Canadian journalist and sociologist Arnold August was presented, in Havana, with the Friendship Medal awarded by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba; an honor which he dedicated to the memory of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz.
Gerardo Hernández, decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba, presented the distinction to the outstanding intellectual, who described Fidel as a “source of inspiration for the world in the struggle for social justice, sovereignty and peace.”
Speaking with Granma International at the headquarters of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) in Havana, the Canadian journalist reiterated the need to highlight the ways in which Cuban revolutionaries are struggling against cultural aggression promoted by Western countries, above all the United States.
According to August, the core of this anti-Cuban media campaign is based around the concept of democracy, with the U.S. presenting itself as its global champion. On the island, meanwhile, this concept is understood as a form of participatory governance, in which the people make decisions.
I dedicate my struggle to combating false propaganda against Cuba, sponsored by imperial governments and capitalist mass media, he noted, whilst going on to stress the importance of making people in other parts of the world aware of actions being taken by the island to resist such aggression.
It is for this reason that August has dedicated his life to conducting research, with over 70 articles already published on social networks. He is also the author of various books, including Democracy in Cuba 1997-1998, Cuba and its Neighbors: Democracy in Motion, and Cuba-U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond; and has recently edited the work The End of Ideology in Cuba?,which will be presented at next year’s Havana International Book Fair.
August has been a loyal defender of the island and its people ever since his early affiliation with the “Carrefour de l’Amitié” Cuba solidarity organization, which later became the “Quebec-Cuba Solidarity Network,” until it was changed to its present format: “The Round Table Coordinating Committee of Quebec-Cuba Solidarity.”
The activist is currently a member of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) and the Caracas-based Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity. He is also a collaborator for multi-national television broadcaster teleSUR, and websites Cubadebate and Cubaperiodistas, as well as other media outlets from Spain, Chile and Ecuador.
Arnold August also founded the “Fabio Di Celmo” Committee for the Freedom for the Cuban Five in Quebec, and headed a delegation from the Canadian province to the First Cuba-Canada Encounter and Second International Solidarity with Cuba Encounter, both held in Havana. Such efforts saw August receive the Félix Elmuza Medal, the highest distinction awarded by the Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC).
The Canadian sociologist also explained how ideas emerged for his work during two conversations with Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz regarding his research.
He also demanded an end to the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, and noted that he will continue to defend socialist Cuba against cultural aggression.
Nuria Barbosa León, Granma
July 10, 2017