As you will know, acting upon what we thought a pressing obligation, at the start of September we sent out a letter proposing the establishment of a support group for libertarians and independent trade unionists in Cuba. The motives behind that initiative were: the escalation of the crackdown on dissent and the emergence of libertarians and trade unionists ready to struggle for a trade union alternative independent of the Castro regime or whatever may come after it.
Well, having received an affirmative response from all consulted, we have concluded that the basis exists for the establishment of that support group and that we should press on as quickly as possible with its establishment, in that we have all agreed that: - the role of protagonist belongs to the Cuban people rather than to its ruling elites (as occurred in the former Soviet Union) at home (Castroites) or abroad (Miami).
- civic participation should be underpinned by basic conditions of freedom of expression, reunion and assembly for all Cubans, without exception.
- the social struggle will carry on in that State capitalism (Castroism) and private capitalism (the capitalism of all the parties that advocate the "free market") are the two faces of exploitation and domination.
- Democracy and Cuban independence will be fictions under the tutelage of the USA-EEC, just as much as the Revolution and independence were under the tutelage of the USSR.
- democratic authoritarianism, bourgeois democracy is and ever will be incompatible with the exercise of freedom and the achievement of equality.
We therefore append our definitive proposal for the lay-out of the Support Group for Cuba1s libertarians and independent trade unionists and would ask you to circulate it and let us have your response as quickly as possible so that we may know how you intend to collaborate with this publicity and solidarity project.
Paris 2 October 2003.
Daniel Pinos/ Nestor Vega/ Octavio Alberola
The intensification and increasing harshness of the crackdown by the Castroite
dictatorship against dissent and the emergence of libertarians and trade unionists
ready to campaign for a trade union alternative independent of the Castroite
regime or of whatever may come after it, prompted us at the start of September
2003 to set up a support group for Cuba1s libertarians
and independent trade unionists.
One month on, given that the replies received to our initial letter have been many and affirmative, we believe that the time has come to invite all libertarians and all libertarian organisations to rally to this initiative in order to facilitate the establishment at international level of a coordinating body representative of us all and which may strengthen our solidarity.
To that end and on the basis of what the libertarian movement actually represents
in Cuba and around the World, we reckon that the most effective form of operation
(for the time being) is that of an open, un-centralised network for the direct
circulation of news and suggestions (via the Internet or other medium) insofar
as we all have our news to offer or proposal to
make. This does not rule out the libertarian organisations - especially the anarcho-syndicalist ones among them - setting up a working party or international coordinating body to see to it that solidarity is as widespread and effective as possible.
Nor does it rule out the possible establishment (along geographical lines,
etc.) of autonomous support groups since solidarity need not necessarily be
centralised. To that end and right now we invite you to join this Network
of solidarity with libertarians and independent trade unionists in Cuba and
we invite you (as many as may wish to do so) to tell us if we may pass your
e-mail address on to anyone keen to take part. Allow us, then, to offer you the e-mail address of the Cuban Libertarian Movement (MLC): and inform you that, until such time as the international Group or Coordinating Body is set up, the address for the Support Group for Libertarians and Independent Trade unionists in Cuba (GALSIC) is:
145 rue Amelot 75011 - Paris (France)
The Support Group for Cuban Libertarians and Independent Trade Unionists.
Since it has always been an inescapable duty, consistant with our principles and agreements, the Cuban anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists have been, and are in a struggle for liberty, social justice and libertarian socialism. Since the moment in the 19th century when we pioneered the worker's movement in Cuba, we continue the social struggle started by those generations against colonial oppression, imperialist North American intervention, international capitalism, bourgeois republics, the dictatorships of Machado, Batista and the totalitarian government of the last forty four years; we remain committed to a series of social concepts and ideas which we will not renounce for any reason.
As Cuba lives through one of the most painful periods of her history, we Cuban anarchists present this document, continuing the tradition of denouncing and fighting state power, be it colonialist, capitalist, dictatorial or today's totalitarian system. We have fought and denounced these wrongs before the founding of the Asociacion Libertaria de Cuba and later, in the First Congress of 1944, the Second Congress of 1948, the Third Congress of 1950, the International Libertarian Conference of 1955, the Declaration of Principles of 1960 and those from the exile since 1965, the Declaration of the Libertarian Movement of 1975, the editorials in the Libertarian Information Bulletin until 1979, the Guangara Libertaria until 1994, and in many declarations and speeches in diverse fora in 1979, 1988, 1993 and 1995, denouncing as well the Castro regime at international encounters in Italy, France, Mexico, Spain and the United States.
1 - Since 1959 until today the Cuban government, self-proclaimed "socialist" and represented only by the personality of its "Maximum Leader" in a fascist fashion, oppresses and assassinates our class brothers and sisters, assuming the functions of Sole Tyrant in the name of the Cuban people.
2 - After over forty four years of despotism without equal in this hemisphere, the Cuban people find themselves mired in poverty, corruption and forced obedience, without rights of any kind, brutally and inhumanely threatened and terrorized by the regime's political police, with a judicial and correctional system comparable to that of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Gulags.
3 - The long-suffering Cuban proletariat (industrial and agricultural workers), falsely represented by vertical and fossilized unions of fascist ideology, finds itself trapped inside a social system that persecutes and imprisons for such acts as trying to organize freely; a system that exploits and discriminates, racially and politically, without the right to strike, protest and boycott. Against so much abuse, it needs to free itself of the infamous chains that oppress it.
4 - As men and women committed to freedom, we have decided to make public this document and to struggle from our barricades with all our strength to obtain freedom, to the last of our comrades and to the end of our lives.
WE DECLARE THAT:
1 - The Cuban crisis is our first priority.
2 - As internationalists we have the duty to support our anarchist comrades throughout the world and those class brothers and sisters who, from the ranks of other ideologies akin to our principles, ask for our solidarity.
3 - We are against all states and their representatives, against all governments and empires that attempt to globalize, centralize or dominate the rest of Humanity.
4 - We are not interested in the fight for political power, but we always oppose any fascist, capitalist or clasist enemy, now or in the future. Consistent with the idea that all political governments have their roots in religion, we manifest our opposition to all religions and churches as well as those philosophies and ideologies that oppose the critical development of all human beings.
5 - We aspire to the total emancipation of the working class, giving the Cuban proletariat our main attention and interest, given the socio-political situation it finds itself: a tragic quagmire without parallel in our continent.
6 - We will offer our fraternal solidarity to any group, sector and/or movement anywhere in the world that adopts as its beginning and end goals liberty and social justice for their own people. Internationalism always starts at the closest place of struggle. We support all oppressed and exploited people's struggle for their liberation from domination, whether imperialist or domestic. We celebrate the beauty of human diversity and acknowledge the social and cultural contributions of all communities on the planet. We will keep all kinds of free and fraternal relationships with said sectors, anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist, in or outside Cuba.
7 - We are enemies of capitalism and consumerism. We support all forms of resistance to the current capitalist exploitation: strikes, sabotage, workplace struggles, the squatting of buildings, rent strikes, and struggles for the communal control of resources. We desire the abolition of the wage and production system; therefore we are opposed to Capital recovery and the continuation of the system of production in any shape or form, including the imposition of state capitalism. We understand that if production is the basis for the exploitation perpetuated by Capital, changing the forms of production means changing the forms of exploitation, not their elimination.
8 - We are against the state in all its forms. We are opposed to all states
without distinction of ideology and we fight to abolish them. The objective
of the state is to maintain and regulate domination. The state has the monopoly
on violence, the mechanisms to impart "justice" and organized terror:
the police, the army and the prison system.
8.1 - We are against the prison and "social adaptation" systems, seeing them as ways of control by the state to perpetuate the privileges of the ruling class.
8.2 - We are against immigration systems and declare freedom of travel beyond our fictitious state boundaries a basic human right.
8.3 - We are against the ideology of the authoritarian left that pretends to "transform" the state, recovering its structures in order to keep power via the so-called "proletarian state", as well as the current discourse of the democratic left that postulates "the need to democratize the state" inferring that "an strategy in accordance with the times must arrive at the occupation of the state" instead of its old proposal to "conquer it". This position of expecting everything from the state and within the state logically brings the postponement of all social struggles and perpetuates the democratic game offering "everybody" the possibility to "participate" in the electoral farce.
8.4 - We are against the regressive pretensions of the conservative reaction (clasist, clerical, fascist) that aspires to return to a disgraceful and corrupt past.
9 - We fight for a society based on equity and equality among people without distinctions of gender. We are for the liberation and self-determination of women; therefore we oppose the patriarchal and androcentric system of domination.
10 - We fight against racism. We favor cultural diversity. We are conscious of the historical discrimination against the Afro-Cuban people, since the days of the slavery to the present, and we affirm our struggle for the self-determination of Black people. Likewise we acknowledge the historical oppression of the indigenous peoples of America. We stand in solidarity with their libertarian struggles for self-management, control over their resources, justice and dignity.
11 - We reject mandatory heterosexuality imposed by patriarchal culture and recognize sexual diversity in human relations. We support the self-determination of lesbians, homosexuals and bisexuals.
12 - We are against the capitalist industrial system, built on the exploitation of the planet and its inhabitants. We fight as well against the savage destruction of the Cuban ecosystem by Castro's dictatorship. We support the struggle of all movements of resistance against the continuous destruction of the environment. We acknowledge the need for revolutionary transformation of our relationship with the planet and the species that inhabit it.
13 - We will fight on all fronts to reestablish in the proletariat the anarcho-syndicalist ideals that were trampled by authoritarian "socialism" and torn away by the Castro's regime. Socialism must always go hand in hand with liberty.
WE AFFIRM THAT:
1 - We object to the political repression established by the Castro fascist
2 - The political police must be disbanded.
3 - The death penalty must be abolished immediately.
4 - All political and social prisoners must be set free immediately.
5 - The military service must be abolished and the military institution disbanded. In its place there will be organized, free and spontaneously, self-defense collectives, empowering links with those antimilitarist sectors that inform their actions from a libertarian point of view.
6 - The abolition of the state is an immediate and realizable necessity. We acknowledge the people's ability to organize their lives and their communities without the need for political, economic, and military parasites.
The Cuban Libertarian Movement, consistent and coherent with its ideals of libertarian socialism, social justice, self-management, class organization, autonomous municipality, individual and collective freedom for the Cuban people, is once again confronting Castro's fascist totalitarianism. We live in times of resurgence of the libertarian ideal, where the growth of the international protest movement is evident; today, more than ever, we glimpse the dawn of freedom and we deem it necessary to fight against Cuba's totalitarian despotism, with our comrades in the island as well as with anarchists throughout the world.
We urge all revolutionary libertarian groups to coordinate their efforts
with ours in the struggle for a libertarian socialist society. It is not about
adding up ideological coincidences, but to sum our efforts in committed revolutionary
praxis, in real confrontation on all levels and all planes, in the face of
neocolonialist attacks and global militarism and capitalism. The social revolution
that we must bring about comes out of the real needs of the oppressed, out
of the real movement of the exploited, affirming their desire to live in a
free and humane society that will once and for all break with all ideologies
of death, product of exploitation and oppression in the name of progress.
Comrades, let's be what we really are and take on the struggle. Let's assume
the consistent and revolutionary practice of Anarchism.