From the remarks of Bill Preston, President AFGE Local 17,Â at a November 18 panel sponsored by U.S. Labor for Friendship with Cuba and the Metro DC Coalition to Free the Cuban Five.Â
Cuba is a country where the 99% actually took over and kicked the 1% out of power.
While we in the imperialist countries learn about current developments in Cuba’s socialist economy, we cannot forget the internationalist duties of those of us who reside in the land of U.S. imperialism:
We cannot "forget even for one moment," Lenin argued, that "our" imperialists stand for the exploitation, oppression, and annexation of the nations and peoples who form the greatest masses of humanity, in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
For someone who lives in the U.S. who thinks they support socialism to fail to do thisÂto forget U.S. imperialism’s historical and ongoing rapacious desires to exploit, oppress, and, yes, to annex CubaÂmakes that U.S. person, as Lenin would put it, "an abettor of imperialism in practice."
In Lenin’s time the struggle for the right of self-determination within the ranks of the Second International centered mainly on the advocacy and fight for freedom of secession for oppressed countries. "Without this," wrote Lenin, "there can be no internationalism." ("The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up," 1916.)
Today the struggle for the right of self-determination includes the right of socialist countries, like Cuba, where the working class is the ruling class, to independent development free from imperialism.
Cuba’s freedom from foreign imperialist control, its right to develop its socialist economy in the way Cuba determines is in her sovereign best interests, is inextricable from consistent internationalism today. By supporting Cuba’s rights actively, we help fulfill our internationalist obligation to struggle for the right of self-determination.