NACLA attack on
Posted to www.marxmail.org on October 26, 2005
I think that most people have become accustomed to the idea that NACLA (North American Committee on Latin America) has shed its early radical politics, but every so often there’s an article in their “Report on the Americas” that really makes your hair stand on end.
In the current issue, you can read “Cuba: New Partners And
Old Limits” that was written by Daniela Spenser from the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social
in Mexico City. She is unabashedly described as being the organizer of the
November 2002 Woodrow
During the height of
the Cold War, Latin American revolutionary activists traveled to
I imagine that Allen Weinstein had a hand in assisting Spenser put this conference together since he has an extensive background in ferreting out Soviet conspiracies. After Weinstein was nominated for the post of national archivist, Jon Wiener wrote an article in the Nation that began as follows:
“The White House nomination of Allen Weinstein, a historian
of Soviet espionage, as archivist of the
Although Spenser’s NACLA article is available only to subscribers, you can read the whole thing on red-baiter Leo Casey’s mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DemocraticLeft/message/19110
Her article begins: “
“Not only in its internal politics, but also looking
This certainly must come as a surprise to the Cubans who organized a conference on January 31, 2001 under the banner “Popular international movement against neoliberal globalization.” A reporter from Granma summed it up as follows:
Later that year, Cuban President Fidel Castro made a speech that praised the large protests at meetings of world leaders in recent years. He joked that the heads of rich nations may soon have to meet on the International Space Station to avoid them.
Moreover, Spenser really seems miffed that Castro did not
emulate the Soviets who had embarked on perestroika. The old dinosaur “reacted
to the events in
The final section of Spenser’s article makes an aggressive
case for the EZLN who in the eyes of “civil society” partisans like her
embodies an alternative to discredited “statist”
solutions, especially socialism. She writes, “The Cuban government has no
patience, for example, with movements like the Zapatistas.” I myself can’t
recall even a hint of this. Generally speaking, Castro has never been critical
of any movement that opposes capitalism. Ironically, it is partisans of the
Zapatistas like John Holloway who have been guilty of sectarian attacks on
Spenser believes that “The Cuban government’s insistence on
old-style socialism has little attraction outside of
Well, with all due respect to Daniela Spenser and her
patrons at NACLA, there are certain advantages to the Cuban development model
that should be an inspiration to struggling people everywhere, including in
Considering the reality of Chiapas today, it seems that NACLA would be better advised to think twice about writing screeds against Cuba, especially in light of the report in the February 3, 2003 Newsday titled "Infant Deaths Plague Mexico" that states that a single hospital in Chiapas serves nearly 500,000 people. Burdened by inadequate staffing and supplies, babies die at twice the national rate.
Exploiting improvements in their own medical infrastructure
that are no doubt the product of dastardly “social engineering”,
Mon Jan 20, 5:30 PM ET
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Cuban health workers are in southern Chiapas state to help officials cope with a sudden spate of infant deaths at a rural hospital, the governor said Monday.
Cuban Deputy Health
Minister Gonzalo Estevez is among four Cuban doctors visiting the state to
advise officials on possible improvement in the health care system, state
officials said. In an interview with the Televisa
network, Gov. Pablo Salazar said the doctors were discussing the possibility of
bringing "epidemiological brigades" to
He did not specify what sort of health workers, or how many, would come. State health officials said no deal had been reached.
The death of 25
infants at a hospital in Comitan during December and
several more since then drew national attention to long-existing public health
Alarmed by the medical crisis, local officials invited experts from the federal government and Pan American Health Organization to investigate the deaths. State prosecutors also are investigating the deaths.
According to the health experts' report, many of the mothers whose babies died in Comitan had not received any prenatal care before arriving at the hospital to give birth. Others had arrived only after their children developed problems.
"We need to attend to the mothers ... to make the pregnancy safe and the birth successful. That implies an impressive multiplication of human resources," the governor added.
A recent state government news release said Salazar's administration took office in late 2000 amid "a true health emergency."
"For 50 years there were bad educational policies, bad health policies, and for many years not a peso was invested in infrastructure," Salazar said.
He said the state needs at least 500 more health centers and 2,500 additional medical workers.
Cuba's health system, while short on medicines, specializes in preventative and neonatal care.
Salazar said the
medical assistance is part of a broader agreement under which