Education in Cuba: Totalitarian indoctrination

Just like the myth of wonderful free healthcare in communist Cuba, the tall tale of Cuba’s advanced education system is just as spurious. The Castro dictatorship doesn’t offer education, it offers indoctrination of the totalitarian kind. The truth is suppressed and censored, the lies and misinformation are amplified, and only those in good standing with the Cuban Communist Party are allowed to participate.

Yolanda Huerga exposes the reality of Cuba’s education system in Martí Noticias:

Education in Cuba: The road from plurality to totalitarianism

In its most recent report, the Observatory of Academic Freedom (OLA) examined the continuity and systematic nature of ideological purging in the Cuban academia since 1959, as well as the normalization of political discrimination across the educational spectrum.

OLA’s 36th report reviews the events that highlighted the standardization of politically driven discrimination since 1968 when Fidel Castro announced a complete transformation of the educational system.

“Something impossible when reforms are structured from the dominant and exclusive ideology of those who hold power,” considered the researchers at OLA.

“The first analysis focuses on the reconfiguration of education when the tradition of plural education was abandoned, advancing towards a totalitarian education, beginning with the schools in rural areas,” explained Cuban intellectual Leonardo Fernández Otaño, a member of the team that compiled the report, speaking to Martí Noticias.

Under the illusory purpose of revolutionizing education, the system of Normal Schools for teacher training was closed, “a literacy campaign was employed for indoctrination,” and private education was prohibited, they recounted.

Fidel Castro’s speech known as “Words to the Intellectuals” set the limits of freedom: “Within the Revolution, everything; against the Revolution, nothing,” establishing the groundwork for the development of “revolutionary plans,” as recalled by OLA.

The dossier from the Observatory of Academic Freedom assesses how the formation and development of a qualified workforce became a state policy in Cuba.

For this purpose, it explores four regulations reflecting the Cuban State’s strategy in this regard: Decree 364 of 2019 from the Council of Ministers; Resolution 289 of 2019 from the Ministry of Education; Resolution 202 of 2019 from the Ministry of Higher Education; and Resolution 112 of 2019 from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

“In a second phase, in the analysis of labor legislation, we scrutinize Decree 364 of 2019 and all the restrictive legislation impacting higher education,” highlighted Fernández Otaño.

As in previous editions, OLA compiles the stories of victims expelled from Higher Education that reveal the violations committed by Cuban authorities against students and professors in educational institutions.

“In the cases we documented for this report, we have, in the first place, the case of Mariana Karina Silse, a medical student in Santiago de Cuba who was subjected to harassment throughout the 1970s and afterward, even extending into her personal life, leading her to abandon her medical career. While in a recent case, we analyzed that of the art instructor Adelth Alfredo Bonne Gamboa, who, due to his political stances, was subjected to persecution and political harassment within the Cuban educational system,” concluded the intellectual, now residing in Spain.

3 thoughts on “Education in Cuba: Totalitarian indoctrination”

  1. Oh, but like several Ivy League university presidents would tell you, it all depends on “context.” In a totalitarian, I mean “revolutionary,” context, ideological indoctrination, I mean instruction, is normal.

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