Convinced that neither world crisis nor imperial blockades will ever erase the smile from the face of its children, Cuba celebrates Children’s Day every June 1, making it an unforgettable day for them, full of joy and tenderness.
First proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, on the day chosen by every country, Children’s Day was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children, and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children. Cuba decided to observe it on June 1.
Cuba can celebrate; the reasons exist. We will never be grateful enough for the infinite work of love, justice, respect, and protection toward its children, and which the Revolution has defended at all cost.
Obvious thing to say? Apology? Gift of the gab? Not at all. The truth must be told and reiterated, even more when the pressure of life and taking things for granted make us disregard the reality that everything will be the same in the world a day like this, with millions of children deprived of their basic rights.
Instead of celebrating, the world would be crying of pain, rage, and shame for all the dead children, for all those who are dying now and those at risk of dying from bombs, hunger, slave labor, sexual exploitation, pollution, drugs, preventable and curable diseases, or organ trade.
The tragedy of millions of human beings robbed or deprived of their childhood causes a mixture of feelings ranging from rage to relief among Cubans.
We feel safe, as if we were in an oasis in the middle of a dessert, with the peculiar privilege we have to even more increase the quality of the rights guaranteed to everyone alike, even before we are born.
“Cuba is the paradise of children, and the world should focus more on this country, from which it has a lot to learn," José Juan Ortiz Brú, the UNICEF representative in Cuba, has reiterated.
We are proud of what we have built for our children and of the efforts made to protect that golden age that is childhood. This is an authentic feeling, especially because this paradise is not in the cultured Europe or the rich North America, but in a poor, small, besieged country of the South.
But, we must be attentive not to be led by this degree of satisfaction and think that since the State works, solves, guarantees, and watches over us, we can simply leave it all in its hands, and sleep the sleep of the dead; because, fist of all, we all are the State in socialist Cuba, each of us is the Revolution.
Everyone must take an interest in the education of children, their care, growth, and material and spiritual wellbeing: the family, the school, the community, the society and its institutions, and each of us; because after all, we all exert certain influence and can even tip the balance for a good move or not.
So, let’s celebrate this June 1, because we have many reasons to do so in this bastion of conquered hope and protected childhood. But we must also reflect and work together to make true the attainable dream of a better, fairer, and more friendly and complete society for every boy and girl. (by María Elena Alvarez Ponce / ACN)