After the Cuban Protests: Discussion with Proletarios Cabreados

We are publishing here our translation of a further document on the Cuban protests in July, entitled Análisis de la actual crisis y revuelta en Cuba desde la perspectiva comunista radical, by a group in Ecuador which goes under the name of Proletarios Cabreados (Pissed off Proletarians). You can find them at

They have already published our document Cuba is the Latest Episode in the Death Agony of (State) Capitalism on their Facebook page, explaining why as follows

We publish this recent article from the Internationalist Communist Tendency because we share its materialist analysis and internationalist position, from which it once again denounces the capitalist nature of the Cuban economy and state, with relevant facts and figures. Likewise, it claims the proletarian and spontaneous character of the current revolt in that region, while criticising its lack of autonomy and class roots, due in turn to the absence of a revolutionary historical and international situation.

They then make some criticisms of it which we will reply to below, but first we would like to comment on the document itself. It is excellent in many respects. First, it sees that the situation in Cuba is not about ideology, despite the attempts of the various factions of the capitalist left (in support of so-called “socialism”) and capitalist right (in support of so-called “democracy”) to make it so. Instead they correctly link it to the common struggle across the planet of the dispossessed and exploited (from Colombia and South Africa to Khuzestan and beyond) which was already taking place before the advent of the pandemic. It also correctly focusses on the reality that the Cuban ruling class is essentially a military dictatorship controlling much of the economy (including its pre-pandemic lucrative tourist sector) through its GAESA organisation. As they say “Cuba socialista” is a myth perpetrated by Stalinists who think you can have “socialism in one country”. They also debunk the myth that Cuba’s economic woes are entirely the fault of the US blockade by pointing to the fact that it is Cuba’s 9th largest trading partner.

Cuba, like all monocultural and/or weaker economies has been a pawn of imperialism since the Spaniards first arrived with Columbus, and has only freed itself from domination of one by becoming the client of another. Thus the USA succeeded Spain in dominating the island after 1902, and was in turn replaced by the USSR after the nationalist revolution of the 26 July Movement in 1959. Declaring his sudden conversion to Marxism-Leninism in 1961 was Castro’s desperate plea for more aid from the USSR. It worked, and led to the missile crisis of 1962, as well as a guaranteed purchase of Cuban sugar (replacing US purchases) for 30 years. And since the USSR collapsed the Cuban state has been compelled to lead a hand to mouth existence. It survived thanks initially to cheap Venezuelan oil (now drying up) and some discrete Chinese investment. Its main internally generated assets have been tourism (under Batista in the 1950s it was the “playground of America”; until Covid-19, it has been the “playground of Europeans” for the last two decades), and its educated medical professionals (soft power imperialism) who bring in hard currency with their work in scores of nations. Life for the population has become increasingly difficult and the article below explains the current economic malaise well.


So far so good. Now let’s enter the discussion of differences. Here, there is a danger of falling into pointless nominalist debates about nothing, which we should try to avoid. Proletarios Cabreados (PC), in publishing our document, criticise what they think is the position of the Communist Left on “state capitalism”. They write:

“State capitalism′′ is an expression coined and used by some sections of the historic communist left to denounce the capitalist character of the ′′communist countries′′ like the USSR …

This is partially true but not the whole story. Obviously when responding to false claims that these countries are “socialist” we are forced to categorise them as “state capitalist”, by which we mean that the transfer of ownership of the means of production to the state does not do away with the capitalist character of the system, which is still based on the exploitation of wage labour to create surplus value. In these places it is appropriated by the state. The Stalinists and Trotskyists ultimately argue that this is not exploitation because the regimes which adopted the “Russian model” are that great oxymoron, “workers’ states”. However, our position goes beyond “the nature of Russia” question, and is based on a deeper analysis of state capitalism which has become the universal tendency of capitalism in the epoch of imperialism. The real movement of capital in the nineteenth century, brought about, via various cycles of accumulation, a greater concentration and centralisation of capital to the point where monopolies in some branches of production brought about the need for a greater intertwining of state and capital. Anti-trust laws to regulate monopolies at home, whilst championing their rivalry militarily abroad with international competitors, came to define capitalism in the early decades of the twentieth century. This tendency has only been exacerbated via two world wars which have been expressions of capitalist crisis. The “Russian model” of a command economy did not do away with any of the categories of capitalism despite arising from a failed proletarian revolution, but merely gave an alternative model of state capitalism to the traditional variety. An alternative state capitalist model which could be attractive to any state seeking to oust Western imperialism such as China or Cuba. So we agree with PC when they write that capital and state are inseparable today and you will only find “neo-liberalism” used in quotations in our articles since there is no greater proof of the universal tendency to state capitalism than the decades-old inability of the “neo-liberals” to reverse reality, and return capitalism to its “golden era” of laissez-faire of the nineteenth century. Despite forty years of trying, state spending has not declined due to “neo-liberalism”. It has stagnated in that time but that is because we are living through the longest crisis in capitalist history which even its own commentators now recognise has produced only “secular stagnation” (but which of course the capitalist left put down to the capitalist right’s “neo-liberalism”). So perhaps PC shares more with us than they realise (although it would be good to see how they materially explain how capitalism arrived at its current condition rather than just asserting that capital and state are now inseparable).

PC have also misinterpreted the meaning of the title of our article, but we have to take some blame here, as we tried to include too many elements in one title (the original was simpler and referred to a crisis of Stalinism). However we wanted to associate the crisis in Cuba with the crisis elsewhere as part of a general crisis of capitalism, at the same time as indicating the specific nature of Cuba, by adding “state” in brackets. And when we wrote it was the latest episode in the “death agony” of the system we did not intend to suggest that either capitalism would fall without a proletarian upheaval, or that such a collapse was either imminent or inevitable. We were merely trying to indicate that it is part of long process which started half a century ago, but which was accelerating before the pandemic and, as the protests in Cuba, Iran, Colombia, etc., indicate, is picking up again. Here however we are well aware that whilst such popular uprisings contain large class elements they also have no direction, and include also the petty bourgeoisie. The latter have entirely different perspectives to the class (as in the yellow vests movement in France, which PC put on the same level as the revolts in Cuba and elsewhere). The key question though is which class can prevail with its agenda, and this is where PC are weakest. They give an excellent materialist analysis of the situation in Cuba but constantly emphasise that it was “spontaneous”. This is true (it certainly was not plotted beforehand in Cuba or the USA) and attempts to put it behind the “democratic agenda” came to nothing. The problem for any spontaneous movement though, is about the path it will take, the way in which it becomes more than just a protest. And this is where “communisers” have no concrete answer. If there is no proletarian agenda (or programme) the vacuum will be filled either by some petty bourgeois demand to deal with their grievances, or some programme of the capitalist left, which will falsely claim that workers’ lives can be made better without removing exploitation and class society. Today order reigns in Havana. It is an increasingly uneasy order, established though a combination of the carrot (concessions on what can be brought back from the US), and the stick (over 400 arrested and at least one killed). Such revolts or protests, or whatever they are characterised as, will continue across the world, now here, now there. They will not, in and of themselves, create a coordinated force, unless they coalesce around an international organisation capable of putting a communist programme before the entire class movement. Without it the door will be open to all kinds of bourgeois manipulations.

It is the same with PC’s attitude about how a future society might take shape. They pontificate that:

Democracy is not a form of government, but the social being itself of the dictatorship of commodity on proletarianised humanity.

Parliamentary bourgeois democracy yes, but there is no such thing as “democracy” in general except in the Alice in Wonderland world of post-modernist quibblers over words. PC are on better ground when they argue that revolution,

is not [they would be better to have added “just” here - CWO] a matter of forms of organization, but of content, forces and real social relationships.

This is true but “real social relationships” can only come into play when the right forms of organisation are already in place. Here we are not talking abstract waffle but about real working class experience. The February Revolution unleashed a pent-up social fury amongst workers, peasants and conscripts in 1917 but it was constantly thwarted by a hostile institution (the Provisional Government). It was only after the Bolsheviks escorted the Provisional Government off the premises that this social movement, under the aegis of soviet power, really flowered. Not only did the soviets reach places they had never done before, but a whole series of new social forms took off, from communes and cooperatives to factory committees and committees for almost every aspect of life (see e.g. Richard Stites, Revolutionary Dreams). A lot of this initiative did not survive the civil war, but until the middle of 1918 at least, this was a genuine social upheaval. It declined as the soviets declined over the next couple of years.

Thus, the great historical discovery of the Russian working class was the soviets or workers’ councils. They were not some abstraction dreamed up in a seminar, or in the brain of some post-modernist egoist for whom the disappointments of the past were too much to deal with, but part of the living movement of the class, and part of it for at least 15 years after 1905. They were bodies which were not only under the control of workers, but also a form of organisation which drew in the great mass of the class (and ultimately population, as classes are abolished). They were practical bodies like the Paris Commune, but based on the ability to recall those mandated to act in the name of workers. They also have the advantage in that they also answer the question of how can we suppress the bourgeoisie without at the same time constructing a new state form over society. The councils can carry out the first task, and in so doing, they alter their character and tasks to one of coordinating an economy of freely associated producers. Given that the councils will be arenas of discussion and debate, it makes perfectly good sense to describe them as “workers’ democracy” in the same way as Marx talked of “winning the battle for democracy”, or Lenin when he denounced the existing parliamentary democracy as “democracy for the moneybags”. Neither abandoned the idea of democracy to the class enemy. It may be intellectually satisfying to denounce “democracy” as simply the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”. It is after all true today of capitalist democracy. However there is no such thing as “democracy” in general. Each class expresses its social order in politically different ways. For the bourgeoisie, parliament is their ideal instrument (given the fact that it is only elected periodically) whilst the dictatorship of the proletariat will be based on the councils (or some similar body) which are entirely different, since their delegates will not only be mandated by those who sent them, but will also be recallable immediately should they fail in that task. We can agree with PC when they say they are:

in favour of proletarian autonomy expressed in direct action and mass self-organisation, of revolutionary rupture and of world communist revolution, because the emancipation of the workers will be the task of the workers themselves or it will not be.

But they should not forget that when Marx wrote that the “emancipation of the workers will be the task of the workers” themselves he was writing those lines in the founding documents of the First International. A workers’ international autonomous of all bourgeois influence of right and left (including those who falsely claim adherence to Marxism) to unite workers everywhere in the fight against capital was his aim, and it remains ours. We hope we will be engaging with many others in this process, but only after they have shaken off the intellectualist abstractions and silly word games of the “communisers” who do not really understand the history of our class, and would disarm it in the face of the class enemy.


6 August 2021

Analysis of the current crisis and revolt in Cuba from a radical communist perspective

The facts and the false versions of the right and the left

Through direct and spontaneous mass actions that range from staging marches and self-convened assemblies to overturning police cars and looting shops, the proletariat of the Cuban region is rising up in the streets against hunger and against state tyranny. In other words, against the miserable material conditions of existence imposed by capitalism and its current crisis, just as the proletariat of the Colombian, Burmese, Iranian and South African regions have done this year, and as did the Ecuadorian, Chilean, Haitian, French and Iraqi proletariat, among others, two years ago.

With all its weaknesses, limitations and internal contradictions (patriotism, inter-classism, lack of revolutionary autonomy, isolation, etc.), the present proletarian revolt in the Cuban region is one more link or episode in the trend towards the recomposition of the international proletarian revolt that began in 2018-2019 and was "interrupted" by the pandemic and the counter-insurrectional health dictatorship or the preventive counter-revolution of 2020-2021 by all the states of this planet.

To begin with, then, an anti-capitalist ABC: having existed for several centuries, capitalism, the crisis, the proletariat and the class struggle are worldwide. Their differences, between each historical epoch and each geographical region, are only of degree and form, they are not deep differences in the nature of their fundamental conditions, relationships and categories. These, mainly wage labour and capital accumulation, have in fact extended and deepened with the passing of time everywhere. So that both "Cuban socialism" and "capitalist restoration in Cuba after the fall of the USSR" have always been myths: in reality, what has always existed in Cuba is capitalism and class struggle, but under different forms and to another degree, as in the former USSR and throughout the world. The only thing that has really changed since the fall of the Soviet bloc to date is the predominance of private capital rather than state capital over the proletariat which today is more precarious and exploited.

Therefore, the two points that follow in this part of our analysis are the two versions of the false dichotomy between the imperialist right of Capital and the anti-imperialist left of Capital, that is, between the two political tentacles of the same monstrous, gigantic octopus that is the world-historical capitalist system:

On the one hand, the Cuban petty-bourgeois right and US imperialism are capitalising politically and through the media on this emerging situation, on the material basis of the current economic, ecological, health and political crisis, as well as in the absence of a revolutionary historical situation and therefore of an autonomous revolutionary leadership of the revolting masses themselves.

For this reason, their version of these massive protests is the dominant version or that of the dominant fraction of the capitalist class in the media, in order to publicly maintain that "socialism does not work" and that Cuba must be intervened in militarily, politically, technologically and "humanely" to "re-establish democracy, freedom and social peace", such as in Haiti or Syria.

On the other hand, the Cuban "socialist" government and the left of international Capital only purposefully focus on their right-wing imperialist opponent, in order to hide the capitalism and the class struggle actually existing within Cuba, in order to preserve their power and the image of false revolution and false socialism / communism, in the classic Stalinist-Orwellian style but in a Latin American version.

For this reason, the Díaz-Canel government and the pro-Cuba left disqualify or slander these massive protests as "ordered and directed by imperialism", "coldly calculated", "manipulated", "sold out", "with an interventionist agenda", "with a coup and colonialist project", "gusanos (worms)", "shit eaters", "mercenaries", "reactionaries", "fascists", "counter-revolutionaries", and so on. Which, in fact, is false, absurd, conspiracy theory, cynical.

And for this reason, the Cuban State faces this mass revolt by combining police and military repression (despite the "information blackout" or existing communicational siege, at the time of writing it is known that there are already five dead, dozens of injured and more than 150 detainees and disappeared) alongside the mobilisation of the remaining ideological and loyal social bases, as well as forcibly recruiting young people to join them. They carry out repressive counter-marches (policemen in red) where they shout the same old stale patriotic slogans and carry national flags and banners with photos of Fidel Castro that recall the cult of personality in Stalinist Russia, as well as public statements of "anti-imperialism, national sovereignty and socialism ". But the facts are stubborn and, no matter how hard the rulers and their henchmen try, the massive hunger and rage cannot be hidden.

Conjunctural causes and facts

On the one hand we have the current economic and health crisis; more specifically, the precipitous drop in GDP by 11% – the worst decline in the last 3 decades of the balance of trade – a deficit of 9 billion dollars, bearing in mind that 80% of consumer products are imported, of foreign exchange from tourism – the second source of income for the Cuban economy and population, after the export of professionals or "human capital” – and from the production and export of sugar – due to lack of fuel and breakdown of machines – due to the pandemic, and also due to the monetary and exchange reform that was decreed at the end of last year by the Díaz-Canel government – called the "Ordinance Task" - which, instead of counteracting the crisis, worsened it (the cure was worse than the disease).

The result of the above is that there is currently unemployment, shortages and inflation: there is a shortage of work, money, food, medicines and basic services for the majority of the population in Cuba (we say for the majority of the population, because the Cuban bureaucratic-military bourgeoisie and foreign tourists enjoy all kinds of privileges). As it has always been under that regime, but today worse than ever, with the aggravation of the Covid-19 outbreak (a sign of the failure of the overvalued and mystified Cuban medical system, by the way) and its highly negative impact on health, the economy and everyday life.

More specifically still: in October 2020, 8 out of 10 Cubans survived with just enough, 67% of the families described their daily diet as deficient, while the ration book for 6 out of 10 families covered only 5 to 10 days a month. After the “Ordinance Task” in December 2020, this situation worsened: unemployment in the public sector increased at the same time as proletarianisation and the rate of exploitation (“cheap labour”) in the private sector. Services and goods in the basic basket rose between 500% and 600% (electricity, water and medicines became practically unpayable), and both remittances from families abroad and local bank deposits were partially "retained" or "frozen" temporarily by the State. Added to all this is the increase in cases of contagion (more than 275,000 people) and death (more than 1,800 people) due to the outbreak of Covid-19 on the island. As well it is very possible that the cases of depression and suicide have increased.

In other words, this is a social malaise that has been accumulating daily for decades, has worsened since the previous year and ended up exploding this year, for the reasons mentioned above. The majority of the population of that country today is hungrier, sicker and more desperate than ever before.

That is why today, shouting "food, electricity and vaccines", the dispossessed and hungry of Cuba take to the streets to massively protest, as they had not done for decades. It could be said, then, that it is a "hunger revolt" so far this year, such as those that broke out around the world during 2008, the year of the food crisis. All this, in the context of the crisis of valorisation that characterizes the current crisis of capitalism, as a backdrop.

On the other hand, we see the political crisis; more specifically, the "lack of democratic institutions" or "popular power" to channel and cushion social demands. This is not an "error in the construction of socialism" or a "contradiction of the revolution", because in Cuba there is no such revolution, but rather, even from the political and democratic point of view of "governability" and "hegemony”, the Cuban regime is no longer legitimate or sustainable without institutionalised repression and lies (for example, through the "Committees for the Defence of the Revolution –CDR").

Now, from an anti-capitalist and anti-state perspective, the other conjunctural cause – with elements of a structural cause – of this revolt is the totalitarian power that the state bourgeoisie exercises over the majority of the population in the Caribbean concentration camp or tropical gulag that is Cuba; the capitalist and bureaucratic-military dictatorship of the Cuban "Communist" Party (PCC) of the wealthy and powerful Castro family and Grupo de Administración Empresarial S.A. (GAESA) of other military leaders – owners and shareholders of more than half of the companies, profits and even "Panama Papers" of that country – over the proletariat – increasingly precarious, exploited, alienated and oppressed – as in its time was the USSR of Lenin and Stalin, as well as Mao's China (the latter until the present, along with North Korea and Venezuela).

The obvious differences between Cuba and Russia or China is that in the middle of the last century the former became the new and small sugar colony, with a “charismatic” military leader at the head, of those great Asian capitalist-imperialist powers that disguised themselves as "communists"; and that, unlike the latter that today are already hyper-modernised powers, Cuba remained petrified, rusty, in that past, of which nevertheless it has made a tourist capital for the European and North American upper-middle class, as well as a fetish of nostalgic emotional attachment for the Latin American left middle class of Capital that religiously and viscerally defends the myth of “Cuban socialism”.

On the contrary, the anonymous proletariat of the Cuban region is fed up with living badly in this way. It is fed up with so much misery and state oppression. That is why these days it has turned to the streets en masse shouting "down with the dictatorship" and "freedom."

In this sense, it is no longer only a "hunger revolt" but also a political revolt, in which unfortunately, in the absence of a revolutionary historical and international situation, class instinct and spontaneity are not enough. The Cuban proletariat has also been underdeveloped and repressed in terms of revolutionary struggle by the Cuban state. This is why this revolt is being capitalised politically and in the media by the right-wing and imperialist fraction of world Capital, while it is physically and symbolically repressed by the leftist and anti-imperialist fraction of world Capital.

In other words, the proletariat in revolt of “La Isla” is literally isolated, disarmed and attacked in every aspect. And, as the history of the class struggle shows, isolation condemns every revolt – and every revolution – to defeat.

Structural causes and facts

It is NOT the “imperialist blockade” – as the Castro-Stalinist regime fanatics repeat: the US is the island's 9th supplier of imported goods. Since 2019, there are 32 large Yankee companies (such as Visa, Accor, Mastercard or Amazon) that invest in that country. In addition, Cuba trades with 170 countries and currently 40% of its exports are "assisted" by China.

Nor is it a non-existent “degenerated workers' state” nor a “capitalist restoration” in Cuba since the 1990s – as the Trotskyists argue – because Capital cannot be restored – understood as an impersonal and fetishist relationship of social production and reproduction, and not as simple legal or formal property over the means of production – where it has never been uprooted, and because the only thing that has really changed since then is the dominance of private capital over state capital over the increasingly precarious and exploited proletariat.

Then, what? It is the economic, political and social crisis of underdeveloped Cuban State Capitalism (1) which, in turn, is dependent on the world market. It is the myth of "Cuban socialism" that falls in the face of the facts by its own weight or by its capitalist contradictions and internal class struggles. Not since the fall of the USSR, but since it began in 1959 and even more so today in the second decade of the 21st century, due to the general and multidimensional crisis of world capitalism, manifested concretely in the current economic and health crisis, and accompanied by more and more frequent and explosive protests and proletarian revolts but, at the same time, these are ephemeral and without autonomous and forceful revolutionary leadership of the masses themselves, in the absence of a historical revolutionary situation.

This historical-structural and global context of generalised capitalist catastrophe and non-revolutionary class struggle, marked by uneven development, chaos, turbulence and uncertainty, is what really explains the crises, protests and revolts in all nations of the planet in recent years, of which the current revolt in Cuba is just one more episode, yes, with its aforementioned peculiarities.

Conclusions and perspectives

Given the current world context of economic and ecological-sanitary catastrophe, preventive counter-revolution and ephemeral revolts without autonomous mass revolutionary leadership, which today is manifested more acutely in countries like Cuba, the most probable thing is: that this proletarian revolt against hunger and state tyranny continues to be capitalised politically and in the media by the petty bourgeois right of that country, US imperialism and its international cheerleaders; that the "socialist" state bourgeoisie continues to slander and repress it until it is defeated, under the pretext that it is "counter-revolutionary", also with the approval of its international leftist leaders; and, that the exploited and oppressed masses of the Cuban region continue to accumulate hunger, disease, despair, anger, experience of struggle and lessons from it until a new cycle of social outbreaks of the international proletariat against world capitalism (according to the IMF itself, it is possible that this will occur from 2022).

But, for those of us who make the effort to see reality without ideological or mystifying blinders, this spontaneous proletarian revolt takes at least the merit of destroying, in fact and in the 21st century, the myth of "Cuban socialism" and its ideological basis, Marxism-Leninism, because really they are nothing other than capitalism and “radical” social democracy, respectively. In brief: they are not the revolution; they are the counter-revolution. The political-military-business regime of the Cuban "Communist" Party and its GAESA holding does not defend any revolution. It defends the capitalist counter-revolution and its dictatorship over the proletariat of that region. It is the leftist, statist and anti-imperialist fraction of world Capital in the Caribbean. Those who defend this regime are, therefore, just as counter-revolutionary, even if they believe and claim to be the opposite.

To make it even clearer and not allow gross and malicious misrepresentations by both rightists and leftists of Capital: the cause of the current crisis and revolt in Cuba is NOT that "socialism does not work", and it is NOT "the imperialist blockade" of the US in the face of so much false news and analysis from all sides, which is typical of the false left / right dichotomy, it is necessary to emphasise the autonomous, anti-capitalist ABC. In this regard: what exists in Cuba is NOT socialism or communism, it is pure and simple capitalism; more specifically, it is an underdeveloped State Capitalism that participates in a subordinate and dependent way in the world market, and that today is in crisis because historical and international capitalism is in crisis.

Why? Because there cannot be "socialism in one country", since capitalism is global. Because the statification or nationalisation of agriculture, industry, commerce and banking is not the same as the real abolition – not only formal or legal – of private property over the means of production, distribution and consumption. And, above all, because in communism there is no production of commodities, wage labour, extraction of surplus value, law of value, market, competition, companies, accumulation of capital, money, social classes, the State, patriarchy, mafias, corruption, prostitution nor national borders. On the contrary, in Cuba all this exists, not as abstract categories but as very concrete and everyday realities. Yes, in Cuba there are social classes: exploiters and exploited, oppressors and oppressed, marginalised and those who create marginalisation. That is why there is class struggle in Cuba, irrefutable proof of which are the recent protests of the proletarian masses of all sectors, sexes, "races" and generations against the capitalist state disguised as "socialist" in that country.

In short, in any of its versions, forms or appearances, the system that really no longer works is capitalism. However, it still survives in the middle of its decomposition, due to the lack of revolutionary conditions and situations that only the same structural contradictions of capitalism and the real class struggles process can produce – material and spontaneous mass phenomena, which, moreover, have been going on for several generations – and not the conscience, ideology, propaganda, will and political activism of a few organisations and people from the left and the far left.

The radical communist perspective contained in this conjuncture analysis is the product, not of a few brilliant and delusional minds, but of the same world-historical class struggle and of our concrete situation of life and struggle. In this framework, anti-state and internationalist communists are on the side of the exploited and oppressed who fight for their lives without representatives or intermediaries and regardless of their nationality, because we proletarians have no homeland. In fact, one of the most counter-revolutionary slogans there may be is that of "fatherland or death", like the one that is automatically repeated by the current Cuban leftist government and its uncritical followers there and everywhere. Instead, we are against all forms of capitalism and the nation-state, including the "socialist state" which in reality is state capitalism, determined in turn by the world market. Therefore, we are against both the right and the left of Capital, since both are not opposites but complementary and alternating competitors in the administration of the capitalist State and Economy. In the Cuban case, the left of Capital in the State is a political-military-business bureaucracy that exploits or extracts surplus value from the proletariat, brutally monitors and represses it, does juicy business with transnational companies, and has supported the bloody dictatorships of other countries on both the left and the right. In short, we are against capitalism, its defenders on the right and its false critics on the left.

At the same time, we are in favour of proletarian autonomy expressed in direct action and mass self-organisation, of revolutionary rupture and of world communist revolution, because the emancipation of the workers will be the work of the workers themselves or it will not be.

Because without breaking with the false criticisms and false alternatives to capitalism there will be no revolution. And because the revolution will be anti-commodity, anti-state and international or it won't be. That is why, in the current historical and world context that is still counter-revolutionary, we are in favour of proletarian protests and revolts everywhere against the miserable material conditions of existence of our class and against all the governments of Capital, as is the current revolt in Cuba, despite all its weaknesses, limitations and contradictions. Because the best "training school" for the proletariat is the class struggle itself, and this, in turn, is the only way to produce revolutionary crises and the seeds of communism and anarchy. Above all, we are in favour of those struggles that show germs and tendencies of class autonomy and a break with capitalist conditions and, especially, with their own exploited and oppressed class condition. Germs that can be seen in the riots of recent years, without ceasing to be objective and critical of them. With the perspective that contradictions and social conflicts become more acute, that the correlation of forces is reversed, that the global proletarian revolt returns, and that it criticises and surpasses itself so that it becomes a social - not political, a social − international revolution.

A revolution in which everything that exists is overthrown and communised, in order to put a stop to the current capitalist catastrophe and to create a life that deserves to be lived by everyone everywhere, including the Cuban region. Revolution that, on the basis of the abolition of wage labour and the exchange of commodities, carries out the abolition of the society of classes, genders, "races" and nationalities. To be replaced by new and multiple non-commodity, non-reified and non-hierarchical social relations between freely associated individuals without separations or borders of any kind, in balance with nature.

Meanwhile, capitalism and the class struggle will continue to develop unevenly and catastrophically across the planet, until humanity is left with no choice but communism or extinction. And from this, nothing and no one will be safe. Cuba today is just one more critical episode in this ongoing world-historical drama.

Proletarios Cabreados (Pissed off Proletarians)

Quito, July 2021

Photo from:

(1) Here it must be specified that "State Capitalism" is an expression coined and used by some sectors of the historic Communist Left to denounce the capitalist character of "communist countries" such as the USSR, misnamed so both by the Left as well as the right of Capital, since capitalism is global and, consequently, communism can only be global; and above all, because in those countries the fundamental capitalist relations and categories (value, market, company, wage labour, capital accumulation, money, social classes, the State, ideology ...) were never eradicated, but remained intact and kept developing. In reality, Capital and State are inseparable: in this society, the State can only be the State of Capital, since it is the summary or the institutional summit of the basic capitalist social relations that, in turn, administers with violence and other apparatuses of domination such relations, no matter how they adopt different forms, degrees and administrators, such as in this case a self-styled "communist" or "socialist" bureaucracy on the basis of state ownership of the means of production of goods and surplus value. Therefore, from the communist perspective, strictly speaking, the correct thing to do is to speak of just capitalism and not of state capitalism. But, in this article we use this imprecise expression in keeping with its aforementioned, specific historical weight, as well as to emphasise the communist critique of all types of state. Considering also that many readers are not familiar with these concepts and these debates.

The same underlying logic applies, by the way, to the equally false expression of "neo-liberalism" or "free market capitalism", which is instead used and abused by the anti-neoliberal and neo-Keynesian social democracy, when in reality "the invisible hand of the market” cannot function without “the iron fist of the State” and vice versa. Another example of the false left / right dichotomy that the communist perspective criticizes and breaks by affirming that communism is the living opposition and the abolition / overcoming of both the market and the State.

Thursday, August 12, 2021



At the end of your introduction you talk about the need for “A workers’ international autonomous of all bourgeois influence of right and left”. So far so good - that proposition is one that would be agreed to by many beyond the ICT or your periphery. Sadly, the qualification in the next sentence hints that, for ICT, any project to move towards that future party will comprise only a carefully sifted sub section of the revolutionary minority. In fact, apart from the gratuitous insult, it implies a very strict exclusivity. Admission will be restricted to those who share the ICT’s “understanding [of the] history of our class”. Perhaps a written examination will be necessary?If the reality of your formulation is simply to grow the ICT then that’s understandable. It’s what you’ve been doing for some 40 years so feel free to “Keep on keepin’ on”. Other revolutionaries, including the present writer, would hope that you, and others, decide that there’s time for a “New Course”. This does not necessitate you or others dissolving any existing organisation but involves recognising the possibilities of a new project to strengthen the revolutionary minority- ultimately better serving the cause of proletarian revolution.There is a desperate need to begin to address the atomisation of the conscious revolutionary forces, a tendency that has continued virtually unabated since the defeat of the revolutionary wave 100 years ago. Our forces are split between countless groups, formal and informal and many individuals. Projects to miraculously grow one of those groups/clusters into the next party, even with the unlikely addition of any successful significant mergers, looks doomed to failure - a mere extension of a century of negatory efforts. *Instead a 21st century “Correspondence Society” allowing for information exchanges, a growth in mutual trust and respect, opportunities for cooperation etc. is a practical and achievable target.*A good proportion of the forces relate via social media and other Internet based communications channels. In the short term those channels seem the most appropriate means for exploring the way forward.Of course, the definition of the revolutionary minority and therefore the boundaries of the project (FIWI - the First International with Internet?) might be a major challenge. Perhaps acceptance “That the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves” together with an opposition to any existing state or aspiring state (e.g. national liberation movement) would be sufficient criteria. Certainly, excluding those who accept agreed basic principles on the basis of “thought crime”/perceived ideological impurity would guarantee the project being still born.FIWI (or whatever it could be called) requires a “critical mass” to support its gestation. Are any ICT affiliates or other readers of the site prepared to take part and encourage participation from others?In the meantime Email responses with FIWI in the title will be welcome at

You do not quote the sentence you claim calls for “a very strict exclusivity” so we will. “We hope we will be engaging with many others in this process, but only after they have shaken off the intellectualist abstractions and silly word games of the “communisers” who do not really understand the history of our class, and would disarm it in the face of the class enemy.” All that says is that the idea that communism can arise from capitalism without conscious class confrontation is an illusion. We think Proletarios Cabreados are sincere about the need for a communist society, but this will not come without a consciousness and organisation which means a programme and an international political body to try to ensure that any revolution does not remain isolated to one territory. We think this is an error in communiser theory and don’t see that it is a “gratuitous insult” to say so. It is a serious discussion/debate between different tendencies which you in your head convert into some accusation of intolerance on our part.

At the top of our Leftcom page there is “About Us” where it states:

We are for the party, but we are not the party nor its only embryo_. Our task is to participate in its construction, intervening in all the struggles of the class, trying to link its immediate demands to the historical programme; communism._

Of course, anyone can accuse us of insincerity but that is what our tradition has always done. Back in the dark days of the post-war boom, when the new cycle of accumulation put revolutionary politics on the back foot, our ancestors in the PCInt sought discussions with any tendency that looked to be breaking from the dead hand of not only Stalinism, but also Trotskyism. Thus Onorato Damen debated with Raya Dunayevskaya of News and Letters (even arranging for her to address factory workers in Milan), had Grandizo Munis as a guest for a month after he was let out of Franco’s gaols, and exchanged with Castoriadis’ Socialisme ou Barbarie. The PCint for a short term even engaged with the precursors of the International Socialists in the UK when they thought that Tony Cliff’s acceptance of state capitalism meant that he had broken with Trotskyism. With the first two they agreed to disagree (but Munis later took on the Communist Left’s positions on unions as a result of their exchanges) and the door was kept open via correspondence. It is a tradition we inherited as you well know from your participation in the No War But Class War initiative from 2002 on. We did not ask people then to agree with us on everything but to agree only on the need to oppose the state, and the leftists who sought alliances with reactionary Islam. And now today, as you will know, we have attempted to engage in dialogue with groups like Angry Workers of the World, Proletarios Cabreados, Mouvement Communiste, and even the ACG. We have never claimed to be either the “pole of regroupment” around which the world must gather, or to be the party as all the Bordigist parties laughingly do. We think this is one factor that distinguishes us a specific organisation in the communist left.

You also write as if we were not deeply aware of the parlous condition of the working class currently which is the biggest factor of all contributing to the “atomisation of the conscious revolutionary forces”. This happens in all periods of class retreat and the opposite happens when the class resumes the confrontational course with capitalism. We believe we are in the foothills of such a movement with a new class composition, and a capitalist system increasingly incapable of integrating a new generation into its system. This should give all revolutionaries some hope for the future.