Cuba’s Revolution Sold Out? Preface and Introduction


The issue of Cuban Revolution has been of central importance to the workers’ movement, not only in Latin America but throughout the entire world. Initially, the heroic struggle against the dictatorship of Batista and its paymaster – US imperialism – could only arouse the broadest sympathies of the exploited and oppressed around the globe. Subsequently, the lessons to be drawn from the Cuban Revolution, as well as a correct assessment of the Castroite leadership and its bureaucratic dictatorship, have played a central role in debates within in the socialist and anti-imperialist movements.

There is no doubt that the current economic and political developments in Cuba will again become a central issue in the coming years. This time, however, the focus will be on the restoration of capitalism taking place in Cuba and the leading role of the Castroite bureaucracy in this process.

A correct evaluation of these developments, as well as drawing the necessary conclusions for the revolutionary program and tactics, will be central not only for the working class liberation struggle in Cuba, but also for that in Latin America and, more broadly, internationally. Comprehending the Castroite march towards capitalism presupposes a correct understanding of the process of capitalist restoration in China and the latter’s development into an imperialist power.

We in the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) are only too aware that the dominant forces in the workers’ movement unfortunately turn a blind eye to these processes. The Stalinist and Bolivarian partisans have uncritically supported the Castroite dictatorship and its politics in the past, and all signs point to their remaining loyal to the regime even now when it is restoring capitalism. This is not surprising, since most Stalinist and Bolivarian parties also glorify imperialist China and support its domestic and foreign policy.

It is also important to explain to the supporters of various centrist-Trotskyist currents that Cuba is no longer a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state, but that the regime has decisively crossed the Rubicon towards capitalism.

Naturally, these debates are not in themselves the goal, but rather are related to the burning need to build a revolutionary party in Cuba as well as worldwide. Lenin once stated: ”In its struggle for power the proletariat has no other weapon but organization.“ And indeed, without such a party the working class cannot liberate itself anywhere – neither in Cuba nor in any other country.

The RCIT and the author of these lines see this book as a contribution to the debate on Cuba’s development and the task of the building the revolutionary party. Therefore, we look forward to discussing the issues covered in this book with other revolutionary organizations and activists around the world. By doing so, we trust that the ideas and programs presented here will be clarified and improved, and that the resulting dialogue will further our joining hands, wherever possible, in our common struggle for the liberation of the working class and the oppressed.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to those comrades who have contributed to this book. As it is always the case in political thinking, this book is the result of collective collaboration and discussions with other comrades. I therefore want to thank my comrades Nina Gunić, Johannes Wiener, Shujat Liaqat, and Yossi Schwartz. I also would like to express profound gratitude to my comrade Marc Hangler who took so much work off my shoulders thereby allowing me to write this book. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank to my comrade Gerard Stephens who took on the task of correcting my English, so influenced by German grammar.


Michael Pröbsting

Vienna, 17th August 2013








Cuba has become capitalist again. The Castroite-Stalinist bureaucracy has transformed itself into a new ruling class and utilizes its state apparatus to drive forward the restoration of capitalism in Cuba. Castroism is returning to its bourgeois roots. The regime is following the “Chinese road” of state-capitalist restoration. They are transforming Cuba from a degenerated workers’ state into a capitalist semi-colony which is primarily dependent on imperialist China. The task for the working class is no longer to organize a political revolution but a social revolution in order to overthrow the Castroite regime and establish an authentic workers and peasant government. [1]


In this book we will deal first with the history of the Cuban Revolution and the role of the Castroite M-26-7 movement as well as of the Stalinist PSP. We will outline the dynamic of class struggle and the lack of revolutionary leadership which led the overthrow of capitalism under the control of the counter-revolutionary bureaucracy which emerged out of a fusion of the Castroite M-26-7 with the Stalinist PSP apparatus.


In a second part we will elaborate on the Marxist theory of the degenerated workers states which were ruled by a Stalinist bureaucracy. We show that Trotsky – who was, together with Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik October Revolution in 1917 and later the founder of the Fourth International – already foresaw that the degenerated workers states inevitable had to decompose and be replaced either by a successful working class political revolution or a capitalist counterrevolution. We will elaborate that the petty-bourgeois, non-proletarian character of the Castroite and Stalinist bureaucracy is the key to understanding both the nature of the degeneration of the Cuban revolution in 1959-61 as well as the capitalist restoration which is currently taking place on the island. We will summarize Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution as well as the Trotskyist program against the Castroite-Stalinist regime.


In chapter three we discuss concretely the advance of the capitalist restoration, the measures of the Castroite regime and how it became a capitalist-restorationist regime in 2010/11. We will also show the important role of the emerging imperialist power China in this process.


In the last chapter we will elaborate key elements of a program for socialist revolution in Cuba and the urgent need for building a revolutionary party as part of the revolutionary Fifth Workers International which is the central goal of the our international organization – the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)


[1] The comrades of the Liaison Committee of Communists have recently published a substantial document titled Cuba Sold Out. In this article they arrive to the conclusion, that Cuba has become capitalist in the last years. (See at the CWG(A/NZ) website They prove convincingly that the Castroite bureaucracy has allied itself with Chinese imperialism and that it follows the state-capitalist road of restoration. In discussing a draft of this document, the RCIT came to the conclusion that the comrades are correct on this issue. We decided to study the capitalist restoration in Cuba in a broader context, i.e., the history of the Cuban Revolution as well as its Stalinist degeneration and to relate these questions with the Marxist theory of the state. This book is the result of the RCIT’s discussions.