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Mensaje por LoriG el Mar Oct 02, 2007 11:02 am

(This article was brought by M.L. Matanzas to the Spanish side of the forum and I have tried to translate it to the best of my ability and as true to Mr. Rodriguez's form as possible given the differences in both languages) The footnotes can be found in the second part of this article, below.

Education in Socialist Cuba

By : Rafael Rodriguez

Talking about education, recognized as the process of instruction and creation of values, moral and ethical in communist Cuba is and arduous and complex task. To make someone understand what has happened with this important social activity and how it has been manipulated in Cuba is very difficult and doing a serious and profound study of same, requires much time and dedication. Some day, God willing, I will take on that task, right now all I pretend is to make a brief record that will permit some understanding of the parroted education that the Cuban Government promotes as one of its great accomplishments, is nothing more than one of the ways of submissions that Cubans are exposed to.

I was part of that educational system for 30 years, at classroom level and at province level; I was a participant of the whole process of transforming the Cuban education, as a student at first and later as a faculty member until 2003. I have almost all the elements of how education functions in Cuba.

The education system and the health system, from the on set, were the activities of social value that the revolution prioritized The Commanders of the Rebel Army of full confidence to Fidel Castro were put at the both fronts. It wasn’t a coincidence that these activities be prioritized; they are the most painful of underdeveloped societies. At the same time that they make the people see the good intentions of the revolution, they use them as a way to start the indoctrinated regime of a new ideology. This formula, very valid still, we see today, 46 years after being applied by Castro, in Venezuela. They’re like patents to violate the most elemental of rights with which each human comes into this world.

The first step in Cuba was to nationalize the educational system. It immediately passed to be a state property, schools were created, hundreds of schools, among those were the old barracks used by Batista’s army as a gesture to symbolize a future of peace and tranquility the revolution promised.[1] Our naive peoples didn’t realize that at the same time, thousands of prisons were being built to oppress any attempt against the new regime.

Religious schools were eliminated and education was declared atheist, it became a stigma to be religious of any denomination that wasn’t Marxist, yes because they intended that the devotion society had for God be now a devotion to Fidel Castro. They created emergent plans for teachers such as the School Anton Makarenko, Minas de Frio and a lot more. Young girls from the Eastern provinces were ripped out of their native land and brought to Havana, based on a government plan for them to be educated in different vocations, many were years without seeing their parents, others never saw them again.

They pretended to do away with prostitution, this way and other bad practices of these young girls in their hometowns. You’d have to see what happened in the area of Miramar and the quarters where they were put to live, these were the residences of the rich during the previous regime. Thousands of houses and values were destroyed during that craziness in the name of education and it was nothing more than the seeds of corruption.

For these new schools, there was a need for new teachers. It wouldn’t be long for the teachers that already existed to perceive the terrible intentions of this new government and they wouldn’t comply with these interests. Thousands of young people were sucked in by these rebel “heroes” and became willing volunteers in the alphabitizing campaign of all Cubans, of said system, which was to be accomplished in a few short months.

After this first step massive plans began for the formation of emergent teachers that would go out and impart classes with very little or no technical level, and with minimum knowledge of the subjects they would teach, but, oh yes, with the level of fanatism the Commander required to begin the process of destruction of values held dear by the Cuban family.

The Cuban teenagers’ turning point began in 1969 with the first basic secondary schools (middle schools) in the countryside (crop picking fields), ESBEC and later the pre-university institutes (high schools) in the countryside (crop picking fields) IPUEC.

These schools created and still create the basis of the Cuban educational system and paradoxically are the biggest evidences of the failure of this system. It couldn’t be any other way given the lack of scholarly scientific reasoning with which they were created, only a political value was taken into account, very backdated as a matter of fact, but has been the prime in Cuba, for everything that has been done, without exaggeration, to even inseminate a cow.

The ESBEC schools constituted in making a Martian[2] concept into a fundamental rule for a child, saying a child should use a notebook in the morning and an ax in the evening, were Marti brought forth the idea of the value of work being fundamental in forming a human being. Never in any part of his work did he ever suggest that this should all happen away from the child’s family and ripped from his home and the place of his/her birth. Soon afterwards these schools in the crop picking fields became known as the Martian Concept, of Marxist Education. Let’s see without the purpose of making a deeper analysis, were the principle difficulties in this absurd system were.

It is good to say, for the knowledge of the people who are strangers to this system, that the children began these schools at the age of 11 & 12! At that age they were separated from the families. What characteristics does the psychological development of a child at that age have, who are completely dependant of their parents? This was never contemplated when these schools were established, or they were ignored. What occurred with those children is only known by us, the ones who worked at those schools, and at that moment, did not fully perceive what was occurring, as a matter of fact, we were just a few years older than our students, it was as we matured that we realized the part we were playing in that disaster. The kids would get to school with certain motivation and happiness. The entry to the schools in the crop picking fields were initially viewed by them as a small adventure, we all know that children at that age are very apt to adventures without looking much past their noses. After a few days the adventure became old, parents and siblings were missed, the food mom made, their beds, the neighborhood, the possibility of playing after school. All this, that was enough to cause an emotional crisis in a child, would be coupled with the aggressiveness of the medium in which they were. In the schools there were children from all levels of society, delinquent families to very religious ones, the theft of property was immense, sometimes promoted by their very families who didn’t have the things the children got at school, such as towels, sheets, mosquito netting, sneakers, shoes, etc. Generally the bigger children, the stronger ones and the ones with negative attitudes coming from families with big social problems were put as dormitory chiefs, these would eventually become like prison barracks, applying punishments to the other children, like having them standing at attention until wee early morning hours, beatings, bathroom cleaning, and many other punishments that a twisted child’s mind with the consent of the adults that ran the school, could think of.

To this situation we add the educational curriculum that needs to be implemented, and so that it would be educational it had to be fierce, waking up at 6:00 am, breakfast at 6:15 to 6:45, inspection until 7:00 am, a political act called the “matutino”[3] at 7:05, classes began at 7:15 for one half of the school which initially consisted of 520 students, the other half went to work in the fields (agriculture). These came back at 10:30am. The other half, the ones in classes finished at 12:05, lunched and would go out to the fields until 4:30 pm, they’d shower and started studying from 5:30 until 7:30pm. At 7:30 dinner began and sometimes it would go until 9:00pm. At 10:00 it was officially “lights out”, but at that time began the underworld of abuses, thefts, aggressions among the students that at 35 years of the implementing of this education system, many of those children have lost their lives at the hands of their own schoolmates, also in truck accidents on roads traveled to get to the crop picking fields, falls from the roofs of the dormitories on their way to the girls’ dormitories for sexual relations or to simply be voyeurs, drowned in rivers and dams close to school, etc.

You can bring up many other problems that decorated the ESBECs and the IPUECs, and that a child between 11 & 17 years of age had to deal with, for example, with professors and other security personnel with out the proper skills that would commit atrocities and that were active elements of the process of corruption that was developing in the schools were sexual promiscuity was horrendous and where moral decomposition was immense, the bad quality of the constructions, whose installations, hydraulic, sanitary and electrical only functioned some weeks and at most some months, all the buildings had leaks in the roofs walls and floors, and feces swam on the floor of the dormitories and halls. The installed equipments were from countries of the socialist block in their majority, which were of the worst quality and broke systematically.

At the beginning the food was acceptable, after a few years it also became a disaster. With the passing of time, the schools began to deteriorate and the government didn’t have like in the beginning, the resources to fix them and the terms began in a state of disaster, the children, from the moment they arrived entered a war to survive. A lot of these schools had to shut down and the students placed in the ones that maintained minimum conditions, what provoked a phenomenal overpopulation, as these schools were built for 520 students and many had 700 or more. Today many of these constructions abandoned and vandalized, where only and ant pile remains, are left standing in the middle of citric fields that have also been abandoned and destroyed, like many witnesses of the failure of an educational system that not only didn’t educate, but that destroyed all moral values and ethics of whole generations, but that still is recognized by the absurd fanatics of the government as an accomplishment of Cuban education, logically, being and idea of Fidel Castro, nobody would ever criticize it.

Thousands of students, obviously, deserted these schools, they couldn’t resist those conditions. Those numbers were manipulated, the truth was never revealed, and all sorts of pressures were applied on the children and the parents that allowed the children to abandon the schools, the dramatic moment in which the parents had to choose between losing a child or facing the repression that would follow if they were to take the child out of school, unfortunately the first choice was not made by a small number of parents.

Those are, in broad strokes, the characteristics of the celebrated Cuban educational program, we could say, from the material point of view, was the medium where the children evolved, now; What were the real motivation behind the implementation of such a system? Why that sick idea of separating the children from their families at such an early age?

Castro’s Government ironically recognizes in the Constitution, that family is the fundamental nucleus of a society, and where the first and most important educational influences are leveled on a child, it just seems that in their perspective, infancy ends at 11 years of age and from then on, the Cuban family is not apt to educate the children, from that moment on the fundamental nucleus in society are the schools, which is the same as saying, it is the government.

As I was saying, behind the creation of the ESBECs and the IPUECs, and behind the whole educational system, there is an interest, it called political and ideological work, and it is nothing more than the process of Marxist indoctrination that exists since communism surged as a system.

They consider the schools as the ideal way to insure that future generations maintain the system, and that is why those are the places they should spend the most time at.

At the schools is where they develop what is called the plan to evolve the political and ideological process in which all political campaigns which are invented by the government ideologists are exposed to the children, most of them inspired by real conflicts or fiction with the USA. These sordid campaigns are carried out through acts, meetings, conversation sessions, studies, speeches, TV and videos, etc.

Última edición por el Mar Oct 02, 2007 11:03 am, editado 1 vez

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Mensaje por LoriG el Mar Oct 02, 2007 11:02 am

They really are absurd and obsessive and for the tranquility of many, they are far away from achieving what the government wants, in reality the students hate them and participate because they have no other choice, and not doing it would stigmatize them for a future in any university career.

Those crazy orchestrated campaigns, lack psychological analysis, of up to what point they can cause rejection of same, or how counterproductive they can be politically, because it is not and interest of infancy or adolescence, the regime as we say, is buying rope for its own hanging.

I am witness to the comments expressed by these children every time they were told they needed to assist one of these political acts. Lately they’ve been taking up to announcing that after said act, they’ll be a musical group for their entertainment, with the purpose to make it good for the students to assist and stay throughout. It is clear that all that is repeated, even if it is good, which isn’t the case where the political and ideological work is concerned, becomes boring.

The essence is that the Cuban educational system feels that it is more important and more necessary for children, than their own families, and on that basis they act, separating the children at the youngest age from possible influencing, which for the government, could be more negative every time as more and more Cubans realize the lies they’ve been subjected to. Three terms ago a plan was begun in the secondary basic urban schools, because Castro considered that the children were getting out of school too early and they were playing in the streets, he decided that children wouldn’t leave school until 5:00 pm. Since he didn’t make available any food for their lunch ( the damned imperialist blockade, blessed justification) they were simply given a piece of bread with something like a fritter and a 5oz glass of soy yogurt, this, at the age of development where a child needs the best nutrition.

Anyway, the plans as Castro and his ideologists had planned did not turn as expected. The creation of the New Man, inspired by the image of Ché Guevara (God save us!), and which wouldn’t be much more than an unconditional automated robot dominated by an elite class selected by the government came crumbling down with the fall of communism in Russia and elsewhere. All his education with his indoctrination system, including the perceived superiority of socialism became a joke of which even the children laugh at. Although Fidel Castro fell apart trying to give it all a believable and logical explanation, it all became the joke among all Cubans and of the world.

The Cuban youth has developed a defense mechanism in which their ears shut down as soon as a political act begins, no matter what goes on, and they reopen them when the scheduled band starts to play, the reason why they stood there all that time in the first place. During my time as a worker in the Cuban educational system, especially in the years after 1996, when the political acts were finished, I’d call some students and I would ask them to tell me briefly some of the topics discussed by the principal orator during the activity, it was incredible that not a one remembered, they would only spew incoherent phrases that would somehow find their way to their subconscious.

I repeated that many times and with the exception of minute variations, I always obtained the same result. I repeated this in various schools and always had the same answers, but the interesting thing was that when I asked the teachers, who were supposed to analyze the speech with their students, they had the same reactions as the students had displayed before.

Finally, it is clear that the political campaigns will continue, any stupidity is good for such a campaign, but now, not even these or the parroted poltico-education providers, in the majority, believe in Fidel or in socialism, and no matter what, will not do much for the elevation of the deteriorated image of a system that exhibits as a grand achievement, at 46 years after triumph the selling of an electrical pressure cooker to the Cuban family.

The image of the Cuban Revolution and its educational system, principal way of political and ideological work, is that of a bearded old man rigorously shaking a paper flag, the deterioration of both is paired. (This image is true among those who lived the system or know the truth, not among foreigners who have been duped by the false propaganda the Cuban governments spews outside its borders)[My personal observation]

Professor Rafael Rodriguez is a Cuban exile who resides in Puerto Rico, who left Cuba last year (2003) and worked as principle in superior (high) schools in Cuba for 30 years.


[1] Lies, as later proven when soldiers were sent to Vietnam and were part of the US soldiers’ tortures, and later were sent to Angola for the African wars.

[2] Concepts brought fourth by a respected and renowned Cuban writer and the most outspoken freedom fighter at the onset of Cuba’s 30year war for independence, Jose Marti

[3] An event taking place in the morning.

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Mensaje por LoriG el Mar Oct 02, 2007 11:04 am


Education in Cuba

The communist education in Cuba is inspired by the desire of changing the mentality of the new generations and in that way to create: "the new man". A man which is prohibited to see past communist ideals imposed by the government of the country, even if parents are in disagreement with this type of education. The Code of the Childhood and the effective Youth hood in the Republic of Cuba, corroborate with this reality when they say:

"Article 3: The Communist formation of the young generation is an aspiration of the one State, the family, the educators, the political organizations and of the masses that act so that they aris and they are developed within youth, the ideological values of Communism.

Article 5: The society and the State overlook the people that are linked to the children and young adults in the educational process which constitute an
example for the formation of their communist personality.

Article 8: The society and the State work for the effective protection of the youth before all influence contrary to their communist formation.

Article 18: The educators have a high mission in the formation of their communist personality."

The student in Cuba is subordinated to the strongest controls of the maximum political addresse of the island. For this purpose, not only are these communist youth organizations and pioneers detailed in the government's section and political organizations, but rather The Scholar's Accumulative File which is an official document that has been created and must accompany the student through of all the levels of the general education such as primary, secondary, and pre-university education. In such file, all information concerning to the student is filed, from the academic beginning until its political and communist position. In this sense, the child in question lives under the perennial threat of always having to display a communist and revolutionary attitude in all moments of his/her life and must reject all others who think or manifests a position contrary to the official doctrine or communist ideology that they receive in their schools. That student who is surprised expressing publicly a thought that differs from the official one, not only is reprimanded strongly by the school office, but can also be expelled dishonorably and have their academic filed tainted. This taint in the file, will influence negatively in the student's further studies and it would inhibit the student of pursuing the university career that he/she may desire.

The Education in Cuba is atheist, the youth ignore the love to God and thy neighbor. The only love that they know is to the Socialism and Fidel above the family and friends. This means that all the children and young adults, can be forced to denounce any individual that is projected against the system, even their own parents. There is not God, there is nothing.

Among the officials watchwords that you/they should repeat in the school, we can find the following ones:

"Pioneers for the Communism, we will be as Che"

"Commander in Chief, Order!
order over this earth,
that we will make the war,
if the imperialism comes"

"Hate and Death to the North American Imperialism!"

"Hatred as a factor of struggle; unconditional hatred towards your enemy, which drives you further than human limitations and converts you into an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine."
Ernesto Che Guevara. 1967

The national program of the school at the fields, forces all the children at he age of 12 to work in the fields. This is an effective resource so that the child works from sunrise to sunset and at the same time is good to alienate the child from his/her parents. This process of agricultural work is continued year after year and it is an existent procedure in Cuba since the decade of the sixties.

The system of interns maintain the children and the young adults alienated from their homes and friends. For ten months, the young adults have to remain in the field school and are allowed to come home one night per week. The indoctrination every single morning, afternoon and nights is really monstrous and it should be denounced.

The Cuban education that looks to form the "new man", constitutes the most cruel and merciless ever seen before in any civilized country. The family, conduced to a second place, suffers this pain, suffers and remain silent when seeing its transformed son/daughter, atheist, where its native imperium on them, has been snatched in the name of the law.

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