[Marxism] Russian ambassador to Cuba on lessens of struggle against fascism

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue May 10 07:13:50 MDT 2005

(In the United States we've been seeing protests
AGAINST the unveiling of a monument to the Soviet
soldiers who fought against Hitler's Germany!)

Havana. May 9, 2005


. Andrew Dmitriev, the Russian ambassador to Cuba, reflects on the current
lessons of the 60th anniversary of the struggle against fascism . Trade and
tourism to increase between the two countries

BY RAISA PAGES / Photo: Alberto BORREGO -Granma International staff writer

FOR Andrey Dmitriev, ambassador of the Russian Federation to the island,
Cuba is not only a country where he has been sent as a diplomat. His
fascination for the Caribbean island began in April 1966, when he was sent
here as a translator, after having studied the Spanish language.

His interview with me was free flowing, as if we were old friends, and took
place in one of the offices of the diplomatic headquarters on Havana's
central Fifth Avenue


What lessons did the world learn from the defeat of Hitlerian fascism, which
reaches its 60th anniversary on May 9?

The victory of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in the Great
Patriotic War 60 years ago was a historic event with a permanent
significance not only for Russia and the member states of the Community of
Independent States (CIS) but for the people, who made the greatest
contribution to the defeat of fascism.

USSR losses amounted to approximately 27 million people. Of those deaths,
8.6 million were soldiers who died on the battlefields, which means that the
vast majority of deaths were among the civilian population, people who died
from hunger and cold, in concentration camps, because of reprisals and doing
forced labor for the Nazis. 

Russia paid for the fascist aggression not only with the lives of soldiers
but also with a huge part of its civilian population, with innocent lives.
Now that the USSR has broken up, it would be interesting to know that of the
8.6 million soldiers who died, 5.5 million were Russian.

The perception of this history, as a common value for all of humanity, makes
it possible to leave behind the times of animosity and alienation, which is
important not only the historic memory is conserved but also to consolidate
the international community in the face of new threats and new challenges.

The 60th anniversary of the victory over fascism currently has a special
significance. Just as at the time of World War II, civilized humanity had to
put aside all differences and contradictions, as was the case in the mortal
struggle against Nazi enslavement, we must do so now to form a common front
against terrorism.

This anniversary should not be assumed just to pay tribute to those who fell
in that struggle against fascism but as an adhering factor for a broad
antiterrorist coalition of states under the aegis of the United Nations
Organization. (UNO)

Another historic significance of that victory is that the UN precisely
emerged as a result of the efforts of the anti-Hitlerite coalition, the
creation of which would have been unthinkable if Nazi fascism had not been

The threats and the dangers currently lying in wait for us, like in the
past, indicate that the peacekeeping role of the UN must be increased, by
heightening the efficiency of this international body as the central
coordinator of all intergovernmental relations, in order to achieve a more
just and secure world.

Russia was and is a faithful supporter of those objectives and is a secure
partner in terms of guaranteeing that in all states. The UN was the
offspring, the result, of that victory against fascism.

Speaking of the UN what is your opinion of the problems that are currently
affecting that organization, whose role in current problems is being

The conditions in which the UN was created are very different from the world
of today and there are different historic players. In order to be the most
effective, it must be the central agency for keeping the peace and
development. We advocate reforms to bring it into line with changes in the
world, but they should be done in a careful, cautious way, because it is a
fragile entity, that could be damaged if the right changes are not made.

In addition, the Security Council should be reformed. The architecture of
the world is different, new regional powers have appeared, countries that
with much weight. In order to strengthen multilateralism and to establish
more just and democratic state relations, the UN and the Security Council
must be reformed.

In hindsight, attempts have been made to diminish the role of the USSR in
the victory over fascism by tendencies and countries that have attached
greater significance to the role of the United States in the World War II.

There are attempts to rewrite history, in line with current influences and
political leanings, but this does not change the realities. Everyone
realizes the role of the USSR in the defeat of fascism. The USSR
participated in an anti-fascist coalition.

There are things that are impossible to rewrite, since there are solid data
that confirms that the number of German troops and the volume of military
equipment on the eastern front was much greater, all directed against the

The bulk of the number of losses in the German army were on the fronts
against the USSR, in those great battles in Moscow and Stalingrad that
changed the course of the war, a fact acknowledged by the allied chiefs of
that time, like Winston Churchill, the British prime minister and Roosevelt,
the US president. One has to read the statements they made then. It is
impossible to change the historical truth.

More information about the Marxism mailing list