International Statement on Cuba
The fact that the Communist Party of Cuba has felt the need to write to "fraternal parties and organizations"* shows the scope of the problem that Cuban leaders are facing as reactions come in to the execution of three Cuban citizens and the heavy prison sentences imposed on other citizens who were expressing their desire to exercise their right of criticism.
For our part, the Fourth International recalls that we have taken the side of the Cuban revolution ever since 1959; and that we have defended crucial decisions made by the Cuban leaders from criticisms and attacks, not only from the ruling classes and their governments but also from most Communist and social-democratic parties and from leaders of the so-called "really existing socialist countries". We have highlighted the original aspects of the Cuban revolution as well as the aid that it has given in an internationalist spirit to revolutionary movements. But when we have considered it necessary to make criticisms - particularly of the Cuban government's attitude towards the leaderships in the Soviet Union and other non-capitalist countries or towards the Mexican PRI government, or of the bureaucratization of the Cuban regime - we have done so openly.
Today, the methods adopted during the recent tragic events are unacceptable from a revolutionary democratic point of view and unacceptable for the defense of the revolution and its social and cultural conquests. Our response is unambiguous. The Cuban government adopted by the way an entirely different attitude on other occasions, particularly during the attempts at massive, illegal emigration in 1980 and 1994.
It is true, as the Cuban CP's letter indicates, that "the Bush Administration's hostility towards Cuba has exceeded that of all previous administrations"*. The ruling classes, the US ruling classes first and foremost, have always used barbarous methods; but fighting against these policies cannot justify the use of undemocratic methods, including the unacceptable death penalty, by a government that claims to be socialist. Precisely because certain methods are characteristic of the exploiting classes, revolutionaries must not resort to them.
Undeniably, Cuba is in an even more difficult situation than in the past. Bush and his gang have demonstrated that they are prepared to use any means at all to impose their hegemony still more on the whole world. Cuba's best defense is to ensure the active, more and more democratic participation of the broadest layers of the population in the arduous tasks of defending the revolution, with full rights of self-expression and criticism. The best defense consists at the same time in the broadest solidarity from friendly parties and organizations and the peoples of other countries. But recourse by the Cuban leadership to extreme repressive methods makes this kind of solidarity much more difficult.
Once again, while criticizing unambiguously the recent measures taken by the Cuban leadership, we reaffirm our solidarity with the Cuban people against the US-imposed embargo.
Executive Bureau of the Fourth International