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The strangely “little-known” role of the Cuban working class (Pedro Ross reviewed for ‘New West Indian Guide’)

The blow by blow accounts in this book make fascinating reading, I was particularly impressed by the discussion of the Cigar Workers’ Parliament. It provided the cigar workers an opportunity to raise grievances about the management of the factory, to condemn the thefts of raw materials and to propose solutions to the country’s economic woes. Pedro Ross was able to use his direct contact with Fidel Castro to resolve some of the problems with inefficiency and corruption. | more…

Walk This Way (Anne Braden Speaks in ‘The Progressive Populist’)

“Her perspective as an anti-racial capitalism activist and writer gives her a comprehensive, dare I say a dialectical, analysis of domestic and foreign policies. The bombs that Uncle Sam dropped on the people of Vietnam also exploded on Americans living in urban and rural communities experiencing poverty, as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. came to understand in no small part because of Braden’s advocacy.” -Seth Sandronsky | more…

Until We Fall: “A contribution to…the history of the subaltern”

Encounters with many characters involved in left wing politics are recorded in such a way that make the reader feel more like a participant than an observer. Helena weaves anecdotes into a broader record of events, and in doing so brings them to life. She also puts on the record her many decades of involvement in politics outside of Ireland, and one would wonder how she managed to find the time to pack so much into her life and work. | more…

The Cuban revolution differed from the Stalinist regimes (How the Workers’ Parliaments Saved the Cuban Revolution reviewed in ‘Counterfire’)

By examining the Special Period that Cuba went through, Ross gives us an example of how during periods of austerity, workers do not and should not need to pay the price of the crisis. For those who still think that Cuba is far from their ideal, I would like to paraphrase Marx. In theory, we assume that the laws of the socialist mode of production develop in their pure form. In reality, this is only an approximation; the approximation is all the more exact, the more socialism is developed and the less it is adulterated by survivals of earlier economic conditions with which it is amalgamated. | more…

Israel’s Kristallnacht (Author of Postcards to Hitler in ‘Counterpunch’)

As inter-imperialist rivalry now intensifies, especially between the U.S. and Russian and China, with each scrambling to secure allies and advantages against one another, the U.S. will cling to Israel and drag Jews, Palestinians and the other people of the region through a new hellish round of suffering for the sake of defending the American imperium…. | more…