Justo Antonia Triana studies Classical Civilization and Political Science and writes poetry, articles, and narratives in both Spanish and English. He also moved to America in 2019 after his father filed for a family reunification after leaving Cuba five years earlier.
In a column for The College Fix, Triana highlights the most startling thing he found in his new home: A sharp misconception about politics in Cuba.
“Many could only think of the palm trees on a beach, but the first impulse of others was to repeat the magic words with which the international left justifies the tyranny: ‘free healthcare, free education, American embargo,’” Triana wrote of what he called the “distorted idea” people had of life in Cuba.
“Nobody knew about the constant mental siege in which Cubans survive: the strong political indoctrination and the forced cult of the personality of the leaders, the communist propaganda thrown at us by all the media, the absolute repression of individual thought, the impudence with which the government dictates and controls everything in our lives,” he explained.
His interactions with fellow students and his teachers, and hearing what they thought of life in Cuba and the socialism the leadership enacted, drove Triana to share his life experiences – a privilege he noted would land him in jail in his homeland.
When he tells people in Cuba about what he has seen in America, he said they respond with “disbelief, [worry]” and sometimes desperation, and ask “where will we go if the United States turns socialist?”
Triana’s piece serves as a follow-up to a piece in 2020 by a pair of Venezuelans who argued in the same publication about the misconceptions of socialism. In that piece, Jorge Galicia, much like Triana, noted that he sees “America committing a lot of the same mistakes Venezuela committed.”
But Triana also worries that his words will fall on deaf ears since the “left has been winning the culture war” and has “dictated that the ‘cool’ thing to do now is to be woke.”
“Because for them the United States itself is nothing more than a symbol of racism and oppression that must be destroyed in the name of social justice – only later to become a communist dystopian hell,” Triana wrote.
And he has picked a tough place to pitch his battle, with Syracuse the home of a prominent student socialist organization: The International Socialist Organization – Syracuse chapter has openly campaigned and promoted its ideals and goals to the student body, featuring in articles by Campus Reform.