Urgent Communiqué of Solidarity with the People of Cuba
Prior to the call to commemorate the 50th anniversary, Monday the 26th of July, of the assault on the Moncada Barracks, we disseminated this manifesto.
The Cuban Liberation Movement intends to coordinate and increase anti-authoritarian revolutionary activism, particularly in Cuba, and on the American continent in general, with the objective of constructing a more effective anti-authoritarian movement which actively participates in the real movement of the oppressed both for control of their lives and international counter-cultural resistance. We aren't just one anti-authoritarian group, much less a group of "chosen ones," claiming to represent Cuban anarchism. On the contrary, we are a network of collectives and individuals with groups in cities throughout the world, and we seek a more effective coordination between various currents that comprise Cuban anarchism today, from anarcho-syndicalism, revolutionary anarchism, anarcho-communism, cooperativism, communalism, green anarchy, all the way to libertarian insurrectionalism.
Cuban anarchists have actively participated in the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat since the time of colonial oppression. The best example of the struggle developed during the mid- to late-nineteenth century, headed by "El Grupo de los Tres Enriques" (Enrique Roig of San Martin, Enrique Missioner, and Enrique Creci). Already by 1888, this revolutionary anarchist nucleus had clearly outlined its position on issues of class and against state policy in the anarchist periodical El Productor through a series of essays entitled "La Realidad y Utopia," where they explain (in broad strokes) the global conception of our comrades at that time, in a climate in which the democratic, liberal, annexationist, autonomist, and national independence movement ("La Liberacion Nacional de Cuba") was dominant. The falsification of the history of the workers' movement is continually propagated by the state with the intent of disappearing the importance of anarchist ideals in the development of the anti-establishment struggle of the oppressed.
Cuban anarchists also arduously struggled against the Machado and Batista dictatorships. Against the latter, they fought on all fronts, some becoming guerrillas in the east and others organizing in Escrambay in the center. Others plotted and united in urban struggles. Bridges were established between revolutionary sectors organized against Batista and militant anarchist anti-Franco Spanish exiles, by way of the partnership of Antonio Degas (member of the Cuban CNT) and Luis M. Linsuain, son of another distinguished revolutionary anarchist (Domingo Germinal, who died in Alicante at the beginning of the Spanish revolution). The proposals of the anarchists were the same as those of a majority of people: liquidate the military dictatorship and political corruption, create a more open field in which to enjoy freedoms, which would in turn allow for the possibility of ideological continuity that would prepare the way for a social revolution despite interventionist threats.
Today, 95 years later, the people of Cuba still live with the threat of Yankee intervention and suffer the terror and despotism of Castro-fascism, with the only difference being that the Castro system of repression is now more sophisticated and also more oppressive. The prisons continue to be filled with those who engage in non-violent opposition, and anti-authoritarian youth who rebel against constant totalitarian impositions and lack of freedom. The firing squad has returned as the punishment for those who engage in social struggle or for those desperate enough to try to flee from this absolutism. Inexplicably, what leftists like to call the "Cuban Revolution" is in reality nothing but Castro-fascism; they hypocritically continue to offer it their "critical support." We see an ample cross-section of the international Left opposed to the death penalty, military conscription, media censorship, mass trials against those who engage in social struggles (which are prosecuted under the euphemism of "terrorism"), gag orders against free radio, nuclear power, police spying and surveillance, and general state-sponsored repression. Yet leftists continue to support Castro and applaud all these disgraceful violations in the name of anti-imperialism.
"Critical support" has been, and continues to be, a slogan meant for external consumption, and is primarily based on a strictly totalitarian or Manicheaen way of thinking: "With the Revolution and Against Imperialism." "Those who oppose us are in favor of Yankee imperialism." Such people are automatically considered reactionary. This type of thinking is the same as that expressed by Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco.
Of course, on a global level, Castro-fascist propaganda has perpetuated this slogan. It has never been lacking scribes capable of obscuring Cuban reality with sermons and parables. Whenever people denounce state crimes, they are immediately accused of being in the service of imperialism. The reality is abundantly evident and any curious tourist can check it out for him- or herself-unless they chime in with the chorus of sirens.
At the heart of the international anarchist movement the positions concerning Castro's regime are no longer the same as some anarchist sects of the past that silenced Castro's crimes against our comrades. On the contrary, today the actions of our anarchist comrades against the Castro-fascist dictatorship can be heard loud and clear in any corner of the world. And we see how the fanatical supporters of tyranny grow fewer and fewer in the real movement of the oppressed. Fewer on the barricades of direct confrontation, fewer among the men and women who struggle in a
horizontal and autonomous manner for the self-management of factories, of indigenous communities, fewer in the universities, in the neighborhoods, in our lives. One the contrary, those in favor of Castro's regime are found in the realm of reformism in the ranks of social democracy, in the ranks of those in favor of voting for "the Left," in the militancy of Lula's PT, among the sympathizers of Kirchner, in the Bolivian bureaucracy of Hugo Chavez, among the yellow PRIistas of the PRD, among the opportunists of the Stalinist PT, among the ideologues of the Christian Democratic parties, among the never-ending multitude of bureaucratic organizations of the Left which meander between parasitic trade unions and organizations geared toward soliciting votes with the promise of being appointed to government posts, and even among fossilized student unions and acronymic popular fronts. In addition they find themselves in European and Latin American capitalist groups who today invest in the island and prepare us for a capitalism with a human face, all the while putting the brakes on the struggles for self-management as far and wide as the continent and the whole planet. Today Cuba's government, with all its trumpeted advances, is not the example or the path, not even for those in favor of it. The last prop of Castroism is an efficient and imaginative propagandistic mechanism. In 1992 we saw it functioning in Castro's trip to the Iberian Peninsula to commemorate, with a bunch of other corrupt leaders, the 500th year of European genocide, justifying with his presence 500 years of ignominies on the continent on behalf of "the Motherland" and other no less cruel step-mothers. That was an opportunity in which we could verify to what extent "leftist" hypocrisy functions when it had to condemn all the governments present at that
"celebration," skipping over or forgetting Castro's own contributions.
Recently, leftist hypocrisy has returned with Castro's visit to Argentina for the swearing-in of Nestor Kirchner in an open promotion of MERCOSur, as the human face of market capitalism.
Today, exactly 50 years since the libertarian assault on the Moncada barracks, we Cuban anti-authoritarian revolutionaries again return to reject the hypocrisy of "revolutionary" social democracy, camouflaged behind dozens of acronyms of demagogic groupuscules-some with the cynicism to call themselves libertarian-answering the call for solidarity with the Castro-fascist dictatorship, which oppresses and exploits our working class brothers and sisters.
Today we see a lack of historical memory in our people, with the confusionist nerve of those who follow the orders of the tyrant of Havana, evoking the lie when they affirm that the Castro-fascist regime has "always supported the national liberation movements in all parts of the world and has fought against imperialist policies." Mexican revolutionaries have suffered as few revolutionaries have on this continent; this is rewarded with the opportunism, utilitarianism, and shamelessness of Castro (who justifies himself with inhumane "reasons of state"). He has never supported revolutionary insurrectionists-on the contrary, he has always delighted in the very positive and fraternal relations with the dictatorship of the Mexican state, which oppresses and exploits the people of Mexico. Countless undeniable events confirm this; let's remember Cuba's presence during the 1968 Olympics, ignoring the call of the Mexican Left to boycott them, and in a cozy accommodation to the dictatorship that massacred hundreds (if not
thousands) in Tlatelolco Plaza.
We could enumerate a long list of insults, like Castro's constant refusal to arm and train specific Mexican groups or his constant refusal to toast the mothers and relatives of the Disappeared of Argentina's Dirty War at the UN. We could also enumerate a long list of counter-cultural revolutionary movements that have suffered at the hands of the Castro-fascist dictatorship. But it will suffice to mention the Puerto Rican independence movement, large sectors of the Chilean and Uruguayan anti-fascist Left, the Brazilian revolutionary movement, Bolivian revolutionary syndicalism, etc.
And why not mention even more deplorable and embarrassing acts, like the betrayal of the liberation movement of Eritrea, where the Castro-fascist dictatorship sent Cuban occupation troops to squash the independent wishes of the Eritrean people. Plus being at the service of Soviet imperialism during those lamentable years referred to as the Cold War.
Refuting all the demagoguery and cynicism contained in the call for solidarity with the Castro-fascist dictatorship would take a good hundred pages, but we can't allow the continual use of the Nazi method of perpetuating a big lie to the point of it becoming the truth. The big lie is that the Castro regime continues to construct an altogether more just society, making a priority of the people's interests and their most fundamental human rights-health, housing, education, food, employment. In this it is supposed to differ from all other countries under the Neo-Liberal agenda.
To speak of human rights in Cuba-where hundreds of political prisoners suffer in the state's dungeons, a number only comparable in this hemisphere to the prison population in the United States, where countless political prisoners suffer equally inhumane sentences and whose status as either political prisoners or prisoners of war is not recognized.
To speak of human rights in Cuba-when it's the only country in this hemisphere besides the United States where the death penalty is imposed.
To speak of education in Cuba-where access to university-level learning is tied to donations and strict compliance with the system and schedule of "voluntary" farm labor, and where students are not permitted to choose their own careers.
To speak of healthcare in Cuba-where hospitals are unsanitary and where poor patients aren't offered so much as an aspirin, while those with dollars can buy all the medicine they want. Or if foreigners and millionaires are treated, they receive the best and most advanced medical services, all in the interest of maintaining the tourist trade.
To speak of housing in Cuba-when thousands of families in overcrowded living conditions are evicted, where desperate people who squat in abandoned state buildings and installations are hauled off to jail.
To speak of decent food in Cuba-where food amounts purchased with Cuban currency shrink, where the only healthy food to be had must be bought with US dollars in the OXXO supermarkets at exorbitant prices.
To speak of employment in Cuba-where 27% of the population is unemployed and/or live off illegal street vending, prostitution, or self-employment such as bicycle taxis and as independent contractors and day laborers, and where they are constantly accosted by high taxes and police corruption.
To speak thus of Cuba-
WOULD ONLY DENOTE A GREAT IGNORANCE OF CUBAN REALITY OR AN UNMEASURED
COMPLIANCE WITH THE BOURGEOIS GANG WHICH HAS OPPRESSED CUBA FOR 45 YEARS!
Today the only way to pay homage to the fallen of the 26th of July, the only way to reaffirm our class position, the only way to be consequential libertarians and revolutionaries, the only way of demonstrating our support with the people of Cuba in this new hour of imperialist threats, is and will always be direct solidarity with the people and not with the dictatorship. Fighting shoulder to shoulder, workers, students, intellectuals, men and women against the common enemy: capitalism. Whether it calls itself Neo-Liberalism or state capitalism, it is the same system that whips the Cuban proletariat.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE,
NOT WITH CASTRO!
FOR LIBERTARIAN COMMUNISM!
SALUD Y ANARQUIA!
Cuban Liberation Movement
NOT WITH CASTRO!
FOR LIBERTARIAN COMMUNISM!
SALUD Y ANARQUIA!
Cuban Liberation Movement
Translated by Andres A. Marino