By Patrick Iber
During the chilly warfare, left-wing Latin American artists, writers, and students labored as diplomats, prompt rulers, adverse dictators, or even led countries. Their competing visions of social democracy and their pursuit of justice, peace, and freedom led them to agencies backed via the governments of the chilly conflict powers: the Soviet-backed global Peace Council, the U.S.-supported Congress for Cultural Freedom, and, after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the homegrown Casa de las Américas.
Neither Peace nor Freedom delves into the entwined histories of those businesses and the aspirations and dilemmas of intellectuals who participated in them, from Diego Rivera and Pablo Neruda to Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges. Patrick Iber corrects the view that such participants have been in simple terms pawns of the competing superpowers. pursuits for democracy and social justice sprung up between pro-Communist and anti-Communist factions, and Casa de las Américas promoted a model of innovative nationalism that used to be beholden to neither the Soviet Union nor the United States.
But finally, intellectuals from Latin the US couldn't separate from from the chilly War’s inflexible binaries. With the Soviet Union tough fealty from Latin American communists, the us zealously assisting their repression, and Fidel Castro pushing for local armed revolution, advocates of social democracy came across little room to advertise their beliefs with out compromising them. chilly battle politics had provided utopian goals, yet intellectuals may get neither the peace nor the liberty they sought.
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Extra resources for Neither Peace nor Freedom The Cultural Cold War in Latin America
Both the CCF and the WPC were instruments of the propaganda of ideas known as cultural diplomacy: the deliberate exchange of art, music, polemics, students, and scholars for the purpose of shaping international perceptions. But the language of “fronts,” inherited from the era, risks reducing the complex dynamics of the Cultural Cold War to a simple story of superpower manipulation. If the independence of intellectuals with respect to the state has been the central issue of the Cultural Cold War, it has sometimes obscured the degree to which the Cultural Cold War was structured not only by state power but also by the intellectual communities of the political Left that came into contact with it.
The political divisions they debated were heightened by the conflict between the two major world powers: the Soviet Union and the United States. Artists, writers, and other intellectuals on the left, including those in Latin America, tried to pursue justice, peace, and freedom. But, as the historian and antinuclear activist E. P. Thompson wrote, at the onset of the Cold War “the cause of freedom and the cause of peace seemed to break apart”—the idea of freedom being associated with the United States and that of peace with the Soviet Union.
Each camp would accuse the others of corruption and of operating in the service of foreign empire. But it was not so much an issue of corruption as of the inscription of intellectuals’ preexisting campaigns onto the Cold War. The evidence from Latin America suggests that the Cultural Cold War is best understood within a framework of “ironic Gramscianism”—the pursuit of cultural hegemony through a combination of coercion and consent, incorporating many agendas. But the consequences were so varied that cultural fronts produced nearly as many ironies as they did movements in the direction that their patrons hoped.
Neither Peace nor Freedom The Cultural Cold War in Latin America by Patrick Iber