Strategy for Revolution in 21st Century
Fidel: Ecology in Cuba,
1992-2003
Its relation to a Culture of Peace for the 21st Century

Sources

Marx and Engels:
Communist Manifesto

Marx:
Civil War in France

Marx:
Alienation

Marx:
Theory of History

Marx and Engels:
On Human Nature

Engels:
Anti-Dühring

Engels:
Violence and the Origin of the State

Engels:
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Marx, Engels, Lenin:
On Dialectics

Lenin:
What is to be done?

Lenin:
Imperialism

Lenin:
The State and Revolution

Lenin: War Communism

Lenin:
The Cultural Revolution

Lenin:
Left-Wing Communism

Lenin:
The American Revolutions

Lenin:
The French Revolutions

Lenin:
On Workers Control

Lenin:
On Religion

Lenin:
On the Arms Race

Trotsky:
Militarization of Labor

Luxemburg:
Russian Revolution

Zetkin:
The Women's Question

Mao:
Role of Communist Party

Mao:
On Violence

Mao:
On the Army

Mao:
On Women

Mao:
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

Mao and Fidel:
Fall of the American Empire

Guevara:
Man and Socialism in Cuba

Hall and Winston:
Fighting Racism

Fanon:
National Liberation and Culture

Cabral: National Liberation and Culture

Nkrumah: Neo-Colonialism


Although a few individuals warned earlier about the destruction of the environment, the ecology movement did not get started until the publication of the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in 1962. While the movement gained momentum in the civil society, it didn't get much recognition at a national and international level until the publication of the Brundtland Report by the United Nations in 1987 and the Earth Summit of the United Nations in Rio in 1992.

Hence, it is not surprising that there was not much discussion of ecology in the socialist countries and that, under the stress of the Cold War, they destroyed their environments as much as did capitalist countries in the years prior to 1992. As Fidel Castro said in a speech given in 2003 to a UN conference on desertification, until 30 years ago few were aware of the ecological dangers before us, "Twenty-five years after the end of the Second World War nobody ... heard a single word about humanity's blind, inexorable and accelerated march towards the destruction of the natural bases of its own life."

With hindsight, scholars have pointed out that Karl Marx recognized some of the basic principles of the ecology movement, but he did not emphasize their importance to revolutionaries.

By 1992, the socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union had collapsed, and it remained for surviving socialist countries like Cuba to adopt the principles of the ecology movement.

Fidel Castro's address to the Rio Summit showed that he fully understood its revolutionary significance: "The forests are disappearing. The deserts are expanding. Every year thousands of millions of tons of fertile soil end up in the sea. Numerous species are becoming extinct. Population pressures and poverty trigger frenzied efforts to survive even when it is at the expense of the environment. It is not possible to blame the Third World countries for this ... Unequal terms of trade, protectionism, and the foreign debt assault the ecology and promote the destruction of the environment. If we want to save mankind from this self-destruction, we have to better distribute the wealth and technologies available in the world."

For Fidel and the Cuban people, the ecological movement has become both theory and practice. In a speech to the Cuban Committees for the Defense of the Revolution in 2002, "society's needs can be met, said the Cuban President, without destroying nature and basic human values. Cuba has proved this, he added. The island does not allow its environment to be destroyed for commercial or consumption purposes ... The answer is to train professionals to meet the challenge, said Fidel Castro, as well as raise mass consciousness."

Recent information on the Internet confirms that Cuba is taking ecology seriously in practice. Although the following three press reports come from Cuban sources, one can find confirming information from independent authoritative sources as well. (Similar information is beginning to be available on the Internet from other socialist countries such as Vietnam).

A national system for the protection of nature has been established, which includes 14 national parks, 30 ecological and natural reserves, 11 fauna refugees, two natural landscapes and 11 flower reserves. These include several Biosphere Reserves recognized and protected by UNESCO: the Guanahacabibes zone and the Rosario Mountains , both in Pinar del Río and the Bacxonao Park and the Toa crests in the East side.

It is the Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment who is responsible for carrying out ecological programs. As described in a recent interview, these include programs of public education, as well as ensuring that the tourism industry does not create ecological damage. In fact, tourism has become the most important industry of Cuba in recent years, which makes sense for a revolutionary society since it is the largest industry of the world and depends on peace for its success. The coral reef of Cuba is especially attractive for tourism, which means that its preservation is of special importance. More recent information indicates that "measures would be adopted to protect Cuba's coral reef barrier from contamination and uncontrolled fishing, as well as other damage or risk factors."

While it is true that there are some similar programs of environmental preservation within Northern capitalist countries, this concern for the environment does not hold up for them when it comes to the actions of their multinational corporations in Third-World countries, where the land and resources are pillaged without restraint (in the same fashion as the rights of workers are trampled on). In addition, as Fidel has stated, Third-World countries are forced to destroy their own environments under the pressure of "unequal terms of trade, protectionism, and the foreign debt" which are imposed by the North.

Despite the American embargo and the economic hardships shared with other Third-World nations, Cuba continues to play a leading role in promoting sustainable development which is a key component of the culture of peace.

To take part in a discussion about this page, go to the Discussion Board Forum on the writings of Fidel Castro:
discussion board

Issues

Revolutionary socialist culture of peace

Culture of War

Internal Culture of War

Culture of Peace

Education for nonviolence and democracy

Sustainable development for all

Human rights vs exploitation

Women's equality vs patriarchy

Democratic participation vs authori- tarianism

Tolerance and solidarity vs enemy images

Transparency vs secrecy

Disarmament vs armament

Revolutionary leadership

Revolutionary organization

Proletarian Interna- tionalism

National Liberation

Guerrilla Warfare

Terrorism

Agent Provocateurs

Communica- tion systems

Psychology for revolution- aries

Capitalist culture of war

Socialist culture of war

Winning Conflict by Nonviolence


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More Sources

South African
Peace Process

Soviet Union
Disarmament Proposals

Soviet Collapse

Slovo:
Has Socialism Failed?

Freire:
Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Fidel:
Ecology in Cuba

Fidel:
On Religion

Mandela:
Human Rights in South Africa

King
on Nonviolence

Gandhi
on Nonviolence

Gandhi
on Communism