INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR
On August 3, under the title of A Reflection on Hard and Obvious Realities, I published a number of remarks on the prerogatives of power and its effect on human beings and quoted the arguments advanced by Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, Vice-President of the Russian Academy for Geopolitical Affairs and former Secretary of the Council of Defense Ministers of the Community of Independent States and Chief of the Military Cooperation Department of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defense. As I indicated on that occasion, Ivashov is a well-informed man whose views are deserving of our people’s attention.
General Ivashov’s analysis, which appeared in a note published by the Russian news agency Ria Novosti last July 24, began by identifying the United State’s economic, financial, technological and military dictatorship in today’s international arena as the chief political tool wielded by that country.
I will not reiterate General Ivashov’s arguments, which lead him to the conclusion that, in order to neutralize the plans aimed at world hegemony, alternative poles of power must be created. In this connection, I wish only to draw attention to one of his main arguments:
«Only an alliance of civilizations could oppose the United States’ empire: the Russian civilization whose orbit includes the Community of Independent States (CIS); the Chinese, the Indian, the Islamic and the Latin American civilizations. It is an immense space where we could create more equitable markets, our own stable financial system, our collective security mechanisms and our philosophy, giving priority to the intellectual development of man in the face of western modern civilization, which emphasizes material goods and measures success by the number of mansions, yachts and restaurants people have. Our mission is to redirect the world towards justice and intellectual and spiritual growth.»
The concept of an «alliance of civilizations» where ideas would prevail took me back to an international gathering held in our country in March 2005, titled «Dialogue among Civilizations World Conference. Latin America in the 21st Century: Universalism and Originality».
Nearly 300 scientists and intellectuals, representatives of social organizations and the media, politicians and religious figures from 29 countries participated in this conference, organized by the Founding Council of the Russian National Glory Centre and the Ministry of Culture and Union of Cuban Writers and Artists, with the purpose of challenging current theories on the clash of civilizations which are grounded in the exclusivist nature of neoliberal globalization, the advocate of a single model which can be confronted by encouraging dialogue among peoples, cultures, creeds and States in search of common responses to the key challenges facing today’s world.
I was invited to make the closing remarks at the conference and, at the event’s closing session, held in Havana’s International Convention Centre on March 30, 2005, I delivered an address, or, better, took part in a dialogue with the participants, improvised on the basis of statements and questions they made that day. In my statement, I took up issues that had been addressed at the work sessions and others related to the aim of the conference.
Because of its length, I did not revise the text of those remarks nor submit it to the press for publication at the time. However, inspired by General Ivashov’s arguments and his reference to an alliance of civilizations, I have reread that address, suppressed a number of paragraphs which did not contribute anything new in essence and touched up a number of details in terms of structure and style. On rereading the text, I was surprised at the extent to which many of my current ideas and concerns were already developed there.
Because of this, I have asked that the text of that address be reproduced. It is important to stress that I delivered that address on March 30, 2005, nearly two and a half years ago. Over fifteen years ago, I spoke in Rio de Janeiro of man as a species endangered by the destruction of its natural living conditions; today the danger is greater. New and unprecedented problems created by science, technology and deeply-rooted wastefulness are multiplying the political, economic and military risks we face. The essential ideas advanced in the «Dialogue among Civilizations» had already been sown. That’s why I have requested that the speech I made in Rio de Janeiro be published as the first part of this material.
Fidel Castro Ruz
August 25, 2007
Full Text of "Dialogue of Civilizations" by Fidel Castro Ruz.