32 students from the geography department at
Before we sat down to discuss the project itself, an open meeting had been organised with more people than just the students going to
What a stark contrast to
Yoselin discussed the planning of their society in terms of which sectors of society people are needed in and the guarantee of work. She also outlined the representation of young people and students in the process of decision making as delegates to the municipal, provincial and national assemblies. Approximately 25% of delegates elected to the national assembly are under the age of 30 and there are four students among the 31 members elected to the highest collective decision taking body, the Council of State.
Questions raised from the floor included themes of dissidents, democracy, journalism and free speech, US elections and the lifting of the possibility of the lifting of the US blockade, the current situation in Latin America, the effect of tourism and tourists on the ideas of the Revolution, the importance of young people and what Yoselin had learned from being part of the speaking tour.
Yoselin, standing at the front of the lecture theatre, with a banner saying Cuba, socialism into the 21st century in front of her, and under a map of Cuba projected above her, was energetic, enthusiastic and proud in her answers, defending their process of building socialism, aware of the problems they have and the difficulties they face and clear that the majority of Cubans stand together with the aim of solving their problems and improving their society for everyone.
Yoselin described the process of decision making in
Yoselin said that visiting Britain had been an incredible experience, saying that in Cuba they see their problems in a different context to us in Britain and to have had the opportunity to listen to people living under capitalism, to see the extremes of wealth and the difficulties for those with less, the have her voice heard by over 2,000 people from all walks of life and from school students to retired people, was an experience she will never forget.
Yoselin rounded off that session by describing the warmth and care between neighbours in Cuba who are forever in dialogue with each other, call out to each other in the street, support each other and live together as a community, versus what she has seen in Britain where some people don’t even know their neighbours and daily life can be a very isolating experience.
Thank you to Exeter University for inviting us down and we look forward to coming back after the field trip to Cuba and to ongoing links with Rock around the Blockade in the future.