The issue of Cuban Revolution has been of central importance to the workers’ movement, not only in Latin America but throughout the entire world. Initially, the heroic struggle against the dictatorship of Batista and its paymaster – US imperialism – could only arouse the broadest sympathies of the exploited and oppressed around the globe. Subsequently, the lessons to be drawn from the Cuban Revolution, as well as a correct assessment of the Castroite leadership and its bureaucratic dictatorship, have played a central role in debates within in the socialist and anti-imperialist movements.

There is no doubt that the current economic and political developments in Cuba will again become a central issue in the coming years. This time, however, the focus will be on the restoration of capitalism taking place in Cuba and the leading role of the Castroite bureaucracy in this process.

A correct evaluation of these developments, as well as drawing the necessary conclusions for the revolutionary program and tactics, will be central not only for the working class liberation struggle in Cuba, but also for that in Latin America and, more broadly, internationally. Comprehending the Castroite march towards capitalism presupposes a correct understanding of the process of capitalist restoration in China and the latter’s development into an imperialist power.


We in the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) are only too aware that the dominant forces in the workers’ movement unfortunately turn a blind eye to these processes. The Stalinist and Bolivarian partisans have uncritically supported the Castroite dictatorship and its politics in the past, and all signs point to their remaining loyal to the regime even now when it is restoring capitalism. This is not surprising, since most Stalinist and Bolivarian parties also glorify imperialist China and support its domestic and foreign policy.



It is also important to explain to the supporters of various centrist-Trotskyist currents that Cuba is no longer a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state, but that the regime has decisively crossed the Rubicon towards capitalism.

Naturally, these debates are not in themselves the goal, but rather are related to the burning need to build a revolutionary party in Cuba as well as worldwide. Lenin once stated: ”In its struggle for power the proletariat has no other weapon but organization.“ And indeed, without such a party the working class cannot liberate itself anywhere – neither in Cuba nor in any other country.

The RCIT and the author of these lines see this book as a contribution to the debate on Cuba’s development and the task of the building the revolutionary party. Therefore, welook forward to discussing the issues covered in this book with other revolutionary organizations and activists around the world. By doing so, we trust that the ideas and programs presented here will be clarified and improved, and that the resulting dialogue will further our joining hands, wherever possible, in our common struggle for the liberation of the working class and the oppressed.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to those comrades who have contributed to this book. As it is always the case in political thinking, this book is the result of collective collaboration and discussions with other comrades. I therefore want to thank my comrades Nina Gunić, Johannes Wiener, Shujat Liaqat, and Yossi Schwartz. I also would like to express profound gratitude to my comrade Marc Hangler who took so much work off my shoulders thereby allowing me to write this book. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank to my comrade Gerard Stephens who took on the task of correcting my English, so influenced by German grammar.

Michael Pröbsting

Vienna, 17th August 2013


In The Great Robbery of the South Michael Pröbsting analyses the super-exploitation and oppression of the semi-colonial world (often referred to as the “Third World”) by the imperialist powers and monopolies. He shows that the relationship between the small minority of rich capitalist countries and the huge majority of mankind living in the semi-colonial world forms one of the most important elements of the imperialist world system we are living in.


The Great Robbery of the South shows that the past decades have been a complete confirmation of the validity of Lenin’s theory of imperialism and its programmatic conclusions.


The Great Robbery of the South demonstrates the important changes in the relationship between the imperialist and the semi-colonial countries. Using comprehensive material (including 139 Tables and Figures), Michael Pröbsting elaborates that never before has such a big share of the world capitalist value been produced in the South. Never before haven the imperialist monopolies been so dependent on the super-exploitation of the semi-colonial world. Never before has migrant labor from the semi-colonial world played such a significant role for the capitalist value production in the imperialist countries. Never before has the huge majority of the world working class lived in the South – outside of the old imperialist metropolises.


In The Great Robbery of the South Michael Pröbsting argues that a correct understanding of the nature of imperialism as well as of the program of permanent revolution which includes the tactics of consistent anti-imperialism is essential for anyone who wants to change the world and bring about a socialist future.


Das Buch The Great Robbery of the South behandelt die Überausbeutung und Unterdrückung der halb-kolonialen Welt (der sogenannten III. Welt) durch die imperialistischen Monopole und Staaten.


Der Autor, Michael Pröbsting, analysiert diese imperialistische Überausbeutung auf der Grundlage der marxistischen Theorie sowie umfangreicher wirtschafts- und sozialwissenschaftlicher Daten.


Er zeigt auf, dass noch niemals zuvor ein solch hoher Anteil der weltweiten kapitalistischen Produktion im Süden stattfand. Er legt dar, dass noch nie zuvor die Konzerne und die westliche imperialistische Welt so abhängig von der Ausbeutung des Südens war. Pröbsting weist darüber hinaus nach, dass Migrantinnen und Migranten einen noch nie dagewesenen hohen Anteil an den Lohnabhängigen im Westen ausmachen.


Erstmals in der Geschichte der modernen Menschheit lebt die große Mehrheit der Arbeiterklasse im Süden.


Pröbsting, der Internationaler Sekretär der Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) ist, tritt für einen konsequenten Antiimperialismus als Teil einer sozialistischen Perspektive ein.


Das Buch ist in englischer Sprache verfaßt und wurde von der RCIT veröffentlicht.




In Cuba‘s Revolution Sold Out? Michael Pröbsting analyses the character of the Cuban Revolution 1959-61, its bureaucratic degeneration, and the recent march of the Castro leadership towards capitalism.


The author demonstrates how the Cuban Revolution, despite the initial modest intentions of its leaders, was spurred forward to more radical policies by grass roots struggles of Cuban workers and peasants. In fact, the very abolishment of capitalism by the Cuban regime was no part of the original game plan of either Castro’s Movimiento 26 de Julio or of the official Cuban communist party (PSP), but rather was a product of precisely such pressures from below.


Cuba‘s Revolution Sold Out? describes in detail how a number of relatively recent political, economic, and social measures were purposely taken by the Cuban government to open the road back to capitalism. Pröbsting elaborates the key role of the world’s new great imperialist power, China, in Cuba’s state policy as exemplified in the June 2011 Sino-Cuban agreement for a first Five-Year Plan of cooperation between these two states.


Cuba‘s Revolution Sold Out? examines these developments from the viewpoint of Marxist theory, the nature of the ruling bureaucracy in Stalinist states, and the process of restoration of capitalism under such regimes.


In conclusion, the book proposes a socialist program for political and social revolution in Cuba to halt the advance of capitalism and to eradicate the country’s bureaucratic dictatorship.




Michael Pröbsting has been a revolutionary activist for the past 30 years. He has written many articles and pamphlets in both German and English, and has authored or contributed to books on Rosa Luxemburg (1999), the World Economy (2008), Migration (2010), and the Arab Revolution (2011). His latest book, The Great Robbery of the South (published in 2013), analyses the super-exploitation and oppression of the semi-colonial world (often referred to as the “Third World”) by the imperialist powers and monopolies. Pröbstingis the International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency.