work of the police or military. “Citizens who, although not members of the police corps, were protected by the Government and beat protesters; they enjoy complete impunity or at the very least, have not been referred to publicly. The weight of the law must also come down on those citizens,” they demand.
The statement concludes with a demand that those being unjustly accused be pardoned, especially those younger than 20 years who were demanding their rights either peacefully, or in legitimate self-defense.
“We demand the immediate approval of the protest law so that the right to expression in the streets is not illegal, and those who exercise their right to protest are not criminalized or attacked politically,” they conclude before finishing off with various Marxist slogans.
The Comunistas Cuba group is not large, but is mostly young, according to people close to it who point to the existence of a growing movement on the Island which identifies as leftist but is not in favor of the Cuban government, viewed as a bureaucratic and bourgeoise elite.
*Tarea ordenamiento = the [so-called] ‘Ordering Task’ which is a collection of measures that includes eliminating the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), leaving the Cuban peso as the only national currency, raising prices, raising salaries (but not as much as prices), opening stores that take payment only in hard currency which must be in the form of specially issued pre-paid debit cards, and others. ** These syndicates are associations of workers, but they don’t have bargaining power, like a real union
Translated by: Silvia Suárez
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