HAVANA TIMES — We are at a critical juncture in history, the world is living through uneasy times as the result of cocky threats by presidents in some countries and bombs which Trump throws around as if they were birthday confetti.
In Cuba, which many people consider a calm place where they would like to live if it weren’t for the depressed economy, we don’t escape serious problems either. Yes, it is more peaceful here than in other places, of course, because we aren’t in a region exposed to war. However, there are so many situations which should worry us and take up our time, as they not only have a negative impact on the country’s present but in its future too.
In spite of the fact that the Cuban Constitution making it clear in its 6th chapter about Equality, that: The State establishes the right, won by the Revolution, of its citizens, without distinction based on race, color, sex, religious creeds, national origin, or any other type offending human dignity, to have a right to education at all national educational institutions, ranging from elementary schools to the universities, which are the same for all.
In spite of the fact that universities in any country should be free spaces for thought, debates, discussions, the foundation where the worm of criticism grows not only with regard to political and social problems, but personal criticism too, which benefits us in so many ways.
In spite of the fact that the majority of Cuban young people are increasingly becoming more disinterested, ignorant to the political conflicts that take place in the world and especially those which develop in Cuba; in a comfortable frenzy with the invasion of brands, reggaeton and non-political Art.
In spite of all of this, it has happened again, this time in the figure of Karla Maria; this young 18 year old girl has been kicked out of the Universidad Central Marta Abreu, in Villa Clara, accused of belonging to a counter-revolutionary and illegal organization.
I have heard of similar stories of young people who have been frustrated because of their intention to be sincere, critical, and to think for themselves. The saddest thing of all is when students or work colleagues – which up until yesterday you used to share lunch, coffee, jokes, and sometimes even ideas- stop being acquaintances and become accomplices of the Power.
Reading the University Students Federation’s statement which supported the expulsion, I was overcome with horror at the thought that in this day and age, some young person could create such a statement. It’s completely opportunist and discriminatory. Universities have to be open to each and every citizen of its country. I’m sure that there are many students asking themselves why something like this has happened, but it’s difficult for them to manifest their curiosity publicly, as they can see the price you pay.
These things don’t happen by chance in Cuba, it’s not about a group of mistaken officials. If this were the case, those who have been committing mistakes and atrocities would have already been punished. It’s the result of a policy applied in society, in education and workplaces, in neighborhoods and even in our private lives, where a way of seeing the world previals which rejects the “Other”. Even when we all run the risk of being this “Other”.
All of my support goes to Karla and every other person who has suffered the blunders of those in power at the time and the complicity of those who don’t estimate how powerful they can become. Some day, we will regret not having done anything to change the way things are; I hope it’s not too late.