[Full documentary] CUBA: Defending Socialism, Resisting Imperialism [2010]

Fidel Castro whips up afurore in Cuba, charging the United States with arming and training mercenary forces for an imminent invasion.
He calls out some 200 000 militiamen for training and guard duty at key points throughout Havana,
in a move timed to coincide with the landing of our 14 000 American Marines at the Guantanamo
naval base for a weekend of liberty after training exercises in the Caribbean. I’m Neeva. I’m a member of Rock Around the Blockade, and in 2009 I went for my first
time to Cuba on a brigade I’m Rebecca. I went to Cuba with Rock Around
the Blockade because I really wanted to get an understanding of what it is like to live
in a socialist country, and I was really interested in the education system because I want to
be a teacher, so I wanted to look at how education functions within that society and how is used
as a tool to help the revolution I think that the example of Cuba becomes even
more relevant and important because it is a society where multinationals are not the
focus, the ruling class are not the focus, but it is about the people, it’s about providing for the people, it’s about providing for the needs of society. My name is Ethesham. I went on a brigade to Cuba with about 14 people. When I look at Cubans, I don’t look them as a Cuban socialists. I look them as Brothers and sisters
on their side of the planet fighting imperialism in the way that they are, and I think is my
duty is as well to fight imperialism, and obviously my fight will different to their’s
but it will be one struggle. And I will look at my Cuban brothers and sisters and will
give my solidarity because it’s standard, I think.
People in politics here are… you know, they walk around in suits; they are professional
politicians. They get paid to be a politician, and in Cuba if you are in the Communist Party,
I found out, which is the ideological leadership of the country, you are not paid to do it
– you do it on your on free time. You work voluntarily on farms, you do things in your
own free time, so there is no material incentive – there’s no ulterior motive – for why
you want to be in politics. You are not going to get rich off being in politics in Cuba
– you are just a normal person that bring politics into your work place, and you continue
on the same salary you are on, and you continue in the same job. For everyone to be integrated
into politics it just has to be around everyone, and in Cuba it’s not limited – the people
that can get involved in the ideological direction of the country are not limited to the elite
like here, the boys that go to Eton that become the prime minister and the home secretary
and the cabinet ministers. My name is Anthony, I’m a member of Rock
around the Blockade, and I went on a brigade to Cuba in 2009. Living in Britain I think
in some way what I’m trying to do by understanding the Cuban struggle is to show an element of
internationalism – you know, solidarity with the working class movement in the world today
– and I think that’s something that the Cubans have thought us to do, through things
like Operation Milagro – where you have got thousands of doctors in Latin America carrying
out operations on people who don’t have access to proper health care systems – people
with cataracts and blindness – and just thought doing that you can see what level Cuba is
on internationally. It was impressive to see the level of openness
in Cuba. For example the economist that is in the video – the way we stumbled upon him
was quite interesting. We walked into a café to get some drinks and we saw what looked
like a teacher and his student going over some notes, so we just asked them what they
were talking about because they had a book about economics. And that’s literally how
we met the economist. I thought I was going to go there and then
come back thinking Cuba is either socialist or it is not. But I came away more thinking
that Cuba is aspiring towards socialism, and improving constantly and evolving constantly,
and it is a constant process and up against many challenges, but they have the means to
overcome these challenges and work around the situation, even under the US blockade.
The Cubans that I spoke to when I was on the brigade – they understood that all Obama has
done is reverted the restrictions on remittances back to what they were before Bush got into
power. So he has not completely challenged the blockade, he has not said no to the blockade,
that the blockade is genocidal and we must end it, which is the truth. He has not pointed
out how all the previous presidents have just enforced the blockade, and how disgusting
and brutal it is. They did not really have much to say about Obama to be honest and I
thinl that’s the correct position to have – to wait for him to actually do something
to change the balance. Cuba has consistently put itself out there
in solidarity with other nations – whether it is the people of Angola in the fight against
apartheid or the medical aid that Cuba sends to various countries like in Haiti, like in
El Salvador, Bolivia and Venezuela. They also have one really important fundamental
thing that gives power to people, the right to recall of elected representatives that
they feel are not fulfilling their role and representing people. And that is giving power
to the people. Here you just don’t have the option. The MP’s expenses – what could
we do we could? We couldn’t do anything. They are still running the country.
Oreste abogado de Pinar del Rio. Cuban farmer
My name is Helson Leonel Rodriguez and I’m a boy who is 20 years old, and I’m here
because I’m in civil service – not military service, because I’m Jehovah’s witness.
If some Jehovah’s witnesses are watching me now, your partner from Cuba says hello
– we are here and we are working here and you know, it isn’t bad, man!
These insects are named cotorritas. In this little house we are trying to breed them,
because we want to have many of them. When we have many we put them in the environment
with pests, and they eat the pests. The organoponic is surround with palms – that helps against
the wind and protects the bananas in the other side.
Look at that. That is natural fertilizer. With this we don’t have to buy abono fertilizer
from the outside – we create our own abono. Manager State farm Pinar del Rio
International School of Sport and Physical Education
My name is Michael Knight. I’m from Trinidad and Tobago. Here I study sport and physical
education. The objective of the course is to better sport in my country. If you look
at other countries they have to pay a lot to have access to this kind of knowledge and
here it is free. Language School Havana
Values are a very important element in the curriculum because you don’t want to be
very good at speaking and writing if you are selfish person, if you don’t have solidarity,
if you arrive late, or treats badly other classmates. So you might be very good at writing
and speaking but you don’t have values. So in this case you have 3 chances or you
are out of the school because you have no values. This is important in our pedagogy
here in Cuba. The term black was invented in the Caribbean.
I don’t use that in my classroom – I say descendents from Africa. My great great great
mother in my mother side was a slave who was brought from Africa. So this is really important,
because here in Cuba sometimes you listen to some phrases – you know, phrases that explicitly
or implicitly include racism. So that is for you to know it is not officially – because
of the politics of our government – not in education. If we know that someone is racist
that person is not fulfilling the values, but that does not mean that it doesn’t exist
in the mind some people. Student from Trinidad
Did you do any research – for example if you were to study in the US how much would you
have to pay? If I were to study in US it would cost a whole
lot more than studying here. I think that the reason why we have to pay so much in US
is because the system there is capitalism and here is socialism. Medical care here is
free, housing is free, education is free – that’s the basic reason. Transport is really cheap
here, medical care is really good and doctors are
The economy is like a little hole, you know? That is the only thing, but I guess at the
end of the day if the trade embargo was blocked it would be much better here, there would
be a lot more opportunities, jobs and production going on. With this degree, I can go home
and a job as a teacher easily. Cuba is an inspiration because they gone through
a hell of a lot. That country was producing sugar only for the US. That’s no way to
live, that’s not fair! The US has no right to impose anything on any other country. That’s
why I support Cuba. That’s why I tell people about Cuba, because they are an example of
the direction we should all be taking, because that direction will eventually benefit all
of us. Britain, imperialist countries, the developed
western hemisphere, makes its living – makes everything – off the back of the exploitation
of third world countries. So if every country followed the example of Cuba then the imperialist
countries would have nothing to live on. As a principle I should support the Cuban
people because they are standing on their own two feet, and they are opposing imperialism
directly. Imperialism cannot infiltrate Cuba, they can’t control their state. Cuban is
standing by itself. Rock around the Blockade doesn’t exist just
to celebrate Cuba, ‘isn’t it lovely that there is a country out there that is like
this’, but we recognize the important contributions that Cuba can make to the world because of
its socialist system. The Cubans understand that their society is not perfect – that’s
the first thing they say to you, ‘we are not perfect but we are trying and it is in
our hands, and we get to try different options’ – and I want people, I want my children to
be able to grow in a society where they can be part of forming it.
If you look at May Day around the world it is a protest against the state, a demonstration
to say that the state and capitalism is not serving the needs of the people. When you
saw people out on the streets on May Day in Cuba it was really uplifting to see such a
mass of people so proud of their country. Living in an imperialist country like Britain,
I would feel disgusted to even slightly feel that way, I have no place to feel nationalist
in an imperialist country, because I know the effect it has on other people around the
world, so I completely distance myself from any nationalist thought, whereas it is different
in Cuba because if anything they are offering a hand of solidarity around the world.
A third world country like Cuba can provide all its citizens with all their needs, feed
everybody, everyone has access to free healthcare, and in this country we don’t have that.
Where are the resources going? The resources are going to kill Iraqis and people in Afghanistan,
they are going on these imperialist wars. Why? So that the oil companies can stay rich,
so that the rich elite can stay rich, and everything can still ticking over and the
bankers can keep taking home their bonuses. That’s why.
You will be able to see what is achievable, and I mean that
is what the Cuban revolution is. It’s the
working class masses overthrowing the ruling class, putting their own destiny into their
own hands. I was really quite moved by the fact that
young people – young teenagers – are seen as a productive part of society. They are
seen as the next generation of people that are going to push forward the revolution and
not just criminalized as they are here. I think is important to show the working class
kids here that are criminalized every day. The tabloids in this country are always going
on about youth violence, kids on the street, and kids up to no good, ‘hoodies’ and
whatnot. I think it is very important to show that there is a society, an alternative socialist
society, where young people are valued and given the chances that they need to become
positive members of society. You look at supermarket here like Tescos – you’ve
got the whole world, produce from the whole world in Tescos. I wouldn’t think that is
a privilege until I go to another country where they don’t have that. Then you have
to ask yourself why don’t that have that? Is it
fair that they don’t have that? Why it is that
we have the privilege of having access to the whole world by walking 5 minutes down the
road, whereas in
some countries children have to walk for 3 hours to get to a school? Why is that
the situation? That’s not natural, it’s
not determined by floods, it’s not determined by climate – it’s determined by human
beings and by human interaction. For me looking at Cuba helps you to understand that, because it is the polar opposite of what the British state represents.

  1. I never understood that argument : " We had to cave in to some capitalism because otherwise it was the end of the revolution".
    How is that?
    First : If you cave in to capitalism, capitalism won't stop there. The forces that push for capitalism will only grow bolder seeing that victory : "hey guys we can now exploit family members, it's legal! Now let's push for non family members also!". That was the debate a decade ago I believe. Today it's much worse, the debate in Cuba revolves around "hey guys now let's push for the capitalist to be able to own 3 businesses instead of the 2 we were just granted".

    Second : So now there are capitalists in Cuba that are allowed to have 2 shops which they clearly don't work because it's physically impossible to work at 2 places at once. So they exploit people to work the other shops and they accumulate wealth upon other's work (albeit highly taxed). How the fuck is that saving the revolution? If the capitalists now have this power, it's only a matter of time before 3 businesses (if it's not done already) are allowed and then they remove the limit. Then (very soon) it will be no different than a social democracy that will be, as they all are, inevitably headed towards rabid capitalism. There already is such a difference in standards of living between the white and black people. I was so sad to see that there already are 2 very distinct classes getting wider apart. The Miami tied ones that have dollars and buy from dollar stores and the ones that work for them.

    There already are millionaires in Cuba, they're very sad that they are very limited in what they can do with their money but they are pushing harder and harder getting more and more into politics to change things further. My host in Cuba was a subversive artist that painted against what little remains of socialism and he sold so well to foreigners that he was able to spend 350$ a month on electricity (the bill is an exponential function to kW, so dirt cheap for the poor, and very expensive for the wasteful). That's beyond crazy to be so wealthy when some people in Cuba barely get enough with the food stamps and what little they earn. To put it in perspective, he spends more in electricity than what 10 doctors make in a month, that's why her doctor wife doesn't work any more.

    That absurd system is beyond sad. There has to be a drastic return to socialism. I cannot defend the Cubans that say these capitalist changes are necessary. When there is no revolution left to save, there is no point in pretending to save it with more capitalism. The fact is those that defend the reforms are all people that would fare very well in a capitalist society. They would earn substantially more and live much more comfortable lives at the expense of the rest of Cubans that they would exploit. These are the forces of reaction, they will feign interest in the revolution while wishing for capitalism. They might believe in their own narrative and loyalty to the revolution, but when they mean revolution it has a very different meaning from what we communists believe in.

    Last point, if you watch the 8th congress of the PCC from a few years ago, when Fidel was still alive, you can clearly see that the general tone is that of reform, reform, reform. Only Fidel's voice had a different one, and no one listened to him. It was as if he was an old relic that all must respect and hear but no one will actually listen to. It was the saddest thing. The representatives, Raúl included, all spoke as if they had been imported directly from a social democrat country in Europe. I live in such a country and it was unbelievable to hear them speak with the same rhetoric and intent as they do in our parliaments. If the heads of state in Cuba are sell-outs, it's no wonder that the general discourse I heard from young Cubans save a few staunch communists was that it was time to embrace more capitalism.

    Cuba has indeed betrayed the revolution. What its ancestors fought for with blood sweat and tears is now all going to capitalist ruin. I give Cuba 30 years before it's back to Batista's time.

  2. Hey. I want to share this documentary among my classmates sometime in the future. Is there a way for me to access the subtitle files in this video? I could translate easily translate them from english to portuguese.

  3. Havana is destroyed. I grew up there and it was a beautiful city. Castro is the devil, he brought misery and poverty to the people w/ his so called "revolution"…he was an illegitimate bastard, an authentic son of a bitch. His mother was the cleaning woman to his rich land owner father and now you know where his hatred for the wealthy comes from; he was attempting to kill his father, sound familiar? He is a Cuban Don Quixote and just as crazy saving the people from the wealthy, his stupid 1/2 Chinese brother didn't really understand what was going on, to this day I don't think he has a clue…Castro cares about Castro and the poor people suffer probably more than before…

  4. Man, how many ignorant, unthought comments there are here?? People really don't think at all (with a few exceptions).

    If Cuba is really a bad government, why did USA blocked it's economy?? If Cuba is really a dictatorship ship that strikes poverty everywhere, why does USA bother on making counterpropaganda agains it?? REally, try to think just for a while.

    UNITED STATES DOESN'T CARE ABOUT WELLNESS, all they care about is the riches that the Cuba government is protecting, that's how it works. Please, people, try not be fool.
    If USA really cared about poverty, it would be making counterpropaganda against Jamaica, Haiti and Mexico. But, real life shows that they don't give a shit about it (and explores them a lot)

    One last thing, if Cuba's poverty (or lack of luxury to be more precise) is due to its socialist system, why is China so Rich??
    "Ohhhh, it's an exception to the rule".
    No, it's not. The problem is that they (Cuba, China and the other three socialist countries of the world) have riches that USA want, and socialism is the only thing blocking the way.

  5. That girl on the 3rd minute…let me tell you kitty about "no money" in communist party in Cuba. The only way that there is for all thoose outside the communist party!!! I mean, their system is just like old Soviet communist system which is like this: unless you are in the party you are dirt poor like everyone esle and it is only a special cast of people who through their party membership get the special treatment and perks like more food, better housing cars, vocations, grls and so on. Those things might still be not super luxurious by Western standards but you have got to remember that in a poor society of nothing something becomes alot and that "something"…you get it only through the party membership (there and in all communist societies)!!!

  6. In Cuba, only those lucky few who are allowed to participate outside the so-called planned economy prosper. If you are a Cuban and you are making money it's because, 1) You are in a government sanctioned private enterprise, 2) You are involved some way in the black market, or 3) You are a highly placed Government despot like the Castros who are worth over a billion dollars. I wonder why it's called a planned economy. Did they plan to have all those poor people?

  7. Cuban medical aid is wonderful except none of the countries they "help" including themselves have NO medicine. It's wonderful to know a recipe but terrible to have no food to cook with. …

  8. Such naivete. Communist party members receive no special treatment? My ass. These people are victims of propaganda as well.

  9. they act like they're culture is unique when it's totally ageing and fucked, they act holier than thou but really they send doctors like a prisoner sends "free" chocolate Bars to a new inmate. they whine and bitch and treat the us like shit when they're totally dying to be like them. worst of all, they were the ones who screwed central america twice over making it impossible for me truly enjoy Guatemala without seeing relics of their soviet backed meddling. they hate the United states but what they don't know is that cuba is just as racist and ignorant as their northern neighbors. don't buy their propoganda.

  10. what nobody knows is that the rest of Latin America despise cuba. they're whores with a crude accent

  11. Thanks for making/posting documentary.  I learned from this video.  The USA is an imperialistic, capitalist monster that IS GOING DOWN!  I need to visit Cuba soon.  If anyone has information on how I may connect with one/some of organizations shown, please email me at easpoet at gmail dot come.  Muchas gracias!  Viva Cuba Libre

  12. Dan asco estos indotrinados …y que hablen la verdad que salga de ellos a ver sino los meten presos…comunistas comemierdas

  13. The worst human rights abuses in Cuba are on Guantanamo Bay – a U.S. international prison house of torture. Never forget that.

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