Jueves, 18 de Abril de 2019
Última actualización: 14:38 CEST
12 FIGURES REFLECT ON THE LAST 60 YEARS

'It is urgent that Cubans learn to be democrats'

Laritza Diversent.

Can we still talk about "Revolution" in Cuba?

Given the lack of alternation in power and political pluralism, I don’t think we can talk about "revolution". Legally it existed until the 1976 Constitution was adopted, which institutionalised the current government.

What should be salvaged from the revolutionary period?

I wouldn’t salvage anything. In my opinion it is a period characterised by political intolerance and indoctrination.

In a new Cuba access to education and health should be maintained, but these are not achievements or boons of the "Revolution", but rather an obligation of the state.

Education in Cuba in the last 25 years has seen a decline in quality, mainly due to the economic situation and a series of erratic public policies; for example, incorporating emerging (adolescent) teachers into classrooms.

The social damage is incalculable. Education in tomorrow's Cuba will play a decisive role in the promotion of human rights and democracy.

Of course, we must eliminate each and every one of the current practices that discriminate against individuals for political reasons, the application of curricula that constitute indoctrination, the prohibition of private teaching institutions, and the denial of academic freedom for faculty, and students. Above all, the right of parents to choose their children's type of education, and to choose schools other than public ones, must be respected.

How would you classify the current period in Cuba?

If I had to classify it in some way, I would say "special." The increase in Internet access in a segment of the population has shown that Cubans do not want to remain silent, despite repression, efficient social control, and the absence of political participation mechanisms.

In the absence of freedom to meet, associate and publicly protest, social networks have become the forum where we converge, express ourselves, and support each other. Here there is discourse, on politics and matters of public interest.

Despite political intolerance, state institutions have been scrutinised and criticised. However, I believe that urgent education in human rights is vital.

Social media also constitutes a space in which intolerance and discrimination for political reasons are repeated; where we see not only the replication of patterns of dictatorial behaviour by the much-criticised regime, but also its rhetoric.

One is not born a democrat. At this time it is necessary for us to learn to be. I believe there is an urgent need for this.