Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

February 16, 1999, Cuba Free Press.

GOVERNMENT TO TURN SCHOOL INTO PRISON By Odalys Curbelo, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - The Pre-university Institute called "República de Rumania" in the municipal area of Alquizar in Havana Province will "reopen its doors" soon - as a penitentiary.

Young inmates and "jineteras" (street 'jockeys,' i.e., prostitutes) will be interned in this installation that served for many years to educate high school students.

Some parents and students of other schools near Alquízar, upon hearing about the new penitentiary, commented that they wonder if people taking part in the recent international event in Havana known as "Pedagogy '99" decided that Cuba should transform schools into prisons instead of turning prisons into schools, as Commandant Fidel Castro proclaimed 40 years ago upon assuming control of the island.

The director of education in the municipal area of Alquízar closed two schools, "Hermanos Amejeiras" and "República de Bolivia" in 1995. And in 1996, because of a lack of sanitary conditions and scarce registration, he closed the "República de Rumania."

Cuban President Fidel Castro has stated in some speeches, "...despite the great difficulties created by the 'blockade' and the special period, none (school) has closed..."

However, closures have been implemented in other places besides Havana. In the province of Pinar del Río's municipality of Sandino, of the 31 junior high schools and senior highs built by Castro's government, only 11 are functioning today.

Odalys Curbelo, Cuba Free Press.


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