Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Debate Culture, Education

FL061303 Havana Radio Reloj Network in Spanish 1203 GMT 5 Apr 87

[Text] Speaking at the Fifth UJC Congress, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro
said Havana's Garcia Lorca Theater will be remodeled to mark the 150th
anniversary of its construction.

We will also have to think about how to finish building the art vocational
schools under construction, he said. The revolution's top leader noted the
support the Communist Party of Cuba [PCC) in Havana has provided to these
tasks. He said that with the effort to recover the building spirit, many
things will be improved, including the Amadeo Roldan Theater. Referring to
the National Arts School, he stated the center was never really finished.
He suggested that a working group be organized to find ways to finish the
building. I believe the National Arts School needs certain installations to
fulfill its mission, as in the case of the Camilitos and the pre-university
students of exact sciences, Fidel remarked.

Culture and education are inseparable, said Havana's (Marielena Jovense) in
her remarks at the plenary meeting. Fidel listened attentively to the young
woman's views. She said culture was being taught without the required
quality at the various educational levels, and this conspired against the
well-balanced education of the new man. The audience broke out in unanimous
applause when Santiago delegate Milagros Ramirez called for the elimination
of linkage in the artistic sphere because this mechanism, she said, has
only made artists money-mad; they engage in (?marathon) activities with no
cultural objectives at all. Elizabeth Diaz Higher Art Institute
representative reviewed her experiences in esthetical education on the
basis of her work with children in the (Romerillo) barrio in Playa, where
social conditions are not the best.

The lack of practice facilities for the ballet school and the absence of
adequate. political-ideological work were some of the problems in culture
mentioned by Havana delegate Dulce Hernandez. Havana City delegate Caridad
Dieguez also participated in the discussions. She listed the difficulties
in the culture, including the small number of published music scores, the
inexperience of those purchasing material resources, and the inadequate
work of graduates. Luis Alberto Garcia, vice president of the Saiz Brothers
Association, said culture should be the environment in which the soul of
man is nurtured. He warned the value scale of revolutionary artists must
exclude selfishness and mercantilism. Ramon Balmaceda, the popular delegate
from Sancti Spiritus, cited the example of the Escambray Theater group and
stressed artists and people must come closer.

Culture Minister Armando Hart offered food for thought in connection with
the work in his sector, which was extensively debated by the delegates.
Hart said that in the cultural sphere there are outstanding values that
could contribute to our society's ideological development. He highlighted
the artist's role in the revolutionary process. One of the revolution's
main conquests, Hart stated, is the great demand for culture and art among
the people, that is why we should plan to achieve not only quantitative
development of culture but also qualitative development. Culture is part of
the educational process, the minister added. He was visibly moved during
his concluding remarks when he said: I have felt in this congress that the
future is making demands of me and that the young are questioning me.

PCC Central Committee Secretary Carlos Aldana spoke at Fidel's suggestion
and asserted: This congress has contributed to the effort to resolve
culture's problems. Aldana alluded to the deficiencies that have plagued
the sector for a long time.

He said these result mostly from the application of mechanisms,
distortions, and harebrained schemes alien to culture essence. He also
discussed musical promotion policy shortcomings and pointed out that there
is no room for the population of pseudo-cultural products. He also talked
about inflated payments and payrolls in the cultural sector. Only Fidel and
art can fill up Revolution Square, Aldana said referring to the gala
featuring the "Nueva Trova" musical group attended by thousands of young

To speak frankly does not mean political immaturity, our commander in chief
stressed during his participation in the debate on education, a topic
critically broached by several delegates. Higher education representatives
mentioned the pressures the universities have experienced in the wake of
proposals for broad profile courses of study. Fidel wondered how the
problem was going to be solved when there were officials who resisted the
idea of eliminating narrow profile specialties. Luis Rodriguez from
Camaguey spoke of the poor quality of sports equipment sent to the
universities. INDER [National Institute For Sports, Physical Education and
Recreation] President Conrado Martinez explained to the delegates that
solutions are already being sought to get the material to the centers.

Jesus Alvarez from Havana and Osvaldo Martinez from Sancti Spiritus
discussed the problems in the teaching-educational process. Vocational
training, the lack of urgency and the need for better political-ideological
work were some of the topics discussed. Several delegates asserted
education was also a problem that involved the young. Havana delegate
Marlene Gonzalez, a student at the Navy's Camilito School, said timely
handling has solved many problems at her school. Teresa Rodriguez of Villa
Clara pointed out that strong political work at the grassroots is a must.
The remarks made by Salvador Tamayo from Cienfuegos were opportune and well
received. He disclosed the difficulties encountered by students who are
presenting work required for graduation and who have to pay private
citizens for things that in the majority of cases are acquired through the
diversion of resources. Irina Soler from Havana City and Marlene
Villavicencio from the Isle of Youth spoke about professional orientation
and education in schools for foreign scholarship holders, respectively.