FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual

[Note from the author: Néstor García Iturbe, born in Havana, earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Havana and then his PhD in Science of History. In his long career, among other responsibilities, Iturbe was a member of the Scientific Council of the Higher Institute of International Relations Raúl Roa García (ISRI), Director of International Relations at the University of Havana and Advisor to the Cuban Mission at the United Nations in New York. He received numerous awards and wrote up to 10 books, mainly on Cuba–US relations. This obituary note was first published in La Jiribilla magazine (Cuba) on November 14, 2018.]

It is quite customary to say that when writers and intellectuals pass away, such as Néstor García Iturbe, their work remains with us. This is particularly true for Iturbe, whose career underlines this even further, even though it may not be acknowledged by everyone.

I have been reading his work for many years in the form of articles. His writing has always fascinated me, especially with regards to his specialties of Cuba–US relations and the political system in the US. We communicated through email and I appreciated him as being among revolutionary Cubans who do not carry illusions about US imperialism and its long-term objectives, whether in the form of Bush, Obama (with his “smooth tactics”) and Trump.

Thus, when my book Cuba and Its Neighbors: Democracy in Motion was being presented at the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) on November 18, 2015, I took a chance and invited Iturbe, even though I was sure he had more important things to do. To my surprise and delight, he showed up. What an honour for me! After the formal part, we exchanged signed books, his, entitled Estados Unidos, de Raíz (“United States, from the Roots”), and mine.

Not long after my next book on Cuba–US relations was published, in 2017, an important article titled “Money from Uncle Obama” was published, thanks to Iroel Sánchez and his unorthodox blog La pupila insomne (translated from the original Spanish by W.T. Whitney Jr.). It consisted of an excerpt from ISRI university thesis work by Aileén Carmenaty Sánchez, whose mentors were Iturbe and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Hero of the Republic Cuba and Vice-rector of ISRI. I was so pleased to read this and to contribute to its publication in English and Spanish. The article hit me for a couple of reasons. The first was admittedly “selfish,” because it confirmed one of the main theses of my latest book. And second, most importantly, it was crucial that this reality of Cuba–US relations under Obama get out to the public in Cuba and the rest of the world. It was published at a time when it was not (and indeed it is still not) that “politically correct” to say anything negative about Obama. But, then again, Iturbe preferred principles to being “politically correct.”

Now, at the very time of his passing, this work – as well as his others – is more relevant than ever. Why? It is quite clear to me that the next president of the United States will be Barack Obama, though, of course, not formally. The favourite Democratic candidates looking for nomination and to almost surely defeat Trump in 2020 are Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and many others. Whichever it may be, my investigation has shown that Barack Obama will be the de facto president, with its relatively good side to Cuba–US relations, but also the dangerous aspect of subverting Cuba from within: seduction to replace aggression once again.

Let us use the work of Iturbe now to make sure naiveté does not further take root. I am quite sure he, his family, his colleagues in Cuba and his many admirers outside the Island would appreciate this.

Original in Spanish:

http://www.lajiribilla.cu/noticias/fallece-el-intelectual-cubano-nestor-garcia-iturbe

More articles by:

Arnold August, a Canadian journalist and lecturer, is the author of Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections and, more recently, Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion. Cuba’s neighbours under consideration are the U.S., Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. Arnold can be followed on Twitter @Arnold_August.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
February 25, 2020
Michael Hudson
The Democrats’ Quandary: In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give
Paul Street
The “Liberal” Media’s Propaganda War on Bernie Sanders
Sheldon Richman
The Non-Intervention Principle
Nicholas Levis
The Real Meaning of Red Scare 3.0
John Feffer
Cleaning Up Trump’s Global Mess
David Swanson
How Are We Going to Pay for Saving Trillions of Dollars?
Ralph Nader
Three Major News Stories That Need To Be Exposed
John Eskow
What Will You Do If the Democrats Steal It from Sanders?
Dean Baker
What If Buttigieg Said That He Doesn’t Accept the “Fashionable” View That Climate Change is a Problem?
Jack Rasmus
The Nevada Caucus and the Desperation of Democrat Elites
Howard Lisnoff
The Powerful Are Going After Jane Fonda Again
Binoy Kampmark
Viral Losses: Australian Universities, Coronavirus and Greed
John W. Whitehead
Gun-Toting Cops Endanger Students and Turn Schools into Prisons
Marshall Sahlins
David Brooks, Public Intellectual
February 24, 2020
Stephen Corry
New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind
M. K. Bhadrakumar
How India’s Modi is Playing on Trump’s Ego to His Advantage
Jennifer Matsui
Tycoon Battle-Bots Battle Bernie
Robert Fisk
There’s Little Chance for Change in Lebanon, Except for More Suffering
Rob Wallace
Connecting the Coronavirus to Agriculture
Bill Spence
Burning the Future: the Growing Anger of Young Australians
Eleanor Eagan
As the Primary Race Heats Up, Candidates Forget Principled Campaign Finance Stands
Binoy Kampmark
The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Holden
George Wuerthner
Trojan Horse Timber Sales on the Bitterroot
Rick Meis
Public Lands “Collaboration” is Lousy Management
David Swanson
Bloomberg Has Spent Enough to Give a Nickel to Every Person Whose Life He’s Ever Damaged
Peter Cohen
What Tomorrow May Bring: Politics of the People
Peter Harrison
Is It as Impossible to Build Jerusalem as It is to Escape Babylon?
Weekend Edition
February 21, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Election Con 2020: Exposing Trump’s Deception on the Opioid Epidemic
Joshua Frank
Bloomberg is a Climate Change Con Man
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Billion Dollar Babies
Paul Street
More Real-Time Reflections from Your Friendly South Loop Marxist
Jonathan Latham
Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory
Ramzy Baroud
‘The Donald Trump I know’: Abbas’ UN Speech and the Breakdown of Palestinian Politics
Martha Rosenberg
A Trump Sentence Commutation Attorneys Generals Liked
Ted Rall
Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label
Louis Proyect
Encountering Malcolm X
Kathleen Wallace
The Debate Question That Really Mattered
Jonathan Cook
UN List of Firms Aiding Israel’s Settlements was Dead on Arrival
George Wuerthner
‘Extremists,’ Not Collaborators, Have Kept Wilderness Whole
Colin Todhunter
Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis  
Stephen Reyna
A Paradoxical Colonel: He Doesn’t Know What He is Talking About, Because He Knows What He is Talking About.
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A New Solar Power Deal From California
Richard Moser
One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way
Laiken Jordahl
Trump’s Wall is Destroying the Environment We Worked to Protect
Walden Bello
Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail