Dialogue, Debate, Confrontation. Toward a Delimitation of Boundaries – Español
By Enrique Ubieta Gómez for La Isla Deconocida
I believe in ideas, in revolutionary reason. I support the Cuban Revolution from a reasoned perspective, from an argumentative perspective. I am convinced that it is possible to discuss and analyze every success and every failure of these 50 years, and that on balance, the revolutionary process will always come out favorably. I don’t shirk from debate.
But I’ve also understood that the war against socialism, against the Revolution, is not a “scientific” or “academic” crusade for truth; that its adversaries are not theoreticians obsessed with proving that they are right (although some of them teach or are academic professionals), rather, they are individuals who for a variety of motives – personal history, ideological, or simply economic – desire its destruction. I’ve proven that there is a network of transnational interests that play hard: they lie or mislead and they are betting that their (verisimilitude) version will come out the winner in the media “show;” that which takes over the mind of the spectators. A network that chooses the exact words that should be used and repeats them in order to describe every subject and object, every event (regime rather than government, embargo rather than blockade, Castro rather than Fidel or Raúl, as the people refer to them). That people manufacture them, plant them, and that the media can close the doors and windows on any argument that reveals the trap. That dialogue is for the deaf, because the objective is not who’s right, but who will maintain or take power.
Therefore, it’s essential to differentiate the three possible levels of interaction with countries or people removed or even ideologically opposed to the revolutionary process. With those who recognize and accept the historical legitimacy of the Revolution, and are disposed toward seeking common ground for agreement in order to co-exist, dialogue is possible and necessary.
With those who disagree with our criteria and consider us mistaken, but argue their position in a serious way, there can be a debate. Debate is a healthy exercise as it allows for the discovery of strengths and weaknesses in the way we see things. Dialogue is to find a common space for co-existence; debate to clarify divergent or contrary positions. Both pre-suppose a respect for the rights of others and exclude impositions.
But if the objective is not to convince, but to impose, if the country or the person who disagrees has as their ultimate goal the defeat of their adversary, the taking of power, if there is an expressed intention to subvert, then we are talking about confrontation and the right of the Revolution to defend itself. It’s what Marx called the class struggle.
The ultimate strategy of the Revolution and its historical sense is one of unification: unification of different, disagreeing people, in a common project. That was the strength of José Martí and also Fidel Castro. The first spoke vehemently of a homeland “with all and for the good of all,” but neither political “freaks” nor the annexationists were included in that. Fidel explained it another way: “Within the Revolution, everything [this includes those who don’t share it]; against the Revolution, nothing.” And earlier, he said: “No-one has ever supposed that all men, or all writers, or all artists ought to be revolutionaries, just as no-one could suppose that all men or all revolutionaries ought to be artists, nor that every honest man, by the fact of being honest, ought to be revolutionary. To be revolutionary is also an attitude toward life, to be revolutionary is also an attitude toward existent reality (…)” And, he said: “The Revolution should try to win over the majority of the people through its ideas; the Revolution should never give up counting on the majority of the people; counting, not just on the revolutionaries, but on all honest citizens that although they may not be revolutionary, in other words; those who although they may not have a revolutionary attitude toward life, would be on her side.”
Dialogue and debate are requirements for which we assume full responsibility. Knowing that we’re not dialoguing or debating the archaeology of monoclonal cells, but our lives, the future of our children. Therefore, passion is inevitable, and I would say, necessary. This passion does not diminish the “scientific” reach of the arguments; it illuminates them. And something more: he who lacks passion, who cannot bring his feelings, his emotions to the debate, lacks a real objectivity. One cannot speak – for or against – the Revolution, without feeling it. And one must differentiate the insults of those who have no arguments or those who would try to silence their opponents (this is the real meaning of “cyber-chancleteo“), from the “qualifiers,” sometimes indispensable in order to understand the position being refuted. To say “counter-revolutionary,” or “mercenary” when the shoe fits, is to grant an essential argument to the discourse. Hiding these qualifiers is to obstruct understanding of the facts. Dispensing with solid arguments, repeated but true, only because they’ve been used before is to weaken revolutionary discourse.
When an individual lends himself to street theatre well financed by transnational media – these media who don’t want to report anything besides that which has been previously established in the script for subversive correspondence, and align themselves with the interests that openly act to topple socialism in Cuba, find themselves facing the people. Assume the codes of war for power. The Revolution has the right to defend herself. And she will. And the hundreds of thousands of Cubans who defend her will be there to shout “Viva Fidel!” and “Viva Socialismo!” Revolutionaries know how to debate and we also know how to fight.
Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.