The Second Secretary in the ruling Communist Party of Cuba (PCC, the only legal party), Jose R. Machado Ventura, called on young Cubans not to be “dazzled” by consumerism and “nice things” in the new era posed by the process of restoration of diplomatic relations with the United States.
“The first challenge is not to be dazzled by consumerism and beautiful things, they attract the attention of young people,” said Machado Ventura, in an interview published in the Sunday edition of Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth), the official newspaper of the Union of Young Communists, the youth subsidiary of the PCC, to mark the tenth congress of that organization to be held next week.
Cuba and the United States confirmed earlier this month their decision to restore diplomatic relations, broken in 1961, and also announced the reopening of embassies in their respective capitals.
The opening of the embassies will occur on July 20, 2015, according to a statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry reported on its website.
Machado Ventura insisted that the new generations of Cubans should be “more prepared and know how to move behind the scenes,” and know what is going on so as “not to be conquered by the consumer society.”
He also asked that they not forget their “roots, history, the background of confrontation we have had with American imperialism,” and defend the “prosperous and sustainable socialism that we are developing.”
“This will bring steadfastness and not let us be confused, because the ideas of imperialism remain the same. We need to acquire more knowledge and a strong preparation; knowing that the US authorities are planning the same thing, they have just changed the methods in order to try, through other means, to destroy Cuba’s political system,” he said.
The veteran Communist leader said that young people have to understand that with this new policy, the United States “is trying to lead Cuba to capitalism and we can’t return to that.”
With regard to the use of new technologies and access to the Internet, Machado Ventura acknowledged that they pose “a great opportunity,” because in his opinion they are “new and vital,” not only for communication between people, but also for development.
“Everyone knows why there isn’t more internet in Cuba, because it is very expensive. There are some who want to give it to us for free, but not so that the Cuban people can communicate with each other, but in order to penetrate us and undertake ideological work toward a new conquest,” he sustained.
In this sense, he affirmed, they “are trying to ideologically soften” the young people because often these technological platforms can also be “mechanisms of subversion powered by big money and their communications media.”
But he supported the use of technology to “have more influence” on young people, “taking advantage of it to defend what we have built in these years of the Revolution,” and so that “they aren’t detached from today’s world.”