The Winter of the Patriarch / Regina Coyula

The Young People Will Not Fail Us!

This year Student Day (November 17), a celebration inherited from the time of the Socialist Camp, has acquired an exceptional character. There were no classes in the university and pre-university schools of education, and the students had only recreational activities. To mark the date, Fidel wanted to address students, and so he met with a select group of them to talk about the topics he is now most interested in, and which have led him to buy tons for foreign literature, offer all-expense-paid trips to foreign scientists and writers to speak with them personally, and order that his Reflections be translated into various languages so that they can be distributed among the delegations at the headquarters of the United Nations.

But I don’t care to refer to the energy displayed by the 84-year-old leader on the subject of nuclear winter, because it is no longer news. I would like to talk about the young people who gathered to listen to him. Young people who, when they were invited to ask questions, instead of taking advantage of this exceptional opportunity they put a great deal of effort into obsequious and repetitive questions directed to the old man seated at the podium of that meeting. In the contest to achieve the greatest triumph in this regard, one boy called him, “the greatest man of all humanity.”

These students, almost all enrolled in university courses, are supposed to be “the changing of the guard,” of that which they themselves have pledged to complete with the slogan, “It’s Guaranteed.” Is this their design for leading this country? Are these the young people who should be making decisions? Is this the youth of Cuba? This?

Translated by ricote, and “unstated”

November 22, 2010