Skip to Content

Left-Wing Nationalism

Castro: Latin American Nationalist

On 26 November Fidel Castro, one of the oldest dictators in Latin America, died. The announcement of his death was made by his brother Raul Castro on state television. His death was celebrated by the opponents of the government of Cuba in Miami in Florida, and it was also taken as sad news by many of the Latin America Leftists and supporters of the Cuban regime.

In 1959 Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, and Che Guevara were part of an armed rebellion which provoked the overthrow of the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, a government backed by the US for several years. Then, part of the ruling elite of Cuba shifted toward the support of the guerrillas who were fighting in the Sierra Maestra against the Cuban military forces.

After their victory, Fidel Castro and the Communist Party of Cuba initiated the nationalization of all the US holdings and assets, and all private land was taken over by the state. The US declared an embargo on the island.

The Poison of Nationalism

In the struggle to win the minds of the working class Socialists have to contend not, on the whole, with rational critiques of the Socialist position but with deeply held and unquestioned values. A few of these, for example, might be religion, "human nature", "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work" or the association of Socialism with Russia. One of the strongest of these sacred beliefs, and one of the biggest obstacles to the establishment of Socialism, is nationalism ― the loyalty felt by many members of the working class to "their country", the political unit in which they happen to reside.

Did James Connolly Betray Socialism?

For many on the Left, James Connolly is their archetypal class warrior but his participation in the ‘Easter Rising’ was a futile heroism, utterly mistaken in tactics and objectives. What happened after showed the fallacy that priority should be given to achieving national independence first and then only afterwards turning attention towards establishing socialism.

Syndicate content