Cuba’s Youth Newspaper

By Daysi Valera

Cuba’s Juventud Rebelde daily newspaper
Cuba’s Juventud Rebelde daily newspaper

Juventud Rebelde (Rebel youth) is the name of one of the most important newspapers in Cuba.  Its name reminds us of the rebel army that led the national liberation movement that would culminate in a deep revolutionary process.  The paper is the official publication of Cuba’s Young Communist League.

With sections devoted to sexuality, humor, science and technology, and national politics, it could be considered an interesting publication. In addition, the newspaper has a grievance section which is dedicated to responding to complaints sent in by readers about irksome problems created by bureaucratic red tape.

However, among the youth who read the paper, it doesn’t hit the mark of generating critical and objective analyses of daily politics affecting this group so important to society.

In Juventud Rebelde, it’s rare to find news covering the situation of youth in different parts of the world – their struggles, needs and victories.

Though its stated aim is to serve as a communist periodical, the publication does not deal in depth with the problems facing the world’s working class drowned by the capitalist system.

I believe that the newspaper – which is circulated in basically all the country’s provinces – should engage in discussions about our domestic life, difficulties, mistakes and limitations, as well as our achievements.

In its pages, Cuban young people should have space to write about all topics of significant national importance, such as wages, recreation, sports, economic plans, foreign trade, housing, law, culture, and the union movement.

JR should also deepen its coverage of international events that relate to youth and the labor movement.

In this sense, a newspaper that upholds the great responsibility of informing the youth of a socialist society should advance without yielding to bureaucrats who – through erecting obstacles or covering up controversy – do not allow the voices of those who want a better society to be heard.

This would be a society where the leading actors were the workers, supported by Cuban youth.

Daisy Valera

Daisy Valera:Soil scientist and blogger. I write from Mexico City, where Havana sometimes becomes so small that it disappears. However in others, the Cuban capital is a city so past and present that it steals your breath.



2 thoughts on “Cuba’s Youth Newspaper

  • Esteemed Daysi –

    Criticism is easy. Cubans do it all the time. I notice you use the word “should” several times in your note. Have you tried to contact JUVENTUD REBELDE and see if they’d respond to the points you raise here? Readers here would be interested in what your experience has been. Since you live in Havana, you could
    even visit their office, over near Revolution Plaza.

    There’s an article in JR taking up criticism and agencies which ignore criticism. It’s posted here at the JR website in English, but you’d probably do better to write to them in Spanish.

    Check it out:
    http://www.juventudrebelde.co.cu/columnists/2009-05-06/silence-is-not-a-solution/

    Best wishes and good luck t

    Reply
  • The root of the problem is that Juventud Rebelde isn’t really about the struggle, needs, and victories of Cuban youth (to paraphrase Daisy). Like all Cuban state media, JR’s role is to promote the “accomplishments” of the revolution to Cuban youth, and to never deviate from the Communist Party line. Hence, the prominence given to the “reflections” of an aging octogenerian, the homage paid to the “Cuban Five,” and the news articles that read like government press releases (which of course they are).

    Reply

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