Reaping the Whirlwind

Today, while I publish this text, thousands of students from Havana are sitting in front of their Mathematics exam. The schedule for admission to the University has had to incorporate a new test date for this subject, after a scandalous case of fraud. The leaking and selling of the questions ended with the cancellation of the previous test results, three teachers arrested, and an unknown number of students investigated.

Although fraudulent practices are common in Cuban schools, this case has provoked a profound reflection in our society, including in the official press. We have seen on our small screens dozens of interviews with people who repudiate cheating by copying another, and the lie of procured knowledge you don’t have. Few, if any, reflect on the environment of hypocrisies, double standards and simulations in which these teenager, now between sixteen and seventeen, have come of age.

This batch of students has been educated under educational experiments such as the so-called “emerging teachers.” Is it a greater fraud to put someone at the front of a classroom and call them a teacher when they possess neither the ethical values nor the knowledge to exercise such a worthy profession? How can we ask them to be honest, if the TV screen from which they receive their tele-classes never managed to transmit adequate moral codes? It is these kids, at this very minute seated in front of the math test, the children of my generation, who are surrounded by artificial academic results and inflated credentials.

It is worth remembering that for decades the schools and teachers whose classes failed to achieve grades of ninety or almost one hundred, were scolded, stripped of their credentials, and even administratively and materially penalized. Those were the days when from the dais Fidel Castro read the academic results of the high schools with their elevated promotion rate, knowing–in his heart–that this was a huge lie created for him.

It turns out that the teachers often dictate the exam questions in advance, walking among the desks of those who take longer, to whisper the answers to them or, simply, leave the room so the students are left alone to copy the answers from each other. Those of us who studied hard were always frustrated by the complicity of so many teachers and education experts with the practice of academic fraud. We are the parents of this generation that is today being evaluated in Havana’s classrooms. How could they have turned out differently? How can we ask them not to do what they have seen done?

Yoani Sánchez, Havana | 26 May 2014 | 14ymedio

63 thoughts on “Reaping the Whirlwind

  1. Neutral observer: People in Latin America have never had so much wealth and money…this is part of the problem with Capitalism….in the stratification of World Countries created by the Capitalistic Model if the lower strata nations have more then the Rich countries have a great deal more…hence the more and more civilization …which is unsustainable!!….inequality in the World is getting worst…the creation of a Fourth World thanks to information capitalism. The Economic Czars who run the World economy have being task to fix the problems of unsustainability and they can’t do it….between climate change and capitalism we have place humanity on a metaphorical train to oblivion (we are living the World portrayed in the movie Oblivion already: Rich countries living extremely well while other countries do without…I am talking about mass extinctions…)

  2. Omar,

    By the way, you might want to read a bit of economic history. People in the Americas have never been richer.

    Even Cubans are better off than they were in the 1990s, thanks to the billions of dollars sent to them each year from their Capitalist relatives and the small amount of Capitalism that Castro is now allowing.

  3. Omar,

    I wrote nothing about Capitalism and Mercantilism. By the way, those two systems oppose each other, in case you’re interested.

    You guys know nothing about Cuba so all you do is attack the messenger and lie about what the messenger is saying.

    All I did was explain to you the truth about Cuba. Most Cubans would prefer Batista over Castro. Cubans hate Castro, an undeniable fact to anyone who has visited Cuba, except for foaming-at-the-mouth Socialists who put on their Red shades before landing at the airport.

    I support good, honest government and taking care of our environment. If the best candidate is an intelligent and honest Socialist, I would vote for him.

    I don’t support the Castro regime, which is a mafia dictatorship.

  4. Neutral Observer: you also engage in propaganda about the superiority of the Capitalistic Model over any other system conceived by Man and deny the fact that 400 years of Mercantilism and Capitalism in our Hemisphere has not lifted people out of Poverty and is a complete and total failure because it is not sustainable and is pushing humanity over the abyss of extension.

  5. Omar,

    It’s not exiles in Miami who yearn for Batista.

    It’s all the serfs living in Cuba who yearn for Batista.

    Of course, Cubans prefer something better than Batista, but Batista looks good compared to Castro.

    Every year they suffered under Castro, the more they missed Batista.

    I know this because I actually ask Cubans what they think when I visit and I’m not a foaming-at-the-mouth Socialist.

    All you do is post propaganda most Cubans wipe their bums with.

  6. Omar Fundora said: “Cuba and Venezuela are under attack by the United States.”

    DEAR Omar Fundora! THE “ATTACK” IS OF INFORMATION BEING EXPOSED AND SHARED ABOUT THE FASCIST BEHAVIOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY THE CASTRO FAMILY OLIGARCHY MAFIA AND THE MADURO “GOVERNMENT”! THAT IS NOT AN “ATTACK” IS SHOWING THE WORLD “LOS TRAPOS SUCIOS” DEAR! YA TU SABES!

    FASCISM: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

    DICTATORSHIP: 1. a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator. 2. absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control. 3. the office or position held by a dictator.

    OLIGARCHY: meaning “to rule or to command”)[1][2][3] is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

    “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck”

    If it walks like a FASCIST, quacks like a FASCSITS, looks like a FASCIST, it must be a FASCIST! AND IF IT COMES FROM CUBA AND NAMED CASTRO, IS A CASTROFASCIST!! JE JE JE!

  7. Neutral Observer: only the business class or people that had privilege in Cuba during Batista are nostalgic about that Cuban Political Period…I think the Cubans in exile yearn for the Old Cuba because living in the U.S. is not all that is promoted to be for a great number of Cubans…or if they have to work for somebody, they rather do it for a compatriot then for a foreigner’s benefit… Hence my argument…why are Cubans so interested in giving up their sovereignty for conveniences…there is a certain virtue when Man manages to survive in his native land without the conveniences found in a Rich country…I have said it before in this blog…Cubans that yearn for the comforts found in a Rich country like the U.S. is or Western Europe for that matter, should leave Cuba…Cuba with a Socialist Democratic Republic or a Capitalistic Republic will not lift the average Cuban to the average standard of living of a Rich country. This is conditional of course…I should add as long as the apartheid system of Capitalism is the dominant system in the World….the U.S. needs to stop the Media blitzkrieg against Socialism in Cuba and Venezuela for that matter. The U.S. needs to remove the regime change law against Cuba and stop blocking money, product and services that the Cuban government wants to acquire. Cuba and Venezuela are under attack by the United States. The World needs to push back on World Hegemony…

  8. OH MY Omar Fundora! LETS NOT GET ALL PARANOID DEAR! IF THE CUBAN PEOPLE WOULD BE ABLE TO GET AFFORDABLE, OR BETTER YET FREE INTERNET ACCESS THEY COULD FIGURE THINGS OUT THEMSELVES DEAR! YOU KNOW, JUST LIKE YOU CAN!

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: RESTRICTIONS ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CUBA- Amnesty International Publications 2010

    CONTROL OF INTERNET ACCESS

    In Cuba, access to the internet remains under state control. It is regulated by the Law of Security of Information, which prohibits access to internet services from private homes. Therefore, the internet in Cuba has a social vocation and remains accessible at education centres, work-places and other public institutions. Internet can also be accessed in hotels but at a high cost. In October 2009, the government adopted a new law allowing the Cuban Postal Services to establish cyber-cafés in its premises and offer internet access to the public. However, home connections are not yet allowed for the vast majority of Cubans and only those favoured by the government are able to access the internet from their own homes

    However, many blogs are not accessible from within Cuba because the Cuban authorities have put in place filters restricting access. The blogs affected are mainly those that openly criticize the Cuban government and its restrictions on freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement. For example, Generation Y is one of the dozens of blogs that are filtered or intermittently blocked by the government and are not accessible inside Cuba.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/005/2010/en/62b9caf8-8407-4a08-90bb-b5e8339634fe/amr250052010en.pdf

  9. Humberto: CUBA IS UNDER ATTACK…THE MEDIA BLITZKRIEG IS IN FULL FORCE…CHECK YOUR CRAP DETECTOR…(SPECIALLY RIGHT WING CRAP DETECTOR SWITCH)

  10. DEAR Omar Fundora! THE CASTROFASCISTS AND THEIR AGENTS CANNOT PAINT CUBA AS A HELLHOLE PRIOR TO 1959 DEAR! THE FACTS ARE ALL OVER THE NET, EVEN FROM THE UNITED NATIONS!

    PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: FIDEL CASTRO- Pre-Castro Cuba

    On the eve of Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, Cuba was neither the paradise that would later be conjured by the nostalgic imaginations of Cuba’s many exiles, nor the hellhole painted by many supporters of the revolution, who recall Cuba as “the brothel of the Western hemisphere” — an island inhabited by a people degraded and hungry, whose main occupation was to cater to American tourists at Havana’s luxurious hotels, beaches and casinos. Rather, Cuba was one of the most advanced and successful countries in Latin America.

    Success by the Numbers
    Cuba’s capital, Havana, was a glittering and dynamic city. In the early part of the century the country’s economy, fueled by the sale of sugar to the United States, had grown dynamically. Cuba ranked fifth in the hemisphere in per capita income, third in life expectancy, second in per capita ownership of automobiles and telephones, first in the number of television sets per inhabitant. The literacy rate, 76%, was the fourth highest in Latin America. Cuba ranked 11th in the world in the number of doctors per capita. Many private clinics and hospitals provided services for the poor. Cuba’s income distribution compared favorably with that of other Latin American societies. A thriving middle class held the promise of prosperity and social mobility.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT, VIDEOS ETC.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/castro/peopleevents/e_precastro.html

  11. Omar,

    How do you know what Cuban slaves (sorry, I mean serfs) want?

    When was the last time you were there and asked them?

    Yes, most Cubans would prefer Batista over Castro.

    That’s because Castro made Batista look good to most Cubans.

    Go work for 10 dollars a month in a country without unions and where you are fired for calling Castro a dictator.

    Go find out what it’s like to live on 10 dollars a month, imprisoned on an island without any chance of escape.

  12. SO Omar Fundora!! CAN YOU SPLAIN WHY THE ORDINARY CUBAN CITIZEN CANNOT INVEST IN CUBAN BUSINESSES DEAR??

    INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES: Cuba Finally Opens To Foreign Investment (Sort Of) – by Patricia Rey Mallén –
    March 28 2014

    Another provision that may undermine the law’s effectiveness is the provision saying that Cuban exiles may invest, but Cubans living in Cuba cannot. “This clause creates second-class economic citizenship compared to the ‘evil exiles’,” said Ted Henken, professor of Latin American studies at Baruch College.

    Henken said the clause could have been designed with an ulterior motive: While Cuba may allow exiles to invest, U.S. law prohibits its citizens from doing any business in Cuba. “The provision could incentivize Cuban exiles to lobby the U.S. for an end to the embargo,” he said.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/cuba-finally-opens-foreign-investment-sort-1564119

Comments are closed.