Coexistence Profiles Future Proposals For Cuban Education And Culture / 14ymedio, Mario Penton

Carmelo Mesa-Lago during his presentation at the Coexistence Study Center meeting. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 30 January 2017 — A pluralistic education, deeply democratic, with a privileged use of technology and communications together with a vision of culture open to universality: these were some of the proposals of the third meeting of the Center for Coexistence Studies (CEC) for the future of Cuba held this weekend in Miami.

The Cuban think tank, based in Pinar del Rio, held its meeting at Florida International University (FIU) within the framework of an journey of thought for Cuba. A similar process is taking place in parallel on the island, although that meeting had to be suspended in the face of the repression of the political police. Paradoxically, the prohibition decreed by the authorities facilitated greater interaction through alternative means such as email.

Dagoberto Valdés, director of the CEC, offered an overview of the national reality that, in his opinion, is marked by several elements, including the country’s economic crisis “in free fall,” the death of Fidel Castro and the end of the wet foot/dry foot policy that allowed Cubans who touched American soil to remain in the country, regardless of whether they had a visa.

The analysis of Cuban culture involved preparing a list of paradigmatic personalities, institutions and referential processes that make up the nucleus of the nation’s identity. It also addressed “weaknesses” and “negative features” in the country’s cultural processes.

With regards to education, there was a discussion of pedagogical models that tend to strengthen ethical values ​​and individual autonomy.

“The projects presented seek to clarify the roots of identity that should be rescued and maintained, as well as detail models, content and methodologies. Also, the types of institutions and educational spaces that should predominate in the future, and what the profile of an educator should be,” said the press release issued by the institution.

Four sessions enriched the meeting, including one led by the economist Carmelo Mesa Lago, another by anthropologist and journalist Miriam Celaya, as well as two led by members of the editorial team of Coexistence magazine, Dagoberto Valdes and Yoandy Izquierda.

The meeting at the FIU, together with the work being done in Cuba, has enabled the drafting of 45 legislative proposals for a new Cuban legal framework.

The results of the workshops will be compiled by the Center’s Academic Council and the Board of Directors and published on its website.