June 20, 1997
Ideological Purges the Norm in Cuban Schools
HAVANA, 16 June (InfoBuro) The Ministry of Education continues to
fire professional staff who express opinions contrary to that of the communist
government, say Cuban dissidents.
In a statement relayed from Cuba to human rights activists abroad, the
opposition group Cuban Youth for Democracy denounced recent cases of what they
call "ideological apartheid":
Nilda Malera Pedraza, a 34-year-old Professor of Music in Guantanmo, was
recently expelled from the Higher Institute of Pedagogy for deviating from
official political thought. Her firing was based on her refusal to join
government-run organizations such as the Committees for the Defense of the
Revolution (regional political vigilante networks), the Federation of Cuban
Women, and the Territorial Militias.
The institute Dean, Juan Carlos Gallego Torres, informed Ms. Malera that "her
attitude impeded her eligibility to continue in her professional duties, as it
is not a proper example of Revolutionary professionalism for her students,
colleagues or neighbors". She was informed that her expulsion could not be
Similarly, Professor Joaquin Lozano Arencibia was blacklisted by Education
Ministry officials, despite desperately needing the income to support his two
young daughters, because he had been deemed "politically unreliable".
His offense against the political order was a recent foiled attempt to defect.
Cuban Youth for Democracy spokesperson Heriberto Leyva categorized such
firings as "evidence of the continued political apartheid practiced by the
current government in the education field and the complete subjugation of Cuban
education to the totalitarian control of the Communist Party".
Distributed by Cubanet