How would you know freedom if you’ve never experienced it? For the younger generations of Cuba, living under an authoritarian system is all they’ve known, without exposure to the basic ideas of life, liberty, and the free pursuit of happiness. From an early age, children are indoctrinated in government-run schools with the basic tenets of communism. Parents who attempt to teach their children contrary economic or political systems face the threat of prison.
The quality of life outlook is bleak, and yet to dream of greater things for oneself, for loved ones, for a community, and for a country is inherent in all of us. Cubans just need the chance to identify and engage with creating a better tomorrow!
In order to engage Cubans in freely thinking about how to improve their current situation, the Contest program presents opportunities for analyzing and provide feedback to FHRC on their perspectives regarding critical societal and political issues.
At least four times a year, polling questionnaires–embedded as literary contests–are made available for any citizen to respond to. Winners receive a first prize of $300, almost a year’s salary for the average Cuban!
These questionnaires are designed to encourage the population to engage in a self-reflection exercise on their current living conditions and the potential future prospects as a country.
Some past questions include:
What are some of the main problems in your neighborhood, and how would you solve them?
How would Jose Marti feel about the current state of Cuba?
How to contain and reverse the growing poverty in Cuba?
How could talent, creativity, innovation, and initiative be released to generate wealth and prosperity for all in Cuba?
What measures should the Cuban government take to free the private sector from restrictions that allow it to reach its full potential?
In addition to asking important questions that challenge a state-induced worldview, these surveys provide an opportunity to collect demographic data about the challenges faced by the population at different geographical locations, how people understand their daily dilemmas, and what ideas they entertain as possible solutions to them. There is also an opportunity to identify potential activists among individuals who wish to have more impact on their country.
The Contest program has helped challenge conventional communist-induced ideas about government and individual opportunity, all while gaining the opportunity to earn extra money and become further involved in activist efforts across the country.
Students, farmers, entrepreneurs, economists, taxi-drivers, religious, artists, waiters, unemployed, and practically all sectors of the Cuban society have participated and expressed their ideas in the Contests on how to make Cuba better
"with everyone and for the good of all."
Thanks to FHR Cuba’s supporters, the Contest program continues to instill dreams of a brighter tomorrow for every man, woman and child. With your support, we hope to expand this important program to reach everyone on the island and provide opportunities to address common issues and provide meaningful feedback!