It is always enlightening, and sometimes humbling, to read about events from the perspective of a political system which is in many respect incompatible with our own. This was recently brought home in an article appearing in the news organ of the Cuabn Communist Party recently: Leandro Maceo Leyva, Autonomy Massacred, Our America, Granma International, Feb. 10, 2011.
“Protesting students at UPR are being treated like criminals by the police.” (Photo: Claridad)
What is particularly interesting is this analysis of the situation:
Although Ana R. Guadalupe, UPR rector, has banned student demonstrations or gatherings on campus, young Puerto Ricans are determined to exercise their right to protest the tuition increases, while condemning the presence of the security forces who evicted them by force. But the conflict does not appear to be close to a resolution.
The university authorities are feigning a disposition to dialogue, but in real terms they are trying to wear down, divide and de-legitimize the student mobilizations, and proceed with plans to increase the cost of university tuition in the face of virtually unanimous opposition from students and professors.
The conflict taking place on at the university campus is not confined to high tuition fees. The budget outrage unleashed by the Fortuño-PNP administration against the UPR is intended to inflict damage on the University by countering its prospects for growth and social inclusion, either through its privatization or its gradual dissolution. (Id.).
Whatever one thinks of the Cuban state or its governing apparatus, its analysis of the evolving and adversarial relationship between the Puerto Rican state and its universities should serve as a reminder that states, and their governments, are increasingly being judged by their ability to implement their ideological positions. While this is a lesson that is being brought home in Puerto Rico, it will have increasing relevance to the Cuban state as it moves forward.