in the summer of 1969, in order to support the revolutionary cause of Cuba with practical actions, some leftist organizations in the United States formed the “we must win column” and called young people to Cuba to help harvest sugar cane. At that time, the United States was in a state of bold war, but it was in a state of breaking off diplomatic relations.

American “educated youth” and Cuban farmers talk about the word “educated youth” on the farm, people’s thinking will inevitably return to more than 30 years ago. In fact, in that hot era, the phenomenon of “educated youth” is not unique to China. In Cuba, which is far away from China, there are also a group of “educated youth” from the United States. For the sake of lofty revolutionary ideals, these young people from the world’s most developed countries spontaneously abandoned their superior living environment and enthusiastically went to Cuba to engage in revolutionary construction.

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support the Cuban revolution. American college students are going to Cuba to cut sugar cane.

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in the 1960s, the new left movement began to rise in the United States. Under the influence of revolutionary thought, American young people with college students as the main body began to actively participate in the civil rights movement, anti war movement, women’s movement and environmental protection movement. In this upsurge of revolution, “we will win” column has become one of the unique scenery.

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and “we will win” were revolutionary slogans that could be heard everywhere in Cuba. In the summer of 1969, in order to support Cuba’s revolutionary cause with practical actions, some leftist organizations in the United States formed the “we must win column” and called young people to Cuba to help harvest sugar cane. This was a bold plan at that time, because the United States and Cuba had broken diplomatic relations and were in a state of semi war. The United States not only sent mercenaries to invade Cuba in the bay of pigs incident, but also threatened war against Cuba in the Cuban missile crisis. The CIA even tried to assassinate Cuban leader Castro many times.

however, the tension between the United States and Cuba did not affect the enthusiasm of American youth. The application letter flew from all over the United States to the column organizers like snowflakes. In order to ensure the success of this campaign, the organizers really spent a lot of thought and made meticulous preparations. First, in order to prevent FBI or CIA agents from sneaking into the team, they strictly control personnel recruitment and investigate the family background of each applicant. Subsequently, the organizers of the column trained these members for a period of time. They even made a detailed list of personal belongings, such as what batteries can be used in Cuba, what trousers are the most durable, and what gloves are the best to wear when cutting sugarcane.

sold their homes to raise travel expenses and came to Cuba through other countries.

from November 1969 to August 1970, at least 900 members of three groups of columns arrived in Cuba, but their journey was not smooth. At that time, it was impossible to go directly to Cuba from the United States, so the column had to organize a convoy to transit to Canada or Mexico, so the cost was very high. Many people do not hesitate to break with their families in order to go to Cuba. Some even sell their family property to raise travel expenses. Although the FBI failed to put the spies into the column, it sent a large number of personnel to track the activities of the column and took photos of the members of the column who were about to leave Mexico City one by one.

not only that, the police also spread all kinds of rumors on the only way of the column and informed the merchants and hotels along the way that “a group of strange minded guys are about to pass by, and they are going to Cuba to cut sugar cane”. So everywhere the motorcade went, it was full of sarcasm and malicious ridicule, and even the roadside toilet was locked. Therefore, when these American “educated youth” arrived in Cuba, the warm welcome of the Cuban people made them sincerely feel that they had found a home.

spiritually, American “educated youth” strongly reject the United States. When they see a toll station on the highway outside Havana airport, they can’t help exclaiming, “what? Toll station? American? In revolutionary Cuba? No! Do they want to raise the fist of revolution with one hand and collect money with the other hand?” To their relief, when the car passed, they saw that the hut had long been abandoned.

although American “educated youth” have made up their mind to break up with American society. However, it is difficult for these American youth who are used to individualism to accept collectivism at once. To completely change our minds, we still need the help of Cubans. Therefore, every 20 “educated youth” in the United States are divided into a political study group, and each group is equipped with several Cubans to guide their political study. These Cubans are not college students, but ordinary workers and farmers. The “educated youth” held a group meeting with criticism and self-criticism every few days. At the meeting, American young people completely put down their airs, worshipped Cuban workers and peasants as teachers, and accepted their re education with an open mind.

“roll all over the mud and refine a red heart”

in Cuba, American “educated youth” usually stay for two months. Their main work is to cut sugar cane, and in their spare time, they visit revolutionary holy places and study politics. At first, the “educated youth” in the United States worked very actively. Everyone was eager to express themselves and even compete with others. However, after several days of intensive labor, cutting sugarcane has gradually become hard labor in the eyes of Americans. At that time, the “educated youth” had to fight with sugarcane eight hours a day, waving machetes, and also with all kinds of mosquitoes in the sugarcane field. In the United States, most of them had never done manual work except mowing the lawn. An “educated youth” wrote in his diary: “now I think it is more and more difficult to go out of the tent and work every day.”

soon, “educated youth” began to be lazy, and the rest time at noon was getting longer and longer. Some people wandered back to the camp, and some even lied about sick leave. Many people look forward to rain every day so that they can stay in the camp and rest.

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are all seen by Cuban comrades. Therefore, they have taken some targeted actions, such as more strict sick leave, which requires the certificate issued by the doctor