Are There More Than Enough Reasons? / Fernando Damaso

Fernando Damaso, 16 February 2015 — The Young Communist League (UJC) is a government organization, established and directed by the Party and the government, with the objective of controlling the youth of the Island politically and ideologically. It proclaims itself the sole representative of young Cubans, similar to how other government organizations operate in this totalitarian system — such as the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), who consider themselves to be the representatives of all Cubans, the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), which purports to speak for all women, and many others.

In the month of July, on the 18th and 19th, this organization will celebrate its Tenth Congress. The great number of activities planned in advance of this event is notable. They include assemblies, reunions, sporting, cultural, and productive events, and more. All of these will extend way beyond the actual days of the Congress, up to August 13, the birthday of the “Maximum Leader.” In total, almost eight months of events will have taken place before, during and after the Congress in July.

If we consider the amount of time invested plus other costs that all these activities will generate, it is to be expected that the results of the Congress will be “of the utmost importance,” not to mention, as has been the case with the previous nine, “historic.”

The theme of the Congress is “There Are More Than Enough Reasons” and, according to its organizers, it will be manifested in three ideological tracks: “There Are More Than Enough Reasons to Celebrate,” “There Are More Than Enough Reasons to Carry On,” “There Are More Than Enough Reasons to Prevail” — which started on January 4 and will extend until the Congress is held.

Up to now, according to what is published in the press, in the municipal assemblies all discussion appears to be concentrated on the so-called passivity, accommodation and lack of commitment of the militants — in addition to the loss of values, the vulgarity, corruption, social indiscipline, criminal behavior, ideological subversion, and other problems present in Cuban society today, of which the youth are part.

It is a secret to nobody that these problems (and others) are of long-standing and, in spite of many declarations throughout the years, and numerous congresses of the government organizations, have never been resolved. I have the impression that in this Congress there will be much music and dancing (the musical groups and performers who will liven up the proceedings and even the songs that have been created for the event have been identified), theatrical and cinematic shows, book sales, sporting competitions and other similar activities, interspersed with one or another “productive activities” — all to show the world how joyous and enthusiastic  our Cuban youth are, led by their “vanguard,” the UJC.

In the end, all congresses carried out by Cuban government organizations suffer from the same malady: “All talk and no action.” This one will be no exception.

Perhaps the UJC should start to think about how it will survive in a democratic setting, which will arrive sooner rather than later, and where it will have to compete with other youth organizations, which will definitely not be government-sponsored. To think that all Cuban young people, or the majority of them, are socialists and communists is no more than a totalitarian utopia, which daily life constantly refutes.

Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison