Cuba shows road to end threat of nuclear war

August 21, 2023
Cuban President Fidel Castro places wreath for victims of atom bomb at memorial in Hiroshima, Japan, March 3, 2003.
Cuban President Fidel Castro places wreath for victims of atom bomb at memorial in Hiroshima, Japan, March 3, 2003.

“We have never considered the idea of fabricating nuclear weapons, because we don’t need them,” former Cuban President Fidel Castro said in 2005, recorded in the book My Life.

“What’s the purpose of producing a nuclear weapon when your enemy has thousands of them,” he pointed out. “It would be entering an arms race all over again. No one should have the right to produce nuclear weapons, much less the privileged right demanded by imperialism.”

The Cuban government refuses to develop a weapon of mass destruction. “Who are you going to use it against? Against the American people? No! That would be unfair and absurd,” Castro said. He always explained that workers and farmers in the U.S. were class allies, not enemies.

His words ring even more true today. Moscow’s brutal assault on Ukraine sovereignty, and the resulting moves by capitalist powers worldwide to rearm and search for new military alliances, herald a future of more wars that make use of nuclear weapons increasingly likely.

Aug. 6 is the 78th anniversary of the U.S. rulers’ deadly use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and Aug. 9 on Nagasaki. It was a threat aimed at Moscow and working people worldwide. Washington is the only power to ever use nuclear weapons.

The ruling capitalist families in the U.S. gave serious consideration to using nuclear weapons to try and stem losses in their invasion of Korea and Vietnam, and against the socialist revolution in Cuba. No arms-limitation treaties, pacts between capitalist powers, nor pacifist calls for disarmament will stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

But there is a road forward.

The Cuban people, Castro said in 2005, “possess a weapon as powerful as nuclear power. It is the immense justice for which we are struggling.” We have the “invincible power of moral weapons.”

For more than six decades working people in Cuba have defended their socialist revolution and prevented the mightiest imperialist power on earth from crushing them, despite the accelerating toll from Washington’s 64-year-long punishing economic war.

The stakes are enormous. Capitalist competition has already led to two devastating world wars, and other wars of conquest. But whether or not there is a third will be decided in the class struggle between the billions of working people and the world’s capitalist rulers.

A future of nuclear conflagration can be prevented by workers and our allies taking political power out of the hands of the capitalist warmakers. This is the course that Castro and the Marxist leadership he forged in Cuba showed is possible.

Building parties in the U.S. and worldwide that are working class in program, conduct and composition is indispensable to leading workers and farmers to victory. The social devastation and wars that grow inevitably out of the workings of capital will lead to revolutionary struggles.

Join the Socialist Workers Party in striving to overthrow capitalist oppression and exploitation and to bring a workers and farmers government to power here that can join the international struggle for socialism. This is the road to send all armaments — conventional and nuclear — to the scrapheap once and for all.