A surprisingly clear-eyed statement about the stakes in Cuba. Not that I thought Psaki was a communist, but now that Bernie Sanders and the DSA crowd are players in the Democratic Party she needs to be careful about the truth bombs that she drops. Some of the commie symps in the progressive wing might get hit by the shrapnel.
And a wounded Tankie is a Tankie who’s unlikely to show up to vote against the GOP in 2022 and beyond.
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 15, 2021
Her comments made me wonder: Have any of the party’s most left-wing stars chimed in on the Cuban uprising? They’re forever clarifying for PR purposes that the flavor of socialism they support is the cuddly Scandinavian variety, not the up-against-the-wall Cuban/Venezuelan authoritarian brand. And they’re all ostentatiously populist. A grassroots movement of impoverished Cubans asserting their rights against a repressive government should be tailor-made for DSAers … if not for the fact that the government in question is socialist.
Bernie did utter an encouraging word to the Cuban people a few days ago, but in keeping with left-wing political etiquette he made sure to both-sides it by criticizing U.S. sanctions too.
All people have the right to protest and to live in a democratic society. I call on the Cuban government to respect opposition rights and refrain from violence. It’s also long past time to end the unilateral U.S. embargo on Cuba, which has only hurt, not helped, the Cuban people.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 13, 2021
The DSA International Committee was less equivocal. They’re on the side of the revolution, which they somehow equate with the Cuban people even though it’s the revolutionaries who are beating and killing the Cuban people to try to tamp down the demonstrations before they burn out of control:
DSA stands with the Cuban people and their Revolution in this moment of unrest. End the blockade. pic.twitter.com/jzFVrthoMm
— DSA International Committee 🌹 (@DSA_Intl_Comm) July 12, 2021
They’d also prefer to focus on U.S. policy rather than Castro’s policy, of course:
Lula about Cuba:
“The Americans need to stop this grudge. Embargos are a way to kill human beings who are not at war. What is the US afraid of? I know what it’s like for one country trying to interfere with another.”
— DSA International Committee 🌹 (@DSA_Intl_Comm) July 13, 2021
Britain’s Socialist Party is less comfortable with having to defend Castro and what might ensue on the island in the coming days and weeks so they’ve taken the novel approach of arguing that Cuba … isn’t communist:
Cuba does NOT have “communism”. Anyone with just a basic understanding of what communism is knows this (so why make such a ludicrous assertion?). The people do NOT collectively own and control the means of production. An elite owns and controls them. Cuba has state capitalism. pic.twitter.com/cD5x1hIWHn
— The Socialist Party (@OfficialSPGB) July 15, 2021
And of course, as Jazz noted this morning, America’s progressive anti-racist vanguard has a lot to say about the effect of the U.S. embargo on the revolution but nothing about why Cubans are chanting “libertad” in the streets:
Black Lives Matter has released a statement on Cuba: pic.twitter.com/NgnT1o1oZE
— Sabrina Rodríguez (@sabrod123) July 15, 2021
I searched the Twitter feeds of the two most prominent progressive Democrats in the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, and found nothing about Cuba this week as of 4 p.m. ET, not even a Bernie-esque whataboutist post on U.S. sanctions just to check the box. Normally they’re eager to support popular uprisings against mass human-rights violations in the third world. Not so much this time, with an obvious angle about colonialism lacking.
Or maybe they’re just protecting their donor base, not wanting to piss anyone off by saying a discouraging word about a regime which the American left is forever excusing.
I mean, just look at the flak Chinese state media is taking from western pinkos for having lightly criticized Castro’s handling of the pandemic (click the image to enlarge the individual items):
Hammer and Sickle twitter experiencing a contradiction at the current moment. pic.twitter.com/dimXabq2MQ
— Only Italian 🇮🇹 Fans (@lesuperburp) July 14, 2021
In lieu of an exit question, read this enjoyable WaPo story about tensions growing between moderate House Democrats and the progressive insurgents maneuvering to primary them in races next year. The left has begun its own tea-party era, with the same old questions about whether the party establishment should back incumbents to maximize its chances of victory in the general election or whether it should remain neutral in primaries and let the base sort out its nominee for itself. The central figure is Hakeem Jeffries, a member of the Democratic leadership and a possible successor to Pelosi. He’s going to bat for some of his centrist colleagues by raising money for them to fend off primaries from the left funded by the Justice Democrats, a progressive group aligned with AOC. Depending on who wins that struggle next year, Biden’s press secretary may need to think twice before badmouthing communism in the future.
Update: This dude’s getting primaried.
Biden: Communism is a failed system… and I don’t see socialism as a very useful substitute but that’s another story pic.twitter.com/3yPSe4B5E3
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 15, 2021