Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Cuba, Marxist Capitalism – and Israel?

July 9, 2012 1:39 pm 3 comments

Cuban President Raul Castro. Photo: wiki commons.

“Marxist capitalism” sounds like a contradiction in terms.  Marx felt that capitalism was doomed.  It would be replaced by the inevitable final stage of communism, when there would be no more economic inequality and therefore no disagreement among people.  Since the final stage of communism has not yet arrived anywhere in the world, Marxist leaders try to enforce thought control as a way to end any form of disagreement.

Nevertheless, China has adopted Marxist capitalism—a system that combines thought control with a measure of economic freedom.  China is very much committed to the idea of wealth, and consequently, China is doing business with any number of non-Marxist countries, even including Israel.

Cuba seems ready to follow the same route.  Raul Castro has gone to China.  According to a news story in the July 5, 2012, edition of China Daily, the country’s official English-language newspaper, “Castro’s Asian visit is geared to learning from China’s experience of development and reform. … Cuba is highly impressed by China’s dynamic economic development.”

Zhao Ziyang, who was Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party between January 16, 1987 and June 23, 1989, created special economic zones in coastal provinces in order to increase productivity, stimulate trade, and make money.  After the Tiananmen Massacre on June 4, Zhao was kept under house arrest for the rest of his life.  His economic policies continue to this day, however.  Economically, China is approaching capitalism; politically, it is still Marxist and is still enforcing thought control.

Raul Castro wants to follow Zhao Ziyang’s economic policies without relaxing thought control.  He visited China in order to increase trade and cooperation, but he also was eager to see how China managed to be Marxist and capitalist at the same time.

China’s current flexibility has extended even as far as Israel.  China and Israel have signed an agreement to build a railroad going from Tel Aviv to Eilat.

Yet China and Israel did not have full diplomatic relations until 1992.  When I was teaching in China way back in 1984, I was asked to give a talk about the history of the Jews at Hebei University.  Before the talk I was asked not to mention the word “Israel” nor to refer to it in any way.  Around the same time, I went to the post office with the young teacher who was serving as my interpreter. I had a letter addressed to my cousin in Israel, and I asked how much the postage was.

“There is no such country,” said the postal employee.

“Then how do I send this letter there?” I asked.

Ba mao“ (8 dimes), she answered.

I bought a stamp and sent the letter. It arrived.  This anecdote suggests that even in 1984 China’s rejection of Israel was not total.

Ever since the Asian-African Conference held at Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955, there has been a de facto Marxist-Islamic Alliance opposed to democracy and Israel.  Today, this alliance survives as the axis of Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea—all committed to the destruction of Israel.  It is also reflected among leftists, not necessarily Marxists, who are engaged in the BDS Movement.  China has freed itself from this alliance, although at the UN it still votes against Israel.  Now that Cuba is opening up to Marxist capitalism, will we see a change in Cuba’s rejection of Israel’s right to exist?

Fidel Castro, who is no longer in power, was interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg in 2010.  During the interview, Fidel said that Israel had the right to exist as a Jewish state, without a doubt.

Does Marxism have to be anti-Israel?  Marx obviously couldn’t have said anything about the subject, since he died in 1883, before the publication of Theodore Herzl’s book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State).  What we do know, however, is that Marx hated the Jews.  He also hated civil society, which he linked to the existence of the Jews.  In his “On the Jewish Question,” Marx wrote, “It is from its own entrails that civil society ceaselessly engenders the Jew.”  I assume that Fidel Castro does not agree.

Why didn’t Castro’s statement to Goldberg get more publicity?  Did his brother Raul disagree?  Did the United States tell Israel not to get too close to Cuba?  That seems unlikely, since it would certainly be in America’s interest if Israel were not the most hated country on earth.  Did Cuba’s ally, Venezuela, tell the Castros not to go too far?  I find it curious that Fidel’s statement did not affect the nature of Cuba’s—and the Left’s—attitude to Israel.

Does Raul’s trip to China mark the beginning of a new era in Cuban flexibility?  Will it extend to Israel?  We can only hope.

3 Comments

  • It is often for myself discouraging to compose an article and perceive it unread ….. Your above well written article connects back also to other figures in history , the hate filled half Jewish Adolf …and before him the traitor Josephus ….and before him traitorous others and after him traitorous others like Marx . Many…. having Jewish blood in their veins and on their hands …and lots of it .
    I once talked with a Rabbis widow a few decades ago and she asked why so many things befell the Jews . She said suprisingly she believed the Jewish people had indeed unknowingly rejected their Messiah …Jesus…so long ago ! The Jewish people will embrace then endure a last powerful traitor ( a false Savior )before they will be ready to return spiritually to God ….to weep for rejecting their only Savior ..Jesus whom they crucified. I pray you will be with the true Savior …with all the decendents of Abraham …by saving faith …one day in heaven !

  • It seems that anyone is allowed to write an article and present it as truth without regard for facts

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →