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How does the Cuban government operate to instill the teachings and values of Cuba? Essay


Cuba is a communist state. To date, there is only a single legal party in Cuba. The government of Cuba controls the country under its constitution of 1976. Fidel Castro ruled the country until he retired due to health problems and left the leadership to his brother, Raul Castro in 2008.

Cuba has a centralized power system. Castro and the top officials in the government control power. The regime does not allow any kind of democratic participation in issues of power. Some critics believe that centralization of power has interfered with production capacities of Cuba (Robson, 1996).

Scholars agree that the education level in Cuba is of high standards. However, they disagree on factors which have favored education in Cuba. Proponents of Castro claim that it is the emphasis placed on education after the revolution that has created high levels of literacy in the country. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the government of Cuba altered its education system to reflect that of the West.

Earlier education system in Cuba aimed at instilling values of ‘correct line’. The system had a rigid curriculum and instruction style developed from social ideologies. The system encouraged rote learning through memorization and did not encourage independent thinking and questioning.

Fidel Castro made education its priority after the Cuban revolution. In fact, scholars note that education remained the greatest achievement of the Cuban revolution. Education in Cuba prevailed despite difficult economic situations and the US embargo.

The government continued funding its education with the scarce resources. Education system of Cuba has remained advanced in the Latin America. The present system of education still imparts the value of the Cuban government through required classes that teach “sacrifice, patriotism, collectivism and a militant defense of national sovereignty, all in the context of glorifying the Cuban revolution” (Marx, 2002).

Community and school related together through communal works and vocational skills where students learned to be morally and politically correct. Cuba system of education remained compulsory for six years. After this, students could join secondary or vocational training schools. It is this system of education that instilled national identity of Cuba.

Cuba has developed a national identity consisting of various races and cultures. African cultures defined the nation through cultural music and dance. The combination of Africans and white minorities in Cuba form the modern national identity of Cuba.

Closeness of Cuba to the US has significant impacts on its culture and national identity. As a result, American ideologies have permeated Cuban characters. However, these Western ideologies are mainly widespread among the rich and whites who express such ideologies through consumerism of Americans. However, Cubans loyal to the country have rejected American ideologies due to embargo the US imposed on Cuba for several decades.

Socially, Cuba has social classes. However, after 1959, many people acquired education that reduced the gap between the poor and the rich. As a result, social class did not influence access to basic needs in Cuba.

Later, Cuba changed its system of education and majorities had access to education and better occupation by 1988. This translated to improved living standards among many people. It indicated redistribution of the country’s wealth to the majority.

However, privileged class reemerged in Cuba. This is a ‘Special Period’ in history of Cuba characterized by influences of capitalism ideologies. New private enterprises emerged and created wealth for the few. The rift between the poor and the rich widened. Capitalists have amassed great wealth and material privileges defined by luxury lifestyle amidst rising levels of poverty among the majority.

Cuban education and its components of the revolution have promoted socialist ideologies, which encourage material hardship. However, the recent reality is that poverty is escalating in an inequitable manner. Capitalism has demonstrated that poverty and wealth have no equity. This has frustrated Cubans who have held socialist ideologies of equity and just society when dealing with economic affairs.

Cubans value their socialist ideologies of brotherhood, interdependence, and loyalty. Earlier Cuban scholars portrayed such values in their works. This is different from the US individualism and independence relations. The country has honored Cuban writers as visionary thinkers.

This reflects the privilege given to the poet, Jose Marti who was also Cuban nationalist. After the revolution, the government censored all writings. However, after 1987, it allowed people to debate some ideas openly only if they did not incite people against the government (Hatchwell and Calder, 2000).

Cuba education system promotes the value of collective political awareness and wealth. Thus, they tend to shun materialism, capitalism, stiff competition, individualism, and consumerism associated with the US.

Cuba revolution remains the greatest event in the history of Cuba. The revolution reflects hardship, propaganda, and guerrilla warfare. This revolution has found its way in Cuba curriculum and now shaping the future of its citizens. Castro transformed Cuba after the revolution and gained recognition in the world affairs. This started by participating in Angola when it sent its army to support the leftist in the 1970s.

Cuban revolution has influenced Latin America. Latin America is full of rulers who seized leadership through military coups. Thus, dictatorship has become a part of Latin America history ever since the times of revolutions. Some dictators created stability, whereas others only created repressive regimes.

Some studies suggest that Latin America civilians have shown discontent with the civilian governments. Most Latin Americans prefer dictatorship over democracy.

Such ideas originated from the time of the founding of Latin America nations where conservatives argued that new nations were unable to handle their affairs and needed guidance (Becker, 2005). Consequently, others believed in a small system of government where a few elites ruled nations paternalistically as representatives of the majority.

Dictatorship in Latin America came from military coups whose leaders sought to oust democratically or constitutionally elected presidents. Consequently, they establish leadership composed of juntas and military generals. These rulers then engage in legitimizing their courses.

Military rules are the norms in Latin America. Observers believe that it is the failures of the civilian governments that lead to military coups. For instance, they believe that “civilian governments fail to address persistent problems of corruptions and poverty in their states” (Becker, 2005).

However, caudillos of the twentieth-century have learned to rule with the personal charisma instead of military brutality. It was only Fidel Castro who remained as non-elected leader by 20th century. However, his style of leadership reflected those of former caudillos rather than military autocrats. Still, dictators of Latin America have maintained power by using strong military forces at their disposals.

There are divergent views on the relationship between Cubans and their government. Majority of Cubans do not agree with the ideologies that revolution instilled. A number of such people, mainly upper and middle class Cubans, who left the country due to totalitarian style of Fidel, do not like the government of Cuba.

In fact, they encourage the US to continue with its embargo on Cuba. To date, there are people who still leave Cuba due to poor governance and oppressive regime.

Conversely, there are Cubans who supported Fidel Castro and his revolution ideologies. Still, they continue to support Raul Castro as their new leader. Analysts consider Raul to be a hardliner and will perpetuate ideologies of Communist Party of Cuba.

Some of the Raul’s supporters consider him pragmatic and will enact some economic policies to change the country. Speculators also believe that Raul will adopt Chinese system of politics and economic model so as to retain socialist agendas. However, Cubans believe that Raul lacks charisma that Fidel used to rule the country.

In all, Cubans agree that the revolution has changed the lives of the people. This is because they oppose neocolonialism of the US and its capitalism system that creates a wide rift between the rich and the poor. This explains why most Cubans still support Raul after Castro.

The Cuban constitution has a provision for an independent judiciary system. However, the ultimate power lies with the National Assembly, the president and his council. This system has denied Cubans a due process of law. The regime continues to violate rights, especially in issues relating to political offenses.

The constitution categorically states that citizens can “lose their legally recognized rights if they oppose the decision of the Cuban citizens to build socialism” (Becker, 2005). People who criticize the government or its communist style risk facing criminal charges.

References

Becker, M. (2005). Dictatorship in Latin America. New York: New Press.

Hatchwell, E. and Calder, S. (2000). Cuba in Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics, Culture. Northampton, MA: Interlink Publishing Group.

Marx, G. (2002). Cuba values education and sees it as a way to disseminate ideology. Chicago Tribune, 9, 1-2.

Robson, B. (1996). The Cubans Their History and Culture. Washington, DC: The Refugee Service Center: Center for Applied Linguistics.

Annotated source

Marx, G. (2002). Cuba values education and sees it as a way to disseminate ideology. Chicago Tribune, 9, 1-2.

Marx explores why education levels in Cuba ranks highest in Latin America. He notes that the government embarked on a countrywide program aimed at popularizing education soon after the revolution. Education became a top agenda for the government of Cuba. The system of education has instilled socialism ideologies and revolution history among Cubans.

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Neil T. studied at Boston University, USA, with average GPA 3.17 out of 4.0.

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T., N. (2019, April 15). How does the Cuban government operate to instill the teachings and values of Cuba? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-does-the-cuban-government-operate-to-instill-the-teachings-and-values-of-cuba/

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T., Neil. "How does the Cuban government operate to instill the teachings and values of Cuba?" IvyPanda, 15 Apr. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/how-does-the-cuban-government-operate-to-instill-the-teachings-and-values-of-cuba/.

1. Neil T. "How does the Cuban government operate to instill the teachings and values of Cuba?" IvyPanda (blog), April 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-does-the-cuban-government-operate-to-instill-the-teachings-and-values-of-cuba/.


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T., Neil. "How does the Cuban government operate to instill the teachings and values of Cuba?" IvyPanda (blog), April 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-does-the-cuban-government-operate-to-instill-the-teachings-and-values-of-cuba/.

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T., Neil. 2019. "How does the Cuban government operate to instill the teachings and values of Cuba?" IvyPanda (blog), April 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-does-the-cuban-government-operate-to-instill-the-teachings-and-values-of-cuba/.

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T., N. (2019) 'How does the Cuban government operate to instill the teachings and values of Cuba?'. IvyPanda, 15 April.

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