At the end of April 2016, on board Cubana de Aviacion jet that was taking me from Paris to Havana, I couldn't resist opening my computer and watching La Ultima Cena again, for at least the tenth time in my life.
Latin America was waiting for me
I was asked to come. I was told: "Latin America needs you. We are fighting a war for survival". And here I was, on board the Cubana, going 'home', to the part of the world that has always been so dear to me, and has shaped me into what I am now, as a man and as a writer.
I was going 'home', because I wanted to, but also because it was my duty. And I damn believe in duties!
After all, I'm not an anarchist but a Communist, 'educated' and hardened in Latin America.
But what does it mean when I say: 'I'm a Communist?'
Am I a Leninist, a Maoist, or a Trotskyist? Do I subscribe to the Soviet or the Chinese model?
Honestly, I have no idea! Frankly, I don't care much for those nuances.
To me personally, a true Communist is a fighter against imperialism, racism, 'Western exceptionism', colonialism and neo-colonialism. He or she is a determined Internationalist, a person who believes in equality and social justice for all people on this Earth.
I'll leave theoretical discussions to those who have plenty of time on their hands. I never even re-read the entire Das Kapital. It is too long. I read it when I was 16 years old. I think that reading it once is enough... It's not the only pillar of Communism and it is not some holy scripture that should be constantly quoted.
I also spent days and days listening to shocking testimonies of victims of torture. I spoke to mothers who lost their children, to wives who lost husbands, to husbands whose wives and daughters were raped in front of their eyes.
I wrote two books compiling hundreds of stories of terror committed by the West: "Exposing Lies Of The Empire" and "Fighting Against Western Imperialism".
I'm not afraid of being ridiculed. But I am terrified of wasting my life if I put selfishness on a pedestal, elevating it above the most essential humanistic values.
I believe that a writer cannot be 'neutral' or apolitical. If he is, then he is a coward. Or he is a liar.
Naturally, some of the greatest modern writers were or are Communists: Jose Saramago, Eduardo Galeano, Pablo Neruda, Mo Yan, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name just a few. Not a bad company, not bad at all!
And I believe that living and struggling for others is much more fulfilling than living only for one's own selfish interests and pleasures.
I admire Cuba for what it has done for humanity, in almost six decades of its revolutionary existence. Cuban Internationalism is what I personally see as 'my Communism'.
Is Cuba ideal? Is it perfect? No, of course it is not. But I don't demand perfection, from countries or from people, or from the Revolutions for that matter. My own life is very far from 'perfect'. We all make errors and bad decisions: countries, people as well as revolutions.
And that is why I am a Communist!
Betraying what we - human beings - really are, as well as betraying the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable among us is, I believe, more frightening than suicide, than death.
A person, a country or a culture that thrives on the suffering of others, is defunct, thoroughly immoral.
The West had been doing exactly that, for decades and centuries. It has been living from and thriving on the enslavement of others and usurping everything on and under the surface of our Earth. It has corrupted, morally and financially, millions of people in its colonies and client states, turning them into shameless and spineless collaborators. It has 'educated', indoctrinated and organized huge armies of traitors, on all continents, in almost all corners of the world.
Indoctrination is well planned. Dreams are poisoned and ideals dragged through dirt. Nothing pure is allowed to survive.
People are made to fantasize only about hardware; phones and tablets, cars and television sets. But the messages are empty, full of nihilism, repetitive and shallow. Cars can now drive very fast, but there is nothing really significant waiting at the end of the journey. Phones have thousands of functions and applications, but they are broadcasting increasingly trivial messages. Television sets are regurgitating propaganda and intellectually toxic entertainment.
It all brings profits to big corporations. It guarantees obedience. It strengthens the regime. But in many ways, humanity is getting poorer and poorer, while the Planet is almost entirely ruined.
Love is now shaped on pop culture images, anchored in some 'retro', oppressive and outdated Christian dogmas.
To me, to be a true Communist means this: to be engaged in the constant fight against the incessant rape of human brains, bodies and dignity, against the plunder of resources and nature, against selfishness and consequent intellectual and emotional emptiness.
And as long as people calling themselves Communists are still able to dream!
Western propagandists tell you: "show us one perfect Communist society!"
I answer: "There is no such society. Human beings, as we have determined, are incapable of creating anything perfect. Fortunately!" Only religious fanatics are aiming at 'perfection'. Humans would die of boredom in a perfect world.
'Che' Guevara once said: "Sacrifices made should not be displayed as some identity card. They are nothing less than fulfilled obligations."
They have lost the ability to define their own condition, but probably, deep inside, they feel emptiness, intuitively sensing that something is terribly wrong.
But the West is still ruling the world. Or more precisely, it is twisting its arm, pushing it towards disaster.
Western imperialist logic is simple: "If we rape and loot, it is because if we don't, others would! Everybody is the same. It cannot be helped. What we do is essential to human nature."
It is not. It is rubbish. I have seen people behaving better, much better than that, almost everywhere outside the Western world and its colonies. Even when they manage to slip away from their torturers and jailers - the Empire - for only a few years, they behave much better. But usually they are not allowed to slip away for too long: the Empire hits powerfully against those who dare to dream about freedom. It arranges coups against rebellious governments, destabilizes economies, supports the 'opposition', or directly invades.
The war is waged, the war for the survival of humankind.
But this time, they will be stopped.
I believe it, and shoulder-to-shoulder with others, I am working day and night to make it happen.
Because it is my duty...
Because I'm a Communist!
[Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: "Exposing Lies Of The Empire" and "Fighting Against Western Imperialism". Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania - a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: "Indonesia - The Archipelago of Fear". Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.]