It would seem our country has the most educational problems in the world. All of the cables that reach us report the many and difficult challenges we face: a deficit of over 8,000 teachers, disrespectful and ill-mannered students, lack of training, in short: problems of all sorts.
I don‘t believe, to begin with, that we‘re in such bad shape. Not one developed country shares our schooling indices and the educational opportunities open to all citizens, which we maintain in spite of the unjust blockade and the shameless plundering of arms, muscles and brains Cuba endures.
The United States and other wealthy countries cannot even compare themselves to us. They do have many more automobiles, use more fuel, consume more drugs, buy more cosmetics and benefit from pillaging our countries, as they have done for centuries.
Imperialism seeks to return Cuban women to the condition of merchandise, pleasure objects and servants for the rich. They do not forgive countries for their struggle for liberation. It yearns to return to the time when black Cubans were barred from using recreational facilities. Then, many citizens lacked employment, social security and medical services.
To Martí, freedom was very dear and one had to pay the price for it or resign oneself to a life without it. That is the question all Cubans must ask themselves each day.
How feasible are the aspirations of our enemies? Only we have the answer, within each of us. In terms of education, should we not ask ourselves if our educational system employs a bureaucratic method which teaches science without conscience? I don’t believe we have regressed that much. In any event, each one of us must ask these questions to avoid having our dignity spat on. We should expect no mercy from our enemies.
There are tens of thousands of people who think, speak, act and make decisions. The measures that are adopted every day are in their hands.
Let us keep a watchful eye on our enemies and let us do exactly the opposite of what they want from us to continue being who we are.
This is an appeal to our conscience. The Revolution justifiably demands from us that we work more, that is to say, that we work! We have held our ground for 50 years. The new generations are much better educated to face the challenges; we have the right to demand from them much more. Let us not become discouraged by the news spread by our enemies, which distorts the meaning of our words and paints our self-criticisms as tragedies. The wellspring of our revolutionary ethics is inexhaustible.
Fidel Castro Ruz
July 19, 2008