Statements on the Cuban Missile Crisis

Declaration on the Cuban Crisis

The Cuban revolution is now at its hour of greatest peril. The result of the round trip of the Soviet missiles has been to make a deal between Khrushchev and Kennedy at the expense of the Cuban people no longer merely a perspective but an immediate threat. U.S. armed aggression in the form of an all-out invasion of Cuba, though still not the optimum variant of U.S. imperialism, is now for the first time guaranteed the tacit support of the Kremlin if a formal “negotiated” settlement restoring U.S. hegemony in the Caribbean cannot be imposed on the Cuban people.

In this situation the duty of the Trotskyists toward the Cuban revolution only begins with demonstrations of sympathy and support for Cuba. The obligation of the Trotskyists, which no other tendency can even claim to fulfill, is to provide a political analysis, a political line upon which the defense of the revolution must be based.

The decisive point in the political line in defense of the Cuban revolution against all its enemies is explicit denunciation of the counter-revolutionary role of the Stalinist bureaucracy in the concrete instance of Cuba. The Cuban revolution cannot be defended by arms under the control of Kremlin bureaucrats whose only interest is to turn the revolution to the service of Russian foreign policy, including selling it out entirely if the price is right. The only defense of the Cuban revolution is the determination of the Cuban people to resist by any and all means, and the conscious solidarity of the international working class against all the enemies of the revolution. The false policy of the Castro leadership, its political bloc with the Stalinists, has gravely undermined this defense.

The International Committee of the Fourth International, in its statement entitled “Defend the Cuban Revolution” published in the November 3rd Newsletter, defined the basic lines of a Trotskyist defense of the Cuban revolution, particularly in its statements: “Installation of Soviet missile bases in Cuba is not for the defense of the Cuban revolution, but part of the diplomatic game of Khrushchev…the setting up of Soviet missile bases as a substitute for international working-class struggle cannot defend the revolution…the counter-revolutionary policy of Stalinism prepares the crushing of the Cuban revolution, not its defense.” We ask the editorial board of the Militant to print this I.C. statement.

We furthermore ask the PC to adopt the political line of the International Committee declaration as the basic line of the party in its defense of the Cuban revolution. This should be the starting point of a campaign for international working-class solidarity with the Cuban revolution based on the establishment of workers’ democracy in Cuba and full, open collaboration of the Cuban revolution with the international working-class movement in all phases, military as well as political, of revolutionary defense.

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November 30, 1962

Roger Ahrams (New York)

Dorothy Bell (Oakland-Berkeley)

Emily Cavalli (Oakland-Berkeley)

Joyce Cowley (San Francisco)

Paul Curtis (Oakland-Berkeley) (1)

Maria di Savio (San Francisco)

Roy Gale (San Francisco)

Lynne Harper (New York)

Larry Ireland (New York)

Rose Jersawitz (Oakland-Berkeley)

Stanley Larson (Oakland Berkeley)

Ed Lee (Oakland-Berkley)

Albert Nelson (New York)

Shane Mage (New York)

Charlotte Michaels (New York)

Roger Plumb (Oakland-Berkeley)

Tony Ravich (New York) (2)

Leigh Ray (San Francisco)

James Robertson (New York)

Shirley Stoute (New York)

Marion Syrek, Jr. (Oakland-Berkeley)

Polly Volker (San Francisco)

Geoffrey White (Oakland-Berkeley)

Jack Wolf (Connecticut) (2)

(1) “I take exception to the last sentence of paragraph three. There may have been no alternative for the Castro leadership. The policy however, is a false one.”

(2) “I favor publication of the I.C. statement on the Cuban crisis. I am in general sympathy with this statement.”

Defend the Cuban Revolution

From The Newsletter (published by the Socialist Labour League, London) November 3, 1962

Statement by the International Committee of the Fourth International

The U.S. imperialists are bent upon the destruction of the Cuban revolution and have shown that they are even prepared to risk the danger of world war. The Cuban Revolution, expropriating U.S. capital in Cuba, makes it necessary for U.S. imperialism to take these measures in order that their strangle-hold over all Latin America shall not be threatened. Wall Street seized the pretext of Soviet missile bases to bring a showdown.

The working class of the world must act to prevent the Cuban Revolution from being crushed. Such action must be independent of the policies of Khrushchev and the Soviet bureaucracy. Their line of peaceful co-existence designed only to preserve their own privileged rule by diplomatic deals, is opposed to the spread of the Cuban Revolution and to independent workers’ action, which are the only guarantees of Cuba’s defence. Installation of Soviet missile bases in Cuba is not for the defence of the Cuban Revolution, but part of the diplomatic game of Khrushchev.

A heavy responsibility rests on the shoulders of the official leadership of the Labour movement for their failure to support the Cuban Revolution by fighting the capitalists in their own countries.

The International Committee of the Fourth International calls on all its sections to take their place in all actions for the defence of the Cuban revolution from the U.S. imperialists.

Cuba, as a sovereign state, has the right to accept whatever military aid it decides. But the setting up of Soviet missile bases as a substitute for international working-class struggle cannot defend the revolution. On the contrary, it shows the dangers of the policy of peaceful co-existence in exposing the Cuban Revolution to enormous dangers, providing a pretext for U.S. intervention. In this situation, the counter-revolutionary policy of Stalinism prepares the crushing of the Cuban Revolution—not its defence.

Any policy of United Nations intervention or of summit agreements over Cuba must be opposed. Such methods will destroy the revolution, which only the international independent class action of the workers can defend.

We stand for the defence of the USSR and of the Cuban Revolution, but such defence means determined opposition to the Stalinist bureaucracy and its methods.

In the advanced countries, especially the USA, the working class must organise actions in full support of the workers and peasants of Cuba. End the blockade! End the invasion preparations!

In Latin America, a decisive struggle against U.S. imperialism and its agents, for the extension of the revolution, must be waged to defend Cuba. Without this action, and without defeat of the Stalinist policies of defence of Cuba, the fate of that revolution will repeat the story of Greece, Guatemala and Spain.

We call particularly on the members of the Communist Parties to oppose the policies of their leaders to break from the policy of agreement with the imperialists, to demand independent class action in defence of Cuba.

The sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International must take part in all actions in defence of Cuba, struggling within these movements to build an independent, anti-imperialist movement led by the working class.

28.10.1962

[Reprinted in Marxist Bulletin No. 3 Part 1. Originally posted online at http://www.bolshevik.org/history/MarxistBulletin/MB3_PtI_12.html  and http://www.bolshevik.org/history/MarxistBulletin/MB3_PtI_13.html }

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