Last Sunday during the plenary session of the National Council of the University Students Federation (FEU), Vice-President Miguel Díaz-Canel stated that “Cuban youth is responsible for the historical continuity of the Island's social project.”
Since we are immersed in a controversial rapprochement with the US, and amidst a no less controversial process for the implementation of the country's economic and social policy, the official warned of “the aspirations of the adversary to impose upon our people values opposed to ours, and the ideology of neoliberalism, to destroy from its foundations the identity, culture and memory of the Revolution, and restore capitalism in Cuba.”
Young Cubans, who throughout their history as students have not carried out a single political act that reflects their own interests, and are well aware of the cost of non-conformity, reaffirmed their commitment to the system. As is known, at official events there are no surprises (that improvisation by Robertico Carcassés was an anomaly that will not be repeated).
Conditioned to accept contradictions, young Cubans observe the establishment of lavish businesses, hotels, boutiques, luxurious cruise ships, and the influx of foreign visitors as something normal. It is true that the scenarios increasingly resembles that of a capitalist country, but who cares? What everyone would like is to be able to start a business, rent a house to tourists, and be prosperous, just like in American movies.
Habituated to lies from early childhood, young people try to dress fashionably, and display smartphones that the vast majority of their parents cannot pay for with their state wages. Some teachers use the Zapya application in their classes, such that students are required to have a cell phone equipped with the Android system, regardless of whether that requires remittances, illegal business dealings, diverted resources, or sexual favors.
Having learned the rules of the game, young people know that the Internet access given them by the university is certainly not to allow them to access a broad range of information, and far less to search for that abstract entity known as “truth.” So, they create a Facebook profile, share photos, and banal messages, and use social networks for entertainment or dating; even better if they can meet a foreigner, from a capitalist country, of course.
They have thoroughly assimilated the fact that political reliability determines job placements for years of social service and ascent on the officially established scale: a position in a profitable company, a corporation, the ability to travel and, if possible, stay in a (capitalist) country.
Outside official events, young people ignore politics, official or alternative. The most sophisticated enumerate the many failures of projects demanding rights for Cubans. They know all too well the price of being a dissident, and are convinced that it is not worth taking any side but that of apathy.
Despite the repeal of the "dry foot, wet foot" law, most see the solution as remaining on the other side of the sea. If among the crowd that applauds and cheers someone dares manifest a divergent thought, however justified, young people know how to boo and reject it.
If the continuity of the revolution involves survival based on the biting of tongues, incessantly parroting words that have lost their meaning, denying what one sees, and even calling the deployment of state capitalism socialism, there is no doubt that it is fully guaranteed.