The New Man in Cuba – Current Status
In a letter to the editor of the Uruguayan weekly Marcha, published March 1955 under the title “Socialism and Man in Cuba”, Che Guevara addressed the issue of the “new man” (in Cuba) saying: “To build communism it is necessary, simultaneous with the new material foundations, to build the new man….This is the dictatorship of the proletariat operating not only on the defeated class but also on individuals of the victorious class…. Man under socialism, despite his apparent standardization, is more complete…. In this way he will reach total consciousness of his social being, which is equivalent to the full realization as a human creature…” (1)
Fidel Castro started indoctrination and brainwashing of the Cuban people from the beginning by taking control of all printed, radio and television media. Schools at all levels, trade unions and professional and other associations were put under control of persons representing his points of view. He established vigilante committees (Comités de Defensa de la Revoución, CDRs) in September 1960. The CDRs were, and they are, networks of informants at the block level in every city in the country, ensuring total adherence to the centralized government directives. All these apparatus tools have continued during the tenure of his brother Raúl Castro, in power after his illness forced him to relinquish power in 2008.
Shortly after Che Guevara’s death in Bolivia in 1967, Fidel Castro mandated to have all school children pledge, before starting daily classes, “seremos como el Che” (we will be like Che.)
In summary, the Cuban society has been molded at Castro’s will, in the creation of the so called “new man,” by his absolute control of all individuals since grade schools, and continuing at all higher levels of education, at work through the government controlled trade unions and in their homes by the indoctrination actions of the CDRs.
What is the overall current status of the “new man” in Cuba after more than fifty years of the brothers Castro’s government?
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