Cuba and the ‘Democratic’ Socialists of America

·3 min read

There’s this . . .

The New York Times:

Shouting “Freedom” and other anti-government slogans, thousands of Cubans took to the streets in cities around the country on Sunday to protest food and medicine shortages, in a remarkable eruption of discontent not seen in nearly 30 years.

Thousands of people marched through San Antonio de los Baños, southwest of Havana, with videos streaming live on Facebook for nearly an hour before they suddenly disappeared. As the afternoon wore on, other videos appeared from demonstrations elsewhere, including Palma Soriano, in the country’s southeast. Hundreds of people also gathered in Havana, where a heavy police presence preceded their arrival.

“The people are dying of hunger!” one woman shouted during a protest filmed in the province of Artemisa, in the island’s west. “Our children are dying of hunger!”…

And then there’s this from the International Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America:

DSA stands with the Cuban people and their Revolution in this moment of unrest. End the blockade.

As NeoLiberal observes, this is a cleverly worded tweet:

Normal people will see it and think they’re supporting the protests (which are not about the blockade).

They won’t realize that capital-R Revolution = the Cuban government, which calls protestors ‘counter-revolutionaries’.

On the other hand, for the DSA’s International Committee to retweet this from Kawsachun News is rather less subtle:

Cubans chant “I am Fidel!”, as thousands flood the streets in defense of the revolution.

It was also an interesting source to use. Kawsachun had earlier tweeted this:

“Viva Fidel!” The revolutionary people of Cuba fill the streets to protect their Revolution and sovereignty from imperialist attacks.

And this:

President Miguel Díaz-Canel in San Antonio de los Baños, Mayabeque, Cuba: There’s a group of counter-revolutionary, mercenary people paid by the U.S. government, paid indirectly through agencies of the North American government to assemble these types of demonstrations.

Later on (after the DSA retweet) Kawsachun repeated the “paid for” smear:

Cubans in Holguín respond to the call of President @DiazCanelB to take to the streets in defense of the Revolution as the U.S. government tries to provoke destabilization by utilizing paid agents on the ground.

From the Council on Foreign Relations:

On Friday, July 2, a delegation from the Democratic Socialists of America embraced the Venezuelan dictator, Nicolas Maduro. This was no rump group; a news report says the delegation included “the chairperson of the National Political Committee of the DSA, members of the International Committee, and members of the organization’s Political Formation, Foreign Policy and Bilateral Relations sections.”

Support for the Maduro dictatorship is not new for DSA. In 2016, the organization issued a statement of solidarity with the Maduro regime, and called on then-president Barack Obama to end all sanctions against it…

Back to NeoLiberal:

DSA types are always saying “We just mean Denmark!”, but when the chips are down they’re doing apologetics for Cuba, celebrating Venezuela’s government, etc. The authoritarian core comes out.

Doubtless the DSA’s representatives in Congress will be able to explain why this is just a misreading of their profoundly democratic ideology.

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