Wars and Condoms

Dmitri Prieto

Photo: Ihosvanny

On September 1 the anniversary of the start of the Second World War was commemorated (when Germany attacked Poland in 1939, though that date is somewhat euro-centric since Japan had already invaded China, and Italy had done the same in Ethiopia).

To mark this date, the news on Cuban TV presented a report (or rather a piece of oratorical journalism with tragic background images) on “Wars and the Environment.”

Beyond what is “common place” —recognized as such by the same journalist— it was shown how wars damage the environment.  The conclusion was clear and explicit: the only way to prevent war is to “change the minds of rulers.”

Almost an hour later they put on a public service program titled Cuidemos el amor (Let’s Be Careful with Love).  This romantic sounding name pointed to the purpose of the program: to promote the practice of safe sex.

Though a dramatization related to “love,” the show teaches how it is important to use physical barriers when —for X reason— a part of one person’s body is introduced within another person’s.

The case showed a couple where, before practicing such an introduction, the female partner admitted to her male counterpart that she suffered from an “incurable sexually transmitted disease.”

The male, without exhibiting any concern when sprung with the news of his partner’s irremediable condition, quickly resolved the dilemma by assuring her that he would use a condom.

Thus with love, it implies, there is no more problem.

But to what point in hell have we reached if we’re not devastated by the announcement of a tragic future for the person we love?

What we have is a system of ideas that professes unyielding faith in the “minds” of ruling circles to eliminate a social materialist fact —such as war— and at the same time appeals with that same faith in the most pathetic form (latex) to uphold the defense of a primordial spiritual (and social) act such as love.  To me it is totally obvious that such a system of ideas is rotten down to its very core and is condemned to perish.

Materialism? Idealism? The answer that they provide us is the clue to how the Cuban TV orchestrates tragic occurrences with notions of oratorical “common sense” or with latex properly covering a penis.

Their basic aim: try to minimize the deep and expansive abyss that lies ahead of us.

My remedy (both material and spiritual): Revolution.

Dimitri Prieto-Samsonov

Dmitri Prieto-Samsonov: I define myself as being either Cuban-Russian or Russian-Cuban, indiscriminately. I was born in Moscow in 1972 of a Russian mother and a Cuban father. I lived in the USSR until I was 13, although I was already familiar with Cuba-- where we would take our vacation almost every year. I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Santa Cruz del Norte, near the sea. I’ve studied biochemistry and law in Havana and anthropology in London. I’ve written about molecular biology, philosophy and anarchism, although I enjoy reading more than writing. I am currently teaching in the Agrarian University of Havana. I believe in God and in the possibility of a free society. Together with other people, that’s what we’re into: breaking down walls and routines.