Cuban Youth Aren’t Communist

Omar Perez Badad

Cuban youth celebrating an anniversary of the Young Communist League (UJC). Photo: Arelys María Echevarría / ACN

HAVANA TIMES — According to the Cuban government and its spokespeople, Cuban youth are Imperialism’s favorite target to try and overthrow the Revolution. And they see us as a vulnerable sector who are inclined to be fooled.

Recently, HT contributor Elio Delgado Legon (this paper’s representative of official discourse) gave us two articles about the subject: Cuban Youth Reject Pompeo’s Advice and Cuban Youth will never be fooled. After this analysis (which seemed to have come straight out of Granma or Cubadebate), it’s only proper that we highlight some details so that the system’s manipulative voice and focus aren’t left without a response.

In the first article, Elio mentions university students’ alleged outrage during FEU (Federation of University Students) debates in the face of Pompeo’s civic calls to Cuban youth. And is this really what those young people and the rest of Cuban youth feel about it?

Of course, it isn’t! To be honest, our youth couldn’t really care either way: they don’t follow Pompeo’s advice, they aren’t bothered by him handing out advice and definitely don’t get angry or give jingoist answers back. It’s just lip-service. They are being pressured by the government’s control mechanisms and the FEU is its stronghold in Cuban universities.

Everybody knows that these debates are organized by the Communist Party, right? The FEU is just an extension of this Party to control and neutralize the rebellious spirit which flourishes in young people at this age.

Some 80% of these university students dream about emigrating as soon as they get a chance, you just have to ask them. Or being able to go on a working mission abroad, even if they are then exploited and find themselves in risky situations, they will still be able to earn in a few months what they wouldn’t here in Cuba in 30 years even. Or maybe stay and work in tourism to milk what they can from tourists. Or go deliberately or casually looking for a relationship with a foreigner who will then take them away or support them. Take note Mr. Elio, their expectations relating to prosperity are always linked to what’s foreign, not Cuban.

If Pompeo were to offer them a grant right now, they would stampede out of that meeting and save themselves a trip through Central America or Russia. Our young people aren’t Communist, not even a bit! I don’t doubt there may be one or two, there may well be, but they are a rare find, to be honest. Some people even repeat “set phrases” which work to get them up the political ladder, out of convenience, but those are the worst because they are hypocrites.

This is why the Communist Party has the worst Cubans among its ranks because the worst young people make their way in with hypocrisy. Intelligent and honest young people leave the country or work independently.

This is why the country is also doing so badly and our economy can’t even make any progress because the most incompetent, opportunist, mediocre and stupid people end up controlling it. It’s a reality that Mr. Elio and his colleagues can’t recognize because they need to live with the fantasy of this heroic, eternal and invincible Revolution.

Oh, how wise our youth are today! After seven years of primary school, receiving manipulation as education which reveres the Revolution’s leaders as heroes/Gods, trying to imprint Communist determinism in them, an absolute truth according to the uncivil concepts of this tyrannical Revolution. The same thing happens at junior high school, pre-university and university. Add to that the media, which also does the same thing. However, they are more aware about what national reality is than their parents and they know that this is a revered piece of s***.

There’s only one thing that they have managed to do, which has been detrimental to the country: squash civil consciousness. In their eagerness to stop people from having libertarian wishes or actively intervening as citizens, they killed the Cuban people’s public spirit. Our young people don’t get involved in politics, except for very rare instances.

They are brave enough to throw themselves out to the ocean on a raft to live freely and make progress, surrounded by sharks and reckless waves, but they don’t feel inspired to fight for a better future here. They don’t stand up to the government who forces them to emigrate because they don’t have a public spirit, it’s not because they are afraid. This is the only characteristic of the “new man” they have been successful in creating.

Outside of Cuba, not much changes either. They continue to be obedient and don’t get involved with the Cuban government, even though they better understand the country’s political situation. They just want to come and visit, share time with family, send remittances, top up phones and give their relatives the life they can’t ever have with the wages they earn.

They become the center of the family, the key member, the most important. And even though they criticize the government which really does seem worse from afar, they don’t really do anything to change the situation. The Cuban government knows how important this is for them and depends on the people’s lack of public spirit and if they take part in any slightly patriotic act they are banned from entering the country.

And those of us who have stayed because of X or Y are stealing from work (“struggling”) or doing business as the self-employed. Of course, we do this without getting mixed up in politics because doing that in Cuba is a lot worse than doing it outside.

Elio Delgado is already an old man, according to his articles. Just like the late Posada Carriles and Fidel, Curita, Batista, Frank Pais or Sosa Blanco, regardless of their ideology, they belong to a violent generation where the end justified the means. He must still dream about the Communist paradise full of peace and abundance. And he must see human rights, individual freedom and democracy as foolish human dreams which become obstacles.

Communism, Mr. Elio, isn’t a bad thing. It just has two major flaws: firstly, it’s a lie; and secondly, that the people promising it are asking us to make mean-spirited sacrifices (they rob us of our freedoms and rights in order to get them apparently) and time has shown that they are just opportunists really. Marti defined them well with his visionary way: “sitting room socialists”.

Our young people aren’t real citizens, that’s the truth. The majority don’t even know what public spirit or democracy are. However, they are aware of something very important: that the Cuban government doesn’t have a present or future and they don’t feel like they have any ties to what they call “revolution”. We have more than enough evidence to prove this. Elio talks about a Cuban youth that doesn’t exist or at least a youth he doesn’t personally know. 

5 thoughts on “Cuban Youth Aren’t Communist

  • Comparisons between the US and Cuba continually appear in these pages. But the main difference is consequent to one enjoying freedom – whether it be freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of the media and freedom to demonstrate, whilst the other denies its citizens all these rights.
    The differences in Cuba regarding the repressive communist regime, are not differences between the generations. The difference is that the older the citizen, the longer they have been subjected to the ceaseless propaganda of the regime. There is nothing to sustain the view that there is difference between the generations in Cuba is anything other than age and the slow increase in information from the outside world as a consequence of the cell-phone. Young and old are subjected to repression, young and old are victims of limitations upon incomes and deplorable standards of living.
    Students of merit over the generations have always been radical (in the proper sense of the word). They look at the society in which they live and think that there is room for improvement which is more than obvious in Cuba, but achieving an improved society is not possible under the Marxist/Leninist doctrine and particularly the Stalinist form as practiced in Cuba.
    To suggest similarities between the problems of Cubans and those of Americans is somewhat futile, when there is no valid comparison.
    Where Daniel Segal is the: “viable path to success” for Cuban youth?

  • Very well done Omar–your view explains a lot of things that we see as visitors to Cuba, things that are hard to explain or reconcile at first–the divide between how young and older Cubans live, work, dress, see the world, etc.
    In some ways, that divide is probably universal–we see many young adults in the US now who seem apolitical–they focus on something other than politics, such as how to make a viable path to success as costs of living just get higher and higher, and certain college educations costs $100,000 or more! All the while, the older generations cling to stale and outdated arguments and political ideals or views that don’t really serve the young people the same way that they served the older ones.
    But that is not to take the conversation away from the particular challenges of Cuban youth, because the situation there has the added layers of restrictions that we don’t have here. Our restrictions are more about the size and scale of the political system, in my opinion.

  • Say it like it is!
    Brilliant discourse reflecting my own considerable experience of living, meeting and talking with Cuban pre-university and university youth.
    Cuban youth seek access to what the outside free world has to offer, they no longer parrot the views of ‘Che’ Guevara, Fidel and Raul Castro. They have seen through all the propaganda, lies and incompetence and seek to pursue their own talents and individuality.

  • “….out of the mouth of babies.”

  • Cubans in general just had become this hybrid humans with doble morals that says one thing at home, and other in public. Whatever is convenient for them until they have the “opportunity “. Whatever that is .

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