Total Liberation

A 1971 Poster by OSPAAAL, depicting the murder of Black Panther George Jackson at San Quentin prison.

We cannot foresee the future, but we should never give in to the defeatist temptation of being the vanguard of a nation which yearns for freedom, but abhors the struggle it entails and awaits its freedom as a crumb of victory.


Today in 1966, the Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America (OSPAAAL) was formed in Havana, Cuba and attended by delegates from 82 countries.  Their objective was simple – total liberation.  An organization of national liberation movements and shared ideology, they fought against colonialism, globalization, racial segregation and capitalism.  They had a vision that solidarity and cooperation among nations could lead to better lives for everyone; that their fate was intertwined with their neighbors across the sea.  From Cuba to Palestine, they worked to support economic development in emergent in the spirit of internationalism. Their posters were printed in several languages, folded inside the Tricontinental, and sent to subscribers around the world.

A 1983 OSPAAAL poster by Rafael Enriquez depicting a Palestinian revolutionary.

It is this same spirit of cooperation and internationalism that will ultimately restore freedom to all people.  When Blacks, Whites, Latinos, environmentalists, feminists, those working for gay rights and those working to protect the rights of undocumented workers expand their vision to embrace the common ideology of justice, it is possible to imagine a society free from oppression. Drawing inspiration from those who came before, we can continue to labor for justice knowing we don’t labor alone.

by Robin Pagliuco

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