Cuban Youth Reject Pompeo’s Advice

Elio Delgado Legon

FEU is the Cuban Federation of University Students. Photo: granma.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Before US Secretary of State gives Cuban youth his own opinions about Cuba and some words of wisdom, he should first inform himself about our country’s reality properly so as not to come across a fool with a speech which only invited our youth’s laughter.

At their assemblies in preparation for the next University Students Federation (FEU) Congress, Cuban university students rejected Michael Pompeo’s words of advice in anger, as they are fighting to have what we Cubans have had for many years already: free and quality education, from day-care to university, without any kind of discrimination and in a completely safe environment, without any fear of there being a shoot-out at school, like what regularly happens in his own country.

Maybe Pompeo needed to sit down and ask himself why it is that a group of poor youth from his own country enroll into the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Cuba to study this degree, which is impossible for them in their own country because medicine degrees are so expensive in the United States.

Maybe Pompeo needed to ask himself why Black and Latino students only make up 6% of medicine graduates in the US per year, while nearly half of US graduates from ELAM are Black and a third are Latino.

After learning about the financial obstacles students from these so-called “minority groups” face when trying to enroll in US medicine degrees, Fidel Castro decided that poor US citizens, just like poor Haitians, Latin Americans and students from Africa and Asia, would be able to study at the ELAM for free as long as they promised to then help those in need in their own countries. Does Pompeo really not know about this? If that’s the case, we advise him to better inform himself.

Maybe Pompeo also doesn’t know that Cuba’s infant mortality rate is lower than the figure in the US and that life expectancy is similar, in spite of his country being a military and economic power. And Cuba has managed to achieve this in spite of having an economic, commercial and financial blockade hanging over their heads, which goes beyond its borders and converts it into an economic war of huge proportions, intent on making the political and economic system we Cubans have chosen fail, because it is the fairest in the world and this has been proven.

Another thing Pompeo seems to have no idea about is the fact that Cuba has been a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1991, while his own country, the United States, has never ratified its adherence to this Convention. He is also unaware, or prefers to ignore, that the Cuban Constitution defends every child’s right to school, food and clothing from Chapter 1. It also defends Cubans’ right to education, which provides every Cuban child and teenager the chance to study, at every education level, for free, no matter what their family’s financial situation is.

Something else Pompeo might not know is that in 2030, it’s estimated that 167 million children will be living in extreme poverty and none of them will be Cuban; that 60 million children aged under-5 will have died from curable diseases and none of them will be Cuban; that 60 million school-aged children will still not have access to an education and none of these will be Cuban; that young people in capitalist countries have a higher unemployment rate because those who are able to study a university degree then run into problems looking for work, which doesn’t happen in Cuba.

I could point out a lot more advantages that Cuban youngsters have over the majority of those in capitalist countries, but the ones I’ve outlined here are enough for Mr. Pompeo to understand why they rejected his advice.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

19 thoughts on “Cuban Youth Reject Pompeo’s Advice

  • The Cuban youth speaks loud and clear when they throwing themselves to the sea in precarious boats in search of freedom democracy and a better future after sixty years of dictatorship

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  • Poor Elio continues to fool himself, it is a wonder that he doesn’t choke on all that PCC Propaganda Department misinformation.
    I wonder where Elio gets the figure that almost half the US graduates from ELAM are black? What’s the figure for Cuban blacks Elio, for as you know, your Propaganda Department maintains that fewer than 10% of Cubans are black.?
    The defined purpose of school education in the Constitution of Cuba is indoctrination of communism.
    Elio pumps out the usual stuff about the embargo being “an economic war of huge proportions”. Perhaps he can tell us what goods Cuba is unable to purchase from China or Russia because of the embargo? Could it be Elio that there is both incompetence and corruption in the Cuban regime supply system which is dependent upon imports?
    It is almost humorous to speak of unemployment figures in relation to Cuba, where underemployment is the norm. Just walk through town during the morning of any week day and observe the adult *males lounging on porches, sidewalks and park benches, when in capitalist countries they would be engaged in profitable occupations.
    As Barack Obama observed,the economy of a country reflects production – so where is the Cuban production under communism?.
    *The Cuban ladies are busy doing housework or endeavoring to produce a meal.

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  • Dear Brother Carlyle, You do not live in Cuba, yet you want to dispute the real life experiences of Brothe Elio who has provided STATISTICS to bolster his comments. [Editor’s Note, Kennedy knows very well that Carlyle lives at least half the year in Cuba.]

    There can be no doubt whatsoever that Cuban Children have FREE ACCESS to EDUCATION from KINDERGARTEN to UNIVERSITY! This is a Great FEAT in any country more so by a country which is clamped with an economic embargo in an attempt to ensure the FAILURE of its 1959 Socialist REVOLUTION. When speaking about Cubans risking their lives to sail to the USA, you must also truthfully inform about the many who have been so disillusioned by all the propaganda vis-a vis the USA that they want to return to Cuba immediately, You must also inform about the many who have turned to crime in the USA. The many who have turned to prostitution in order to survive. Brother Carlyle, you must be true to yourself at all times and tell the whole, whole story.

    You must tell about the homeless, about the drug addicts, about the gangsters, about the many illiterates who occupy the USA. You must speak about the exploitation of some of the Cuban immigrants who have been exploited by their Cuban MAFIA in MIAMI! You must tell them about the shoot outs that the schools in the USA experience almost on a daily basis. You must tell them how difficult it is for the child of a poor mother or father to be able to realize the USA dream of becoming a Medical Doctor or Engineer. You must also inform your readers that there are students from the USA who are studying in Cuba to become what they could not become in the USA. Tell them the truth Brother Carlyle. Bare your chest with the TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE GOSPEL TRUTH, Brother Carlyle! God Bless!

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    • I have asked you before Kennedy Earle Clarke to refrain from including me among your relatives.
      Do please note that there are approaching two million expatriate Cubans living in the US, plus many others in other countries, many of whom would love to return to their homeland if the tyrannical communist regime were to implode from within like the USSR did.
      Footnote: My time in Cuba per annum is up to eight months and my wife visits my official country of residence for a lengthy period each year.
      Where is Kennedy Earle Clarke all the time? Sitting in comfort in his capitalist island retreat and proving that innocence of Cuban reality is bliss!
      As Clarke knows, I am not qualified to remedy the various problems of the USA as I am fortunately not an American. Imploring me to tell the truth about the USA is in consequence irrelevant.

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  • Does Pompeo have any advice for the children of Central American Capitalst countries ?
    Perhaps it goes as follows:
    ‘Don’t try to enter the USA or we will snatch you away from your parents and throw you in cages’.

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    • Your question is a touch slanted Nick, for the children that have been separated from their parents by the policy of the Trump(f) administration come from a variety of South American countries including non-capitalist ones. But apart from that point, I agree with you.
      Trump(f) today signing an executive order, does not reunite children with their parents. It may well be that if they cannot be reunited, the US will be guilty of theft for stealing children. Despite the abject poverty that many Cuban families endure, they invariably treasure their children. To Trump(f) they are but pawns in his political chess game. But you and I Nick must remember that 63 million Americans voted for Donald Trump(f).

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      • Yes my point is deliberately slanted as Pompeo speaks from an ultra capitalist perspective and most of those who have been caged were trying to flee capitalist countries yet he has the cheek to give advice to young people from non-capitalist Cuba.
        But you are correct to state that the caged children include some from non-capitalist countries. However my understanding is that the children who were taken from their parents and caged in the USA were primarily from Central American countries rather than South American countries as you incorrectly stated.
        However lets put pedantry to one side.
        A significant minority of US citizens (the ones with voting rights) voted for trump and a significant minority strongly agree with the policy of caging children. There is a smaller minority within the USA who would prefer these types of policies to be even more severe.
        This far right sentiment also afflicts Europe where we have an increasing problem with trumpesque politicians and their far right supporters.
        There are overlaps between right wing capitalism, very right wing capitalism, ultra right wing capitalism and fascism.
        Taking children from their parents and putting them in cages is obviously reminiscent of Nazi Germany (where Hitler also received a strong minority of votes).
        This policy is the latest strong reminder of the links and overlaps between right wing capitalism and the very far right. As a strong advocate of capitalism, you consistently seek to deny these links (both historic and current) as this reality does not fit comfortably into your ‘good guys vs bad guys’ worldview.

        The world is a place of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. I wonder how often you pause to reflect on your good fortune to be one of the ‘haves’ and can therefore alternate between the relative calm and safety of Canada and Cuba without risk of being put in a cage ?

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        • I have repeatedly stated in Havana Times that I detest dictatorship whether it be by the left or the right. That remains my position. I have consistently written of my preference for the free capitalist countries compared with those under communist repression. It is you Nick who endeavor to place words in my mouth because your objective is to pretend to be a neutral observer. (I wrote neutral not neutered).
          You are right to detest Hitler who established the German National Socialist Party. But if you seek to be fair, you must also condemn other dictators including Mussolini (Fascist), Pinochet (extreme right wing), Stalin (communist) and the Castro brothers (communist). it appears however that you are loath so to do! Somehow you find an attraction in the totalitarian state providing that it is like Cuba, a communist one!
          You will spring with alacrity to attack President Donald Trump(f), forgetting that unlike the Castros he was elected in a multi-party election (Republican, Democrat and Independent although Sanders opted to be a temporary democrat he has reverted to the (I).
          I have listed some of those that I regard as “bad guys”, but no doubt you will find some excuses for the communist ones.
          Only a fool would pretend that capitalism is without fault, it is however preferable to communism. I reflect daily upon my good fortune in having the rights of a free citizen from a capitalist country and especially when I am at home in Cuba witnessing the alternative of an evil system that represses humanity!
          You may have noticed that Osmel Ramirez Alvarez is currently confined to a “cage”. That reflects the reality of Cuba and the oppression of communism which you choose to either ignore or subtly support.

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          • If a member of the Cuban ‘opposition’ is being financially supported by an external enemy and aggressor, then in my opinion, this would give some legitimacy to the investigation/arrest of that individual. Regarding Osmel I do not believe that this is the case and therefore would 100% condemn the Cuban authorities for his maltreatment and confinement.
            There are many types of government in the world but I would not sit down and try to separate them off into good and evil.
            Just because some tyrant of a world leader has obtained power via some ridiculous charade of a multi party election, that does not make them any better in my eyes. And it does not lessen the impact if they go on to commit brutal atrocities.
            I make the point again that there are overlaps between the type of capitalism that you support, the far right and full-on fascism. These overlaps have always been there and always will be.
            I note that you do not address this point.
            In fact it appears that you refuse to acknowledge that this is clearly the reality of the world we live in. I’m a natural optimist but I’m afraid I think it will get worse before it gets better. Hopefully the next nadir will not be as bad as that of the 1930s.
            Apart from that I am most pleased to learn from you that you reflect daily on your good fortune. I do so myself. Especially so in the face of so much suffering in the world.
            Going forward, these deep links between right wing capitalism and fascism can only ever make this suffering yet worse.

          • I have had to resort to using the “reply’ here as there is not one for the contribution by Nick below.
            Nick without providing any basis, wrote referring to me:

            “the type of capitalism that you support, the far right and full on fascism.”

            Apart from being an obvious lie, it betrays his ardent belief in the totalitarian communist state developed in Cuba by the Castros.
            I invite Nick and anyone else to substantiate his untruth by quoting anything that I have written in Havana Times or elsewhere. I have openly and frequently written of my opposition to the extremes in politics and especially the evil of dictatorships be they of the left or right. Although other readers will find contributions by Nick opposing right wing extremism, there is no condemnation of left wing extremism coming from his pen. One cannot find any example of him condemning communism per se or the Castro regime.
            Nick as an English citizen is undoubtedly a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, who in turn is an admirer of Nicholas Maduro. Readers of Havana Times will be aware of Maduro’s policies and actions in pursuit of installing a communist dictatorship in Venezuela based upon the Castro Cuban model. Some who write or have written here openly and honestly support communism which is their right, I mention Stephen-Pons and Kennedy Earle Clarke as examples. But Nick pretends to be presenting balanced views whilst not too subtly supporting the Castro regime. A fellow traveler par excellence!

      • “…a variety of South American countries including non-capitalist ones. ”
        Which countries are, in your opinion, non-capitalist?

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  • Has anyone looked into the cases of Cuban university students who were expelled from school in the last couple of years for their political beliefs?
    Was there a bill board for years outside the University of Havana that said “The University is for the revolutionaries?”
    Were Catholics for many years prevented from studying to be teachers?
    Are Cuban university students familiar with Fidel Castro’s repeated assurances in 1958 and during the first year of the revolutionary government that neither he, nor the revolution were Communists?
    Is there a correlation between the low infant mortality rate and the high rate of government induced abortions?
    Why are the rights of freedom of expression, press, association and others conditioned to the construction of Cuban socialism? What happens when the majority of Cubans want something else?
    What happened to Cuba’s sugar industry that was the engine of Cuban development for two centuries?
    Why no one mentions Cuban apartheid, Cuban style? The difference in medical treatment and availability of medicine for Cubans and foreigners? Even at Copelia, the ice cream park in Havana foreigners and Cubans are segregated -Cubans discriminated. Such abuse would not be acceptable anywhere else. Cubans should have the same rights and opportunities that foreigners enjoy on the island.
    Why doesn’t the Cuban government bring back to the island thousands of Cuban soldiers deployed in Venezuela to support Maduro? They are desperately needed in Cuba to help rebuild the homes destroyed by hurricanes?
    Todo el mundo tiene derecho a su ideologia y sus opiniones, pero ahi esta la triste realidad para el que la quiera ver.

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    • How nice it would be if the Castro regime was obliged to answer your questions Frank.

      “There can be no danger if we do WHAT CUBANS WANT, if we provide social practice and solve the substantial social problems of all Cubans of liberty, of respect for individual rights, of freedom of the press and thought, of democracy, of liberty to select their own government.”

      16th March, 1959 Fidel Castro

      “They have no right to accuse the revolution of being communist.”

      December 14th, 1959 Fidel Castro

      “I have been a Marxist-Leninist all along and will remain one until I die”.
      “He sido un Marxista-Leninista desde el principio y permanecere asi hasta que muera.”

      1961 Fidel Castro

      Like Donald Trump(f) lying came naturally to Fidel Castro.

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  • Unfortunately there is no reply box to Mr MacD’s latest remark.
    Mr MacD, your comment is as absurd as it is insulting. I suggest you take some elementary lessons in reading English.
    Here is my remark again (how about if you read it nice and slowly this time): ‘…….there are overlaps between the type of capitalism that you support, the far right and full-on fascism. These overlaps have always been there and always will be.’
    Rather than actually addressing the points I raise, you ridiculously extract a middle bit of this quote and try to make out that I am suggesting something that I am not.
    How weirdly childish.
    You clearly see yourself as some profound font of knowledge and truth and you do not like it when you are proven to be incorrect. Neither do you like it when you are called out as a twister of facts.
    Perhaps one of your saving graces is that you like to make presumptions about which politicians I may support which I find to be heartily amusing…..

    But you will never, ever admit the links and overlaps, both historical and current, between Capitalism, Right-Wing Capitalism, Very Right-Wing Capitalism and Fascism.
    Because this reality does not fit into your neat and tidy little old ‘good guys vs bad guys’ worldview.

    And BTW, there are various instances of me being critical of the Cuban Government on this forum (my most recent two comments being crystal clear examples thereof).
    It is a blatant and pointless waste of words to state that I do not do this.

    I think the Cuban Government is as stuck in a ‘good vs evil’ take on the world as you are Mr MacD.

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    • I am content to leave other readers to reach their own conclusions about where your political affiliations lie Nick. It is self-evident!

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  • I must point out that your last remark is nothing but a a self-contradiction.

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  • Elio’s lies and propaganda, like Donald Trump’s, are too plentiful to keep track of and dispute properly. It’s safe too say that almost nothing he claims to be true, really is. Sadly, because of Donald Trump, any moral high ground that Americans once held has nearly dissipated. Nonetheless, the world can be assured that there will not be 60 years of Trump madness as there has been of Castro madness. One other bright light is that resistance to Trump, including an independent media (FoxNews notwithstanding) is alive and well. Again, no such resistance exists in Cuba.

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    • Hi Mr P……
      Thanks for the assurances.

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  • Just start with Venezuela and go from there Ken.

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