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Human Rights

One Cuban mother's struggle against communist indoctrination

Every member of the opposition is committing the so-called crime of 'counterrevolution'

Cuban mother Marisol Peña Cobas
Cuban mother Marisol Peña Cobas | ADN America & Shutterstock

April 17, 2023 8:00pm

Updated: April 17, 2023 8:06pm

Under totalitarian regimes, individuals are no longer legal subjects. Punishment is collective, which means that political persecution can extend to the family members of the accused. Since only one political party, the Communist Party,  is legal in Cuba, parents are punished if they do not want their children indoctrinated by the regime.

Every member of the opposition is ostensibly committing the so-called crime of 'counterrevolution', the latest case involves the arrest of a seven-year-old girl. Her crime: being the daughter of a mother who opposes the regime.

ADN América contacted the girl's mother, libertarian activist Marisol Peña Cobas. She explained that her daughter, Katerin Layla Pérez Peña, 7 years old, was detained and interrogated in the province of Camagüey. She described how they kept her playing for a long time, and then, suddenly she was asked if her mother was good to her and if she knew who the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, was.

“They came to my house at around 9:00 in the morning in a police car to look for the girl, who was at school, under the pretext that it was to interrogate her. They interrogated her without my consent, despite my opposition and I did not sign the permit," the mother told ADN. "She was interrogated without my presence for around two hours, by a MININT (Minister of Interior) official, a prosecutor, and a psychologist.

According to its official page, MININT is the body of the Central State Administration and is designated to organize, execute and control the application of the policy of the Cuban Communist Party, the State, and the government regarding Security of the State and the Internal Order.

That means that MININT is in charge of persecuting opponents of the regime.

British author George Orwell wrote 1984 in order to warn his country and the world as a whole about what would happen if socialism took over. Since he was a socialist in his younger years, he knew the monster from within. But his warning has turned into a manual for socialist regimes to follow.

In novels like 1984, children no longer belonged to their families. Instead, they belong to the party, the INGSOC (English Socialism). In Cuba, if a parent is a member of the opposition, and refuses to allow their children to be indoctrinated, they are accused, like Marisol, of "acts contrary to the normal development of the minor."

From the age of seven, children of Cuba must swear "We will be like Che," an Argentine guerrilla who admitted in letters to his father he enjoyed killing. Guevara claimed that due process was a bourgeois issue, pushed the idea of 'revolutionary justice' and sent the regime's opponents to the firing squad.

Opposing such education and indoctrination is a crime. Under the Cuban regime's scheme, children must be forged by the revolution. Even a couple of pastors were imprisoned for trying to educate their children and community outside the regime's standards. 

Something as fundamental as private education is unthinkable under the communist regime.

Consequently, Marisol Peña Cobas sends a resounding message to those outside of Cuba: Never allow communism to reach your land, because they not only take away your freedom, they also take away your children. Because even our children are the property of the State.