Cuba is humanity

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Introduction by W.T.Whitney

Cuba in the world

 U. S. efforts to isolate Cuba notwithstanding, that country has succeeded in developing diplomatic, trade, scientific, and tourist relations with almost every other country in the world. But Cuba's humanitarian outreach to all peoples, particularly to the world's non-industrialized countries, serves as an especially striking instance of Cuba's involvement with the wider world. Cubans call it solidarity.  

In fact, Cuban national hero and teacher Jose Marti breathed life into a mode of international solidarity and altruism that would be a hallmark of Cuba's revolutionary movement, from the time when he was leading preparations for Cuba's Second War for Independence to the present day. Marti is famous for his slogan "Patria es humanidad" - Homeland is all of humanity - which he first enunciated in New York just before he left for Cuba and the War, and where he would die.  In 2010, Armando Hart Dávalos, a former revolutionary combatant, minister of culture, and more recently head of the Jose Marti Cultural Society, commemorated that important legacy of Marti.

Hart, writing for the Center for Marti Studies web site, noted that, "Today we honor Marti more than ever before. (1) Humanity is in a crisis of civilization that for the first time, in the long and complex history of humankind, threatens to provoke the death of our species. Now exactly 115 years ago, in the 'At Home' section of the newspaper "Patria," with the issue of January 26, 1895, Marti formulated a concept that has a cardinal significance in our time: "Patria es Humanidad" ... "[O]nly with an integrating vision of reaching out universally can we successfully confront the colossal challenges that the entire world is dealing with today."

"It's the idea," Hart adds, "that guides hundreds of doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, and other Cuban health workers at work in Haiti, there to give aid to the population struck hard by the devastating earthquake ... It's also what inspired the sacrifice and combat of our five brothers Antonio, René, Gerardo, Fernando, and Ramón, held in North American prisons ... In the legacy of Marti, Cuba possesses the master key for helping save the world from a catastrophe with unpredictable consequences for all humanity. May we never lose either the patience or the intelligence for promoting the thinking of Marti oriented to a commitment, the idea that 'Homeland is all of Humanity.'"

Marti elaborated upon the meaning of those words in that article he wrote for the newspaper of the Cuban Revolutionary Party and to which Hart referred. (2)  There Marti says:

"In the work of the world, everyone has to put himself near to what is closest, not because it may belong to him,- and being his, superior to anything else, finer and more virtuous - but because man's influence is exercised better and more naturally over that which he knows about and where penalty or pleasure comes immediately.  And that partition of human labor, and nothing else, is the true, impregnable concept of homeland. It's best to be lifting up all parties at the same time. In the end everyone will be up. Refusing to lift up one part is no way for lifting up the whole.  Homeland is humanity; it's that portion of humanity we see next to us, and into which it was our lot to be born.  And it must not be permitted, through the trick of some holy name, that we defend useless monarchies, overstuffed religions, and brazen, haggard politicians. Nor, what with sins being committed often in the name of homeland, should we allow other humans from being prevented from fulfilling their duty for humanity, and doing so within the part of it that is closest to them.  This is light. It's from the sun that never sets. Homeland is that. Whoever forgets it lives weak lives, and dies badly without support or self - esteem and without appreciation from others. Whoever does fulfill this duty enjoys things, and in their older years feels and transmits the force of youth. There's no one older than an egoist."  

Recent commentary from a Mexican sociologist and academician explore Cuba's unique role in the well-being of contemporary dwellers on planet earth. In updating Marti's message that homeland and the rest of the world are one, the author maintains that Cuba's Revolution served as a catalyst so that Marti's prescription might actually come to pass. (3)  For space reasons his segment on current world problems does not appear in the translation below.

Cuba is Humanity

By Pablo González Casanova, August 27, 2015.

Ending the cruel blockade of Cuba by the United States - a blockade that lasted for 50 years - is one of many problems we confront in today's world.  The renewal of diplomatic, familiar, tourist, commercial, cultural, and financial ties between both countries provokes a mixture of jubilation over cessation of aggressive measures and our natural concern about the best way to keep on building and fighting for freedom, socialism, and emancipation.

The entire world recognizes Cuba's advances during these 50 years. In the midst of encirclement and continuing siege by the empire, the little Caribbean island is in the first ranks in the struggle for equality and for social well-being.  Cuba attained the highest measurements of literacy and schooling, achieved the most fundamental agrarian reform and provided the strongest economic and technical support for farmers and farm workers. Cuba gained the sharpest reduction in unemployment, brought down common crime, and provided a degree of internal security for inhabitants, quite uncommon in other countries.  She has achieved high levels of university education, and also in the preparation of technicians, engineers, doctors, and other professionals. Cuba promoted arts and sciences and achieved numerous scientific discoveries that are internationally recognized - above all in the biologic area and in medicine.  The state rewarded music, ballet, theater, cinema and other fine arts - and innumerable sports too - with a strong boost. 

But even though such achievements are undeniable and truly impressive from the point of view of human emancipation, many people don't accept them.

A people live today in Cuba whose consciousness has been converted into love, and love into intelligence, and intelligence into organization. And if a statement like this seems exaggerated, think not only about why Cuba has been able to resist the blockade and the many aggressions coming its way, but also about the fact that whole world in this year 2015 is capitalist. It's a world where now all those who were, or said they were, socialist have openly and even aggressively restored capitalism over the past half century or more.

Cuba is the only one that survives in the midst of that human tragedy. And the Cuban Revolution, far from being the last Marxist-Leninist one (We have to get used to that now.) is the first of a new type of revolution initiated by the "26th of July" movement.  It is often said that Jose Marti was the intellectual author of the Cuban Revolution. But he was also the historical driver of today's mode of struggle and cooperation, and the proponent also of an impressive coherence between what is said and what is done.

Furthermore, moral force becomes a fount of motivation for those active in struggles in their own countries. They begin to think, and then ponder over that immensely meaningful precept "Homeland is all of Humanity" and decide to stay with it.  That proposition enriches the link between proletarian internationalism and the immense culture adorned yesterday by Marx, Lenin, and Che, and by Fidel today.

Latin American versions of socialism emerge out of various manifestations of humanism that include radical liberalism and versions represented by Father Varela and Christian humanism that later, and on their own, showed up as liberation  theology.  That's the reality. We must give up on our myths and dogmas.  It also represents hope, as long as we now re-think what has happened and why we struggled - and as long as we now give thought to what can happen and what we must keep on fighting for (...)

It's under such conditions that we become aware that Cuba must not confine itself to a culture of resistance, but instead as a nation-state must take on a double role quite impossible for any other country.  And that is, in the first place, to be a venue for encounters among forces struggling in their own land for a better world and that are no longer inclined [exclusively]to negotiations and to defending in peaceful ways the general interests of communities, citizens, peoples, and workers. And they are not resorting to methods of violence just because they were denied the right to fight peacefully.  The Cuban experience in this area is of resistance and of building socialism and above all true democracy - and defending national sovereignty.  That experience qualifies Cuba as the Island of Earth most capable of embracing others similarly engaged. 

In addition to this project for which Cuba has such enormous capacity, there is one other that is of equal or more importance, certainly not less.  Cuba perhaps has the capacity to be the last arena where saving life on earth might be taken on. It would the place where an autonomous world organism is created, one where the most distinguished experts engage, where also those responsible for the different critical and scientific modes of thought in world do likewise.  They would design models for a peaceful transition to models of organization of life and work that assures life on earth and moves away from the present dangers of destruction of the biosphere and of ecocide.

That the Cuban revolution is different in every way is something that doesn't need to be proven; it is proven already. Cuba's new relations with the United States came about without the Revolution going back or breaking up.  It's a time for utopia, for a project that maybe seems unrealistic but is the only one able to save - with freedom - life on our planet. All history of emancipation and of humanity has begun with utopias. This will not be the exception.



(2) - Vol. 5, p. 468


Translation of the segment by Jose Marti and the article by Pablo Gonzalez Casanova by W.T. Whitney.

Photo:  Jose Marti statue in Havana by  dirkvdM   Creative Commons share alike 2.5 


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  • More Cuban Revolutions:
    If we are to save humanity from the various crises of modern civilization that capitalism has initiated, intensified, and worsen, we need more revolutions like the Cuban revolution. The Cuban revolution is not the first nor will it be the last Marxist-Leninist revolution, but it is, according to Casanova, the first of a new type of revolution. It is a revolution grounded in humanism, liberation theology, and similar formulations that are more utopian than scientific. It is a version of socialism accepted by many on the Latin American Left. But it does not really matter because Cuban socialism works. It has survived the best efforts to impoverish and destroy it. By most measures of economic well being, the revolution ranks up there with the most industrialized of nations. And Jose Marti’s slogan, ‘homeland is all of humanity,’ is not just rhetoric, but is in practice the foreign policy of Cuba. It is senseless to isolate and to turn into a pariah a country whose humanitarian outreach, altruistic solidarity, and proletarian internationalism have won hearts and minds around the world. Many of the world’s poor nations can identify with the Cuban revolution because of shared experiences in fighting neocolonialism, overcoming economic underdevelopment, maintaining political independence, and of course in the building of socialism. Their struggles are Cuba’s struggles and vice versa. The U.S. ruling class now realizes it cannot destroy the Cuban revolution. They will now have to live with it, and with the hope of somehow restoring Cuban capitalism which will not happen. Why not restoration? The Cubans are committed to a political philosophy dedicated to helping humanity, not exploiting it for the benefit of a few. Call their ideals utopian. However, with the resurgence of global capitalism and neo-liberalism, we are still in need of utopian alternatives. Cuban socialism may not be perfect, but it does offer an alternative, utopian or not. As Casanova concludes, “All history of emancipation and of humanity has begun with utopias.” NT

    Posted by Nat Turner, 10/19/2015 8:07am (8 years ago)

  • So much thanks to Pablo Gonzalez Casanova for confirming what millions around the globe are now recognizing and striving for: a new world with socialism as its guiding light-in Cuba.
    The varied and complex socio-political-intellectual process for the emergence of this guiding light is rooted in the anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist roots of the international working class's character, born of its struggles against capitalism, war and imperialism, summarized by that famous quote of the African American protean W. E. B. Du Bois when he asserted as he asked admission to the C P U S A:
    "Capitalism cannot reform itself; it is doomed to self-destruction. No universal selfishness can bring social good to all."

    Today, with humankind on both the brink and blink, it is as that line in the international working class's song- "The international working class shall be the human race."

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 10/05/2015 6:02pm (8 years ago)

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