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Workers Vanguard No. 1059

9 January 2015
The closing date for news in this issue is 6 January.

Workers Vanguard

U.S. Imperialists Open Diplomatic Relations

Defend the Gains of the Cuban Revolution!

For Workers Political Revolution in Cuba!

For over half a century, the U.S. imperialists have worked relentlessly to overthrow the Cuban Revolution and restore the rule of capital on the island: from the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion to repeated attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, from terrorist provocations by the CIA and Cuban exile gusanos to acts of sabotage. Now the Obama White House has announced that it wants to “chart a new course” with Cuba by restoring diplomatic relations, that is, pursue what it considers a more effective means to achieve the same strategic goal. It was after the Castro government expropriated the capitalist class on the island in 1960, bringing enormous gains for the Cuban masses, that Washington cut off relations with Havana.

What is proposed is relatively modest: relaxing various travel restrictions, authorizing some commercial sales and exports and facilitating banking transactions between the two countries. The crippling U.S. embargo, an act of economic warfare that has been strangling the Cuban workers and peasants for decades, is loosened but not dismantled. Obama claims that without approval from Congress he cannot overturn the Torricelli and Helms-Burton acts. These acts tightened the embargo following the 1991-92 collapse of the Soviet Union, which put an end to crucial economic and military aid for Cuba. Signed under the Democrat Clinton, they were intended to “wreak havoc on the island.” Down with the embargo!

From the standpoint of revolutionary Marxists, Cuba has the right to enter into diplomatic and economic relations with any capitalist country it chooses, not least as a means to attempt to overcome the very real problem of its economic stagnation. Increased commercial and financial ties to U.S. corporations would not amount to the creeping restoration of capitalism. However, they bring the very real danger of strengthening the internal forces for capitalist counterrevolution on the island.

Meanwhile, the presence of the U.S. naval base and detention-torture center at Guantánamo Bay—where around 130 prisoners of the U.S. “war on terror” are held—is a reminder that Cuba is still in the imperialists’ military crosshairs. Despite the release of dozens of prisoners last year, Obama is not about to shut down this dungeon, much less return Guantánamo to Cuba. U.S. out of Guantánamo Bay now! (read on)

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About the ICL




V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!