Cuban writers and artists against fascism
Declaration from the National Council of UNEAC
The National Council of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba is meeting at a dramatic and extremely dangerous time for humanity, as the world is witnessing a resurgence of fascism and its brutal intent to control the planet. The war of conquest unleashed against the people of Iraq, with total contempt for worldwide public opinion and the community of nations, recalls the fascist intervention in Spain in 1936, which constituted the prelude to World War II.
In those dark days, fascism tested its weapons of mass destruction in places like Guernica and initiated an ongoing escalation that would culminate with the invasion of Poland and a war that cost 50 million lives and the destruction and ruin of entire continents. Today we are facing a much graver danger, because unlike that time, this return of fascism has no armed opposition or retaining wall whatsoever, and its war machine has a destructive power capable of decimating any country in the world in a matter of minutes.
With the invasion of Iraq, the government of the United States has openly disregarded the principles of coexistence among nations and the very Charter adopted in San Francisco in 1945, which embodied the hope for a just, balanced and peaceful order in the United Nations system. It has adopted an interventionist stance that violates all agreements on international law and seeks to wipe out the sacred principles of sovereignty and self-determination. In its own time, for similar reasons, Nazi Germany left the League of Nations. What we are witnessing, as has been rightly said, is the ominous substitution of the rule of law with the law of the imperial ruler.
In this aggression, we can clearly see, perfectly articulated, such fascist theories as preventive war and lightning war – better known as blitzkrieg – combined with a powerful system of propaganda and disinformation. Without a doubt, the legacy of Goebbels is very much alive in neofascism.
Its propaganda machine repeatedly and deliberately puts forward accusations that are never backed up with the slightest proof; it portrays the empire’s forces as "liberators" and as a "coalition"; it hails the "democratic" nature of the colonial administration that will be imposed; it shamelessly speaks of "humanitarian aid" while stripping the victims of their identity, their culture, their morale, presenting an aseptic image of the massacre by systematically blocking information, so that the blood, the deaths of thousands of civilians, the casualties among the attackers themselves and the resistance to the invasion can be neither seen nor judged by the public in the United States and the rest of the world.
The media manipulation is sustained by such theoretical aberrations as the purported clash of cultures and the concept of civilization versus barbarism, the masks of racism that have been used in wars of conquest and colonization since time immemorial.
The propaganda machine inundates the planet daily with the constantly reiterated message of the superiority of the United States and its messianic role as the savior of humanity, complemented by a cartoonish and xenophobic image of the Other, and especially the Third World. At the same time, it focuses with particular emphasis on the manipulation of history, something that is evident, for example, in the attempts to erase the so-called Viet Nam syndrome from the memory of the American people.
Nevertheless, despite the enormous influence of the media war, there is a growing anti-war and anti-imperialist consciousness emerging around the world today. It began to manifest itself from the moment of the announcement and preparation of the genocide against the people of Iraq, and has a worthy antecedent in the "Not In Our Name" declaration signed by thousands of the most distinguished artists and intellectuals of the United States. It should be recalled that UNEAC celebrated the Fourth of July last year as a means of emphasizing that the culture and the people of the United States have nothing to do with the atrocities committed by their government.
We also welcome the other documents that have been published in various countries with the same intent, such as "Against Barbarism" and "Manifesto of the International Committee of Intellectuals Against the War", issued by our colleagues in Europe and Latin America, respectively, and reflecting the rebelliousness, lucidity and spirit of justice of the men and women of the cultural sphere. Today like never before, the people are taking to the streets to condemn this monstrous crime. This upsurge has led the world’s intellectuals to resume their place in society and participate in this renewal of civic and humanist activism among their peoples. This has been one of the most significant developments in these convulsive days, when issues central to the very survival of the human race are under debate.
The tragic and condemnable events of September 11, 2001 have become the pretext for implementing a preconceived policy of universal domination and plunder.
The supposed war on terrorism has paved the way for an unprecedented deployment of weapons and resources, a splendid business long dreamed of by the military industrial complex.
The war in Iraq is a phenomenon of international scope; today it is happening there, tomorrow it could be anywhere else in the world. The expansionist plans that underlie this aggression were drawn up by the ultra-right wing in the United States, heirs to the thinking of those who were denounced in their day, with astonishing historical foresight, by José Martí. What lies before us is a plunder of the territories and wealth of other peoples even worse than what occurred in the era of colonialism, with the most sophisticated weapons of the 21st century in the hands of the greatest imperial power in all of history.
We are witnessing a sinister attempt to impose a worldwide neofascist dictatorship that will guarantee the imperial superpower control of all the markets, raw materials, energy sources, industries and basic services on the planet.
We the writers and artists of Cuba, as we did at the recent "No to War" workshop, call on all men and women of good will to join together in an anti-fascist front, recalling such noble antecedents as the Congress in Defense of Culture held under the bombs in Spain in 1937.
In the early 19th century, Simón Bolívar declared that the United States seemed destined by fate to plague the Americas with misery in the name of freedom; today, that threat is looming over every region of the planet. To fight it with all our might is an ineludible duty. Sowing ideas, sowing awareness, as proclaimed on the 150th anniversary of the birth of José Martí, must be our primary task.
Havana, April 12, 2003