The Sixth Cuban Communist Party (PCC) Congress will be held in the second half of April. The congress will have two agenda items: the economy and the election of a new Central Committee and other leadership bodies. Other decisions will be deferred to a conference later in the year.
Issue 31 - April 2011
Issue 29 - February 2011
In November, Venezuela’s revolutionary socialist President Hugo Chavez visited the Cuban capital, Havana, to mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the historic cooperation pact between Cuba and Venezuela, core of the pro-socialist Bolivarian Alliance for Our America, known by its Spanish acronym ALBA, and to review and strengthen economic and social cooperation between the tw
Issue 28 - November-December 2010
Cuba’s trade union confederation announced in September that half a million state-employed workers are to be laid off by May 1. Over the next five years, Cuba’s socialist government plans to shift a further half million workers from the state-owned economy to the self-employed, small business and cooperative sectors.
Issue 27 - October 2010
Cuba’s trade union confederation, the CTC, announced in the September 13 edition of the Communist Party (PCC) daily Granma that half a million workers, one in 10 state employees, will be dismissed by May 1. This is downsizing on a vast scale: in Cuba’s post-capitalist, centrally planned economy, the socialist state currently employs 85% the workforce of 5.2 million.
Issue 24 - July 2010
As all Cuban schoolchildren know, July 26 is the anniversary of the 1953 attack on the Moncada military garrison in Santiago de Cuba that launched the Cuban Revolution. The young rebels, led Fidel Castro, had hoped to seize the garrison, liberate its weapons and call upon the Cuban people to rise up against the US-backed Batista dictatorship.
Issue 23 - June 2010
In April and May, Cubans went to the polls in local government elections across the island. These were elections with a difference. Imagine if neighbours got together in open meetings in your street to nominate, by show of hands, between two and eight candidates for each electoral district. That’s what happened in each of Cuba’s 169 municipalities.
During the July campus holidays, a dozen youth and students from Australia, England, South Africa and Mauritius will participate in the first Australian Youth and Student Revolutionary Tour of Venezuela and Cuba.
Issue 21 - April 2010
Since becoming Cuba’s president (initially acting president) in August 2007, when Fidel Castro became gravely ill and had to step down, Raul Castro has called for a nationwide debate on the future of Cuba’s socialist revolution. The debate is aimed at consensus on what must be done to revitalise Cuba’s socialist project.
The March 28 Miami Herald, mouthpiece of wealthy Cuban-Americans opposed to Cuba’s socialist revolution, reported that 3000 to 5000 protesters “formed a river of white as they marched around a lake in a Los Angeles park Sunday, joining other marchers around the world to expose the plight of political dissidents in Cuba and support the wives, mothers, and other women who defe
Issue 20 - March 2010
When running for the US presidency in 2008, Barack Obama promised “change you can believe in”. As president, he has failed to live up to the hopes and expectations of his supporters for progressive change.
Issue 19 - February 2010
Since becoming Cuba’s acting president in August 2007, Raul Castro has called for a nationwide debate on the future of Cuba’s socialist revolution. This debate has been taking place in workplaces, neighbourhoods, Cuban Communist Party (PCC) base committees and informally in bars, cafes and on the streets.
Issue 18 - December 2009
As reported in the November issue of Direct Action (“Cuba debates the future of socialism”), millions of Cubans have been participating in grassroots debates in neighbourhoods, workplaces and Cuban Communist Party (PCC) base committees since September.
Issue 17 - November 2009
In workplace and neighbourhood assemblies across Cuba and in the base committees of the Communist Party (PCC), millions of Cubans are responding to the call by President Raul Castro for a nationwide debate on the future of the country’s socialist revolution.
Issue 16 - October 2009
This year’s winner of Cuba’s National Award for Journalism is veteran journalist Luis Sexto. Little known outside Cuba, Sexto is a professor of journalism at the Faculty of Social Communication at the University of Havana.
Issue 14 - August 2009
A few years ago it might have appeared that the process of radical social change underway in Venezuela had little in common with the socialist revolutions of the 20th century, including that paradigm of Latin American people’s power revolutions, the Cuban Revolution.
Issue 13 - July 2009
A black president in the White House has changed nothing for five Cuban men imprisoned in the US for the “crime” of defending Cuba from terrorist attacks planned and organised in the US. On June 15, the US Supreme Court upheld the convictions of Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez, known internationally as the “Cuban Five”.
Issue 11 - May 2009
US President Barack Obama faces growing pressure to end the US economic blockade of socialist Cuba, imposed in 1962. On April 13, prior to attending the Organization of American States (OAS) heads of government meeting in Trinidad, Obama eased restrictions on Cuban-Americans visiting and sending money to family members in Cuba.
Issue 10 - April 2009
Compact fluorescent light globes are as bright as incandescent globes but consume 75-80% less energy and last 5-10 years.
Issue 9 - March 2009
Their uniform is not the traditional white coat of the medical fraternity, but red and blue T-shirts with the slogan “For the triumph of virtue”. Their medicine is the warmth of social solidarity and the gift of friendship. Nearly all are members of Cuba’s communist youth organisation, the UJC.
Issue 8 - February 2009
I first visited Cuba in 1996. I’d read a lot about the Cuban Revolution, but seeing it first-hand made a deep and lasting impression on me. I wrote at the time: “You know when you greet a horse on a cold winter morning – you put your hand to its nose and you feel the warmth of its breath, powerful, reassuring and full of goodness.
Havana – Many had hoped former Cuban president Fidel Castro would make a surprise public appearance at the January 1 late afternoon event in Santiago de Cuba to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. But as expected, it was Fidel’s brother, Revolutionary Armed Forces minister and current Cuban President Raul Castro, who gave the keynote speech.
Issue 7 - December 2008
Caracas – Elections of state governors and local mayors were held across Venezuela on November 23. Candidates of President Hugo Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) won 5.7 million votes, 1.4 million more votes than supported Chavez in the December 2007 constitutional referendum.
Issue 6 - November 2008
Every year since 1992 the overwhelming majority of UN member countries have voted for Cuba’s resolution demanding an end to the US economic blockade against the Caribbean socialist state. On October 29, the UN General Assembly voted for the 17th consecutive year in favour of Cuba’s motion.
Issue 5 - October 2008
“A nuclear strike” is how Cuban leader Fidel Castro described Hurricane Gustav, which roared across Cuba’s Isle of Youth and the western province of Pinar del Rio on August 30. A week later Cuba was hit by the even more destructive Hurricane Ike, which gouged a swathe of devastation from one end of the Caribbean island to the other.
Issue 4 - September 2008
It’s not surprising that we tend to associate Cuba with the word “dictatorship” rather than, say, “democracy”. This is not because Cuba really is a dictatorship, but because most Australians form an opinion of socialist Cuba based on how Cuba is portrayed in the corporate media.
Issue 3 - August 2008
Revolutionary socialists have a duty to support socialist revolutions in other countries. Such international solidarity is vital.
Issue 2 - July 2008
Since Raul Castro became Cuba’s president, the Cuban government has announced a range of reforms to the country’s post-capitalist economic system. This has resulted in much speculation in the Western corporate media that under Raul’s leadership Cuba is abandoning its commitment to socialism.
Issue 1 - June 2008
Fidel Castro is no longer Cuba’s head of state. Is this a critical moment in the life of the Cuban Revolution as it approaches its 50th anniversary in January 2009, or merely a symbolic changing of the guard?
Capitalist governments can take many forms, from fascist tyranny to liberal democracy. However, the essence of capitalism is the very opposite of democracy, if democracy is understood as “the rule of the people”. Under capitalism, both wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite, the capitalist class.