Latin American Boys' Youth Groups: Cuba


Figure 1.--Here we see a Cuban Boy Scout troop in 1929. We notice a uniform with knickers like the United States rather than short pants like the British. The knickers don't seem in keeping with the tropical climate.

We only know of two youth movements in Cuba. The first was the Scouting movement. The second the Communist Young Pioneer Movement. Cuba had a small Scouting movemnent. We know little about its history. It would have been founded after independence from Spain. We notice a uniform in the 1920s with knickers like the United States rather than short pants like the British. The knickers don't seem in keeping with the tropical climate. Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 promising a return to democracy. Instead he imposed a Communist dictatorship. As in other Communist countries, the Communists abolished the Scouting movement. Scouting with its independent, family based program was not in keeping with the Cimmunist desire to control the formation and education of young people. The only Latin American country with a mass youth movement is the Cuba with its virtually compulsory Young Pioneer organization. We know very little about the Young Pioneer Movement in Cuba. The uniform affears to be the same as the compulsory school uniform.

Scouting

Cuba had a small Scouting movemnent. The country became independent in 1903. The first known Scout group in Cuba was organized about 1914, a few years after the organization was founded. Other groups appeared in the main cities. There was, however, no national organization until the Asociación de Scouts de Cuba (Scout Association of Cuba--ASC) was organized . We are not sure precisely when the ASC was organized. One report says 1927. Another report says it was earlier, but could not obtain recognition by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). The WOSM reconized the ASC in 1927. Cuban Scouting was a boys only movement. We notice a uniform in the 1920s with knickers like the United States rather than short pants like the British. The knickers don't seem in keeping with the tropical climate. We note Cuban Scouts in the 1940s wearing the short pants uniform that was more common around the world. There were about 6,500 members in the 1950s. Scouting ended in Cuba after the Revolution of 1959. We do not have details, but we believe the Communist Government banned Scouting. Cuban Scouters were among the refugees fleeing to the United States. Cuban Scouting thus continues within the Cuban-American community centered in Miami, Florida.

Young Pioneers

Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 promising a return to democracy. Instead he imposed a Communist dictatorship. As in other Communist countries, the Communists abolished the Scouting movement. Scouting with its independent, family based program was not in keeping with the Cimmunist desire to control the formation and education of young people. The only Latin American country with a mass youth movement is the Cuba with its virtually compulsory Young Pioneer organization. We know very little about the Young Pioneer Movement in Cuba. The uniform affears to be the same as the compulsory school uniform.






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Created: 4:42 AM 6/20/2007
Last updated: 1:03 AM 9/3/2007