Fabián: Good afternoon to you and to our radio audience in the whole Latin American region. Today, as Roberto explained, we have a special guest, filmmaker and National Film Award winner Manuel Pérez Paredes. He is well known in Cuba for his film productions,such as “El hombre de Maisinicú” and “Río Negro”.
So, today Manuel has come to this program to talk about some matters we have been dealing with in recent times, which is the cultural aggression of the United States against Cuba, and we provide new elements today: the Day of Cuban Culture.
Manuel: Thank you very much Fabián and Bastidas. We will analyze the cultural field in a country that has a very serious problem, because of its geography and because of what we have done to get where we are. I make reference to our geography because the U.S. imperial aggression has reached all over the planet, especially in the Latin American region, and we are particularly the object of that aggression because of our location, but it must be added what we did in 1959: this will never be forgiven.
So this makes me think about how we are currently defending ourselves, and how we have to defend ourselves from cultural aggression.
This is an enormous challenge, and it has impressively grown over the last years, since the invisible aggression of the pandemic, added to what we were already suffering, turns the national culture into something vital for every Cuban citizen. Therefore, this diversity is one of the most exciting challenges that we have, and what gives us the tools to defend ourselves from the aggression that intends to alter our national identity…
Roberto: You made reference to something of paramount importance: our history. Why do they want to destroy our history and culture?
Manuel: It is very important for the imperialism to try to denaturalize, weaken, remove everything that strengthens national unity. Thus, when the so called “Special Period” began in Cuba, Fidel said: ”The first thing we must save is our culture”. The ICAIC changed, and the American cinema came to an end; the blockade also prevented us from purchasing good American films.
At the same time we have another conflict, on one hand we have the imperialism and the cultural aggression exerted against Cuba, and on the other hand we have the American culture as such.
It was important to diversify the cinema, so that the audience could have access to the best cinema possible, but very diverse at the same time. Art should not to replace education. Fidel used to say: ”We have to learn to cope with contamination, because if one day we get contaminated, then we die”.
Fabián: Nowadays, we have a great imperialist offensive. In the United States there are laboratories of political-ideological subversion, of psychological warfare, where they want to prepare an internal scenario for us, if not to overthrow the revolution, then to weaken it, to strip off its natural sheen, its worldwide influence, its competency to create, its capacity development spirit, and its ability to inspire hope.
Today, technological and scientific-technical development has given them a possibility they did not have before. Social networks have made the possibility to slander, much easier, to distribute false news, to manipulate the national conscience, because that is their objective, to weaken cultural values. That is the reality, and the direction of the subversive project that is underway, which will definitely be dissolved, as a wave into a desert.
Roberto: We are running out of time. Today we have talked about the importance of culture in cinema. Thank you very much and goodbye. See you next week.