How Indoctrination Plays Out in Cuba

By Carlyle MacDuff

Learning the letters and sounds in Cuba. Photo: lacabilla.com

HAVANA TIMES – Indoctrination works. It would take a fool to deny that. The evidence is overwhelming throughout recorded history. Religions, nationalism and indeed totalitarian politics are consequences despite their evident illogical persuasions. Various forms of supportive propaganda are pursued relentlessly through all available means of communication.

Cuba is an island where the isolated population has for almost sixty years, received only that information provided by a totally controlling authority, where the basic requirements of life are controlled by that same authority along with education.

Virtually from the creche at a year old, throughout grade school education and university. children are subjected by law, to communist indoctrination, indeed it is an offence punishable by three years imprisonment for parents to teach their own children in their own home, anything that is contrary to communism.

School textbooks from the earliest age are designed for indoctrination. C is for Che, F is for Fidel, G is for Granma, R is for revolution and so on. Classroom walls have pictures of the leading figures in the cult of the personality and political slogans.

University students studying for advanced degrees place quotations of Fidel Castro in thesis. All media, newspapers, radio and television are state-controlled and all reporters are committed to complying with the instructions of the state.

Billboards and placards bearing communist slogans are seen throughout the island, no others are permitted. Two successive generations of Cubans know nothing else. Censorship is rigorous with libraries only permitted to display books approved by the state.

Books like Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago being banned. All that has now been imposed in Cuba by the Castro regime upon two successive generations. The Castro’s purpose was to establish a Stalinist type communist state with a conforming proletariat and to date they have succeeded. Capitalism as practiced in China and Vietnam has no place in Cuba.

The obvious purpose is to create a confusion between being a loyal Cuban proud of one’s nationality and support of the totalitarian communist system as if the two are synonymous and creating an internal mental tug of war.

Criticism of communism is defined by law as dissention. The flag of Cuba is promoted as the flag of revolution and only communism is entitled to have revolutions for others such as those of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 are condemned as “counter-revolution”.

Today in Cuba when in discussion if one lays responsibility for regime incompetence – the abysmal distribution system, the shortage of basic commodities, the declining agricultural production, the crumbling infrastructure and describe those as a consequence of the communist system, many Cubans will bristle in reaction, not by denying the evident truth, but by denying that communism – now described as socialism has responsibility, somehow through distortion, the fault lies with the capitalist world..

Propaganda has succeeded!

It is indeed surprising that there remain any with views contrary to those with which they have been indoctrinated since birth, through all those years of indoctrination in the creches, schools and universities, through all the communist controlled media and through the fear of knowing that even the walls have ears of the Party. But many such people are evident to the discerning eye when living in Cuba.


18 thoughts on “How Indoctrination Plays Out in Cuba

  • June 2, 2019 at 10:25 am
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    You are correct sky in pointing out the dangers of anyone who has family in Cuba or who spends time there being subject to repression. That is how the communist system works – by fear and intimidation.

    As illustrated by the European Union elections of 28 countries, NOT ONE candidate standing as a communist was elected, although eleven of those countries had experienced communist rule, obviously, given freedom of choice, people prefer democracy. Cubans have been denied such choice by two successive dictatorships. Note that I am opposed to dictatorship whether communist or fascist.
    As for Nick, he chose to repeat a comment made previously and merited my response.

  • May 31, 2019 at 7:43 pm
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    Oooh. Not nice, Carlyle. I don’t think Nick – or anyone – needs your pity. I wonder though whether you have ever considered the potential implications of your anti-Cuban authority sentiment. To be so very visibly/audibly against it all while expecting to be able to return to the country as you want, may well blow up in your face one day. I mean, you are not in Cuba all year round are you? Do you ever wonder about whether your beloved family will one day suffer the consequences for their intimate relationship with/dependency on someone so critical of Cuba – when you are not there, or even when you are?

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