By Ana Hurtado – Sep 20, 2023
The world is in turmoil. As the Western powers and their economic policies continue to tear apart the world, the countries of the South have united to demand justice.
This is a long story, one that continues and has been there on a planet where human beings have gone straight into an invisible plane. Since the emergence of capitalism, we have witnessed the progressive destruction of people, their cultures, communities, their environment and their freedoms by oppressive forces that increasingly abuse all people.
Is this what we human beings are destined for?
In 2016, the English filmmaker Ken Loach, one of my top references, released the film I, Daniel Blake. It is an ode to the social realism that we live in European countries, and that is extendable to any neoliberal country.
Loach has spent his entire career dedicated to showing these types of human realities that are not usually the favorite dish of mainstream movie theaters. With this film, in the same year, he won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film industry had to give it to him, because Daniel Blake left no one untouched and because cinema is also an important tool for social transformation.
Many people think that paradise exists in first world countries. When they get there, they discover how wrong they were. Others, who have never been there, continue to listen to the siren songs and are obsessed with an idea that does not exist. Just like paradise. And Loach has the marvelous ability to capture that reality that is not sold, not advertised, but which abounds and is perennial.
The protagonist, Daniel, is a carpenter who suffers a heart attack and has to fight against the English bureaucracy to receive a pension since he is unable to work. The director highlights the total dehumanization of human beings by addressing the shortcomings and decay of a system that is already unsustainable. Especially, the British welfare system that is in total collapse since Margaret Thatcher’s policies.
They were full of talk about the welfare state, but it vanished, it went up in smoke and never returned. As can be seen in the movie, Blake befriends a single mother in the job application centers who has to move 300 miles away from home with her children in order to take a job.
He sees from the bowels of the English working class how the worker’s life is a number. The poor treatment, the lack of empathy and of course the non-existent sensitivity.
He even goes so far as to question whether a person who has suffered a heart attack and is in poor health is fit to continue working at his age—59 years—in jobs involving heavy physical labor. Perhaps if this man were the father of the worker who is attending him in the “Job Center,” this worker would have a little more humanity and decency. But do family and friendship ties alone have to be the only things that make us move in the face of injustice? Because there are thousands of people like Daniel Blake, not only in England but in all our westernized countries.
This unjust system no longer has any leg on which to stand. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said so on Tuesday [September 19], at the UN.
The countries of the South, those underdeveloped by the abuse of the powerful, also have a voice. As the Cuban president said, the countries of the Global South are victims of an “abusive world economic order.” An abuse that the West also commits against the working class within its own borders as we have been seen in Loach’s movie.
Díaz-Canel called for justice. Cuba at the UN gave a new lesson of dignity to the world. A world in which inequality is growing by leaps and bounds for the benefit and pleasure of a few.
“A new and fairer global contract is urgently needed,” he emphasized.
That is because this capitalism is a predator of human beings, of souls, of the environment, and it devastates everything in its path.
It is an honor for the countries of G77 + China that a voice was raised in the heart of New York for them and for us. A voice that Fidel had already raised there some time ago and that still resounds within those walls.
We want justice, we want equality, we want a world that is safe and healthy in which humanity lives free and sovereign. And we will fight for it until our last breath.
Cuba carries the torch in its hands. It guides us. It has the experience of resistance, courage, determination and humanity.
Those of us who are Cuba’s friends can do nothing but follow the nation, understand it, support it, and nourish ourselves with its emancipating and just spirit.
Because if not that… What is left for us? Despair? To die alone like Daniel Blake?
That is capitalism: to die alone in your house and with no one to care for you, just like Daniel Blake.
Ana Hurtado is a Spanish filmmaker, producer, screenwrite, and journalist, renowned for her solidarity activism for Cuba.
scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/December 1, 2023