(Translated by Ruben D. Arvizu)
Mexico City – 1957
To Mr. Pablo Picasso, and to all the artists and men of culture in the world.
Very dear sir and my very admired teacher and friend.
I turn to you to ask that your voice – authorized by its just reputation – reinforces the clamor to demand, in the name of everything that in the world means culture, well-being, beauty, joy and peace, the immediate suspension of testing Atomic thermonuclear bombs, since the continuation of them can only lead to a certain end: the general atomic war with the consequent human mass destruction.
Only the superior knowledge has given the human being the possibility to learn the nuclear structure of matter and the power to manipulate and manage the immense energy that accumulates, and that discovery has been applied to prepare instruments destined for mass destruction.
The threat continues, followed by a worse one, and has produced in the whole world a tremendous anguish and a frightful collective hysteria, which are leading to an imbalance of all order that depletes everything and leads society to a very rapid degeneration, visible and with complete evidence.
All that means art, culture and superior life is already in imminent danger and we are obliged to defend it immediately.
It seems that intelligence is not enough for man to make him understand that he is preparing his own destruction in every way. Raising, therefore, the voice of sensitivity and love to awaken that intelligence of its lethargy, 2000 American scientists have pronounced for the suspension of the tests to reach the possibility of banning atomic weapons. Sadly, some scientists of my neighboring country of the United States, have publicly said that mankind has nothing to fear from these bomb tests, “only the final use of these in the war would be terrible.”
But, are the test bombs made of different material than the bombs that will definitely be used in a war? The entire world can ask the Japanese seamen and fishermen, victims of atomic rain from a US bomb test in the Pacific, and the ones poisoned by eating contaminated fish as a result of the blast.
Perhaps scientists who do not look at atomic bomb tests as a threat to humanity, consider that the Japanese people are not part of that humanity. Against some opinions, experience shows that in the nuclear arms race of the great powers, the citizens of small nations, who have as much right to live as the great powers, will be infinitely more, in the case of atomic war, the helpless victims of the clash of the power of the great nations.
If the men of science, by the thousands, have raised their voice against this enormous atrocity, this voice so far does not seem to have been heard by all, since there are even scientists able to help to mute the alarm bells of their colleagues, favoring with that the producers of bombs.
Why has not that voice been heard more clearly by the millions of mothers whose children are threatened with death, preventing them from joining, organizing themselves around the world to stop the hand that makes the tools of destruction that will murder the children they gave life to?
Why has not that voice been actively supported by the millions of humans eager to live by building within peace and joy and not preparing the general annihilation within anguish and despair?
Why do not the women and men of the whole world already form an immense peace organization to forever stop the wickedness of war? What is the reason for this unexplained deafness in the face of the dreaded danger?
That is why I raise as high as I can my insignificant voice, to call all those who live by love and human sensitivity, building beauty that is the indispensable food of the higher life, to cry, to demand the immediate suspension of atomic bomb tests for at least the three years that have been proposed. We will thus give men time to recover their lost reasoning and reach a total ban, by agreement of the whole world, to stop the manufacture and use of thermonuclear utensils of mass destruction of mankind.
In the name of human solidarity, your attentive servant.