Striving to convince young people of the 'blessings' of Castroism
We have recently borne witness to a kind of government offensive seeing to convince young people of the blessings of the political system prevailing on the Island. The regime is apparently in a hurry to ensure successors to the historic generation.
The crux of this offensive hinges on the efforts of Popular Power bodies - particularly its National Assembly- which are presented by the official propaganda as guarantors of socialist democracy.
In this context a group of deputies from the National Assembly met with students from the Law Department at the University of Havana, and also with students from the Vladimir Ilich Lenin Vocational Preuniversity Exact Sciences Institute.
The representatives, among other points, insisted that the young people appreciate the difference between Cuban deputies and those from other nations; stressed the foundations of the single party system; explained the negative effects that a return to the capitalist political system and its model of democracy would have in Cuba; and endorsed study of the Cuban Constitution as part of the curriculum.
It is difficult to imagine anyone acting honestly and defending these positions, and even more difficult to conceive of someone else accepting them. Because to understand the difference, perhaps the fundamental one, between the types of parliamentary deputies, all one must do is watch some footage of them on TV. In it the votes are unanimous, as nobody dares to defy the decisions, which have been previously made by the regime's higher-ups, who are on hand in the assembly. In other nations, in contrast, deputies legislate freely, and votes are close, after heated debates.
With respect to the "refusal" to return to the capitalist model of democracy, Castroism continues to confuse country and party, as indicated by Archbishop Pedro Meurice in 1998, upon John Paul II’s visit. Of course, it is not in the interest of the Communist Party to compete with other political forces, nor is the alternation in power brought about by true democracy.
With regards to the principles that allegedly sustain the single party system, not much is necessary to demonstrate their hollowness. If they invoke Martí's creation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party - as they are prone to doing - a simple reading of the group's charter reveals that the Apostle conceived of the organization only as an instrument to wage war against the Spanish colonialism, not as a party to perpetually tyrannize society.
The aforementioned governmental offensive is being combined with the creation of a Parliamentary Classroom in the Capitol, to be the next site of the National Assembly of Popular Power.
This forum will feature three modalities: circles of interest for fifth and sixth grade students, classes for schools located in the community - initially encompassing the municipalities of Central and Old Havana – and talks directed at college students and workers from institutions near the Capitol.
Those targeted by this Parliamentary Classroom will be the deputies of the National Assembly and other intellectuals identified with the Government. And, of course, the content and tone will be very similar to that characterizing the events in which these Parliamentary deputies met with university students from the Law Department, and the students at the Lenin School.
Nevertheless, the evident reality is that, in the end, none of these attempts at indoctrination are succeeding. They would have to lock all those young people in empty, windowless towers to keep them from finding out what is going on beyond our borders. And, much to the chagrin of the leaders on the Island, this kind if isolation is virtually impossible in these revolutionary times of easy access to information via computer.