Points for a Future Cubanologist / Regina Coyula

Photo: Katerina Bampaletaki

Those of us who live in Cuba are accustomed to everything inaugurated with a social character, like bakeries, the whole health system, like polyclinics, every engineering work, like causeways, every innovative idea, like biotechnology developments, has the exclusive paternity of Fidel Castro. Still today, five years since he retired from public events due to illness, we know beforehand that in every celebration, behind every anniversary, in the official discourse of the event, there will be a direct mention of his brilliant conception. If right now we stopped, frozen, pushed pause, the impression of a future Cubanologist would be that Fidel Castro was the man of more or less normal intelligence governing a country of morons, because he was the only one who ever had an idea, ideas that his government rushed to implement.

However, this Cubanologist, in his extended research, would find that despite all the praise-filled speeches, in recent times, many of those brilliant paternities have been archived, put on the shelf, especially in Education. Take, for example, the Schools in the Countryside, the Student Work Brigades (BET), the Pioneers Action Force (FAPI), the “emerging teachers,” those Supermen of teaching formed for the career that should teach all subjects in secondary schools, classrooms with just 20 students.

I only speak of what is most striking because I know it well, but my Cubanologist — and anyone — will be able to find other examples.

August 12 2011