On the Emerging Normalization of Relations between the United States and Cuba
BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE | DECEMBER 21, 2014
The December 17 joint announcement by Barack Obama and Raúl Castro Ruiz, presidents of the United States and Cuba, respectively, on the immediate steps being taken to normalize relations between the two countries has stunned the world.
After more than 50 years of Cold War conflict, which included a failed invasion, a nuclear superpower standoff, and decades of covert warfare, espionage and economic blockade, both the U.S. and Cuba are now talking about the establishing of embassies, loosened restrictions on travel and money transfers, and increasing access to the Internet for the majority of Cuban citizens.
1. The question of the impact that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has had on the political landscape is one that is, at once, obvious and shadowy. On the one hand, the latent shadow of the attacks continues to hang over the collective political conscious of the American public, regardless of class, and distorts the body politic by acting as an intellectual singularity, siphoning off more nuanced and thoughtful analysis of the current political situation and trapping it in a black hole of stock phrases, sound bites and empty patriotic slogans. The term “9/11” has itself become a universal mantra by the exploiting and oppressing classes; it is used to stop or alter the course of discussion into “appropriate” channels — “appropriate,” that is, for those ruling classes. Likewise, “inappropriate” discussions are relegated to the fringes of political discourse, where they can be easily dismissed or, when necessary, held up for scorn.
The ongoing negotiations over the federal budget and debt ceiling have become as much a media sensation as a recent marriage or death of a celebrity. The 24-hour cable news channels, the various and sundry bloggermouths, and the army of pundits, commentators and media bobbleheads, have all chimed in, offering a blow-by-blow summary of the status of the discussions.
Indeed, virtually every voice attributable to one of the two classes ruling in alliance (the capitalists and their junior partners, the “middle class” managers — the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie), including those of the bulk of the self-described socialist and communist organizations, have made it a point to give their audience a regular slice of “the latest developments.” These voices concentrate on the shifting figures, costs and percentages that are being added, left alone or eliminated from the federal budget, with the axis of their analysis and agitation (if one can even call it that) running through specific proposals over cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the tax rates for the wealthy.