Castro sides with Gaddafi
I have just read Fidel Castro’s analysis of the situation in Libya. In a ‘Reflections of Fidel’ piece in Monthly Review called The Plan is to occupy Libya Castro nowhere condemns Gaddafi for killing thousands of his citizens. He does not offer his support to the Libyan revolution.
Instead he warns, with little plausibility at the moment, that NATO is preparing to invade. So he condemns plans that might come into existence but not the massacres actually occurring daily in Libya.
While the freedom fighters are challenging imperialism and Gaddafi, the dictator’s recent friend, Castro, is using anti-imperialism as a fig leaf to defend the murderous regime. Let me quote two examples. In the article Castro says:
One can agree with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kinds of news, especially using the mass media. One has to wait the necessary length of time in order to learn precisely what is the truth and what are lies, or a mixture of events of every kind that, in the midst of chaos, were produced in Libya.
These are weasel words worthy of Obama or Clinton. Castro is on Gaddafi’s side. Certainly he is not opposed to him. Castro’s silence on the murderous response of the Gaddafi regime to the mass uprising of the Libyan people will echo loudly down the halls of history.
Unlike Castro I support those risking their lives and dying in this magnificent revolution against the Libyan tyrant. Today for example I will be attending a demonstration against the dictator at the Libyan Embassy in Canberra, Australia.
Castro finishes off with this apologia for the dictator and the murder of thousands of freedom fighters.
An honest person shall always be against any injustice being committed against any people in the world, and the worst of all, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is getting ready to commit against the Libyan people.
What a disgrace. He condemns the possible but not the massacres actually happening now. Why?
Castro’s regime is a capitalist one. It is the state as concentrated monopoly capital exploiting its working class.
The imperialist blockade of Cuba for daring to buck US control in 1959 has seen the Cuban ruling elite seek out support among various anti-American regimes. This explains the embrace of ‘socialism’ 2 years after the revolution.
This search for friends became especially important after the collapse of the state capitalist Stalinist regime in Russia in 1989 which ended the flow of economic support for the state capitalist dictatorship in Cuba.
The world Castro inhabits is either pro or anti-US imperialism.
A popular democratic uprising of the masses which threatens imperialism and at the same time one of his erstwhile make believe anti-imperialist allies and friends makes Castro equivocate.
He fears the masses more than he fears US imperialism. Hence he cannot condemn Gaddafi but must instead couch the battle in the narrow terms of anti-imperialism.
There is another link. Both are top down rulers; they believe in change from above. Their revolutions had a similarity – a change of personnel at the top with the fundamentals of capitalism in place, no matter who high blown the rhetoric and phraseology. The working class played no role in either revolution as workers.
Castro and Gaddafi recognise in each other kindred top down spirits.
Castro’s state capitalist regime uses the blockade and anti-imperialism at home to help retain its grip on power. It uses the same logic abroad to support dictatorships which are opposed to the US.
The best antidote to US imperialism in the region is the Arab revolutions and the conquest of power by the masses.
In Libya that means no to Gaddafi, yes to the people and, if the revolution matures, victory to the Libyan working class.
Victory to the masses. Victory to the Arab working class across the region.