Tomorrow will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago.”
Fidel Castro Ruz
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
Rio de Janeiro, June 12, 1992
The Network in Defense of Humanity joins the worldwide mobilization in protest against the ecological disaster caused by the fires in the Amazon and against the transnational corporations and politicians directly responsible for the catastrophe.
As Fidel said twenty-seven years ago, the human species, “is at risk of disappearing because of the rapid and progressive liquidation of its natural living conditions”. And he added an unequivocal denunciation; “Enough of the selfishness. Enough of the schemes of domination. Enough of the insensitivity, irresponsibility and deceit.”
In the last few days the extensive clouds of smoke over the Amazon constitute a very serious alarm for humanity. However, it cannot be seen as an isolated event. Its main cause is the capitalist system and its conception of infinite economic growth that gives priority to the production and reproduction of capital instead of the production and reproduction of life. What is happening today in the Amazon is also happening in vast areas of Africa and other regions of the planet.
Businesspeople and neoliberal politicians, in their unbridled ambition for greater profits, do not listen to the growing and disturbing warnings of the scientific institutions and the defenders of the Amazon, and undertake and approve increasingly aggressive and destructive projects without taking into account the irreparable consequences of their action. The expansive interests of the mining, oil, aquifer, and agribusiness transnationals have found an unconditional ally in Brazil’s current neo-fascist government.
Bolsonaro has been promoting the deforestation of the Amazon, the weakening of all control and oversight over companies and the reduction of funds for the protection and conservation of the region. The persecution of indigenous and peasant leaders and communities who defend their rights and their territories has become a practice. These peoples, with their ancient cultures, worldviews and knowledge, are the ones who have best defended — and in many cases have guaranteed it at the price of their lives — the conservation of this great region as the planet’s greatest reservoir of biodiversity, whose loss or deterioration will cause irreversible damage to the already precarious health of ecosystems at the global level.
Due to these facts, the Network in Defense of Humanity expresses its solidarity with all the native peoples of our Amazon, victims of the policies of dispossession and the cruelest violence of transnational capital, and denounces the attitude of the government of Jair Bolsonaro, which in addition to promoting ecocide, turns its back on its people, and only after twenty days of fires does it announce, an order to confront it. He does this by the militarizing the region, which could constitute a dangerous step towards turning over the control of a strategic geopolitical zone, through international tutelage to the direct intervention of the transnationals, shielded in a supposed philanthropy.
It is necessary to remember that the “help” of other imperial nations in the face of similar disasters has historically been used as a pretext for intervention, destabilization and looting, in which the great powers have always had the most diverse tools for domination and, of course, the constant manipulation of public opinion. We must defend the principle that if there is a real will to help, it must be channeled through States and international bodies with full respect for the principle of sovereignty.
We denounce the false morals of the countries that have been the most responsible for the global ecological crisis, (among them the members of the G7) and that today express their concern for the Amazon, ignoring any kind of connection between fires and capitalist development. It is the transnationals of these same countries that are spreading throughout the natural strongholds of the world in search of resources of all kinds, lands and sources of energy. No apparent polemic affects the link between a neoliberal and sold out government like Bolsonaro’s to the transnationals and the great powers. In contrast we support the actions promoted by the government of the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, who has demonstrated a spirit of unity in adversity, and true concern to face the fire not only in his country, but in the region, and we also applaud the call made by his government and that of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for regional actions to be carried out that allow the emergency to be tackled quickly and efficiently.
The Network in Defense of Humanity, echoing the expressions of concern and pain in the face of the tragedy of many sensitive people on the planet, demands of the Brazilian government that urgent measures be taken to safeguard the lives of the peoples and cultures that are in danger today in the Amazon. With the fires, they are also being deprived of the material and spiritual sustenance of their existence. When a tree burns, a house always burns.
We urge the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to activate the resources established by international instruments to immediately guarantee the protection of the more than four hundred cultures affected and in turn the sovereignty of the eight Amazonian countries. We urge the promotion of denunciations before the International Criminal Court and other competent bodies against the attacks on the environment, which should be considered crimes against humanity.
We encourage to work in the urgent articulation of popular platforms in a common and coordinated front of action in the face of all ecological and social disasters that allows an alternative that is truthful, accurate and opportune communication. We also call to reveal and to spread with emphasis the existing causal connection between the capitalist system and the environmental debacle that we are witnessing. This makes it essential to link the anti-capitalist struggles with that of the environmental movements in defense of the Amazon and other areas of the planet.
We call for activities in all our countries, popular mobilizations, sit-ins, marches, rallies and denunciations through social networks, or to use every possible tribune to show this crime against nature. We must accuse those responsible and warn of the danger that the media impact is having on this tragedy. It will be used by the great imperialist powers to intervene in the Amazon and to consolidate and legitimize the dispossession in a concerted manner with corrupt authorities.
We also call for the transformation of our logics of consumption and against the pollution and environmental degradation they produce, linked to the capitalist mode of production and its unviable paradigm for healthy civilization.
Let’s save the Amazon! Let’s save the planet! As Fidel said in 1992; “Tomorrow will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago.”
Network in Defense of Humanity