I Never Learned to Dance

Pedro P. Morejon

Cuban junior high school students.

HAVANA TIMES – Ever since I was five years old and began school, I’ve been told what is right and what is wrong. They wanted to teach me how to become like Che, who I only knew what I was told about him. I was made to repeat hollow slogans and mottos. They decided what I had to learn, what I didn’t have to learn. What I should and shouldn’t believe. That was my entire life as a student.

When I was 14 years old, I was signed up to Cuba’s largest, and heartless, mass organization the CDR (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution). I was never asked whether I wanted to join, or whether I wanted to pay the dues or be a look-out.

When I was 18, I was conscripted into the Military Service, which is compulsory here. The Criminal Code stipulates that you can go to jail for up to two years if you refuse to do it. We were still disciples there. I learned to be a member of the infantry, strategy-making and how to handle war weapons, especially AKMs. However, the key thing was making me believe that my greatest enemy was only a few miles to the north, separated by a sea. 

I will never forget the boring speech a high-ranking officer (a fanatic and fundamentalist, or maybe an opportunist to the max, you never know) gave us when he praised the Revolutionary Armed Force’s fighting capacity, in the case of a hypothetical US invasion He claimed the US troops would bite the dust on the battlefield.

The end of my military service finally came. I couldn’t wait for that moment to come. I believed I was free because at the end of the day, and as a popular saying we have here goes: “guard and prisoner are the same.”

But, that wasn’t the case. They want to control you until you die. This continues in the workplace, where I would hear a boss saying a hateful phrase: “sense of belonging” so as to manipulate others into doing what they wanted. Ah, and I have to form part of a union, even though the only thing it really shares with a real union is its name.

They also want me to go out and march on certain days, to sign public statements which support causes I don’t believe in… Basically, it doesn’t matter whether you are a good person, a hard-working, honorable, qualified or honest employee. The only thing that matters is being a good lamb and to join the troupe. That’s it.

What is the future they want to give me in return? Old age with a miserly pension that comes from wages that are just as miserly. And to be obedient… until death.

I see poor old people selling roasted peanuts, newspapers and plastic bags, etc. nearly every day.  Or looking for cans or other things in garbage cans, when you would expect them to be resting in the final strait of their lives.

This has been decreed. It isn’t in writing, but it’s real. People don’t even pick up on it, but it forms part of the programming of every Cuban. It is a decree that has been designed to turn us all into numbers, into subjects without self-determination, who contribute to the happiness of those who couldn’t give a flying cucumber about our wellbeing. Us feeling empty and unhappy. So that we become fanatics and idol worshippers.

The evil and submissive masses. This mass that is made up of robots, soulless people, who don’t have their own opinions because they are based on beliefs that have been instilled into our brains, as they have stripped us of our ability to think for ourselves, whether that was out of convenience, for survival purposes or in order to avoid problems.

However, it turns out that the people laying down the Law are only doing this because they hold the reins of power and its privileges. They need submissive people in order to ensure their carnival. That’s why I say, don’t count me in. I don’t like this troupe, plus, I never learned to dance.

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Pedro Morejón

I am a man who fights for his goals, who assumes the consequences of his actions, who does not stop at obstacles. I could say that adversity has always been an inseparable companion, I have never had anything easy, but in some sense, it has benefited my character. I value what is in disuse, such as honesty, justice, honor. For a long time, I was tied to ideas and false paradigms that suffocated me, but little by little I managed to free myself and grow by myself. Today I am the one who dictates my morale, and I defend my freedom against wind and tide. I also build that freedom by writing, because being a writer defines me.

Pedro Morejón has 138 posts and counting. See all posts by Pedro Morejón

4 thoughts on “I Never Learned to Dance

  • Why confine it to the US? The world is a big place! But the article as indicated by commencing with reference to “Che”, describes communism. Let’s not slip into the trap of describing communism as anything else, for that is what the Castro regime is endeavoring to do with the changes dictated by Raul Castro to the Constitution. It is an endeavor to persuade the free capitalist world that Cuba is changing – whereas in reality nothing is changing for Cubans. Those practices described by Pedro Morejon have not changed.
    Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin were all hard core communists and it is their beliefs and practices which are practiced in Cuba as described in the article! Indoctrination, compulsion, control, repression and denial of human rights and individuality.
    Don’t forget that the USA has a Communist Party and for a period one of its known members contributed to HT. Bernie Sanders is but a aging frustrated political wart compared with communism! Several of the western democracies have experienced socialism and recovered through democratic vote, but communism allows no other form of thought, let alone action and it is communism that controls Cuba.

  • Amazing article that should be read by anyone in the U.S. who is sympathetic to socialism.

  • An excellent article by Pedro Morejon. It is indicative of the power of indoctrination, that he does not say who “they” are, obviously considering that all readers will understand that he is referring to the Communist Party of Cuba.
    Those who like Pedro believe in “honesty, justice, honor” have to maintain a constant mental struggle to retain those values when endeavoring to exist under the vicious repression of Castro led Stalinist “Socialismo”, which is in itself, contradictory to decency, concern for the views and opinions of others or freedom!

  • Very well said!!!

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