June 28, 2010
HAVANA TIMES, June 28 – Esteban Morales, PhD., has been "separated from
the ranks" of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) for his publication of
an article denouncing what he considers the counter-revolutionary
corruption and bureaucracy that exists in the country. The Playa
Municipal Committee of the PCC communicated its decision to the
grassroots level of the Party.
The phenomenon of corruption within the State (almost everything belongs
to the State here) has been recognized by the highest leadership of the
Party, everyone in Cuba knows about it, and articles have even been
published on it in the official government-party media.
At this moment Morales is preparing his appeal.
His Party membership card was stripped from him by his punishers, though
communist commitment remains in Morales.
In No. 55 of the Bulletin SPD (Participatory and Democratic Socialism)
of this past June 17, I published an article titled: Dialogue Without
Sectarianism: A Necessity for Revolutionary Cohesion, in which I pointed
out that after the publication of his article, Esteban Morales had
disappeared from the nightly Mesa Redonda news/commentary program. He
was customarily invited on there every time an issue concerning the
United States was approached. It appears I was not being subjective in
relating those two facts.
I have known Esteban personally since 1991 when I worked under him as a
researcher at the Center on United States Studies at the University of
Havana, where he was the director. From his extraordinary seriousness
and academic depth, his high human qualities and from the revolutionary
caliber of this scientist —who comes from a humble background— any
honest person could testify on his behalf in any one of his qualities.
I won't try to write the biography of someone who, for me, is the most
accomplished researcher and expert on the US among our academics. I
simply want to record the fact that I have serious doubts about those
who made that decision to remove him, as well uncertainties regarding
their moral stature and their intellectual capacity. Certainly, there
action confirms the validity of the assessments made in Morales's article.
If this bureaucratic sanction is not corrected quickly, very confused
messages will be sent to party activists, to the Cuban people and to the
We must all ask some disturbing questions:
Is the Party honored or dishonored by this decision?
Where does there remain the capacity for individual criticism by Party
Is it only possible to be critical when, where and how it is decided
upon by those above?
What relationship can this action have with "Fomenting frank discussion
and not see a problem in there being discrepancies, but the source of
the best solutions…" as was expressed by President Raul Castro this past
April 4th when summarizing the Fourth Congress of the Young Communist
Esteban Morales, right, on the Roundtable TV program. Photo: cubadebate.cu
Are they trying to show that Raul is proceeding in one direction and the
leadership of the PCC —by not allowing criticism from within the ranks—
is moving in another?
Should party activists and the general population reach the conclusion
that the calls by the historical leadership for internal criticism and
debate are false?
Can one be honest and a Party activist at the same time?
Is this part of some sinister plan concocted by factions of the
political bureaucracy to destroy the Party so that people desert its
ranks en masse? Will this reaffirm the decision made by many youth to
not join the party, or will they seek to take advantage of the double
standard in the ranks of the Party and silence criticism?
Are the most retrograde elements in the leadership of the Party testing
their strength to attempt even more reactionary and anti-democratic actions?
Are we confronted with yet another coup by the political bureaucracy of
the Party (which is a group with its own activists and its own ideology)
against the Revolution, against the future of socialism in Cuba, against
dialogue between revolutionaries; against Fidel and Raul, who were the
ones who asked the Party activists and the people to act critically
against corruption and the bureaucratic strata, which have now placed
the Cuban revolutionary process in danger of being reversed?
How does this Stalinist style repression fit in with the internal
operations of the Party, with the negotiations that are taking place
with the opposition via the Catholic Church?
Where is the party democracy that Raul spoke of?
Is the leadership of the Party distancing itself from its own left at
the same time that it is entering into dialogue around "reconciliation"
with émigrés, the opposition and possibly the US itself?
Might those in the international left be right when they estimate that
the revolution has already begun moving backwards toward capitalist
restoration, carried out by the hand of the State's own bureaucracy?
How long will they keep committing these acts of nonsense?
Are they working to see a new party created by us, the communists who
don't fit into the Communist Party of Cuba?
The list of questions could be expanded. Several more come to mind, but
I prefer not to write them down.
Let's hope that someone up there up soon revokes this divisive,
sectarian and irresponsible decision. It's the sole answer that
responds to these questions.
* Pedro Campos articles can be read in Spanish in the SPD bulletin."