Cuban Libertarian Movement
Movimiento Libertario Cubano in solidarity with the Cuban people
In face of the following commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assault on Moncada fort on 26th July, it is our responsibility to make the following manifesto public.
The Movimiento Libertario Cubano [Cuban Libertarian Movement] is seeking to develop and spread anti-authoritarian revolutionary activism in Cuba in particular and throughout the American continent in general, with the aim of building a more effective anti-authoritarian movement which can take an active part in the real struggles of the oppressed for the control over their own lives and in the counter-cultural resistance worldwide.
We are not just another anti-authoritarian organisation, even less are we a closed circle of “self-appointed leaders” hoping to represent Cuban anarchism in its entirety. On the contrary, we are a network of collectives and individuals with sections in different cities of the world, which is working towards a more effective co-ordination between the different currents that are today part of Cuban anarchism, ranking from anarcho-syndicalism, revolutionary anarchism, anarcho-communism, co-operativism, communalism, eco-anarchism and libertarian insurrectionalism.
Cuban anarchists have actively participated in the proletariat’s struggle for emancipation since the times of colonial oppression. The struggle that developed from the mid- to the late 19th century, led by the “3 Enriques group” (Enrique Roig de San Martín, Enrique Messonier and Enrique Creci) is the best example of this. This revolutionary anarchist group made their class position against the State and political parties clear already in the year 1888, in the pages of the anarchist paper “El Productor”, through a series of texts under the name of “Realidad y Utopía” [Reality and Utopia] (issues 1 to 6), which explain in brief the global conception of our comrades of that time, the struggle against the dominant mood, in a moment when democratic, liberal annexionist, autonomist and independentist-nationalist solutions (“Cuban national liberation”) were dominant. Naturally, the falsification of the History of the Workers’ Movement, something still in act today, has always sought to hide the importance of the anarchist ideal in the development of the active struggles of the oppressed.
Cuban anarchists also bravely fought against the Machado and Batista dictatorships, fighting on all fronts against the latter – some with the eastern guerrillas, others in Escambray in the centre of the island, while yet others joined in the urban conspiracy and fight. There were also connections between the revolutionaries organized in the fight against Batista and the anti-Franco anarchist militancy, through the comrades Antonio Degas (a CNT member who had settled in Cuba) and Luis M. Linsuain, the son of another well-known anarchist (Domingo Germinal, who died in Alicante in the early days of the Spanish Revolution). The goal of the anarchists was the desire of the majority of the people – an end to the military dictatorship and political corruption as well as the creation of a more open approach to liberty, that would make the ideological continuity that could lead to a Social Revolution possible, in spite of the threats of invasion.
Today, just as 45 ago, the Cuban people are living under an interventionist threat from the Yankees and suffer the terror and despotism of Castro-fascism, the only difference being the fact that the repressive Castrist system is more sophisticated and even more oppressive. The jails remain full of pacific opponents and young people who have rebelled against the constant imposition of totalitarianism and the lack of liberty. Once again, social fighters or those in despair who are trying to flee from absolutism are being put up against the wall.
And yet, inexplicably, the “Cuban Revolution” (as “leftists” still like to call Castro-fascism) manages to obtain hypocritical “critical support”. We see vast sectors of the “left” standing against the death penalty, against military service, against the media censorship, against the fabricated trials of social activists on euphemistic charges of “terrorism”; we see how they stand against the rule of silence that forbids free radio channels, how they oppose nuclear energy, how they denounce the spying by the repressive forces of their own States but we also see how, notwithstanding all this, they remain willing to justify all these wrongdoings, all this infamy, even going so far as to support it and praise it in name of overriding anti-imperialism. “Critical support” has been and is now a formula for foreign consumption, not for use here. It is based on a strictly totalitarian double-minded way of thinking – “with the revolution, against imperialism”. Those who do not support us are supporting Yankee imperialism and are therefore labelled reactionaries. This kind of thinking is the same that Hitler, Mussolini and Franco defended.
Sure, Castro-fascist propaganda on a world level has repeated this formula with all the energy of its dollars and its invitations for free holidays in Cuba, and there have always been plenty of second-rate writers willing to disguise the Cuban reality with sermons and parables. This results in helping to maintain the ignominious conditions on an Island which is physically and economically devastated, whose citizens defy all danger just to manage to escape and where, ironically, funerals are free. A terrible despotism oppresses our people and when someone denounces the crime, they are accused of being on the imperialist payroll. But the reality is self-evident, one that any curious traveller can witness as long as he does not reproduce the siren song.
Within the “international anarchist movement”, the positions concerning the Castro regime are no longer the same as in the past, when some anarchist sectors remained silent over Castro’s crimes against our comrades. Today, in fact, the loud voice of condemnation can be heard from our anarchist comrades wherever they are against the Castro-fascist dictatorship. We also see that the greatest defenders of the tyranny are less and less a part of the real movement of the exploited, less involved in the struggle to resist against capital, less present on the barricades of direct confrontation, less involved among the women and men who struggle in a horizontal, autonomous way for the self-management of the factories, the community, the universities, the neighbourhoods and our lives. On the contrary, the defenders of the Castro regime can be found in the ranks of the reformists, of social democracy, among the defenders of the “leftist” vote, Lula’s PT members, among Kirchner sympathizers, in the Bolivarian bureaucracy of Hugo Chávez, among the yellow PRI-ists of the PRD [in Mexico — ndt], among the opportunists of the Salinist PT, among the ideologues of Christian Democracy, among a whole range of bureaucratic left-wing organisations extending from parasitic unions and State-client organizations, to fossil student federations and popular fronts made up of labels. And not only in these – it can be found in the capitalist groups, either in Europe or Latin America, who invest in the Island, preparing us to endure “capitalism with a human face”, while repressing self-managed struggles wherever they arise on the planet. Nowadays, the Cuban regime with all its boasted progress is not even an example for those who support it!
Today, Cuba is a huge farm in the hands of a cruel, bloodthirsty owner who does not hesitate to escalate repression in order to continue ruling. Cuba lacks any kind of freedom, individual or collective. Since the fall of the Soviet “ancien regime”, the economic crisis has been of catastrophic proportions and from a situation where food was not plenty, to one of ever-increasing scarsity. The working class has lost all its rights and all the unions are State organisms; protesting is an offence and strikes are a crime. All this may seem overstated but it is the reality that this Island puts up with. And we invite any cofrade who wants to verify these facts for him or herself to visit Cuba, but avoiding the “revolutionary” tours.
The last stand of Castroism is an efficient and imaginative propaganda machine. In 1992, we saw it functioning during Castro’s trip to the Iberian Peninsula, to celebrate the 5th centennial of the genocide together with other corrupt leaders, justifying with his presence 500 years of barbarous behaviour from the “madre patria” and other no less cruel stepmothers. In that opportunity we could witness the level of “leftist” hypocrisy when they should have denounced all tose governments that were part of this “celebration”, they just downplayed or omitted Castro’s contribution to this solemn occasion. Recently this hypocritical behaviour of the “leftists” was again patent when Castro visited Argentina for Nestor Kirchner’s presidential inauguration, in an open promotion of MERCOSUR, as the human face of market capitalism.
Today, exactly fifty years after the libertarian feat of the assault on Moncada fort, anti-authoritarian Cuban revolutionaries once again see the hypocritical behaviour of “revolutionary” social democracy, hidden behind half a century of labels and demagogical micro-groups – some cynically calling themselves “libertarian” – signing a call for solidarity with the Castro-fascist dictatorship that has oppressed and exploited our class brothers and sisters for these last 45 years.
Today we can witness a combination of a lack of historical memory among our people, the brazen confusion of those who still follow orders from the tyrant of Havana repeating lies when they claim that the Castro-fascist regime “has always supported national liberation movements in every part of the world and has fought against imperialist policies”. The Mexican revolutionaries have suffered in the flesh, like few others on this continent, from the opportunism and shameless manipulation by Castro who, justifying himself with inhuman “reasons of State”, has never supported insurrectionary revolutionary groups; on the contrary he has always benefitted from very close relationships with the dictatorship of the State party that oppressed and exploited the Mexican people. Countless uncontroversial occurrences confirm this. Just to mention some facts, let us recall the Cuban presence in the 1968 Olympic Games, ignoring the appeals for a boycott of these Games in clear alliance with the dictatorship that had butchered hundreds of students in Plaza de Tlatelolco. We could mention a long list of offences, such as Castro’s constant refusal to give weapons and military instruction to specific Mexican groups, or the constant refusal of the Castro government to seek justice at the International UN court in The Hague for the mothers and relatives of those murdered and “disappeared” during the years of the dirty war period.
We could also mention a large list of opposition and Revolutionary movements that have suffered from the opportunism, manipulation and shamelessness of the Castro-fascist dictatorship on our continent. Mentioning them all would take up this entire manifesto. Let it suffice to mention the independence movement in Puerto Rico; large sectors of the anti-fascist left in Chile and Uruguay; the Brazilian revolutionary movement; the revolutionary syndicalists in Bolivia and many many more. Not to mention such worse and shameful acts like the treason against the Eritrean liberation movement, where the Castro-fascist dictatorship sent occupation troops to crush the independence aspirations of the Eritrean people, to serve Soviet imperialism in the regretful years of the so-called “Cold War”.
To unmask all the demagogy and cynicism that pervades this appeal for solidarity with the Castro-fascist dictatorship would take us about a hundred pages, but we cannot allow them to go on with impunity using Nazi methods, repeating the lie so often it eventually becomes the truth. To say that the Castro-fascist dictatorship aims to build “a more just society which gives priority to the people’s needs and the most fundamental human rights such as education, health care, housing, food and employment, contrary to other countries which are being skinned by neo-liberal attacks”, is not only a lie but outright villainy.
To speak about human rights in Cuba, omitting the hundreds of political prisoners who suffer in the prisons of the dictatorship which can only be compared in this hemisphere with the imprisoned population of the USA, where an equally huge number of political prisoners suffer inhuman sentences, whose status as political prisoners or prisoners of war is not recognized. To speak of human rights in Cuba, when it is the only country, together with the USA where the death penalty is enforced. To speak about education in Cuba, where access to university-level negrees depends on whether you adhere to and are an accomplice of the system and on the hours of “voluntary” agricultural work you provide, where it is not even allowed for students to choose their own careers. To speak about health care in Cuba, with its unsanitary hospitals where not even an aspirin is given to the patient, but if you have dollars you can buy medicines or if you are a millionaire foreigner you can obtain the best and most advanced medical service in the “tourism and health” programmes. To speak about housing in Cuba, where thousands of familias live in apartments which are too small for them and where people out of despair occupy empty houses and abandoned State buildings but are then evicted and jailed. To speak about food when there is rationing, where the food products that can be bought with Cuban currency are diminishing and the only ones who can feed themselves with dignity are those that have dollars to spend in supermarkets and OXXO shops – at exorbitant prices. To speak about employment in Cuba, when 27% of the population is unemployed and/or lives on illegal street trading, prostitution or self-employment, such as bicycle-taxi drivers and independent lorry drivers who are permanently threatened by high taxes and bribes to the corrupt police. To speak about all these things ONLY SHOWS GREAT IGNORANCE CONCERNING THE SITUATION IN CUBA OR AN UNFETTERED COMPLICITY WITH THE BOURGEOIS GANG THAT HAS BEEN OPPRESSING CUBA FOR FORTY-FIVE YEARS.
Today, the only way to pay homage to those that fell on the 26th July 1954, the only way to reaffirm our class position, the only way to be coherently anarchist and revolutionary, the only way to show our support to the Cuban people in this hour of renewed imperial threat, is and always will be, by direct solidarity with the people – not with the dictatorship. Workers, students, intellectuals, men and women fighting shoulder to shoulder against the common enemy: Capital – be it the neo-liberal kind or the State-capital kind such as the one that enslaves the Cuban proletariat.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE NOT WITH CASTRO
FOR LIBERTARIAN COMMUNISM!
¡SALUD Y ANARQUÍA!