Cuba’s Young Communists League Holds Its 10th Congress

Elio Delgado Legon                                              

congreso UJC 2015HAVANA TIMES — Cuba’s Young Communists League (UJC) held its 10th Congress from July 17 to 19, overshadowed in the international media by the opening of US and Cuban embassies in Havana and Washington. During three intense days of profound debate – held first within different commissions and then during the plenary session – UJC members analyzed the main issues surrounding the internal workings of the organization and the economic and political problems facing young people and the country in general.

The 500 representatives and 100 invitees reaffirmed the revolutionary, patriotic and anti-imperialist nature of the organization, as well as the decision to confront anything that can undermine, harm, rift apart or demobilize Cuba’s new generations.

The Congress ratified the continued relevance of essential principles, such as the defense of socialism, understood as the only socio-economic, political and cultural system capable of successfully confronting the complex challenges that lie ahead of humanity.

The Congress also approved a document which defines the aim of uniting and mobilizing young people around the country’s most pressing problem, which entails the strengthening of the system of socialist values before attempts at cultural colonization made by capitalism and efforts by Cuba’s enemies, within and outside the island, to change the country’s political structures.

It clearly declares that the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States constitutes a victory for the heroic Cuban people over all aggressions, which have left a toll of more than three thousand deaths, and against the limitations imposed on us by the genocidal economic, commercial and financial blockade that has been in place now for more than half a century.

The document points out that the new opportunities opened up by these relations come with no shortage of challenges, particularly in the cultural and ideological field, such that Cuba’s youth must be prepared to defend the revolution, be it from a direct military intervention or from an avalanche of pseudo-culture, consumerism and the symbols, customs and values promoted by capitalism.

In view of these challenges, it was decided at the Congress to step up the UJC’s work in the cultural and ideological fields, the teaching of history and the use of information and communication technologies, including the Internet, as a source of study materials, knowledge, culture and information.

After the work of the five commissions was exposed, the one idea that was clearly expressed is that the new generations are willing to preserve and continue the work that millions of Cubans have built over more than 50 years.

Over several months, more than 60 thousand comments collected across the country were reviewed and served as the platform for the contents of the UJC Congress.

Without a doubt, Cuba’s youth vanguard represents and defends the interests of all young people across the country, and it is willing to defend what the revolution has accomplished and struggle to reach new goals, aware it is not only the future but also the present of the homeland – that this Congress speaks, not only for the UJC, but for all young people in Cuba.

20 thoughts on “Cuba’s Young Communists League Holds Its 10th Congress

  • The word “socialism” has been given new meaning in Cuba. The original meaning is hardly recognizable on the streets of Havana. I give credit to improvements in the economic model that while still dysfunctional, is working better. Raul is a practical leader. The largely cashless society is being monetized. Soon the states assistance programs will be means tested. The better off well pay taxes. The less fortunate will recieve transfer payments.

  • The failures of socialism are well known to today’s youth. It is one thing to promise a socialist utopia to those who have not lived it. For those of us that have experienced it, no amount of messaging is going counter reality. The changes to the economic model are all ready transforming Cuba. The Castro’s only hope is to make the economy work well enough for the youth.

  • That’s an interesting statement. Cuba is officially athiest. It’s leaders have renounced God, and for the most part, it’s people are both apolitical and non religious. Have u ever been there?

  • Ah. Thank-you. And thanks for not laughing at me.

  • You could not be farther from the truth. If God were to open the Heavens today to separate the wheat from the chafe of nations and toss the chafe into the eternal fire, there would be a special oven for the Cuban atheists. Keep in mind who is Prince of this world as you judge who is “far ahead of many nations”.

  • Credibility should be based on adherence to the truth. Rejecting Elio’s post, which is my right, has nothing to do with my credibility. The FACT that I use to disagree with Elio’s post should be the measure of my credibility and not that I simply disagree. Get a clue dude.

  • Zuri, I’m doing work in Tucson Az and live on the University of Arizona campus. I don’t know where you are but those sweatshop laborers from China are being educated here in high numbers and they dress a lot better than me. In fact, they work their asses off to become top students and are pleasant and by their smiles seem to like being so called slave laborers.
    I do see many who left Cuba and now live in the US doing quite well and again, smiles, families who have iphones, or consumer trash and always willing to give me some insight into how to run my logistics company. I ask you do you use computers or have one and how about a mobile phone? if you do have you access to being on-line and text? seriously!! i’d hate to even guess what you think of starbucks!

  • I guess I’m wrong John, Venezuela is doing just fine. No problems and business owners and those who moved from the US a few years back have nothing to fear. Not what I’m hearing, first hand. I think it’s a mess!!

  • Sr. Delgado-Legon,
    Can you tell me why the Young Communists League is only ten years old? I ‘m just surprised, because I thought the political role of youth was structured into all Communist states, as a matter of course.

  • As usual sir….anyone you don’t agree with is “clueless”…..doesn’t say much for your credibility…

  • Cuba is far ahead of many nations in being good with God and that is what matters most, along with an eagerness to help others to make the world a better place.
    A shining example thanks to other nations that helped Cuba , mostly Russian when it mattered most along with Gods grace ,of course.
    Thank you

  • What you seem unable to comprehend is that as an anarchist, I have no more love for the Leninist Cuban government and economic structure than you do.
    Where we differ is that while you would prefer (totalitarian) free-enterprise capitalism and (inevitably totalitarian ) multi-party oligarchic governmental forms to the state capitalism that now exists in Cuba, I would prefer democratic ( bottom-up) economics which you call “academic” socialism and the rigid implementation of Poder Popular as written which is also bottom-up democracy.
    In short , you wish to trade Cuban totalitarian forms for U.S. totalitarian forms .
    I wish for Cuba to be the first socialist -(think: DEMOCRATIC bottom up “academic ” socialism) country in the world.
    I’ll leave you with this: My philosophies are all democratic .
    As long as what YOU want in the world and Cuba is true democracy, we should get along just fine.
    And..please don’t start talking at me about my love of “academic” democracy .
    Don’t make me go all pedantic on you.

  • Venezuela has a free enterprise economy with large social programs run by the government.
    It cannot be considered socialist because it is not worker run.
    The Chavistas have established a number of grass-roots organizations that often work as shadow groups to the top-down traditional government agencies with an eye towards having the bottom-up groups eventually replace the less democratically-run top-down government groups.
    Cuba COULD take a lesson from the Chvistas on this to democratize their economy and fulfill their socialist/communist promises.
    About the Cubans depending on the U.S. for money:
    They depend , in part, on the remittances from individuals who send money from the U.S. to their friends and relatives.
    This will come as somewhat of a shock to you but the imperialists in the USA have maintained an embargo on Cuba that was set in place some 54 years to impoverish the entire population into overthrowing their own revolution.
    Ask yourself: “Would all those presidents and all their expert advisors since 1960 or so maintain the embargo if it was not working ?
    OF COURSE Cuba is poor.
    ANY other poor, small country under such economic attack would have folded after ten years but since Cubans share whatever they have equitably, they have not only been able to make do but show no signs of blaming their government for their economic plight enough to create a counter-revolution.
    Tell me where you think I’m incorrect

  • In answer to your question in the last sentence, “Yes”. That is the goal of the Castro regime as directed by Raul & his clique. They plan to sell cheap Cuban labour to foreign corporations. The Cuban army already controls 80% of the island’s economy. This will be their ticket to hold onto power for decades to come. For the Cuban people, democracy, human rights and anything resembling “socialism” are not in the plan.

  • They discuss socialism because it is the reality of their lives and experience. The problem for you Mr. Goodrich is that you live in an academic dream that socialism is as you think of it. If one distant day in the future you deign to visit Cuba, you may begin to comprehend reality. Go suck it and see!
    As for Elio, he is as described by Moses Patterson.

  • “The last I checked, your fellow Cubans have to depend on the imperialist just a few miles north of you for monies to function as civilized human beings.”

    Alas, economic autarky is impossible in today’s world, and indeed has been for a very long time. We live in a world dominated by capitalism, which is imperialist by nature. The logic of capital is that it continuously expands, and it functions according to a hierarchical global division of labour. You cannot carve out a pure socialist niche for yourself and hope to achieve a decent standard of living while cut off from world trade. The fact that a small country such as Cuba has even done *this* well after the collapse of the USSR – considerably better, in fact, than straightforwardly capitalist third world countries in the region such as Haiti – is nothing short of a miracle. Of course, it was only a matter of time until it would see itself forced to do deals with the devil.

    Capitalism is a global system. Consequently, it has to be overcome globally.

    The Cuban YCL discusses how to counteract “consumerism and the symbols, customs and values promoted by capitalism”. But, as every Marxist knows, it’s the economic base that gives rise to ideological superstructure and cultural phenomena, not the other way round. It is telling that the YCL worries how to keep the existing political structures in place while apparently not talking about forthcoming economic ‘reforms’ at all. Will Cuba be converted into a sweatshop for US corporations, monitored by a Stalinist bureaucracy, as has happened to China a long time ago?

  • It’s hard for me to figure how you can defend socialism since Venezuela, having one of the highest oil reserves in the world has literally collapsed. No imperialism there Elio, at least what I can see, so the question is explain how this has worked in a country that should be wealthy but dirt poor. The last I checked, your fellow Cubans have to depend on the imperialist just a few miles north of you for monies to function as civilized human beings. I guess that’s just fine with you but again i question why you or the Young Communist league would join this insane way to run or ruin a country.

  • Elio is so clueless. Young people in Cuba could not care less about the events of the UJC Congress. Sure, there’s a few hundred, maybe even a thousand under-25 year-olds who see their participation in the UJC as a stepping stone to a better government job and surely even a smaller group among them that actually believe all that communist claptrap. But among the other group of millions of Cuban youth, if the Cuban Hip hop giant Pit Bull doesn’t endorse it, it doesn’t count. When Elio’s generation finally dies off, so to will die their ideology. It hasn’t worked for them. Why would they think it would work for young people today.

  • “The Congress ratified the continued relevance of essential principles, such as the DEFENSE OF SOCIALISM, ( emphasis mine jg) understood as the only socio-economic, political and cultural system capable of successfully confronting the complex challenges that lie ahead of humanity.
    This excerpt raises several questions in my mind.
    First, exactly where is Cuba defending socialism rather than the state capitalist system it has had in place for so long ?
    Second, is this talking about socialism as the only system capable of handling humanity’s FUTURE challenges an indication that the YCL believes that socialism ( a democratic economy) is also something for the future that will evolve from Cuba’s present (totalitarian) state capitalism a future and indeed NOT what Cuba has now for an economic system ?
    Third: Given that all communists understand that communism is a future state that cannot possibly come about before capitalism has made the transition to democratic socialism, are the Young Commies also working towards a future democratic and socialist Cuba or just going along with state capitalism as they are likely being told to do by their elders?

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