Presented only a few hours ago in the Cuban capital, the book "The War against Us" speaks of love as the main weapon of revolutionaries to face that cultural war, of symbols, of thoughts against us and according to Martí, we had to win it with thoughts.
We spoke with the author, the professor, writer and former agent of the State Security of Cuba, Raúl Capote Fernández.
A first assessment of "The War against Us ".
The book is born after the encounters we sustained after the accusation of the Reasons of Cuba in 2011 with universities, job places and mainly encounters we had with many youths in many places of the country. And we realized there was a group of knowledge, a group of topics to which new generations specially the youngest ones were unfamiliar with. And that’s the origin of the book, of the idea of filling those gaps a bit… to shape a little so that it helped as a tool in the war against us.
Even the book begins like that telling a story of one of those encounters where a student asked me a group of ideas, a group of things I was speaking about. I also realize that when I spoke to them about the CIA, they didn't know what I was talking about, for them it was something very distant, the vision they had of the CIA was almost always related to attacks, rather the terrorist actions than with the topic at hand, the war of symbols, the cultural war, of that war against us for so long time.
That was the drive, although later I found interesting to add a few more topics: how this war started against Cuba, the role Cuba had played, maybe in history, for the first time facing a cultural war. The book is also part of a research I’m making on that topic. How in the 1895 War when Martí prepares the Necessary War the empire is also getting ready to dominate the former Spanish colonies and the whole effort they begin to win first, the battle of symbols. How they even changed, within the United States the image about the Cuban revolutionary fighters. How to turn an insurgent island into a peaceful one, docile, easy to manage and mainly, to convince the North American public opinion of the fairness of what they planned to do. Cuba underwent that experience, as Puerto Rico did, and the same happened to the Philippines, of facing that first attempt of war in field of ideas.
The book portrays in its pages how they did it through Europe, how they steered the war against socialism in East Europe, how they even did within the United States with the counter-cultural movement which is very interesting, how they were able to transform that entire movement of struggle for civil rights, against the war of Viet Nam, how they changed it into a movement Light, how they were able to transform many of the most belligerent sectors in that confrontation into commerce, in market turning-points, like the rock music movement.
The book comprises how the media was built, those large press media, maybe a topic that deserves a book to go deeper but… as the European press agencies were created, many agencies that people today consider free. How were they created by the CIA in certain moments, how they bought journalists, how they bought the great intellectuals from Europe so they joined the ranks against socialism, how they used cinema (…) which played a very important role in the construction of the North American capitalism and the image they want to sell worldwide.
I also make reference to the levels achieved by the North American cultural penetration everywhere, the positive features about it, and the negative as well. (…) And my idea on how we should face that: what we can do to have countermeasures to the plan devised by the empire to the end the Cuban Revolution.
Why Dedicated to the Cuban Youth?
The book with all intentions is written as a tool to fight. That was what I intended, a book of a Cuban teacher for his students.
It’s written in the simplest fashion, I tried to make it comprehensible for everybody. And I hope it’s useful that really helps to wage this war.
The book speaks of war, but the entire story revolves about love. How to understand that opposition?
I believe that it’s the main weapon we revolutionaries have. It’s our weapon of victory.
The human being has faced for centuries the permanent hatred of what it is a class-divided society. I believe that the society divided in classes, the exploitation to which man has been subjected for years, man in every social economic body that have existed through the history of mankind, that hatred has tainted the human being. That hatred has taken the human being to degrees of separation, to war degrees. And capitalism above all has been a system marked by hatred; it has been marked by the scorn towards what’s humane. I think that war can only be won from love.
I think that war can only be fought by freeing man of that huge burden that crushes it, that fact of being merchandise. The great founders of Marxism said it with clarity, Marx said: What relationship might be between one merchandise and another one, what relationship of solidarity might be between one merchandise and another one. Man transformed into merchandise is nothing but that; he competes to have a space, to be sold, to be bought. However, the man we propose, the different man, the man of socialism, the man of communism, should be a man endowed with great feelings of love. And it’s not me who said it, Che said it and Martí also, it is one of the main bases of Martí’s ideology, the role of transformation love plays in the human being.
Only healing the soul of man after many centuries of disgrace, so many centuries of exploitation, so many centuries of misery, it can lead us to victory. It’s not only what can be done regarding economic transformations, it’s not only, even, what can be done regarding political transformations. If that doesn't go hand in hand with a transformation of the human being, of that new man Che spoke about, of that man different of socialism, gifted with the virtues, of all the human being was created for, if we don't achieve that it would be pointless, we could not reach what we intend to, to make the world a better place.
Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés