Alfredo Portugheis gave VIA.NEWS a video interview in Trafalgar Square during the living peace sign rally.
Watch the video interview with Alberto Portugheis.
Mr. Portugheis has had a successful international career. He’s a prominent pianist, masterclass teacher, published author and humanist.
Mr. Portugheis also takes part in several organizations and activities. He founded Opus Musica, co-Founded the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, is the vice-chairman of the International Society for the Study of Tension in Performance and co-founded the Iberian & Latin American Music Society.
In this interview, Mr. Portugheis talks about the need for the demilitarization of the world, the power struggle that gets people killed in wars, the World War 3 possibility, the hunger in the world, and the need to protect children.
“Having studied the problems of the world on war and peace, practically since I was born, I realized there is no way we can achieve peace if we continue to produce and sell weapons.”
“When the president of one country agrees with the president of another to have a war, why should thousands of young soldiers kill and die because of that decision?”
Alberto Portugheis Interview
Miguel Carvalho: Tell us about the HUFUD organization and your role in it.
Alberto Portugheis: I’m the founder and president of HUFUD (Humanity United for Universal Demilitarization). Having studied the problems of the world on war and peace, practically since I was born, I realized there is no way we can achieve peace if we continue to produce and sell weapons. Unless we made all toy weapons, but real ones are made for killing.
It’s a big lie of government to tell us that weapons are a deterrent, they are not a deterrent at all. If weapons were a deterrent, we would be giving them to all children in school, so there is never a fight. But we know that this is not true. Because once people have weapons, instead of solving disagreements through dialogue, they just use weapons. I’m entirely opposed to militarism.
I understand the police could have weapons, when necessary. If a criminal runs faster than the police officer, they can stop him with a bullet to the leg. But when the president of one country agrees with the president of another to have a war, why should thousands of young soldiers kill and die just because of that decision? I find that very unfair.
“ISIS wouldn’t exist. They couldn’t be invading towns. They couldn’t do anything about what they do if we didn’t promote the military trade.”
Miguel Carvalho: What concrete steps is your organization taking towards that goal?
Alberto Portugheis: What I hope is I educate the world to understand that the weapons are never a solution, and people should refuse to participate in these war games that politicians organize for us.
We never ask for wars. You never see a demonstration, in front of government building, of people asking the president to organize a war for them. On the contrary, people are always asking for peace. But governments use propaganda, the public relations machine, to lead us into a war that we don’t want.
I hope that all parents will tell their government: we don’t make children for you to send them to kill others and deliver our children back to us in a coffin. We have to tell them that enough is enough. Finish with this game of war that you are playing with our children. If you like to have a war, you should have it yourself. Have a duel between one president and another. Why should thousands of people die just because their governments decided to have a war?
Also, the excuse that we’re trying to get rid of terrorism is another lie, because we promote terrorism. We sell the weapons to terrorism. We train them. If there were no weapons, even terrorists couldn’t organize themselves. ISIS wouldn’t exist. They couldn’t be invading towns. They couldn’t do anything about what they do if we didn’t promote the military trade.
M C: Tell us about your background. What brought you to this cause?
A P: I was born in Argentina in a family that escaped World War 2. I spent my childhood and adolescence watching all my family cry because of all the family they lost in the war. The people who were not lucky like them, who managed to escape, and ended up dead.
As a child, I didn’t think that some people like my family and others who immigrated to South-America, liked wars. I realized nobody likes wars. I came to Europe and asked everybody, and they didn’t like wars. So I started to think, how come if nobody likes wars we have wars all the time? When in studying why I realized that it’s business. A fight for power of certain families, royal families, of people wanting to be rich, much more than what they need. They make so much money than the time to spend it.
M C: Do you believe money is “the root of all evil,” when it comes to this war issue?
A P: When it comes to this, yes. I’m not against money. If politicians want to make money and have a friend who makes trains and he gets him a contract for millions of Pounds and get paid a commission, I’m not against that because he doesn’t have to kill people. He can become rich, but people don’t have to die so that he becomes rich. But if you sell bombs, rockets, tanks, drones, Apache helicopters, all you’re doing is creating unnecessary death and suffering of millions. We’re also creating hunger. So many governments have no money to help the poor people because they spend it on weapons.
We have it even in this country, the UK, you have hospitals closing down, schools in need of money for repairs, libraries closing down. But more money is being spent on militarism all the time.
That’s easy money made by politicians. They send the country into bankruptcy because the weapons, fighters, and warships get bought with money that’s not their own. But the money they make on commissions, that is their money. They take the country into bankruptcy, but they make a personal fortune.
I don’t mind the fact that they make money, but that so many people have to die because of this business.
“If things don’t change soon, we have to prepare ourselves for World War 3.”
M C: What are your organization’s prospects for the future?
A P: I hope I find one day a benefactor who can allow me to have a radio station, or even better a TV channel because I want to educate the world. I wrote two books that have been read by many people, but that is not enough. I need to reach many who know nothing about books, not only because they are not interested in reading but because they cannot read and write. Since there are countries with a big percentage of illiteracy, a television program could be heard by people.
I need people to understand, people who are in Sudan, Nigeria, Angola, Uganda, and Kenya. They don’t know why the situation is so bad. They don’t understand how exploited they are by their politicians, by foreigners and many organizations. They are all starving while we are eating in the UK all the food that they produce for us. It’s discussing what’s happening in the world.
And the millions of children, who die every year, that don’t reach the age of four or five. They die because they have no food or medical care. All this could stop if we had no militarism.
“We need clever economists who can transform the economy of war into an economy of peace.”
M C: How would you like to be remembered?
A P: I hope I’ll produce a change one day in the world. I hope I’m planting the seed that will flourish, hopefully in not too long. Because if things don’t change soon, we have to prepare ourselves for WW3. It’s what our governments want. They are leading us into that. I need to be heard by many people, not for the sake of being heard, but to make them think and act. It’s not enough for me to be opposed to militarism, we need the world to be opposed to it. Even if that will create an economic problem for all the people employed in the military industry. We need clever economists who can transform the economy of war into an economy of peace.
I speak with people who manufacture bombs, and I know. Even they tell me personally they also hate wars. But when a war happens they are very happy because they know that more orders are coming.
I want those who hear me, to think about what I say. And of course, anybody who wants to join me or start in their country, wherever they are, or movement, to continue this work, I’ll be very happy to hear from them.
M C: What’s the best way to contact your organization?
A P: Through HUFUD.org.
Miguel Carvalho: Mr. Portugheis, thank you very much.
Alberto Portugheis: Thank you.