Yenisel Rodriguez Perez

Foto: Caridad

Popular revolutions, such as the one that occurred in Cuba in 1959, create deep marks on people’s daily culture, impressions of all kinds.  Some foster future freedoms, others gestate oppressions to come.

Every revolution creates its own angels and demons.  These remain safeguarded by the people when the government loses the sacred path to the common good and social justice.

Here in homes we can find them present in the everyday world.  They accumulate energy to accommodate themselves to the disciplined post-revolutionary domains.

Workers atheism

One of the most terrible of those scars, left in adoption by the former 1959 revolution, was workers atheism.  It became the popular form of the previously official anti-religious ideology.  It was implemented starting in 1960 and remained in force until the early 1990s.

The government supported and ordered the death of all gods and all religions, while at the same time nurturing itself from the fundamental objective truths of science and reason.

A revolutionary people comply with the order

People attempted to eradicate the faith they carried inside and then eliminate that of their compatriots.  However, doing their atheistic duty, was disrupted by the deep-rooted Cuban religiousness. Thus began the complicity between the fulfilled duty and experienced duty.

The perseverance of individual religious faith protected the “love of the gods” from scientific catchphrases and reason.  However, the blind faith of individuals in political leaders incited the atheist exorcism of their neighbors.  Killing the religiosity of others ensured the concealment of their own individual beliefs.

It was an “all-against-all” situation that ended up damaging our politico-religious thought by opposing revolutionary ideals against religious ideals in a duel to the death.  Curiously, those who found themselves opposed to each other had subsisted united on the same side for a long time.

The revolution is dead

Now the times of a counter-offensive and revolutionary recasting are coming.  These tasks require the specification as to what to do with the marks of angels and demons that the last Cuban revolution left us.  We have to decide, for example, what to do with that worker atheism that survives in many of us even after the defeat of the official anti-religious ideology.  They no longer order us to kill gods or religions.

These marks are dangerous tumors that devour the spiritual core of the nation daily.

Unconscious Antichrists are murdering the mysteries of life to preserve state secrets.


Yenisel Rodriguez

Yenisel Rodriguez Perez: I have lived in Cuba my entire life, except for several months in 2013 when I was in Miami with my father. Despite the 90 miles that separate Havana and Miami, I find profound reasons in both for political and community activism. My encounter with socio-cultural anthropology eight years ago prepared me for a commitment of love for cultural diversity.

6 thoughts on “Workers Atheism in Cuba

  • This defense of religious thought, belief and individual rights misses the crucial reason religion has been opposed by many revolutionaries. Not just because superstition gets in the way of both intelligence and social improvement, but because historically religious institutions, supported and populated with sincere believing followers, have joined in violently opposing most efforts to reduce the power of the 1% and free the 99%. Of course revolutions have also been assisted by religious individuals and some non-oppressive religious organizations, but the collusion of religious power and oppressive regimes is obvious and continues to this day.

    Now being atheist has different meanings and a critic of oppression can find many professed atheist leaders who were also reactionary, dictatorial and corrupt individuals. Unfortunately, one’s beliefs doesn’t automatically make you good or bad. But there are correlations and oppressors from ancient rulers, through modern fascists and imperial corporations all profess religious belief and piety and yet are obviously a threat to a better life for most of the world.

    Maybe a better question would be how rational and honest is a person or a leader.?

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