A well-known sociologist and columnist, Director of the Institute for Globalization and Social Movements Boris Kagarlitsky has shared his views upon Fidel Castro Rus and vital processes in Latin America with EADaily’s correspondent.
What do you think of Fidel Castro’s role in the world history and politics?
Engels once said that Cromwell was the “Robespierre and Napoleon rolled into one” of the English bourgeois revolution. If we rephrase it, one can state that Castro was “Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and a bit of Brezhnev rolled into one” for the Cuban revolution. He had lived a long life and Cuba underwent various stages of social and political development. The beginning of his political career was epic and fine, but after 1968, under the pressure of the USSR, he had to pursue a normalization policy in the Brezhnev style. However, the final, when he left office on his own free will and acted as moral leader of the left within the whole Latin-American continent, was again fine and dignified.
Will his brother Raul and younger companions be able to maintain social benefits facing the prospect of restoration?
The Cuban bureaucracy is no better or worse than any other one. But contrary to the USSR, Cuba has the Miami factor. Actually, the pressure from emigrants and the US policy are key obstacles for the restoration of capitalism in Cuba. They in Havana do comprehend that they will not succeed in exchanging power for property like it was in Russia. The emigrants will come back from Miami and take everything away. And keeping the things as they are is to some extent good for almost everyone. So, I do not expect any U-turn or collapse of the political system in Cuba. It will rather be a slow evolution.
Will Cuba remain the leader of the Third World and ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America?
It depends on who will be Raul’s successor and what party this person will represent. The top of the party and the state is far from being homogeneous. Groups and movements are struggling there.
What can Havana counterpose to Washington's pressure after Donald Trump won the presidential election in the United States?
Most probably, Havana will not be top priority of Trump’s interests. He would not be in the mood to be at quarrel with the Miami emigrants, but neither has he interest in a deliberate fight against the Havana government. I would rather not expect much change here.
Why do you think neither Vladimir Putin nor Dmitry Medvedev decided to visit Fidel Castro’s funeral?
Ideologically, Cuba is alien to them. No matter what the geopolitical logic is, one needs to comprehend that Russia is ruled by straight-out economic liberals and political conservatives.
What positions that were previously lost can Russia regain in Cuba?
I do not think that Russia will either succeed in regaining anything or seek anything there. It has no foreign-policy strategy. It is all just about short-term response to certain challenges.
Interviewed by Georgy Kolarov