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55 years of dogma

The Communist Party of Cuba's 'Higher School' commemorates its foundation with celebrations. But what have its achievements been?

La Habana

Cuba is one of the countries holding the most celebrations every year. As part of its mission to create another history, in our country even debacles are celebrated as if they were victories, and the founding of different institutions and agencies forms part of the national agenda - even if the entities in question are useless, or even detrimental.

Now being celebrated is the 55th anniversary of the creation of the Nico López Higher School, even though there is really not much to celebrate. The institution features a list of students who went on to become Latin American leaders with stained resumes; sycophantic, opportunistic, corrupt and disgraced national officials, along with other species of revolutionary fauna.

Over the course of all these years of indoctrination, slogans have been coined and dogmas dictated, and speeches have been learned, repeating ad nauseam the virtues of a political system that has failed to create wealth since its inception, but has certainly succeeded in expropriating it. A system, to make matters worse, saddled with the heavy burden of the corruption it generates.

In fact, the Communist Party's schools, due to their very nature, have not produced a single leader, but rather faithful followers of another, with their minds closed to anyone who dares to harbor ideas that deviate one inch from the official line. These students/activists' debating skills are limited, as they are shielded, afforded the comfort provided by the use of force from a position of power.

The “achievements” of the 55 years of ideological preparation include Cuba’s rapid response brigades, with their eggs, sticks and stones; the gag law; the physical repression of any peaceful protests; revolutionary offensives; verbal attacks against those who profess any "incorrect" ideas not in line with official views; the development plans that are never successfully implemented; the banishing of artists and intellectuals considered a bunch of talentless, ungrateful gays and counterrevolutionaries; viewing the new communication technologies as a threat to the future of the Cuban "revolution" ... all this and more, focused on keeping anyone from thinking for himself, dissenting, or even doubting the leader.

These days we are being hit by another immigration tidal wave composed of young people who do not want to lead frustrated lives, like their parents and grandparents, because they don't believe that public (not free) health and education, are not the only things a healthy and human being deserves, if it means that they have no decent job, or home, or place for leisure, or enough for their children yet to be born, or a balanced diet, or Internet access, because they cannot afford to pay 2 CUC/hour for a very sluggish connection, and the police ask for your ID at every turn, and the National Revolutionary Police boss is staring daggers at you, as if being young was a crime.

The first mistake of the Communist Party’s masterminds is believing that everyone in the country can be controlled ideologically, and attributing the success or failure of the plans of the revolution to political/ideological training. Human beings react to stimuli that represent higher, more vital priorities than political thinking: I can have breakfast, therefore I am; I enjoy what I do, therefore, I am; I own things, therefore I am.

Philosophical disquisitions and arcane political debates are a thing for minorities, an elite with a certain social responsibility, but one cannot drag millions of people, obliging them to subscribe to an ideology, assuming that it, by itself, represents a valid social project. In Soviet Russia and Mao's China this experiment was dragged out for decades, until frustration finally forced eyes open. Nazi Germany, another regime based on this kind of totalitarian ideology, did not survive the Second World War.

The civilian and military officials prosecuted for corruption by Cuban courts over these 55 years were no doubt graduates of the Party's schools; those who deserted in other countries while on government missions, were also graduates of Party schools; and those who, despite all their speeches and exhortations, cannot report positive results from their management, also went to them.

If we measure the Communist Party's schools based on their results, it is clear that they are not deserving of the triumphant discourse that characterizes their celebrations this year. The subjugation of those holding diverse aspirations in Cuban society is not an achievement of ideology, but of a repression that restricts citizens' freedom of action expression. For this schools are not needed - just abusive laws, police and docile courts. If these centers of indoctrination were closed today, nothing would change.

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