Today, the Cuban Revolution announced its first president not named Castro and despite the U.S. governments greatest efforts for almost 60 years, there is no armed insurrection in the streets of Havana, Cuba, tonight. This reality is something we need to stop and think about for a moment.
I fully admit, just to be completely clear, that my motivation for what I'm about to say is very personal to me. There are so many people that work, consciously and unconsciously, to sabotage the Cuban Revolution that I want to stress first that this piece isn't directed at the reactionaries and counter-revolutionaries. They are established enemies. This piece is directed at the so-called revolutionaries, progressives, liberals, socialists, anarchists, and whatever the hell else the people in mind call themselves. You see, I'm offended at your attacks against the Cuban Revolution. I see it necessary to point out that oppressed brown people on the planet are critical thinkers too. We understand the shortcomings and contradictions in all our struggles, including the Cuban Revolution, better than the vocal critics ever will. We make our critiques and our assessments. We even have outstanding contacts and relationships with the Cubans so that we are able to engage them with our critiques. That's why we know they take them earnestly and seriously to heart. We also are aware that by and large, it isn't the people of Africa and/or African people, Palestinians, or the Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere making these critiques against Cuba. Its primary these so-called White allies we are talking about here. The White allies who ignore Cuba's outstanding contributions to Africa (over 40,000 Cuban troops fought for African liberation). Cuba's overwhelming support for the African struggle in the U.S. (more than 100 years of so-called support from these so-called allies). Cuba's unmatched commitment to helping humanity. The brown peoples know first hand Cuba's work to make the world better and most of us know Cuba's work to make Cuba better. More importantly, most of us understand that revolution is a process, not an event. And, we don't enjoy the luxury of being armchair revolutionaries like most of these people I'm naming. We know how difficult it is to get a society of millions of people to change their consciousness. Only someone who has never actually done that work could so easily dismiss the progress of the Cuban Revolution in this area. In other words, while the Cubans are slowly transforming millions of people, their critics don't possess the skill-set or experience to change one person's mind about anything. Its that paradox which clarifies who these critics are because oppressed people typically don't have that level of entitlement in our analysis of the world. We understand struggle. Therefore, we certainly understand, appreciate, and respect the deep degree of struggle the Cuban Revolution engages in everyday while most of their critics run and hide at the very first sign of struggle.
The primary element fueling this contradiction is I have met and engaged with many critics of the Cuban Revolution, but not once have I encountered anyone who has a scientific understanding of revolutionary organizing and/or any concrete study of the Cuban Revolution. For example, most people who call Cuba undemocratic cannot even explain Cuba's legislative process. I don't claim to be an expert on it either, but at least I've studied it intensely for years and I've actually observed it in progress in person. At least from that perspective I have a clear understanding of how they make legislative decisions. I know that Miguel Diaz-Canal, Cuba's new president, was voted into that position by Cuba's national legislature - its National Assembly (NA). I know that local neighborhoods elect their own NA representative and that the NA is made up of everyday people. Since campaign finance is illegal in Cuba, anyone can run for office and many of the people who represent elected positions in the NA are everyday working people. This explains why the vote to elect Diaz-Canel was carried out with a large, approximately 40%, vote by people who identify as African and about 50% women. Unlike bourgeois elections in capitalist countries, these positions are not denied to these sectors of society in Cuba.
So, while all the critics of Cuba can generally offer is the same tired and long ago dis-proven allegations against two men - Fidel and Che - we can easily point to all the actual errors the Cuban Revolution has made e.g. its lack of consciousness around Africa and African people (approximately 70% of Cuba's population). Its backward position on women and LGBTQ communities. We can also correctly inform you that Cuba has readily acknowledged these errors. And, they consistently make strides in all those areas to challenge those shortcomings (which existed long before the Cuban Revolution). In fact, it can be accurately stated that the Cuban Revolution is simply cleaning up these dysfunctions that resulted from hundreds of years of colonialism, slavery, and theft of Indigenous lands, like the rest of the Western Hemisphere.
Haters gonna hate and the Cuban Revolution will keep on building. I've heard these haters all my life. The Castros are slowly descending into history, but the Cuban Revolution, which has always belonged to the Cuban people, is marching forward. I've had a saying myself that I've responded to these haters with for years. My saying has been all those who think the Cuban Revolution will fall as soon as the Castros are gone, I'd bet you any amount of money that you are wrong. Today, I have to update that bet (had any of you cowards actually been willing to back up your mouths with your wallets, I could retire today). Now, I'll say I bet the Cuban people will carry their Revolution forward. They will fight the never-ending propaganda against them. They will continue to prove their haters wrong. And, more importantly, they will continue to serve humanity while putting in the necessary pieces to make their Revolution, better, stronger, and more sustainable. The question isn't what the Cubans are doing and/or what they are going to do. They are cementing their legacy every day and if you want proof of that talk to people in Guinea-Bissau. Guinea. Angola, Mozambique. Zambia. Tanzania. They have first hand experience while most of you critics refuse to even read a primary source book about Cuba.
Revolutionaries don't deal with dreams. We deal with science and revolution is the most important science on the planet Earth. We are continuing to observe the Cuban Revolution with respect and critical analysis so that we can build on what we learn from them, and correct what we need to correct from their experiences. Meanwhile, we will continue to support them and encourage them to continue on, despite how much so many of you so-called progressives do the work of imperialism by working against them.