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Cuban Youth Expect Nothing From 10th Congress Of Communist Youth

Cuban Youth Expect Nothing From 10th Congress Of Communist Youth /
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar
Posted on July 13, 2015

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 8 July 2015 – The extensive
preparation for the Tenth Congress of the Union of Young Communists
(UJC), to be held in Havana from 17 to 19 July, displays the same old
contradictions that hinder this type of event. It is a formula that is
repeated, be it a conclave of peasants, artists, women or journalists:
it is one thing what the membership from within the organization desires
and another what is imposed on each institution from outside by the

If this “great event of Cuban youth” meets its stated intention that the
organization be increasingly relevant to the young people it represents,
it would make a radical U-turn, from changing the name of the
institution to renewing its statutes and governing documents. If, on the
other hand, it follows the guidelines and “illustrious directions”
emanating from the highest authority, it will only modify those details
that grind the gears favoring obedience.

There is a sincere desire among many members to eliminate all the
bureaucratic mechanisms that make the UJC an inert entity, whose only
reason for being is to issue quotes and keep good archives of the copies
of the minutes that are sent to the municipal leadership from each
Committee of the Base.

Filling out the models, elevating questions that never receive an
answer, attending as a guest the boards of directors meetings at schools
and workplaces, exhorting the mass of young people to study more and to
act as informers on others who commit illegalities, have been
frustrating roles performed by many of the organization’s cadres, or at
least that is the stereotypical image held by many youth who are not
active in the UJC.

They give the impression that it would be enough to simply change the
language to be better understood by young people, whose codes of
communication are notoriously alien to the jargon filled with slogans
and triumphalist rhetoric. What the official discourse considers
politically correct usually seems tacky and boring to those under 20;
instead, whatever is presented as transgressive, or at least novel,
immediately captures their attention.

When a UJC leader collaborates with the principal of a high to
get the students to wear the uniform properly and cut their hair in the
correct style, it sounds terrible to those who have to hear it; and
makes no difference if it’s delivered in the style of a catechism or a
rap. They aren’t going to listen.

One of the themes of the Tenth Congress is cultural consumption and
recreational options. If the interests of the new generations (whether
valid or not) were really proportionately represented, the discussions
would become a battlefield. On the one hand, we have the government’s
concern that cultural patterns, opinion matrices, globalized lifestyles
seen through new technologies, can contaminate young Cubans; on the
other hand, we have the insatiable appetite for modernity of those who
insist on behaving like the people of the 21st century.

None of the other planned themes, except the inner workings of the UJC,
provoke intense debate among the event’s attendees. Neither the process
of updating the Cuban economic model, nor the new scenarios of defense
of the Revolution, nor even the participation of student organizations
in educational transformations, present opportunities to become an
interesting story.

There is always hope that one of the members of the delegation from
Magarabomba, in the province of Camaguey, will break the routine
and — like the always helpful boy in the story — will turn to all those
present and announce that the king is naked. Even so, the television
cameras would be focused on another scene and the accredited journalists
would not even take note of the fact in their agendas.

In summarizing the event, Machado Ventura will say that this was a
historic congress and the delegates will stand and applaud and shout in
unison any new motto. By the way, I nearly forgot a detail that
illustrates the complete absence of commitment to change:
is one of the 39 delegates to the Tenth Congress from the province of
Santiago de Cuba.

Source: Cuban Youth Expect Nothing From 10th Congress Of Communist Youth
/ 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar | Translating Cuba –

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