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  • Members of the Ladies in White dissident group shout anti-communism slogans during a protest on International Human Rights Day, in Havana December 10, 2013.

    Members of the Ladies in White dissident group shout anti-communism slogans during a protest on International Human Rights Day, in Havana December 10, 2013. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 April 2017
Are Cuban "leftists" and annexationists working together to undermine the socialist island's sovereignty?

On Jan. 6, 2017, I wrote “The End of Ideology in Cuba?” One of the main conclusions was: “I have always maintained that the most dangerous opposition to the Cuban Revolution comes from the so-called left, and not from the openly right Plattists [Annexationists].” This was followed up by a sequel, published on Jan.20, 2017, titled “Cuban ‘Left’ Opposition and Annexationists: Two Wings of the Same Eagle.”

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These two pieces found a highly receptive audience and were reproduced and widely circulated in both English and Spanish in many parts of the world, including, of course, Cuba. Nevertheless, they provoked a backlash in Havana/Miami among some “leftist” dissident websites and social media accounts. Several articles were published by them, while other self-proclaimed “Cuban experts” in Havana and the U.S. hid behind their social media by merely recommending the “leftist” articles, perhaps fearful of publicly and explicitly joining the fray. Their common main complaint has been that my articles do not name individuals. Some of their social media accounts even try to dictate to me in referring to the dissidents’ posts. They “are asking for names”; “Name names!” they demand. They are oblivious to the fact that by so doing they name themselves and that they do not and cannot in any way shame me into citing names.

In fact, from January to today, there has been no need to “name names,” as individual “leftist” counter-revolutionaries and their media named themselves in a series of website posts and social media. As the saying goes, if the shoe fits, wear it. If they feel targeted, this is their problem, not mine. They explicitly cite and oppose the two pieces while relying on their faithful readers through their online comments to elaborate these views and add personal attacks, all of which only serves to expose the fact that there is nothing “leftist” about them at all. Thus, they inadvertently provide more depth to my analysis. Even in this third installment today, I still do not name them. The idea is to concentrate on their ideological and political positions for polemical and educational purposes in defense of Cuba’s socialist culture.

Their other objection, in addition to not naming names, is the so-called lack of evidence. In striving to characterize the ideological and political orientation, the “left” counter-revolutionary positions are actually quoted in my articles. If they recognize themselves in these brief citations and paraphrasing, they come out of the woodwork and thus they themselves provide the evidence. Their frustration stems from the fact that these positions are finally out in public in the context of an analysis, and thus they can no longer conceal being fraudulent “leftists.” Notably, colleagues who are writers and bloggers in Cuba are also admirably providing similar writings.

Perhaps the most remarkable proof that there is no need to name names, as worms will surface after the rain, comes from Miami. On Feb. 2, 2017, the U.S.-financed CUBANET wrote a front-page article on the controversy provoked by my two columns: “The annexationist left: Arnold August is the new agent (alabardero) of castroism.” CUBANET is financed, through its own admission, as can be seen on its website, by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). As everybody knows, this is a CIA front for funneling funds into countries such as Cuba with the goal of regime change. CUBANET is openly right-wing and based on an annexationist policy. In this article, they actually come to the rescue and defense of the “leftists” in their campaign against my views. Thus, once again, this serves as ample evidence that, as the title proclaims, “Cuban ‘Left’ Opposition and Annexationists” are indeed “Two Wings of the Same Eagle.” Thank you, CUBANET! It is not at all surprising that the “leftists” are ignoring this CUBANET article – and trying desperately to divert attention to what they believe is the “exposure” in my articles to keep their supporters reined in, should any of them harbour doubts about the “leftist” nature of their websites and social media.

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The “leftists” claim that my writings lack “theoretical knowledge.” However, if this is so, how can one explain that, even by omitting names, my pieces not only force the “leftists” to emerge from the shadows but also confirm without a doubt that the “leftists” and annexationists are two wings of the same American Eagle? This requires a certain amount of theoretical clarity, seeing that the basis of a political and ideological analysis has proven to be correct. The first article (“The End of Ideology in Cuba?”) especially is an example of writing based on revolutionary theory. Its publication resulted in what some commented on as being an original contribution to the current debate by pushing the counter-revolution into an ideological corner, thus explaining their desperate and ongoing outbursts.

Nevertheless, this approach always needs improving and updating as the situation evolves. It is imperative, however, to increase and broaden the deconstruction of the “leftist” dissident ideology and politics that challenge the Cuban socialist culture. I am determined, as are many Cuban colleagues, to unmask their farce. The latest somersaults of the “leftists” and their openly pro-U.S. annexationist apologists seem to indicate that our work is bearing fruit, which leads me to believe that this piece is very likely not the last in this series.

Arnold August, a Montreal-based author and journalist, is the author of Democracy in Cuba and the 1997-98 Elections (1999), Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion (2013) and a forthcoming book to be published this month. As a journalist he regularly contributes in English, Spanish and French to more than a dozen websites in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe. Twitter: Arnold_August FaceBook: Arnold August.

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