14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 27 January 2016 — An old Soviet joke from the time of Leonid Brezhnev relates his attempts to enthuse young people to celebrate the six decades of the October Revolution in the autumn of 1977. The septuagenarian leader entrusted to his friend, Aleksei Kosygin – who had a reputation of being a liberal – to take charge of organizing the celebrations with a renewed touch to attract to the new generation.
Later, when reading the reports denoting the absolute indifference of the young Muscovites for the commemoration, the secretary general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union called his man of confidence to explain to him on the causes of the failure. “I can’t explain what happened, but I put the ‘girls from the 17th’ in front,” said Kosygin, annoyed, referring to the enthusiastic Komsomols who, 60 years previously, had chanted slogans and sang revolutionary hymns.
The humorous anecdote is once again relevant in Cuba. The first secretary of the Young Communists Union (UJC), Susely Morfa, has called for the celebration of the 55th anniversary of the organization she leads and the “further strengthening, mobilizing and including of our new generations.” To connect with this sector of society she proposes “a fresh, revitalized, approach that responds to their interests and will leave an impression on them.”
The first point on the agenda of the UJC, to meet her objective, will happen on Friday night, with “the traditional March of the Torches” that will recall the 164th anniversary of the birth of José Martí. In February the “historic routes will begin and in March we will begin a tour of the Moncada and Buena Fe groups.”
It seems that the novel plan to attract the young has been designed by “the girls of ’59,” those who climbed the trucks to kiss the bearded men coming down from the Sierra Maestra nearly 60 years ago.
The silliness of the plan continues with the Necessary Connections spaces for exchanges in the mass organizations where, according to Morfa, they will attempt to “reach every participant with a copy of the concept of Revolution from our Commander in Chief.”
The “casual wave” of the UJC will continue in April with “an anti-imperialist encampment in Santa Clara.” Probably in May there will be a parade for Labor Day. It is expected that similar events will occur during the next eight months.
The summer will be full of anniversaries, such as the birth of Antonio Maceo and Ernesto Guevara, the assault on the Moncada barracks or, in August, Fidel Castro’s first birthday after his death. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution will also play a leading role in September.
The disappearance of Camilo Cienfuegos will be remembered the following month, and then, in November, will be the first anniversary of the death of Fidel Castro. There will still be time, near Christmas, to celebrate the 1959 of the coming of the Revolution.
Yomil and El Dany, the most popular reggaetoneros of the Island, are not included in the novel proselytizing project. Nor has the organization of young communists ever thought of setting up a wall for spontaneous graffiti, or even implementing a Wi-Fi zone with free internet access to flood social networks with teenage energy.
It seems that the novel plan to attract the young has been designed by “the girls of ‘59,” those who climbed on the trucks to kiss the bearded men coming down from the Sierra Maestra nearly 60 years ago.