Saturday, January 20, 2007

Polish Communists in solidarity with Cuba!

No, I am not talking about the ex-communist SLD. I’m talking about the Polish Communist Party.

There still is one, you know. And it’s envoi, Comrade Marcin Popiuk, was in Cuba this week giving support to the ailing Comrade Castro, who appears to be very ill indeed.

(Here is Castro, btw, a few months ago getting rather intimate with Comrade Chavez.)

‘…[The Polish Communist] group condemns the US economic, commercial, and financial blockade against Cuba.

...Popiuk also expressed his solidarity with the five Cubans unfairly imprisoned in the US since 1998 for infiltrating Miami organizations responsible for numerous terrorist acts against Cuba.

The Polish communist leader [?] praised the opportunity of learning while here that "Cuban people s health and education have another dimension."

I must say I agree with him being against the US blockade – all sanctions are morally wrong and are harming ordinary people, not their anti-democratic leaders.

But the article gives us another insight into the current state of Polish communist thinking (a minority sport in Poland, but still…).

‘Questioned on Poland s inclusion in the European Union, he pointed out there are more disadvantages than advantages.

"Now we are politically dependent on that block and also economically, since we have opened our country to capitalism. There are no limits for foreign investors to acquire our land or industries," Popiuk explained.

“…limits for foreign investors…” is exactly the stance on this issue we get from Polish nationalists. And that’s always been the way with Polish communists – Red Nationalism. Maybe Popiuk really should seek out an alliance with the League of Polish Families and comrades at Radio Maryja?

The Communist Party of Poland (not to be confused with the Polish United Workers Party, which ruled in Poland from 1948 until 1989)) sounds like an old party, which existed from 1918 to 1938 when Stalin shut them down after the inevitable purges, etc. Another (illegal) Communist Party was formed by Stalinist Kazimierz Mijal in 1965. After his emigration to Albania [?] in 1966, the party was based for some time in Tirana.

The new Communist Party is actually only four years old. They describe themselves as ‘neo-communist’ – whatever that means…

Due to its very small size (actually almost non-existant membership) I imagine they regard themselves as ‘vangaardist’ waiting for the right moment to ‘go to the class’ and lead us into revolution. Or not.

But as you can see by the photos of the last Polish Communist Party Congress (December 2006), its membership appears to be rather elderly.


Anonymous said...

Great picture! Seems like that they were having a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, I used to go to socialist meetings to get laid. Things don't look too good for these guys unless their all gay.

And yes, celebrate socialist Albania!

This was a poster I recall seeing all over my neighborhood in the early 1980s.

It was a poster put up by cadres of the Revolutionary Communist Party led by the legendary Bob Avakian who actually fled to Albania around that time to avoid arrest for some revolutionary activity (at least that was his story.)

I recall him having a ponytail in his heyday. But I also recall that Enver Hoxha, the head honcho in Albania in those days, didn't care none too much for hippies, so poor ol' Bob had to get the ponytail cut off.

Does anyone know whatever happened to good ol' Bob?

Frank Partisan said...

Bob Avakian is still the leader of the RCP. He lives in Paris, and is known as coming from a wealthy family.

The RCP led the "World Can't Wait Impeach Bush" movement, which fronted for the Democratic Party.

My email address is in my profile on blogger.

beatroot said...

Cheers Ren...but email doesn't show when I go there...

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered this could be a practical joke; someone wanted a free trip to Cuba so they and a few friends concocted a political party. This would explain the five sad looking guys sitting at the table since only one got to go the remainder got to cry in their beer. In keeping with communist practices some are more equal than others.

An interesting photo of Fidel and Chavez:

Is it a tender embrace for an old friend?
Is it Chavez squeezing the life out of the old boy in order to advance himself?
Is it a non-heterosexual moment caught on camera?

I know this could be misunderstood as a bit insensitive but on my last trip to Cuba I bought a fine bottle of Cuban rum with the intention of consuming it on Fidel’s death. I have come close to opening it but Fidel is dragging it out like the last act in some third rate play.

Beatroot said “I must say I agree with him being against the US blockade”

What’s the big deal with the blockade, selling more Cuban cigars and adding Americans to the line up at the Cuban whorehouse isn’t going to produce an affluent society. Their economy is so fucked up they haven’t got anything to sell anyway.
Here is a novel idea for the geniuses that run Cuba, release all the political prisoners rotting in your jails and restore democracy, then the blockade stops. Otherwise choke to death on socialism.

Back to the rum dilemma, I need to hear opinions on this.

Since his death is now a certainty, can I just consume the rum and not be inconvenienced further by this commie prick?


Wait until the actual funeral procession to open the bottle?

michael farris said...

The idea is that without the blockade there would be a lot more non-Cubans in Cuba which inevitably would lead toward change. In the short term, this would help shore up the regime, in the longer term it would lead to great changes. The blockade helped the regime keep the walls of ignorance high and strong. The more foreign visitors (especially ones that know the local language reasonably well) to a communist country the better in terms of change, unless you're addicted to the idea of violent revolutionary change in which case make the transition as painful and drawn out as possible (and guaranteeing some new form of authoritarian government instead of broad societal change).

Many Miami Cubans (a strange breed of which I've known a few) knew this intellectually but couldn't stand the short term gains for Castro undoing the blockade would mean.

Anonymous said...

The achievements of the cuban revolution are clear enough......check literacy and health care for openers. I refuse to get into a huge cyber argument about this......but we could as well post a photo of the US Republican convention and have some laughs. Same for the Labor Party or Tory in the UK.

Western media distorts about everything....and people buy it. American exceptionalism is rampant and the disinfo on cuba is a perfect example. The blockade has cost Cuba a lot....but is supported by the far right Miami cubans (Ive known a few too, unfortunatly). Remember who was in power before the Revolution.....Batista. There are reasons people revolt.....and to check the regime of US *pal* Batista is to understand the cuban revolution.

Anonymous said...

“…no limits for foreign investors…” is exactly the stance on this issue we get from Polish nationalists. And that’s always been the way with Polish communists – Red Nationalism."

So you'll agree with Chavez and Castro who are trying to create a wider free trade area in Latin America. Or the Chineese Communists who have transformed their economy through opening up to the world economy. Some of their state industries such as steel are now competing as some of the largest companies in the world.

Oh and Jonnavak: Hope you choke on the rum mate.

beatroot said...

China is increasingly open to foreign investment now and that has had concrete effect on people's lives there. In the last 20 years China has lifted around 15 to 20% out of abject poverty (UN figures) ...and that's lots more than any hand wringing western liberal NGO has ever done.

Societies that limit investment to the domestic only never do very well.

But Step is right about some of the successes of the Cuban Revolution. Cuba has similar GDP per head than Bolivia but infant mortality rates, life span, etc are mich much better in Cuba, due to socialized medicine. And Cuba has even survived the end of Soviet subsidies.

What happens next is up to the Cubans. But I get the feeling they will be in the news a lot this year...

Anonymous said...

There's a difference between opening up to the world economy (as China has done) and opening an economy to be bought up by foreign capital (as most of EE was)

Anonymous said...

The RCP is still around?

And fearless Chairman Bob, too, albeit roughing it out in Paris instead of whooping it up in Tirana?

Did he regrow his pony-tail?

Is he still mourning the demise of Hoxha's socialist Albania?

Which country's socialism does he want us to celebrate now?

beatroot said...

North Korea?

No foreign investment there, either. But why be sooo scared of foreign investment.
For instance, a job in a media company is a job In a media company – don’t matter who owned it. Only difference is, having a job in sleepy old Super Expres would not be as good as having a job on Fakt, cause Axel Springer know what they are doing, do it better, expand faster, more and securer jobs.

Hang loose. Polish capitalism is not exactly sooo great, now is it?

Martin said...

"In the last 20 years China has lifted around 15 to 20% out of abject poverty (UN figures)"

Yeah, Beatroot. From 1 cents to 2 cents an hour.

Martin said...

And the giys in the photo look like extras from 'Phoenix Nights'.

The only thing missing is Peter Kay in a wheelchair.

beatroot said...

Yeah, Beatroot. From 1 cents to 2 cents an hour.

Actually, incomes are rising rapidly in China. Still. Kyoto type agreements await to slow down the growth...

Anonymous said...

“The death watch for Fidel Castro is something that only Gabriel Garcia Marquez could get right. His novel Autumn of the Patriarch captures perfectly the moral squalor, political paralysis, and savage ennui that enshrouds a society awaiting the death of a long-term dictator.
Commandante Fidel's departure from power, of course, will be solely a matter of biology, and the few pictures of him that have emerged since he took ill last year clearly show biology at work. When the end comes, change in Cuba could be as vast as any that greeted the end of the last century's great dictators. “ - Nina L. Khrushcheva (her grandfather was Nikita Khrushchev)

Complete article at:,20867,21095923-2703,00.html

First Fidel promised his revolution would house, educate, feed and provide medical care for everyone. Even after setting the bar to the lowest common denominator he has failed to meet the basic needs in every area. While consumer goods are subsidized they are rationed and often in short supply or non-existent.

All Cubans are issued ration cards (unless noted otherwise this is for one month):

8 eggs
2.3kg (5lb) sugar
2.7kg rice
200 ml (0.4 pints) cooking oil
450g-700g meat (sometimes mixed with soy protein)
One bar body soap (every two months)
One bar soap for housework (every two months)
One bread roll daily
One litre of milk daily (only for children up to seven)
1 yoghurt daily (only for children between seven and 14)
10 packs of cigarettes

You still have to find a shop that stocks these items and pay for them, if you can get your hands on foreign currency there are special shops that are well stocked.

A doctor may earn $ 20 US per month, and after all his education lives on the margins forced to take a second job but a truck driver who can steal some of the gasoline allocated to his vehicle and sell it on the side lives many times better. The maid at your tourist hotel who has an opportunity to get tips in foreign currency is near the top of the pyramid.

There is a huge resentment to this state of affairs, the Cubans have developed into masters of improvisation to get by, but it’s a never ending grind. So some people resort to extraordinary measures i.e. escape.

With respect to a number of other countries in the area, if Cuba has done better for it’s people and it’s obvious to the oppressed masses in the surrounding area, then wouldn’t we expect a flood of refugees trying to get into Cuba. Shouldn’t poor Blacks in Florida try to risk the shark-infested waters to get to the worker’s paradise?

Up until recently trying to escape could get you killed by the Cuban Coast Guard. Castro ordered his henchmen to sink the tugboat "13 de marzo", causing the deaths of 41 innocent men and women, along with 12 children. After a lot of bad press, the policy of shooting up escapee was abandoned. This resulted in a the tidal wave of desperate people leaving Cuba on anything that could float, including inner-tubes and mattresses; many died trying to escape. The US Coast Guard now intercepts and returns Cubans who fail to make it to US shores.

The Cuban population in the US is now at over 1,300,000 and continues to grow.

In moral terms an apologist is an accomplice to the crime!

Anonymous said...

The crime also being the blockade.

Oh and I don't think it's all that wise to equate material prosperity with morality. I think JP2 said sumptin like dat, too.

Anonymous said...

jann57..........apparently facts matter little to you......and as I pointed out, the condition of the Cuban people is far better now than under Batista....which is what caused the Revolution. A 50 year blockade hasnt helped.....and Cuba has been under attack, in various guises, since Castro took over. Infant mortality rates are quite good compared to most of the hemisphere....and health care far better....and actually you dont see people starving under bridges like you do in the US.

An apologist indeed......far better to have the Imperialist war machine drop cluster bombs on every poor nation they can find....for that same fifty years. What are the crimes of the US and UK in these same 50 years....lets count the bodies.

Cuba produces more doctors per capita than anywhere in the world. And has better health care. Now you can point to all kinds of abuses.....and Ive never held castro to be the perfect leader.....B U T, your kind of reactionary nonsense is typical of the deluded watcher of CNN or reader of the Washington Post.

I would rather be a supporter of castro than of US foreign policy....or of the current Polish government for that matter.

A socialist paradise.....hardly....but nobody said it was. One is trying to put things in perspective....rather than rant on in ignorance.

so again.....check CIA actions in Iran, Iraq, panama, Chile, Nicarauga, El Salvador, Haiti, Greece, ....etc etc etc.....and then decide what should be apologized for. And ask yourself who cuba has invaded lately.

Anonymous said...

geez said..“The crime also being the blockade” and “ I don't think it's all that wise to equate material prosperity with morality. I think JP2 said sumptin like dat, too.”

Since when does any nation have an obligation to trade with another nation? Specifically with nations that are hostile to it.

On the issue of material prosperity, any system that fails to provide it is destined to failure i.e. the fall of socialism/communism.

Now your quoting JP2 to me, wasn’t he the asshole who hid in a closet reading poetry in WW2 while decent Polish young people attended to the nazis and communist threat with gun in hand? Well at least he didn’t work an anti-aircraft gun like Ratzinger did.

Geez all you need to know about religion is this when the church is supporting the struggle of the Polish people it’s a good thing, otherwise it of little value.

Geez repeat after me ”religion is poison” ”religion is poison” ”religion is poison”

Anonymous said...

steppx said... “the Cuban people is far better now than under Batista”

With only improvements to accessing medical care and education the average Cuban has not progressed in material wealth or housing since the revolution. It also can be shown that they don’t eat as well either.

steppx said... “ask yourself who cuba has invaded lately”

Mozambique, Angola and Ethiopia

So lets cut thru the bullshit, now that Castro is about to die do you support the Cuban people having a fair and open choice on their future. That means:

- release the political prisoners
- allow the formation of political parties
- stop media censorship and control
- internationally supervised elections

yes / no ?

Unknown said...

jannovak 57 said: “On the issue of material prosperity, any system that fails to provide it is destined to failure i.e. the fall of socialism/communism.”

I’m (mildly) amused by your (a) equating socialism with communism, and (b) unsubstantiated claim that they are “failed systems.” Most western-style democracies ARE socialist and the biggest “communist” country on the planet – China – is doing just fine. BTW: I suspect that your favorite source of information - Wikipedia – failed to mention that the term “communist country” is a contradiction of terms. There can be no “countries” in communist society.

I’m also curious why you’re so sure that the Cuban people (i.e. people living in Cuba – I’m purposely carving out the fanatical Miami mob from that definition) would side with your idea of what’s right for them.

Oh… I almost forgot: Religion IS poison.

Anonymous said...

Left and right above agreed as to repeating "religion is poison."

Interesting to note, though, the right coming right out and calling JP2 "an asshole." I only wish all right wingers would be as honest and straightforward as jannovak.

I repeat, instead: Our Father...
and feel very good about it.

Hey, the commies in Poland aren't to blame in the soccer, er, ah, football scandals I've been reading about lately, are they?

beatroot said...

The last AWS government - a kind of slightly more moderate PiS government in the 1990s, with mainy of the same people in the government - was plagued by corruption scandals.

It seems that in Poland when you show the pig the trough he eats his apples.

Anonymous said...

Im afraid by almost any standard you can find the cuban people are better off. Batista....since it seems I have to remind you....was a dictator and a pal of the US. He was brutal and most of the land was owned by a few elite families..........hence there was a Revolution.

Some could argue cuba is among the most democratic countries around....workers decide hours and who represents them and what their neighborhoods might look and work like. They dont choose who is President (a choice the US got last time with 48% of its people voting and a choice between two millionaires.......gee, democracy is great.....and with a vast majority against more troops to the Imperial debacle in iraq....they will sit and watch more troops go to the debacle in Iraq....gee....democracy IS great)....though as Ive said, but clearly must repeat....Cuba is not perfect....only not the demonized hell folks like you want to believe in.

but the real point is that nothing happnes in an historical vacuum. Which means that its hard to know how Cuba would do without the US trying to fuck with it constantly......and if you examine, lets say, will see what the results of US involvement are.

And no my dim friend....Cuba didnt invade Angola or Mozambique....though they did lend troops.....rather a different story. But the nuances of geo-politics are probably a bit hard for someone used to classic comix.

Anonymous said...

Albert said: “equating socialism with communism”

Comrade Albert, It is I who is amused by your efforts to separate socialism and communism as both share the common thread of substituting private ownership of the means of production for collective ownership. The two are not totally divorceable concepts but after the last century communism has become a bit of an orphan, probably due to the body count.

Most western style democracies practice a form of modern capitalism tempered by social justice, an evolution of capitalism unique to the western world for the most part.

China is practicing a form of capitalism discarded by the western world a long time ago or rather something it evolved away from, China would be the last country to use as a reference for workers rights or any concept of social justice. China’s new label should be Wal-Mart’s Biggest Sweat Shop.

You didn’t like my view on religion, then you can F**king well start praying for my soul you superstitious ass.

So Comrade Albert do you support the Cuban peoples right to self-determination and the following path to achieve it?

- release the political prisoners
- allow the formation of political parties
- allow workers to organize independent trade unions
- stop media censorship and control
- internationally supervised elections

Yes or No will do!

Anonymous said...

geez said “Hey, the commies in Poland aren't to blame in the soccer”

Perhaps they were as the Polish Football Association has yet to be properly vetted or rather lustrated.

Anonymous said...

steppx said... “Some could argue cuba is among the most democratic countries around”

Only if they were crack cocaine addicts and oblivious to any notion of reality.

steppx said...” He was brutal”

Certainly Batista was a brutal dictator, it just that Fidel executed far more political opponents then Batista ever did. And Fidel has jailed more political opponents then Batista ever did.

steppx said...” Cuba didnt invade Angola or Mozambique”

Nonsense yes they did, in the case of Angola and Mozambique they intervened to support the faction backed by the Soviet Union. When the Portuguese left in the case of Angola there were three competing factions, a civil war broke out between MPLA, UNITA and FNLA, exacerbated by foreign intervention. That would be the Cubans. In Ethiopia from 1975-1978, Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Red Terror and massive relocation project led to the death of 1,500,000 Ethiopians. This is the leader the Cubans went in to support. In December 2006, he was convicted by an Ethiopian court of genocide.

So stop reading old copies of Pravda it will make your geo-political prospective a little more informed.