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The Internationalist
November 2021

Called for November 15

Anti-Cuba Provocation Made in U.S.A.

For Workers Mobilization to Block Counterrevolutionary Action

Cuban government supporters came out to stop attack in Arroyo Naranjo, Havana, on July 12.
(Photo: Yamil Lage / AFP)

NOVEMBER 11 – A counterrevolutionary “Civic March for Change” has been announced by U.S.-backed forces in Cuba for November 15. The march was called by a recently founded outfit calling itself the Archipiélago platform, which displays a roster of youthful faces on imperialist-financed web sites, in cooperation with the long-standing reactionary and far-right Cuban exile milieu, known as gusanos (worms). As we have written, while the Cuba protests last July 11 were fueled by discontent over shortages, blackouts and the pandemic, “the marches were instigated, manipulated and exploited by forces seeking to overthrow the Cuban Revolution.”1 Now those and other pro-capitalist forces, grouped together in an umbrella formation, the Council for a Democratic Transition in Cuba formed last June, are staging an anti-communist provocation clearly aimed at “regime change.”

The visible face of Archipiélago and the November 15 (abbreviated 15N in Spanish) action is Yunior García Aguilera, 39, a playwright who was one of the protagonists of a 27 November 2020 protest outside the Ministry of Culture in Havana. He was a founder of the November 27 Movement (27N) that came out of that, which calls for an economy based on “private enterprise,” i.e., capitalism. But, as the Miami Herald (13 October) reported, “Archipiélago [was] created by a diverse coalition of artists from the groups Movimiento 27N and San Isidro, young intellectuals, professionals and activists, and longtime dissidents like Manuel Cuesta Morúa.”2 The San Isidro Movement and Cuesta Morúa are part of the U.S. puppet “Transition Council,” which calls for untrammeled “free market” capitalism and demands compensation for properties expropriated in the revolution.

On October 12, municipal governments in Cuba banned the threatened marches (originally scheduled for November 20) on the grounds that public statements by the organizers linked to counterrevolutionary groups financed by Washington made it clear that the marches were “part of the strategy of regime change attempted by the United States elsewhere.” A State Department spokesman in effect confirmed this, saying that the U.S. is “deeply committed” to supporting the Cuban people’s “struggle to freely choose their leadership.” A deputy assistant secretary of state added that the U.S. is “totally committed to supporting, maintaining and strengthening the voice of the Cuban people who want a change” (this being standard State Department/CIA-speak for U.S.-backed coups and counterrevolutions). The U.S. House of Representatives then followed suit, ramming through a resolution supporting the November 15 “peaceful demonstration.”

An article in Mint Press News (1 November) headlined that “The United States is Organizing a Color Revolution in Cuba for November 15,” recalling how mobs led by U.S.-trained and paid “activists” brought down inconvenient regimes in Yugoslavia in 2000, Georgia in 2003 ( “Rose Revolution”), Ukraine in 2004 (“Orange Revolution”) and elsewhere.3 Cuban officials pointed to how in Venezuela from 2013 on, U.S.-backed forces staged “peaceful” marches that quickly turned into violent guarimbas (riots) with street barricades, killing dozens. Whether the Yankee imperialists and their stooges expect to bring off such a ploy, or perhaps hope to provoke Cuban forces into using heavy force (which they did not on July 11), the 15N operation is a classic “destabilization” operation that must be foiled.

While the July 11 Cuba protests were unexpected (except by the instigators) and managed to draw in some driven to despair by the economic hardships – as well as plaudits from opportunist leftists who chase after every supposed “mass movement” no matter what its politics – there can be no mistake this time around. This is a well-prepared event whose organizers and paymasters are aiming at the overthrow of the Cuban Revolution. The Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International say: For workers mobilization to block the counterrevolutionary provocation in Cuba planned for November 15 and to disperse the provocateurs. And as a Cuban supporter of the Revolution suggested in online discussion, if the U.S. imperialists are so enamored of protests (supposedly), why not give them one: a mass march to the U.S. embassy to protest the economic blockade?

Who’s Pulling the Strings?

Organizers of November 15 provocation Yunior García Aguilera (left) and Manuel Cuesta Morúa (right) at 2019 dinner during seminar on "the armed forces in processes of change" held at Madrid campus of U.S.-based Jesuit university. The "Changing Times in Cuba Project" sponsoring the seminar seeks to infiltrate the Cuban military.  (Photo: CubaDebate)

So who is behind the November provocation? In our article on “The Truth About Cuba Protests,” we showed in detail that these were not “spontaneous” but had been instigated by elements in league with (and some on the payroll of) U.S. imperialism, and were then signal-boosted by the gusanera of Miami and Madrid. Now we learn that the chief administrator and only public figure of the shadowy Facebook group, “La Villa del Humor,” that launched the first protest in San Antonio de los Baños outside Havana on July 11, Alex Pérez Rodríguez, is a pastor of a Seventh Day Adventist church living in southern Florida (Mint Press, 5 October). This same group then called for a “nationwide work stoppage throughout Cuba” for October 11, which flopped. Its main focus now has been the planned upcoming November action, calling to “take to the streets until they’re gone” – clearly referring to the government established in the revolution that uprooted capitalist rule.

The main spokesman for the planned November 15 marches, Yunior García Aguilera, has been lionized by the imperialist press, which describes him as “a skinny, bespectacled, left-leaning playwright” (CNN, 4 November). The reality is rather different. In February 2018, García Aguilera traveled to Buenos Aires to participate in a seminar sponsored by a certain Center for Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL, by its Spanish acronym), on the subject of “Changing Times and the New Role of the Armed Forces in Cuba.” CADAL is an anti-communist think tank which functions as an “Anti-Castro Operations Base”4 in Argentina, with much of its income coming from the CIA front National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in the U.S. and German imperialism’s Christian Democratic Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

That seminar was organized by Rut Diamint of Buenos Aires’ Torcuato di Tella University, a former official in the Argentine Ministry of Defense and a fellow of the NED, who has given lectures at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and the Pentagon’s National Defense University. Also attending this event was Manuel Cuesta Morúa of theU.S.-backed “Transition Council.” The mission statement of the “Changing Times in Cuba Project” that sponsored the seminar says it seeks to “work with Cuban actors so they can generate activities allowing them to link up with members and ex-members of the FAR [Revolutionary Armed Forces] open to change.” In other words, this is a blatant effort at “regime change” by subverting the Cuban military from within.

In September 2019, García Aguilera and Cuesta Morúa attended a follow-up conference at the Madrid campus of Saint Louis University, a U.S.-based Jesuit research institute, on “the role of armed forces in processes of change in Latin America.” They were addressed by Richard Youngs of Carnegie Europe (which describes itself as a “trusted source” for “security analysis”) on “new forms of civic activism.” We know this because one of the participants in both meetings was Dr. Carlos Leonardo Vázquez González, an oncologist, who spilled the beans. Dr. Vázquez revealed on the program “Razones de Cuba” that for the past 25 years he has worked for Cuban state security infiltrating counterrevolutionary activities. He warned: “In the paramilitary workshop we participated in, there were two generals. What Yunior García Vázquez is seeking is for the Armed Forces to clash with the people, and we won’t permit that.”

Raúl Saúl Sánchez, former member of the Omega 7 anti-Cuba terror group, promised November 15 march organizers 100% support. (Photo: CubaDebate)

In addition, the TV/Internet program played a recording of a phone call between November 15 march figurehead García Aguilera and Raúl Saúl Sánchez, head of the Democracy Movement and a well-known anti-Cuba terrorist leader. Sánchez was part of the ultra-right counterrevolutionary terror groups Alpha 66, Omega 7 and CORU, later specializing organizing “freedom flotillas” from his base in Miami. On the phone call, García Aguilera says that they have moved up the date of the protest. Sánchez responds that “we are 100 percent for what Archipiélago is saying” and also praises Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, founder of the San Isidro Movement who was deservedly jailed (as were others) for instigating the U.S.-promoted July 11 protest in Havana. García stresses that they “need the support of the whole exile community” for the November 15 action. Faced with the revelations, he does not deny the phone call, and admits that he has maintained ties with the U.S.’ top diplomat in Havana and with a State Department Cuban affairs officer.

“Left” Lawyers for Counterrevolution

While pseudo-Trotskyists denounce government prohibition of marches called by imperialist-backed political operators, we say: For workers mobilization to block the November 15 counterrevolutionary provocation. Above: Government supporters patrol Arroyo Naranjo neighborhood of Havana, July 12.  (Photo: Yamil Lage / AFP)

As November 15 approaches, a number of liberal, populist and reformist leftist personalities, politicians, academics, theologians and others have denounced the brazenly counterrevolutionary protest.5 However, while calling to end the blockade aimed at throttling the Cuban economy and to stop destabilizing actions, these self-described friends of Cuba do so not from a revolutionary but from an explicitly anti-revolutionary position. They denounce the “subversive demonstrations” for violating “the laws in force that prohibit any attack on the current political system, as is logical in all the states of the world,” while emphasizing that Cuba has never threatened the “security” of the United States. But contrary to these paeans to the established order, defense of the Cuban Revolution requires international socialist revolution to defeat, disarm and overthrow the U.S. imperialist monster, whose drive for world domination constantly threatens the life and security of oppressed people everywhere.

While rump Stalinist organizations around the world continue to pursue the pipedream of “peaceful coexistence” with imperialism, some social-democratic outfits that falsely claim to be Trotskyist have joined the imperialist outcry over repression in Cuba.6 After July 11, the lawyers’ brief for those protests was that they were heterogeneous, that not everyone who marched was a conscious counterrevolutionary, that it was all about shortages, even though many of the chants – ¡Abajo la dictadura! (Down with the dictatorship!), ¡Patria y vida! (Fatherland and life!) – were those of the pro-imperialist gusanos. So now what about the November 15 marches? This is an openly planned-in-advance event, called by people directly involved in U.S. operations against Cuba, hailed by reactionary Cuban exiles and explicitly backed by Washington. Thus the positions now taken on it are doubly revealing, while shedding even more light on the political meaning of what left tendencies said about the events of last July.

The political tendency of the heirs of Argentine pseudo-Trotskyist fraudster Nahuel Moreno, mainly the International Workers League (LIT in Spanish and Portuguese), unsurprisingly gives full political support to the 15N provocation, declaring it a “legitimate democratic mobilization” with a “progressive democratic character.”7 Unsurprising, because the virulently Stalinophobic LIT, which called for Islamic fundamentalists to bring down the Soviet Union and praised anti-Castro protests by the “Cuban proletariat in the United States” in Miami, have long peddled the fable that Cuba is a “capitalist dictatorship,” explicitly rejecting the Trotskyist characterization of the regime as a bureaucratically deformed workers state. The Morenoites are gusano “socialists,” out-and-out counterrevolutionaries and camp followers of U.S. imperialism.

Then there is the Trotskyist Fraction (FT in Spanish and Portuguese), represented in the United States by the media outlet Left Voice (LV). The FT split from the LIT not long after Moreno’s death in 1988 and claims to have broken politically with Morenoism. While the Morenoite LIT praised the July 11 protests, the FT called them “contradictory” but when the chips were down lined up with imperialism, denouncing Cuban government “repression” and calling for “freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of trade unions” for all – i.e., including counterrevolutionaries and pro-imperialist forces.8 Like its own track record of backing counterrevolution in the former Soviet bloc, the FT’s zigzagging can be traced back to Moreno, a political quick change artist, whose trademark was posing as the left wing of whatever movement was in vogue.

On the November 15 action, the FT/LV declares:

“We repudiate the repressive and authoritarian policies of the [Cuban President and Communist Party leader Miguel] Díaz-Canel government and, specifically, the prohibition of the demonstration. At the same time, however, we have differences with the organizers, whom we do not support politically.”9

So, once again, the FT/LV strikes a “third camp” posture – neither Havana nor Miami, so to speak.10 But while having their political “differences” with the counterrevolutionary organizers, and including ritual calls against the economic blockade and for a “revolutionary solution,” these “post-Morenoites” end up on the side of U.S. imperialism and its Cuban gusano agents. The FT provides no revolutionary leadership – they don’t say, for example, whether they believe that anyone in Cuba who might be following their cyberpress should participate or not in the November 15 march, as the Morenoite LIT baited them over July 11. Even worse, playing with their “neither-nor” policy while condemning the prohibition of the U.S. imperialist-promoted demonstration, the “Trotskyist” Fraction is facilitating the counterrevolutionary provocation. And while piously invoking “workers’ self-organization,” it uses the same terms as the U.S. State Department. For example:

“We support … the rights of the Cuban people … to exercise their freedoms of expression, their ability to assemble peacefully.” (State Department press briefing, 26 October)
“We must defend the right to freedom of assembly, to meetings and deliberations in workplaces, to demonstrate, to strike, to freedom of the press….” (Left Voice, 5 November)

“Freedom” for all assemblies, marches, demonstrations, press, etc., in a workers state? Lenin continually exposed how the bourgeoisie used verbiage about freedom “in general” as a weapon against the struggle for workers rule.11 The near-identical language is not because the FT is copying the State Department, but because it is basing its denunciation on bourgeois-democratic norms. Nowhere in its shameful statement does it refer to Cuba as a workers state, however bureaucratically deformed, nor does its piece call to defend Cuba against imperialism and counterrevolution. This, despite the fact that the Left Voice statement (translated from the FT’s Izquierda Diario, 1 November) notes that the Archipiélago call for the 15N march does not condemn the U.S. embargo/blockade, and that the signers of its call include members of the “Council for Democratic Transition in Cuba,” that this Council calls for a “market economy” (capitalism) and compensation for expropriations by the Cuban Revolution, and is presided over by Daniel Ferrer (a notorious U.S.-funded gusano).

So the FT/LV opposes Cuba’s prohibition of a mobilization of forces that it admits are “pro-imperialist” and in favor of “capitalist restoration.” Thus they are providing a “democratic” cover for those who would make Cuba a U.S. neocolony, as it was for over half a century before the 1959 Revolution that dealt imperialism a blow it has never forgiven. While the mainline Morenoites are flat-out counterrevolutionaries, the post-Morenoite FT is acting as lawyers for the counterrevolution, insisting on a supposed “right” of forces mobilizing to overthrow the workers state and bury the Cuban Revolution. As we have shown, this is the anti-Trotskyist line the FT took in East Germany (1989) and the USSR (1991-92). Genuine Trotskyists know that claims of a “right” to counterrevolution are among the oldest social-democratic dodges in the book, evoked to give “democratic” alibis for opposing or evading the class interests of defending the dictatorship of the proletariat embodied in the state that resulted from smashing the dictatorship of Yankee capital in Cuba.

The imperialists and their frontmen keep repeating self-serving lies, claiming that Cuba can’t feed its own people, when the U.S. has done everything to asphyxiate the island’s economy for six decades. They pretend that Cuba’s vaunted medical system has collapsed in the COVID-19 pandemic, when Cuba has now fully vaccinated more than 70% of the population – more than almost every other Latin American country – with vaccines it developed and produced amid the U.S. blockade. Moreover, Cuba has also vaccinated 96% of all children and youth, from ages 2 to 18, something that is only beginning in most capitalist countries. On the basis of this stunning achievement, Cuba is reopening schools for in-person classes and reopening tourism, both on November 15 – the very day the counterrevolutionaries have chosen for their provocation.

As Trotsky defended the Soviet Union in World War II, despite and against Stalin, genuine Trotskyists defend Cuba and all the remaining deformed workers states (China, Vietnam and North Korea) against imperialism and counterrevolution. We call to replace the stultifying Stalinist bureaucracies, whose pro-capitalist policies undermine that defense, with organs of soviet democracy in a proletarian political revolution led by a genuinely communist, egalitarian and internationalist party like the Bolsheviks under Lenin and Trotsky. This means fighting for the program of permanent revolution throughout the continent, extending socialist revolution to the imperialist monster. Our watchword: Proletarians of all countries, unite! ■

See also: Cuba Protests: Litmus Test for the Left (October 2021)

  1. 1.The Truth About Cuba Protests – Defend the Revolution Against U.S. Imperialism and Its Frontmen,” The Internationalist No. 64, July-September 2021.
  2. 2. Manuel Cuesta Morúa is the head of the Partido Arco Progresista (PARP, Progressive Spectrum Party), a social-democratic pro-imperialist grouping including the Cuban Democratic Socialist Current, which has received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the agency that stands in for the CIA in financing “dissidents” in regimes targeted by U.S. imperialism.
  3. 3. We have pointed out the strong similarities between these remote-controlled “spontaneous” uprisings organized by U.S. operatives and the January 6 storming of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. See “Capitalist ‘Democracy’ Falling Apart – Socialist Revolution the Only Solution,” The Internationalist No. 62, January-March 2021.
  4. 4. Página 12 (Buenos Aires), 27 February 2012.
  5. 5. CubaDebate, 10 November.
  6. 6. See “Cuba Protests: Litmus Test for the Left,” The Internationalist, October 2021.
  7. 7. See “A polêmica com o stalinismo sobre Cuba e o 15N,” LIT-QI, 1 November.
  8. 8. See the section on “Left Voice/Trotskyist Faction: Zigzagging Across the Class Line” in the article “Cuba Protests: Litmus Test for the Left.”
  9. 9. “November 15 March in Cuba: Against Government Repression, For a Revolutionary Solution to the Crisis,” Left Voice, 5 November.
  10. 10. During the anti-Soviet Cold War, the classic slogan of “third camp” renegades from Trotskyism, followers of both Tony Cliff and Max Shachtman, was “Neither Washington nor Moscow.” But key was their refusal to defend the USSR, a bureaucratically degenerated workers state, and with their “neither-nor” rhetoric, they in fact supported U.S. imperialism.
  11. 11. For example: “Let the liars and hypocrites … the bourgeois and their supporters hoodwink the people with talk about freedom in general, about equality in general, about democracy in general…. Ask them: ‘Equality between what sex and what other sex?’ ‘Between what nation and what other nation?’ Between what class and what other class?’ ‘Freedom from what yoke, or from the yoke of what class? Freedom for what class?’

    “Whoever speaks of politics, of democracy, of liberty, of equality, of socialism, and does not at the same time ask these questions, does not put them in the foreground, does not fight against concealing, hushing up and glossing over these questions, is one of the worst enemies of the toilers, is a wolf in sheep's clothing, is a bitter opponent of the workers and peasants, is a servant of the landlords, tsars, capitalists” (“Soviet Power and the Status of Women,” 1919).