A group of Cuban democratic socialists have a message for their American counterparts: You are either secret communists or you are profoundly ignorant.
In an open letter, nine democratic socialists on the island blasted the Democratic Socialists of America, the U.S. group that counts Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) among its members, for supporting the island's Communist government.
What are the details?
During their annual convention in August in Atlanta, the Democratic Socialists of America formally approved a resolution declaring itself "in solidarity with the Cuban socialist struggle" and "opposing acts of imperialist aggression" against the island.
However, as Cuban democratic socialists point out, the DSA is contradicting itself by supporting the kind of military dictatorship they claim to oppose:
The support for Castroism revealed in resolution 62 of the recent Convention of the Democratic Socialists of the United States, held in Atlanta, Georgia, can only be explained by two reasons: either the American Socialist Democrats do not know the Cuban reality or they are not socialist or democratic.
The nine Cubans added:
Whoever stands in solidarity with that regime doesn't know it, doesn't know what is happening in Cuba or is [an] imposter as Castroism. Several Cuban democratic socialists, who have been facing the anti-popular, totalitarian and anti-socialist policies of Castroism for decades, for which some of us have suffered repression and exile, reject any kind of solidarity with the Castro regime and we do not share the defense of it carried out in that convention for supposed or poorly informed US democratic socialists.
No, it's not what they have in Europe
The letter by Cuba's democratic socialists may surprise Americans who have been misled into believing that "democratic socialism" is the kind of system commonly found in northern Europe. Contrary to what progressive groups and reporters such as MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle and Univision's Jorge Ramos have argued, U.S. democratic socialists are not the equivalent of Scandinavian social democrats.
As numerous economists and the former Danish prime minister have pointed out, the so-called Nordic model is fundamentally capitalist with higher taxes to fund a large welfare state. Conversely, groups like DSA are openly advocating for an end to free markets, which would mean a transition to an economy that more closely resembles that of countries like Cuba and Venezuela.
Will Americans listen?
Prominent democratic socialists are not exactly coy about their plans.
DSA member Meagan Day wrote last year, "I'm a staff writer at the socialist magazine Jacobin and a member of DSA, and here's the truth: In the long run, democratic socialists want to end capitalism."
Meanwhile, during a 2018 radio interview, the group's executive director openly called for an elimination of private property and nationalizing (government ownership) of major industries. As the founding editor of the socialist magazine Jacobin and DSA's vice-chairman pointed out, American democratic socialists want "a militant labor movement and a mass socialist presence strengthened by accumulated victories, looking to not merely tame but overcome capitalism."
This is consistent with Ocasio-Cortez's recent call for "public ownership" of private property during a rally announcing her endorsement for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
American Democratic Socialists are clear about their goals — even socialists in Communist Cuba are calling them out as closet-communist phonies.
Will Democrats and the media listen and stop misleading the public?