By Erasmo Calzadilla
HAVANA TIMES, May 4 – A few weeks ago, in the back of a weekly Cuban publication, there appeared an article about the virtues of the Russian SU fighter plane. The cost of producing each SU is $33 million (if I remember correctly) and they consume many tons of fuel with each flight. Armed with several types of rockets, radar systems, and other sinister novelties of war, the SU is a truly sophisticated and sublime killing machine.
If such a monster had been created in the US, the article would have been twice the length. The story would have launched a broadside against the craft’s role in ecological destruction, the arms race, resource depletion, and the millions of dead caused by American aggressions.
Where I want to go with all this is to question how the enemy has now turned out to be not capitalist exploitation, not transnationals that pay pittances to children in poor countries (producing brands sported even by our leaders), but US imperialism.
In absolutely no way am I defending that horror called US imperialism; nonetheless, to view all depravity as being concentrated in that country alone-in addition to being ridiculous-tends to reinforce the idea that evil is a question peculiar to those damned American warmongers, and not as being the logical consequence of the capitalist system.
So what was that article’s point? Is it now that weapons built by the Russians are not as bad as the American ones? Could it be that perhaps Russia is not also a capitalist empire?
It’s true that the Cuban government has better relations of all types with Russia, and that we Cubans benefit from them. Still, that cannot prevent us from calling things by their names, unless there is a desire to incubate the idea that to live under capitalism-or any other system in which power is concentrated in the hands of a few-is not such a bad thing after all.