- INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION - May 5, 2020 -
Roberto Mansilla Blanco -
“The Chavez-Maduro ideology is one of the adaptations of communism”
Renato Cristin is a philosopher and professor of hermeneutic philosophy at the University of Trieste, Italy, and is the promoter of the worldwide campaign Appeal for Nuremberg Trials for Communism, aimed at passing judgment on the historical crimes of communism. In this exclusive interview for Qué Vaina!, he answers our questions about this initiative, communism’s role in current events, and a very critical look at – and denunciation of – the usurpatious regime of Nicolás Maduro and Chavism in Venezuela.
1. When was the “Appeal for Nuremberg Trials for Communism,” which you and Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky have been promoting, born?
This initiative was born in the summer of 2019, but it had a long gestation that I can recount briefly. During a 2005 conference dedicated to the memory of totalitarianism, a conference I organized when I was director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Berlin, Vladimir Bukovsky told me of his idea of establishing a “Nuremberg for Communism”that could hand down a historical and moral condemnation, analogous to the one that justly condemned Nazism and definitively excluded it from the civilized world. Some years later, a group of experts, professors, researchers, and politicians from the Baltic countries took up the idea again, putting together events and conferences of a historical character, but after that we didn’t find a way to make the initiative more concrete.
Finally in the summer of 2019 I wrote to Bukovsky to suggest that we promote it through an appeal that could serve as the basis for an international initiative beginning with the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Although weakened by his illness, he accepted with enthusiasm since he saw the possibility of finally giving form to his idea. Thus it was that we wrote the text of the Appeal and decided to prepare its launch by collecting signatures to present in public for the symbolic date of November 9. Unfortunately Bukovsky passed away on October 27, 2019, leaving an enormous void in all those around the world who had applauded his long battle against communism and shared his motivations and goals; but at the same time he left as a legacy his commitment to carrying out his intention, in part through our new initiative.
2. What are the main demands laid out in this initiative?
This initiative is necessary so that the massacres and genocides by various communist regimes and movements can be formally submitted to a judgment that up to now has not taken place; so as to purify our collective historical consciousness of the toxins that communist ideology has spread everywhere; and so as to rebalance the Western world’s moral conscience, the conscience of the free world that too often, out of sloth or bad faith, hides the truth of communism, concealing the criminal essence of an ideology that is still active and deadly.
Concretely, it is to unfold on three levels, closely linked and connected: a specifically cultural line (historiographical, philosophical, sociological, political, geopolitical); a juridical line (with the object of examining the concrete possibilities for moving forward under penal law, both with regard to specific cases and with regard to the crime of genocide characteristic of many of these massacres); a political and institutional line, which must be assembled both with governments receptive to the idea of obtaining the political and moral condemnation of communism and with the European Parliament, with the goal of fulfilling the resolution the equates communism with national socialism, approved in September 2019.
In recent weeks the global health emergency caused by the coronavirus – a topic that has many implications, not only economic and social but also political, which I will not dwell on here – produced a situation that has forced us to reschedule the concrete actions that we had begun to put together, which will resume when the situation stabilizes, I imagine after the summer. We are continuing to move forward with the collection of signatures of support for the Appeal, which can be read and signed on its webpage: https://appeal.nurembergforcommunism.org//.
3. What has the international reception of this initiative been like, particularly from the standpoint of public opinion, the academic world, the political sphere, and so on?