Sunday, February 24, 2008

Report of Rock around the Blockade Speaking Tour meeting in Liverpool 23 February

On 23 February, over 200 people packed into the Liverpool Students Union to hear Orlando Borrego, Jesus Garcia and Yoselin Rufin speak about Cuban socialism. They spoke about Cuba’s democratic system, the role of mass organisations such as the Federation of University Students, and about Che Guevara's immensely important theoretical and practical contribution to building socialism.

A mostly young audience listened attentively to the comrades. Questions to the Cuban comrades allowed them to develop their points in a concrete way. Of particular interest were discussions about the distinction between a bourgeois parliamentary form of democracy and the form of democracy chosen by the Cuban people to best serve their interests, and on the use of the death penalty in Cuba.

Jesus Garcia gave a very detailed account of the democratic structures and process in Cuba which completely answered media condemnation of Cuba as a dictatorship.

Orlando Borrego set out the ethical and economic principles that under-pinned Che’s concepts of the building of socialism. All affirmed that Fidel’s decision not to allow himself to be nominated for the Cuban Council of State would not affect Cuba’s socialist standpoint, pointing out that they were three generations of Cubans saying this.

Yoselin Rufin was proud to say that all the students in FEU, in which she is a member of the national council, totally support and demand socialism in Cuba.

On behalf of Rock around the Blockade, Hannah Caller stressed the need for those in the audience to get active in support of Cuba explaining why it was a necessary part of building a socialist, anti-imperialist movement in this country.

After four and a half hours of intense discussion and debate the meeting was as full as it was at the beginning. It proved that there is a serious interest in political discussion, and one that RATB in Liverpool intends to build on.

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