Washington Hallucinates as Cuba Prepares for the Future
While George W. Bush and the warmongering ideologues that surround him hallucinate about getting their hands on Cuba, the dream of Fidel Castro to have an army of intelligent, committed young people to take the baton of revolution has progressively developed into a reality.
At a time when the White House is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to derail the achievements of nearly 46 years of Cuban history, 1,200 representatives of a generation born in the 1970s and 80s met in early December in Havana to set the course of a revolution they will lead in the future and within which they are already playing a key role.
In its quest to continue transforming Cuban society to reach its full potential despite its hostile neighbor to the north, the 8th Congress of the Young Communist League (UJC) recently reviewed 5-years of what many believe to be the results of one of the most innovative and bold efforts of the Revolution, known as the “Battle of Ideas.”
It all began with a successful national and international campaign to obtain the return of a little boy, Elian Gonzalez, whose tragic story captured the hearts of virtually all Cubans and constantly made the headlines worldwide.
The Battle of Ideas is essentially a struggle between the model of US military democracy, guided by the marketplace, consumerism, brute force and the survival of the fittest, and a system that promotes comprehensive human development for its entire population and a Latin America united around social and economic cooperation.
This ambitious undertaking is carried out through a large array of innovative educational, health and cultural programs and also puts a high value on solidarity with other Third World nations. Cuban young people are at the forefront of this monumental struggle.
Several important topics were on the table at the UJC Congress directly related to the ideological and social justice aspects of the Battle of Ideas.
These included how to protect the island and the Cuban identity from the cultural onslaught of the United States and motivate all of the nation’s young people to take advantage of the island’s vast educational opportunities and work for the good of their country even if material benefits might be limited.
Also high on the agenda is contributing to the on-going fight against any form of corruption and illicit drugs, evils that have surfaced in Cuba but to a far lesser degree than in most other countries.
How to deal with an aging population and providing people with disabilities or living in remote areas with equal opportunities for study, recreation and employment, as well as effectively addressing health problems like HIV/AIDS are concerns of Cuban young people.
On the international arena, chief concerns include making known the case of five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters railroaded into US prisons for crimes they never committed and continuing the worldwide campaign to end the US economic, commercial and financial blockade on the island.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration and its hand-picked Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba have other plans, which border on fantasy, for its island neighbor to the south. Besides updating ten US government’s 45-year project to destroy the Revolution, the 450-page document issued in May by the commission details how the newly colonized island would function when freed from the supposed shackles of communism.
Washington’s plan translates into flooding the country with consumer goods, commercial advertising and pop culture while literally dismantling the country’s “unsustainable” free health care and education systems, and total employment policy, in order to pull Cuba in line with the rest of the continent under the aegis of the IMF.
In the most recent battle between Washington’s hostility and the Cuban sovereignty, the US Interests Section in Havana put up a Christmas lights display with a sign alluding to a group of agents on the White House payroll who were caught in the act and were sanctioned for violating Cuban laws.
After an official protest from the Cuban Foreign Ministry failed to get the US State Department to reconsider its undiplomatic provocation, the future leaders of the Cuban Revolution adorned the area surrounding the US mission with placards that graphically illustrate the horrendous abuses of human rights committed by the Pentagon’s troops in Iraq.
On a cool breezy December 20th evening in Havana, thousands of Cuban students gathered outside the US Interests Section building for a political and cultural event protesting the escalating provocations and the emboldened message of blockade and aggression emanating from the Bush White House.
Preparing for the worst scenario and working for peace, Cuba also just concluded a week of the “Bastion 2004” Strategic Defense Exercises that involved virtually the entire population. The goal: Making it crystal clear to Washington that the cost of a military assault on the island would be enormous.