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T. Stamm

Civil War Looms in Cuba;
Situation Tense

Military Intervention by United States Imminent

(September 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 44, 23 September 1933, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The situation in Cuba is developing into civil war. Soldiers have been sent against the striking sugar workers to recapture from them the plantations they have seized. The workers are armed and are determined to resist. Conflicting press reports state that the soldiers fired on workers; that they fraternize with the workers. At any rate the struggles of the workers for increased pay, better working conditions, and against imperialism has brought them to the point where they are beginning to confront the army. Will the soldiers go over to the side of the workers? Or will the soldiers support the government, which it is leaning ever more heavily upon the Cuban bourgeoisie and the American imperialists? The next days will decide.

With the passing of each day the ground is being cut from under the feet of the San Martin government. On the one hand it is being subjected to enormous pressure from the Cuban bourgeoisie and the United States. The Menocal and Mendieta factions together with the ABC are insistently demanding the resignation of the government. The financial sabotage continues unremittingly. Welles is busy conniving and plotting to replace the Martin government with an outright bourgeois regime.

The petty bourgeoisie, too, bringing pressure to bear on the government to drive it to the Right, against the workers, on the ground that strikes are paralyzing business and ruining them. In Havana they threatened a 24 hour closure of all business houses “in protest against workers’ acts of violence”. Another report has it that they “threaten to close their doors unless the government compromises with the opposition (bourgeois factions) and agrees to a coalition cabinet that will satisfy all, win U.S. recognition and restore the country’s economic life.” Out of fear of the workers the petty bourgeoisie are asking the Cuban bourgeoisie and the U.S. imperialists, to suppress the workers.

The rising tide of workers’ struggles is leaving the San Martin government suspended over an erupting volcano. The workers are seizing the sugar plantations and are attempting to operate them by workers’ committees. They are arming themselves against the threat of the government to retake the plantations by force. The strike wave is spreading continuously. Santiago is threatened with a complete tie-up. The struggles of the workers to improve their economic condition is bringing them into more direct conflict with the bourgeoisie and with the American imperialists upon the fundamental issues of the Cuban, revolution, the influence of Communism is growing.

Condemned to futility and extinction from its birth the government of the petty bourgeoisie, both as revolutionary junta and as its offspring, the San Martin government, has pursued a steady course toward the Right, toward the bourgeoisie and American imperialism. Although it came into power as an anti-imperialist government it promised the payment of all foreign obligations, that is to say, of the enormous debt to Wall Street which can be paid only by the sweat and blood of the toiling masses. On the 14th of September it guaranteed the investments of the United States in its statutes: “No one shall be deprived of legitimate property except by competent authority and for verified reasons of public welfare after proper indemnification.” This regime which began to conciliate the workers by sending arbitration commissions of students and soldiers to settle the disputes between, the sugar workers and the plantation owners has yielded’ to the demand of the imperialists, and has sent troops against the workers, it has also resolved upon the dissolution of all political parties which means, not the bourgeois opposition parties whose supporters have organized armed revolts but the illegalization of the Communist party.

The final capitulation of the San Martin government to the combined pressure of American imperialism and the Cuban bourgeois is indicated by the reports of the discussion among the government, Welles, and the factions of the bourgeois opposition, and the ABC which are preparing a bourgeois coalition to supplant the present set-up.

But no bourgeois coalition cannot [sic] cope with the situation on the basis of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. The bourgeoisie can re-establish their rule only by the armed suppression of the workers. If their own forces are insufficient for this purpose – if the army goes over to the workers – the bourgeoisie can and will call upon the armed might of U.S. imperialism.

For the Cuban workers there is only one road to travel. They have seized plantations, and have set up workers’ committees to control and manage production. They are threatening to take over mines and’ fruit plantations. They must now begin to establish their Soviets as organs of struggle.

For this is necessary a Communist party in Cuba correctly oriented in the questions of revolutionary strategy and the IMMEDIATE and active assistance of the Latin American and, in the first instance, the American proletariat. If the Cuban workers are not to be bloodily suppressed and driven back into the yoke of slavery as frightful as that of the Chinese coolie the American workers must organize a movement against armed intervention in Cuba.

The solidarity of the American proletariat with the Cuban workers is not an abstract nor a sentimental question. The worker in the Buffalo steel mills and the Cuban iron miner at Daiquiri work for the same boss, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The exploiters and oppressors of the Cuban workers are the oppressors and exploiters of the American workers. They must unite their forces to overthrow their common enemy.

The Cuban proletariat which has entered, upon the revolutionary road before the American proletariat cannot wait. The Cuban workers need help now. The American workers must be aroused to come to their aid. That is the immediate duty of the Communist movement.

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