This May 5th, 2018 a new stage in the self-emancipatory process of a group of Cubans starts, with the opening of ABRA: Social Center and Libertarian Library.
This effort of the Libertarian Workshop Alfredo Lopez*, with the effective and vital involvement of like-minded groups such as Critical Observatory, Forest Ranger**, and other personal initiatives; works actively to build an autonomous and sustainable space in today’s Cuba.
It is a space to promote experiences and practices independent of any foreign or national government, or institutions that represent them, focused on the capacities of those who get involved. ABRA will insist on a practice that prefigures the kind of sociability that we dream of, and in a friendly relationship with the environment, which translates into a minimum of consumption with a maximum of non-polluting solutions derived of our unique environment.
This new effort is essentially anti-capitalist, because capitalism promotes a type of relation between people based on utilitarianism, supremacy, competition, profit, all of which does not lead to the sociability that we aspire to live in. The above, supported by the States, the companies and corporations that dominate and deprecate the world and our country. For this reason, the Social Center stands at the antipodes of Capitalism.
On the other hand, emancipation is not possible without being involved in the community. That is why ABRA will be an organic part of the community, never alienated to the oppressions it suffers, nor the victories it achieves. In the same way, it’ll get involved in the dynamics of resistance and creation of other alike groups, to whom we give a space in our Center and projects. ABRA aims to provide a space for all those sociabilities, people and groups of different affinities that are not limited to the narrow framework of the government-opposition conflict, taking in consideration the diversity of daily issues, life and creation in all the spheres of reality of these groups and persons.
This space is actively opposed to discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, territoriality, educational level, economic status, or any other discrimination against the dignity of people. It also recognizes the plurality of thoughts (political, ideological, moral, etc.), without ever renouncing to exercise our own.
ABRA is offered as a place of fraternization, in the middle of a commercialized and monitored city, and offers a space for local, national and international counter-information, self-taught formation, commemorations, celebrations, meetings; seeking to encourage the precarious autonomous counter-cultural, productive scene, existing in Havana and Cuba.
The Social Center is conceived as a space of horizontal social communication to give voice to those national and international experiences that are not of interest to the hegemonic agencies. The Center will give voice to those involved in an anti-authoritarian and emancipatory perspective that we want to encourage.
There is no place for contradiction between means and ends in our space, but horizontally, personal freedom and effective participation product of the direct involvement.
*Anarchist, anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist initiative emerged in 2012, part of the Anarchist Federation of the Caribbean and Central America.
** Translated from the Spanish word Guardabosques, it’s a project that promotes actions in favor of the environment with a strong ecological perspective.