Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba

Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba

Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba

Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba


Beginning with an overview of the Castro regime's program to transform Cuban culture as guided by the tenets of Marxist-Leninist ideology, Julie Bunck first outlines sin a broad way the four phases through which the regime's strategy evolved, from 1959 to the present, with a variety of methods tried - noncoercive, indirectly coercive, and directly coercive.


First we tell tales to children. . . . and surely they are, as a whole false. . . . Then shall we . . . let the children hear just any tales fashioned by just anyone? . . . First . . . we must supervise the makers of tales; and if they make a fine tale, it must be approved, but if it's not, it must be rejected. . . . Many of these they now tell must be thrown out.

--Socrates, The Republic of Plato Book 2, 377a-377c

The destiny of the fatherland and the Revolution will greatly depend on your participation. . . . You have enormous responsibility.

-- Fidel Castro to youth, 1991

Since more than 40 percent of Cuban citizens today are younger than forty years old, assessing the role of youth in the Revolution is an integral part of analyzing the Cuban government's attempt to transform culture. Fidel Castro and his revolutionary associates believed that Cuba's children would eventually determine whether a new socialist man would be created and whether the Revolution would succeed. From the beginning of the Revolution the leaders targeted the nascent minds of Cuba's youth for cultural change. Although many adults continued to hold prerevolutionary values and attitudes, the leadership hoped that the children's "virgin" minds, as Castro called them, would be open and malleable. in the early 1960s the leaders predicted that the next generation, thoroughly imbued with an appropriate communist mentality, would confidently lead the country from socialism to communism. As prerevolutionary generations passed away, outdated "bourgeois" mores would die with them. a flourishing new Cuban culture would then emerge.

Fidel Castro believed that concentrating on molding Cuba's youth would have far-reaching advantages. in seizing upon the energy, enthusi-

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