Desde Dentro de Cuba.

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

11 de Enero del 2000

WHAT THE CUBAN YOUTH OFTEN REALLY SAY IN CHANTS ABOUT ELIAN. By Adalberto Yero, Cuba Free Press.

Santiago.- The communist regime of Cuba has ordered and organized massive gatherings throughout the island for almost two months, presumably seeking the return of Elian Gonzalez, the boy who saw his mother and stepfather drown in the Florida Straits as they escaped from the island to seek refuge in the United States.

These state-run gatherings have involved slogans shouted by the demonstrators and, in Santiago, authorities often have used local students for mass chants and marches. The government forces them to march as part of their school day. The slogans that the kids shout, however, often tend to express a feeling about the controversy between the United States and Cuba that is much different from the government's planned objective and printed statements.

Here are some of the chants heard among the youth when they are shouting in unison together: "Elian, don't return, you can't live on scraps!" "Elian, take a stand, insure your future!" "Elian, buddy, give me a hand!" "Elian, my friend, I'm going with you!" "Elian, return, I'll take your place!" "Elian, buddy, switch places with me!" (Note: These chants rhyme in Spanish but of course not in English.)

These and other similar phrases are voiced in the middle of the mass rallies at school sites. The results have been severe reprimands from the teachers and even from the school administration. Such is the case at Fe del Valle High School on San Basilio between San Felix and Carniceria streets. The principal of the school visited one classroom in which many students had been identified as voicing those 'wrong' slogans and threatened them, saying she would send letters to the job sites of their parents to reveal the counterrevolutionary attitude of their children. That could endanger jobs. She even threatened them with expulsion.

Adalberto Yero, for Cuba Free Press.


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