Este espacio está dedicado a temas literarios -artículos, entrevistas, reseñas- también reflexiones, fotografías y por supuesto, mucho o todo lo relacionado al tema de Cuba y la diáspora cubana. Sobre esta plataforma pretendo construir un espacio donde se pueda compartir, sin mucho protocolo, impresiones con otros cibernautas. Todas las entradas podrán aparecer tanto en inglés como en español, mas se proscribe, dentro de lo posible, todo uso de Spanglish.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Failed Experiment

Last fall I was asked to give a presentation at Eckerd College on Marxism in Cuba. The presentation coincided with the assigned reading of The Communist Manifesto to 500 students enrolled in Western Heritage classes. My presentation was entitled The New Man in Marxist Cuba. I began my talk with a picture of my Pioneer School identification Card (Carnet de Pionero). My students, who were in the audience, later expressed their keen interest and puzzlement about the degree of political involvement to which elementary school children were subjected.

In Cuban schools indoctrination began early, and by the end of the sixth grade, we were separated from our families. It was then that we were sent to the horrific rural schools. While confined in these settings, we were supposed to combine traditional academic experiences with manual agricultural labor. Every two weeks all of us looked forward to a weekend pass with our families.

Seremos como el Che…"Being like Che" was our motto, which considering how his life ended in Bolivia it’s a very somber and dreadful objective for young children.

I have saved this card as a reminder of the failed experiment.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic article my friend. I also have my pioneer ID here with exile.
    Like slaves, at the age of 11, we were forced to work in the worse conditions, some free school hah?