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How can the Party better organize and direct common efforts in the construction of socialism?

abelPThe Communist Party must serve as a pillar supporting educational institutions at all levels, pay attention and assist them in the tremendous task of teaching younger generations to feel the nation’s history, to understand and honor it, to ensure not only the future of conscious Party members, but the preservation of the principles that have been bequeathed to us by the Revolution.

This was one of the most important ideas shared by delegates to the 8th Party Congress, during the second day of debate in the Commission addressing the organization’s Functioning and Ideological Work, chaired by José Ramón Machado Ventura, Central Committee second secretary.

As a guest at the event, Abel Prieto Jimenez, president of Casa de las Americas, reflected on the need to offer classes, at all levels, in a more attractive way, and suggested better use of audiovisuals. There are examples of the impact that good audiovisual material about historical events can have on youth, he said, including the Lucha contra bandidos series and the film Inocencia, which had a significant impact on younger generations.

The teaching of history, he reiterated, has an emotional component. In addition to the information, the student must fall in love. We must be able to touch an inner fiber. For this reason, he suggested that more resources be devoted to the development of audiovisual products of this caliber, to promote knowledge, in coordination with educators, of course, who have the task of imparting this content.

Likewise, Alpidio Alonso Grau, Congress guest and Minister of Culture, explained that, although limited budgets and resources available to produce more products of this nature present a dilemma, it is essential to ensure that economic development and ideological understanding advance in parallel, an effort in which culture and education are fundamental.

The Minister emphasized the importance for young Communists of reading works that contribute to their political and ideological solidity, including Fidel´s History will absolve me, the Communist Manifesto, and Our America, essential for the formation of any revolutionary Cuban of these times.

To defend culture is to defend the Revolution

In this context, Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella, Minister of Education and a delegate from the province of Santiago de Cuba, stressed the responsibility of educators, first of all, to comprehensively educate children and young people, which involves not only academic subjects, but also culture, ideological issues and, of course, history.

Regarding the latter, she stated that, in order to prioritize the training and preparation of educators in the teaching of national and local history, the collaboration of history academies, specialists, researchers and intellectuals, among others, is needed, to gradually ensure that the study and depth of our teachers’ knowledge is matched with more attractive and efficient educational methods.

She acknowledged that there is room for improvement. There was a time when, in basic secondary education, a very low percentage of educators had the required training in history. This has been overcome, but it must continue to be a focus of the Party’s attention.

Adys Norma Iraola Martínez, delegate from Camagüey, expressed her agreement with all this, noting that, although a great effort is being made by the ministries and other organizations, to achieve greater efficiency in this regard, a key piece is the Party’s attention, at all levels, to the training of teachers, seeking, all together, alternatives to ensure the professional level of this subject in the future.

Creating culture for socialism

On the other hand, delegate from Guantánamo, Yaritcet Jiménez Argota, a non-professional member of the Provincial Party Bureau and professor at the local university, addressed the links between institutions of higher learning and society, their role in the formation of values, in which political-ideological work is of great importance, requiring continuous preparation of teachers and workers, in addition to regular interaction with students.

In this regard, she recalled that the university has been present in all historical moments, but now, given the context created by the pandemic, both institutions and youth have stepped up, with universities becoming directly involved in the COVID-19 battle and young people providing crucial collaboration throughout this period. Hence, she insisted, local Party units must pay special attention to maintaining communication with these youth, and to the preparation of professionals and teachers in the country’s universities.

Other challenges of the current context

All the initiatives discussed by delegates to encourage the study and promotion of history are born of the need to confront the social and communicative context that has emerged in recent years, almost everywhere in the world, with strategies adapted to the new dynamics,

Abel Prieto Jiménez pointed out that the rapidly evolving Internet and information technology world, has been an important factor in the increasing tendency to read less, to depend only on headlines to stay informed, even if they contain distortions and lies, replicated over and over.

Likewise, guest speaker Arleen Rodríguez Derivet commented that, in analyzing this issue, it is necessary to take into consideration generational and technological changes, the ways in which young people consume content.

“We face a great challenge,” she said, “which is to tell the story of how the Revolution was made, the exploits of the protagonists of this heroic feat, but in a way that wins their love, that seduces them.”

In this endeavor, she stated, we cannot separate technology from entertainment, just as there is no problem in doing politics with memes, if we are a happy people, who enjoy good humor.

Rosa Miriam Elizalde Zorrilla, guest and first vice-president of the Union of Cuban Journalists (UPEC), agreed with part of this statement, clarifying that the Internet cannot be considered as a fourth medium, but as an environment, since it constitutes an anthropological change in cultural terms. “It is here to stay; we should not demonize it, nor be afraid of it, but jump in, full body.”

Beyond current weaknesses of the press media in the country, which are not new, the journalist and researcher stated, there are serious threats that we have not faced before, and the main one is the communicational technological war, as the axis of the imperialist war. We are facing very sophisticated laboratories, with technologies that have been tested in other political contexts.

She stressed, however, that we have a great ability to maneuver, provided by the Revolution in power, the prevailing social consensus that is demonstrated every day, scientific potential and the capacity to create multidisciplinary teams to confront such dynamics. We are a country with great strategic vision and we have the historical certainty that there is no technology that can defeat the will of the people.

(Taken from Granma)

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