Ice cream and cake

You’re a six or seven year old in the first grade in Cuba. You are sitting at your desk along with all your classmates and your teacher comes in and says “Ok class. How many of you would like to have some ice cream and cake?”

The entire classroom, you included, raises their hands, giddy with anticipation, practically tasting that commodity you have had very few times in your life.

The teacher scans the room, sees all the raised hands and kids stirring in their seats and says: “Alright then. All of you bow your heads and pray to God to bring you some ice cream and cake.”

And you, along with every other kid in the class, do just that. You bow your head and begin praying to God.

Dear God, please let us have some ice cream and cake. I love ice cream and cake, God, and I have behaved. Ive been a good boy. I would love some ice cream and cake. Please God, bring us some ice cream and cake.

You and your classmates sit there for what seems like forever praying to God for ice cream and cake. Every few seconds you look towards the classroom door, hoping, praying, that God will have sent someone to your classroom with some delicious ice cream and cake.

But after over ten minutes of praying to God for ice cream and cake, it is nowhere to be found. There is no ice cream and cake. God didnt hear your prayers. God didnt take care of you. God didnt send you ice cream and cake.

“Alright,” says your teacher. “Have you all been praying to God for ice cream and cake?”

Everyone nods their heads. You and your classmates have prayed hard.

“Well now,” your teacher says. “If you ve all prayed so hard to God, like I know you all have, why arent you eating ice cream and cake? Why didnt God bring you some ice cream and cake? You see, God doesnt take care of you.”

After a brief moment of complete silence, your teacher chimes in again:

“Alright, now I want you to bow your heads once again and pray. Pray for the Revolution to bring you ice cream and cake.”

And you bow your head once again as do your classmates and begin to pray. No sooner have you done so than the door busts open and its a miliciano, dressed in fatigues like the omnipotent leader of Cuba, with a five gallon bucket of ice cream and a huge cake.

“You see, children,” your teacher says smiling. “You prayed to God for ice cream and cake but he did not give you ice cream and cake. Then you prayed to the Revolution for ice cream and cake and now you are all eating ice cream and cake. God does not love you like the Revolution loves you.”

As an adult, you dont really like ice cream and cake all that much.

31 thoughts on “Ice cream and cake”

  1. My parents have told me this story and it lends support to the argument that these former kids who have had their heads messed with like no on else are the ones we are expecting to rise up and fight.These kids have been brainwashed from their birth they have been taught that their only source of food, health, education, and protection is available from their benefactor the government.
    What is really scary is that it is beginning to sound like our government programs.

  2. I’ll go ahead and elaborate.

    Let’s say, for example, the housing situation here in Miami. City of Miami went ahead and kicked all the poor out of government funded housing a couple of years back with the promise that newer, nicer housing would be built for them to move back into. After about 3 years and misappropriation of funds, they’re still waiting. Now that the courts have ruled that yes indeed there’s been a misappropriation of funds and “those bad people are going to get it”, the government is going to come in and “save the day”.

  3. It seems that pototo is saying that every new welfare program is another assertion of gov’t power in people’s lives as though only the gov’t can provide this or that. The tactics aren’t as overt or demented as the ice cream demonstration (that the gov’t replaces God), but I think pototo is hinting at the creeping “nanny state” that threatens our freedom.

    Well, that’s what I thought of his comment anyway. I guess I should really just wait for his own explanation. 🙂

  4. I don’t know about the Ice Cream story…but I was born in La Habana in 1961 and left Cuba in 1966. I went to kindergarten only. I was 5 years old and my Father was in jail for “anti-revolutionary activities” and many members of my family were Church going Protestants. Some of my Father’s family had left Cuba in 1961. For all of these reasons we were considered “gusanos”.
    My teacher was one of those who were rapidly trained by the revolution in order to claim that they were “educating the people” she was a diehard commie. Since she lived in the same neighborhood (Santos Suarez) she knew everything about our family. Every day that woman would tell the whole class that my Dad was in jail for crimes against the revolution and that he would never get out. She knew that we were hoping to leave Cuba and would yell at me in front of the whole class saying that we were “Gusanosâ€?. She would ridicule my family and always made me sit in the back of the class. When they would pass around the “merienda” she would yell at me to take the first one I touched, if I wanted the one underneath, I could not have it. She would constantly ignore me if I raised my hand; I only did this when I needed to go to the bathroom.

    One day, I raised my hand and asked to go to the bathroom and she refused to allow me to go. I could not hold it and went in my underwear #2.

    I was just a sickly (asthma) skinny, and extremely shy little kid.

    I was terrified of this woman and when I saw her on the street one day, I ran away from my Grandmother all the way back home.

    So you see…I don’t know about the ice cream story…but I can assure you that my story is 100% truth.

    I thank God that I left that hell-hole or I would have been a mental case by the age of 10.

  5. lets start with what is predominately democrat policy yet is becoming increasingly republican as well. We have our social security, food stamps, ADC, grants, etc. If you can’t afford it the government will give it to you because it is “your right”. What hogwash!!! My family came from Cuba with what we were wearing. My father who’s degree wasn’t recognized here worked 3 (count ’em) 3 jobs a day to feed his family. He would not touch government aid (actually dependency) because he felt that it was for the people who “needed” it. He felt that as long as he was able to work for it he should.
    We now “buy” votes with pork barrel politics on both sides of the aisle. We cater to whatever group we need to win over and we will give away the farm that others paid for. It seems that we have our own agrarian reform policies here. We have a nation that thinks the government owes them their very thoughts. The hurricane that went through LA. was a perfect example. You had an entire city of non-thinkers as they were mentally and morally neutered into waiting for someone to pick their lazy selves and drive them to safety. Then when someone did not they wanted someone to find them food and shelter and debit cards etc. All they could do was complain and many chose to use their strentgh to steal and do harm rather than use the same energy to improve their situation legally. Now we have the same situation in Cuba but an hundred-fold. The difference is that the people in Cuba were predominately forced into this way of thinking ( I speak of the children) the US is choosing this way of thinking or rather non-thinking.
    The public schools and social services are our new parents. Our schools no longer teach how to think, but what to think. We punish the wealthy for being successful and we reward the non-working as that will buy us votes. Anyways I could go on and on, but I think you catch my drift. My late father is one of the many reasons I have such a passion for a free Cuba. I hear many fatalists say that the Cuba we remember is gone and there is no reason to go back. Good, then don’t go back. I for one believe that Cuba can and will be restored to its grandeur for those who don’t stay the heck out of the Cuba situation. Either be part of the solution or stop being part of the problem. Cuba will rise again. LIBRE!!!!

  6. This is no Urban Legend. It personally happened to me.

    I don’t exactly remember the date, but I believe it was the 1959-1960 school year. It happened in the afternoon after we had returned to school from lunch break (children in my school went home for lunch at 12:00n and returned at 2:00p. School hours were from 8:00a-5:00p)

    In my case it was not the teacher who possed the question (and this was for ice cream only) it was a “miliciana.” The children in the classroom bowed their heads like good little children and asked God for ice cream. Of course nothing happened. Then as instructed, they bowed their heads and prayed for “papa fidel” for ice cream. You guessed it! All of the sudden the ice cream materialized.

    I was nine years old at the time, and as my mother would have said, very HARDHEADED. I didn’t bow my head nor prayed either time, but kept staring at the miliciana throughout the whole episode.

    As they were passing out the ice cream, I refused mine. At this point the “miliciana” came to my desk, pulled me up by the arm and asked why I handn’t prayed to God for ice cream, or to fidel! I replied like a good little Catholic “one doesn’t pray to God for material things, and fidel is not my papa; only my real papa buys me ice cream.”

    Needless to say, I got my parents in a heap of trouble. Shortly thereafter we left Cuba.

  7. btw – the ice cream story lives on today. While Cuba has “freedom of religion” many contacts of mine in Cuba tell me of children confronted on the way into Baptists churchs and offered many of the dainties such as ice cream which they can not get too freely. The awesome things is when these kids walk right past the ice cream and go to church. My mon was a school teacher in Cuba and has shared the story with me and it is true regarding the ice cream in schools.
    Mavi and firefly, it is that spirit that will rebuld Cuba.

  8. A friend of mine who defected in 1995 lived and went to school in Las Villas. He is an evangelical Christian, as are his parents. I had never heard this story in particular, but he did tell me similar ones, that were equally as disturbing. Belief in a creator God represents ridicule and alienation, and to a child, there is almost nothing worse.

    I remember back during the Elian situation, a NJ congressman (some Puerto Rican guy whose name I don’t recall) who was in support of sending Elian back said something to the effect of ‘if freedom means having a TV in every room, game system, and cell phone, then I guess he (Elian)won’t have freedom in Cuba.’ It’s sad that freedom, to many people, is interpreted as material wealth and possesions. Freedom of expression and religion are rarely even discussed any more. The realm of reason and thought is suffering.

    Thanks for bringing this up.

  9. I’ve often said that socialism and its extreme, communism try to replace God with Government (or the ‘beloved leader’ or whomever…) but I never realised how overt it was.

    Firefly: though I’m a nondenominational Christian, I can still say of my brethren: Catholics kick ass 😛

    I remember a story about a Jesuit teacher that goes like this. The topic is the causes of World War I.

    The Jesuit teacher tells the student what he claims the causes to be, and then asks the student if that is correct. The student, naturally, replies that it is (not wanting to question his teacher, most likely, or due to ignorance.)

    The Jesuit then informs him that he lied, and that those were not the causes of World War I. He then proceeds to give him another set of causes for the First World War. He then asks the student if THOSE are correct.

    The student, again, says yes.

    At this point the Jesuit tells him that he lied to him AGAIN. And then informs him that the lesson is you cannot expect your opponent to tell you the truth. You have to know the truth for yourself.

    Harsh. But that’s what INSTRUCTION is, opposed to ‘education’ or ‘indoctrination’.

    The Ice Cream story kind of reveals how evil these regimes can really be, even if only subtly. Twain once said “Never Let your schooling get in the way of your education.” Good to see that Cubans know better than to buy into this crap.

    As an aside, the student should know a game is afoot after the Jesuit lied to him the first time. Kind of like the recent Reuters thing?

  10. I don’t know what say, except that the impact this story caused on me made me translate it into spanish on the spot. I guess I’d like my fellow venezuelans to see the kind of things awaiting for them down the road to serfdom, if they don’t act, and act quickly. (sometimes I think this a hopeless task, but anyway, that’s beside the point). The translation is at El Liberal Venezolano.

  11. OMG, this happened to me. I was in the 3rd or 4th grade, and I refused to wear the “panueleta” the pionero scarf. To make an example out me the teacher asked the class to pray to God for candy, just plain candy. Of couse no candy showed up. Then she asked the class to ask fidel for candy, and wouldn’t you know it, a bag of candy appeared. Each student got one piece of candy (canquina), she even offered me a piece, which I refused. I am proud to say that I NEVER wore the scarf, ever!

  12. Pototo, I don’t want to start any trouble, but I agree with you. Anyone who thinks that socialist handouts are not crippling need only look at the African American inner city communities in this country and what the “welfare state” has done to them. The family structure is in tatters, education if frowned upon, criminals are celebrated as heros, the work ethic is lacking, and they have a huge sense of entitlement. All perpetuated by the likes of JJ “Shakedown” Jackson and crowd. Before anyone jumps on me for being racist, I’m not and obviously this doesn’t apply to the whole community.

  13. I agree Pototo and RiverCocytus, Our parents did a very good job in raising us. I’m also certain that in Cuba many parents are instilling those same values in their children.


    The Puerto Rican Congressman you mention is José E. Serrano. He was elected in March 1990. During his election campaign he attended various anti-castro rallies as he courted the Cuban-American community for campaign donations. He was very vocal during this time denouncing the castro regime. Of course, all that changed as soon as he was elected.

    “In recent years, Serrano has dedicated his public efforts to fiercely defend the communist oppression in Cuba and is today considered one of the Castro regime’s main lobbyists in Congress.”

    Congressman Charles Rangel, also from New York has been a friend of fidel castro since the revolution. He is also a rabid defender of the Cuban dictator and his regime. Let’s hope that the democrats don’t win back the Congress and he has to keep his promise to retire.

  14. What an amazing web site! I never knew anything like this existed! I stumbled onto it trying to find out information as to what is happening back home in Cuba.

    The “Ice cream” story brought back tremendously powerful memories. I was born there in 1961 and we left in 1966. I VIVIDLY remember that incident at school, to this day. I’ve told this story many times and people in the States have a tough time believing it. I’m glad I’ve found others that can collaborate these to be true.

    My version goes something like this – the teacher asked how many of us believed there is a God. Of course, we all raised our hands. She went on to say that there is no God and she would prove it to us. She put a picture of Christ on the table next to an empty drinking glass. She told us to bow our heads and pray to Jesus Christ to fill that glass with water. Like good boys and girls, we did. When we were finished we opened our eyes to see an empty glass. The teacher said, “see, I told you – there is NO God!” She then placed a picture of Castro next to the empty glass and this time asked us to bow our heads and pray to Castro that he would fill the glass with water. Like good little boys and girls, we did. When we opened our eyes…. a glass full of water! Amazing!

    And that’s how the brainwashing began.

    I thank the Lord everyday (and my parents) for getting us out of that hell-hole many years ago!

    I returned to Cuba in 2004 for the first time since we left in 1966. What an emotional journey. I was able to see the effects of that brainwashing on all of my cousins that remained. I saw the life sucked out of them. I saw their lack of drive and purpose. The lack of hope! Walking zombies. I pray for them daily.

    I also pray for Castro – I pray that as his earthly life is coming to an end that he would repent and make peace with God. I also pray that God would allow him to live long enough to come up with an exit strategy that would end communism and would help the people he says he loves make a peaceful transition to a free democracy.

    One can still dream….

  15. Here goes another story.
    There was someone in my class whose father/mother had gone a una mision somewhere out of Cuba and brought gum so this child brough a piece of gum to class and broke it into literally about 20 microscopic pieces. I was one of the fortunate to get one of those tiny pieces of Tutti Frutty gum. It was so little that you couldn’t really chew on it, but just taste the sweetness and the scent of it. We all got in trouble and were sent to the principal’s office because we were eating the food of the enemy (el producto del enemigo).
    We should bring “Escuela al campo” stories to this blog one day. I have plenty!!

  16. a very illustrative joke:

    a regular cuban folk meets fidel and tells him: “fidel, the situation is terrible, I’m hungry!”.
    fidel the asks him to drink 10 gallons of water and afterwards offers him a plate of food. obviously the guy can’t eat anything after all that water, to which fidel conningly comments: “you see, you were just thirsty!”

  17. This is the thing about the story. Didn’t God answer the prayer? I mean he may have done it through a stupid teacher trying to teach a stupid lesson, but if they hadn’t prayed to God first, they wouldn’t have gotten their ice cream and cake, right?

    Just a thought.

  18. Sparkle,

    I suppose you could interpret it that way. But the point of the story is that they were made to relinquish God, so in their eyes, children’s eyes, it wasnt God who gave them their treat. It was the revolution.

  19. Just had a very interesting discussion with a Venezuelan. I asked her if she was pro or anti/chavez. She said both sortof. I asked how? She said that her poor relatives in Venezuela are pro and the rich are anti. She said that they used to have to wait in line for medicines and to see doctors. I told her that once the Cuban medicine runs out and the Cuban doctors run away they’ll be back to normal just as the Cubans are now. She admits he is crazy, BUT at least they are getting what they need. Sound familiar America? Looks like our liberal politicians all over again. Crazy, but they sure can BUY votes!

  20. I don’t care if it is true or not, it fit perfectly in the castrianism frame: they have a touch for such perfidia…

    Now we have an italian translation, too!

  21. greetings all – I remember hearing the famous ice cream story but I did not experience it personally as we were furtunate to leave cuba in august of 1960 (46 years ago this monrh – incredible). In the fall of 1967 my cousin Alex and his family were finally able to get out and they had to drag his screaming and crying into the plane. Seems like his commie teachers had drummed into his head that he would be killed when he arrived in the USA.

    He was severely brainwashed and traumatized but a few trips to various toy stores in West New York, New Jersey very quickly cured him.

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