Every two or 3 years, University of Nebraska at Kearney professor William Aviles takes a set of college students, fellow professors and community members on a journey to a Latin American us of a. In years beyond, Aviles has taken groups to Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba for academic journeys which are the centerpiece of political science lessons that he teaches in the course of the summer.
Each of the trips offers with the sociopolitical nature of those countries, all of which have distinct political cultures that make them ripe for political science look at. This 12 months, Aviles made a return journey to Cuba, a country which he says is surrounded with the aid of a large number of misperceptions.
One of the students becoming a member of him in Cuba become Mia Grant, a 2016 Columbus High School graduate. Grant have been on a previous excursion to Latin American in 2017 while she went on a trip to Mexico, which turned into additionally prepared by way of Aviles. She turned into interested by seeing how the political machine in Cuba differed from america’.
“I actually have a focal point on worldwide relations, so it involved me to look the exceptional political structures that Cuba has in vicinity,” Grant said. “Also, (it involved me) having the threat to practice Spanish in a country in which Spanish is spoken, due to the fact that’s my minor.”
Cuba is a rustic this is relatively misunderstood – even by way of people going on the ride. For starters, even as the embargo is still in vicinity and U.S. Relations have regressed after a length of development in the course of the Obama management, you will board a plane proper this minute and fly to Havana for educational functions.
“The procedure of going there may be still distinct,” Aviles stated. “You, as a traveler, you, as an American, have to basically kingdom, in a single shape or some other, that you’re going to be visiting there below sure categories of journey. You actually can’t get a price ticket and pass journey for your own while not having to tell the U.S. Government that you’re going there to take part in an educational experience. There needs to be some specific cause. It can’t be, ‘I’m going to Cuba because I really need to hang out on the beach and smoke cigars.’ That might be a contravention of the U.S. Embargo towards Cuba.”
Also, while the governmental structure of Cuba hasn’t changed given that 1959, Grant stated the face of leadership has. Specifically, the top of state in Cuba not has the Castro surname. Raul, brother of Fidel, is still distinguished in Cuban government as the leader of the Communist Party, but he not serves as president. Rather, that function belongs to Miguel Diaz-Canel, who become appointed to that position in 2018.
Castro nevertheless maintains energy via his function as First Secretary of the Communist Party, however that duration may quickly be coming to an give up.
“Castro continues to be keeping his control over the Communist Party, so in that feel, the Castro’s nonetheless have a bargain of power,” Aviles stated. “But even that’s expected within the following few years that he’s going to step aside from this position. What is interesting is that inside the present day political machine in Cuba, we’ve never had a time below Communist rule wherein a Castro didn’t rule the Communist Party, the country and the authorities. Today, that’s what we’ve got. We have a department there wherein the Castro’s have given up manipulate over the political side of energy, but they’re nonetheless maintaining a good deal of have an impact on in the celebration.”
With that in mind, the ride explored the many extraordinary sides of Cuban life, from the political system, to the health care machine to the Cuban ecosystem. The college students met with community corporations and regular human beings on the road to get a sense of the way people consider the modern authorities structure. Grant said that going out and speaking to humans allowed her to strengthen her initial impressions of Cuba.
“I suppose, from the student’s attitude, having discovered approximately it and the records of the Revolution for the 3 weeks prior, that going and seeing it in person truly helped solidify that history,” Grant said. “Talking to humans and seeing the truth of their lifestyles turned into certainly helpful. A lot of Americans think, ‘Oh, it’s so horrific,’ but truely, it’s no longer and all people become incredible pleasant and willing to talk with us.”
Indeed, Cuba has no shortage of scientific experts and properly-off humans, although some of the homes might in all likelihood be condemned inside the United States. While there, additionally they found that critiques about the government vary, despite the fact that Cuba remains an authoritarian one-party nation.