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Our History

Our History

The present chronology constitutes an effort to sketch briefly the trajectory of the UJC and its imprint in the development of the revolutionary youth movement organized since the creation of its predecessor, the Association of Young Rebels (AJR).


 The 16th World Festival of Youth and Students takes place in Caracas in August. In the activities of the Festival, both preparatory and in its development, a large delegation of young people and youth leaders from Cuba participated, which denounced the effects of the US blockade against the country's youth and the imprisonment in prisons of the United States of five Cubans by fight against terrorism.

Another notable event in the international order in which the UJC participates on behalf of the country, took place on October 11, 2005. On that day, Cuba signed, together with 16 other countries in the Spanish city of Badajoz, the Ibero-American Convention on the Rights of youth. This was the first international text born to protect the development and opportunities of those between 14 and 25 years of age in the Ibero-American region.


 As of December 2, the VIII Congress of the UJC was held with the objective of addressing in a special way challenges such as the struggle for the economic efficiency of the socialist enterprise; the confrontation with double standards, drugs, alcoholism, manifestations of ostentation and consumerism, corruption and illegalities; the movement for the development of culture, sports and healthy and enriching recreation; the exercise of internationalism; and the permanent preparation for the defense of the country.

2001- 2003

 In 2001 the XV World Festival of Youth and Students was held in Algeria, where Cuba led a multinational delegation. In the international work, the denunciation and the claim to the world, specially to the American people, took a place of the first order, for the imprisonment of the five Cubans unjustly condemned to long prison sentences for fighting against terrorism: Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René.

On the instructions of the Commander in Chief, the management of the UJC constituted an executive group responsible for conducting the Battle of Ideas. In total, more than 150 programs of social interest were conceived and applied, all with the political and institutional management of the UJC and the student organizations, which included the reformulation of the national education system in its different teachings, the development of educational television, cultural and recreational, the spread of computerization and computerization of society, the expansion and consolidation of artistic education, the increase in the production of books, and the promotion of reading and libraries, training and political dissemination, the creation of new sources of employment, the training of social workers, attention to the population in conditions of social precariousness, the extension of social prevention and the rescue and development of health services.


 The period is distinguished by the development of a new youth policy, conceived and developed as part of the Battle of Ideas that began in the wake of the kidnapping of Elián González Brotons, which culminated on June 28, 2000 when the Supreme Court of Justice of the United States decides that the child returns to Cuba. The distinctive feature of the battle for Elián was the rotagonism of the new generations.

During this time, the leadership of the UJC participated in the analyzes promoted by Fidel Castro on social groups in precarious living conditions and the high number of young people disconnected from study and work. It was in those meetings where the guidelines that gave rise to the different programs developed to solve social problems arose. In total, more than 150 programs were conceived and applied, all with the political and institutional management of the UJC and the student organizations.


 As part of the active struggle against the blockade that took place, on May 31, 1999, FEEM students, together with the FEU, the Pioneer Organization "José Martí" and the other social organizations, presented the " Demand of the People of Cuba to the government of the United States for Human Damages ". After a thorough investigation and listening to dozens of witnesses and victims, the court condemns the United States government to the payment of US $ 181,100 million and to publicly retract the damages caused to family members and victims of the facts exposed in the lawsuit.

On December 5, the participants in the 8th National Conference of the Technical Youth Brigades (BTJ), at 8 o'clock in the evening, in front of the United States Interests Section in Havana, the first demonstration of protest for the retention of the child Elián González Brotons.



 The reorganization work was extensively examined in the VII Congress held at the Palacio de las Convenciones, between December 8 and 10, 1998. The report presented by the First Secretary analyzed the factors that affected the operation, among them the low priority given to the functioning of grassroots organizations, ignorance of priorities when directing fundamental efforts and the question of cadres.


 From July 28 to August 5 the XIV World Festival of Youth and Students was held. The VII Congress of the UJC was held from December 8 to 10, which resulted in the contents of the statutes being adjusted, the condition of the UJC as a Marxist and Leninist organization of the Party was ratified, the decision not renouncing its selective integration and its vanguard status of Cuban youth, it would continue to support the unity of the youth movement around the Party and the role of the UJC in the political direction of the other youth organizations and strengthen the theoretical and political preparation of the cadres and militants.

 The United States approves the Helms-Burton Act, whose purpose was to internationalize the blockade, and to deny credits and financial aid to countries and organizations that favored or promoted cooperation with Cuba. The confrontation with this colonialist legislation appeared in all the plans and work objectives of all the organizations and institutions in Cuba. In the same way that the previous law was fought, with the new one, the political-ideological and propagandistic management of the youth organizations was imposed.


 At the beginning of July, the Councils of the FEU and the Federation of Students of Secondary Education (FEEM), with the presence of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro and a representation of the Executive Committee of the Council of State. At the meeting, modifications to the payment system for university students were proposed and approved.

In the middle of the summer, a new migratory conflict between the United States and Cuba was unleashed, this time aggravated by economic reasons, whose objective was to provoke an internal crisis in Cuba that would put the Revolution to rest. The Youth along with the student organizations went on the offensive and concentrated on explaining and clarifying what was happening in the country, contributing to the rearticulation of the political consensus among the youth mass. Between July 31 and August 6, 1995, the Cuba Vive International Youth Festival was convened to unify international youth solidarity in favor of Cuba.


 Technical and professional education was strengthened at its basic and medium levels as the main way of continuing studies. Consequently, there was a considerable expansion of agricultural specialties and construction, of vital importance for the country. The UJC, and in particular the FEEM, did not remain outside the reform carried out in education. During the most difficult years of the crisis, they took care to strengthen the quality of the teaching process, ensuring the transit of students through the educational system and the employment of graduates of technical and vocational education. There was considerable persuasion and promotion among the students so that they could choose to study the priority specialties.

A preoccupation present in these years transmitted to youth organizations, was the need to make the national history known to young people as a fundamental way to understand the situation that the country was going through and the reason for the conflict with the United States.


 The UJC carries out the "Debate Centers", which were to be the continuation of the VI Congress and whose objective was to continue the treatment of the main aspects addressed in the 1992 Conclave.

To the call of the V Congress of the Party 8-11 / 10, 1997), the UJC undertook the reorganization of its organic structure, the strengthening of internal discipline, the exemplarity of militancy, the quality of political processes, the policy of cadres , and attention to student organizations and political - ideological work.


 The Special Period had begun but even so the UJC develops the VI Congress of the organization (4/4, 1992) that with the slogan "Súmate" became the first self-financed Congress. The delegates stayed in private homes and the transportation was done by bicycle. The issues discussed were the confrontation with crime, the improvement of education, the role of the BTJ, the food plan, tourism and compliance with economic plans in the production and service centers. The new leadership of the UJC elected assumed the functions of Bureau and National Committee.


 In the middle of the intense political debate prevailing in the country, in a multitudinous act held in the Plaza de la Revolución on April 3, 1991, the VI Congress of the organization was convened under the slogan "Súmate! Given the extreme gravity generated by the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe and the increase in American aggression against Cuba, the youth and the people were generally called to reject pessimism and opportunism, to fight with optimism to get out of difficulties those that crossed the country, united to the Party and Fidel.

In the first five years of the 1990s, the UJC received attention: sugarcane recovery, summer campaigns, the mobilization of BETs and FAPIs, the role of the UJC and the OPJM in the face of prostitution, the behavior of children and teenagers with foreign tourists and Tuxco expeditions, which reedited the feat of Granma.


 The decade of the nineties gave the Cubans extremely complex situations and new sacrifices. The collapse of the European socialist bloc and the disintegration of the Soviet Union -principal ally and commercial partner- hit strongly in all spheres of national life, but above all in the economy, since more than 70% of the exchanges They took place with these nations. The abrupt disengagement with the countries that formed the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CAME), of which Cuba was an active member, was joined by the opportunist aggravation of the US blockade. These factors placed the Island in a very precarious and uncomfortable position that endangered the survival of the Revolution.

The National Bureau of the UJC, aware of what was happening, opened the year with a political campaign that had as its first significant date the 137th anniversary of the birth of José Martí and convened a memorable  march of the torches. The multitudinous tour departed from the steps of the University at 9:00 at night, concluding with the words of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro.

As part of the strategy followed by the political leadership to counteract the dramatic lack of means of transport, the use of bicycles was promoted, imported in large batches of the People's Republic of China, while large-scale production was initiated by the national industry. The cycles were assumed immediately by the young people.


 Between March and April of 1989, the student organizations analyzed the problems of discipline and academic fraud in their respective national councils. In early July, the XIII World Festival of Youth and Students in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was held. In Pyongyang, young people discussed the most current issues such as peace and disarmament, anti-imperialist solidarity, non-alignment, external debt, protection of nature and the environment, and the rights of children, youth and children. students. Faced with the progressive weakening of this European and Soviet socialism, the UJC together with the FEU and the FEEM worked to ensure the unity of action of the international student and youth movement in the spaces of the WFDY, the UIE and the OCLAE.

The youth was also present in the Operation Tribute, with which honors were given throughout the country on December 7, 1989, to combatants who died in compliance with internationalist missions.


 During the second half of the 1980s, Youth actively influenced the revolutionary transformation of society. The young people gave their contribution to the plan of the Family Doctor, to the renewed Movement of Microbrigades and to the new forms of work that were developed in the agricultural and construction quotas. The majority of the students of secondary and higher education joined the Food Plan in the Student Work Brigades (BET). They worked in the plantations of root vegetables and vegetables of the companies of diverse cultures of the country, in particular in the province of Havana. They were also involved in the construction of the numerous social works (polyclinics, children's circles, construction of offices and the works of the Pan American Games) and supporting the program of the Young Computer Club.

Thousands of young Cubans showed their enthusiasm, passion and combativeness during the operation of rejection of the South African invaders to the People's Republic of Angola, which culminated in March 1988 with the victory of Cuito Cuanavale. The youth organizations mobilized to welcome the Cuban internationalists returning from the People's Republic of Angola after the peace agreements.



 The 5th Congress of the UJC takes place from April 1st to 5th. The issues discussed were: the economy, working youth, employment, health, education, scientific research, culture, sports and leisure time. It was decided to increase the age of admission to the organization, and that all young people would go through military service. Fidel expressed that the Congress had reflected what could be called a quality leap in the youth organization and youth in general.


 On April 19, 1986 during the commemoration of the XXV Anniversary of the Victory of Playa Girón and the proclamation of the socialist character of the Revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz initiates the Process of Rectification of Errors and Negative Trends

 In the summer of 1985 the XII World Festival of Youth and Students was held in Moscow, capital of the Soviet Union. It marks the 40th anniversary of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, the promoter of the festival movement. The central theme of the event revolved around peace, the fight against the arms race and solidarity with the people of South Africa who fought against apartheid. For Cuba, a delegation composed of 1,300 young people participated, who defended during the meetings with other representations the Cuban position against the payment of the external debt, given the precarious conditions of the countries of the third world and especially of the peoples of Latin America.

1983- 1984

 The young people enjoyed an educational training that was guaranteed from preschool to university. Almost 100% of children between 6 and 12 years of age were in primary school, and 87% of those aged 13 and 16 were in high school. At the time, 46 higher education centers with an enrollment of 280,000 students were operating throughout the country. In addition they were assured effective access to health services, in particular they were guaranteed a state of immunization that protected them against numerous diseases.



 From the 1st to the 4th of April the IV Congress of the UJC takes place. The issues debated were: public health, based on Fidel's call to turn Cuba into a world medical power; internationalism; the defense and the incorporation of young people to the FAR; the need to simplify working mechanisms; the attention to the grassroots organizations to raise the quality and the demand, the increase of the work with the youth mass, in particular, with the students; and the fight against the formalism that hampered the operation. On March 12, the Medical Sciences Detachment "Carlos J. Finlay" was established, whose first group, composed of 3807 students, graduated on September 3, 1988.


 On May 16, 1981, the UJC created the Popular Campismo Plan, inaugurated on the initiative of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. Of all the programs created and directed by the Organization, this has been the most popular, because it is linked to a novel form of recreation for the country, which spread rapidly throughout the national territory.

The internationalist struggle waged in Africa, in particular in the territory of Angola, could be done thanks to the selfless support provided by the Cuban youth who, together with the professional military personnel of the FAR, played a fundamental role in the preparation, direction and development of the Actions. Many of these young people came from the ranks of military service, which, despite their young age, the distancing of the family and the danger of the mission, took a step forward without delay and firmly. Based on this task, the support provided by the youth organizations, especially the Union of Young Communists, which worked in the recruitment of candidates, in the attention to families and even sent their cadres to demonstrate in the practice what they promoted among the youth ranks.


 On July 1, 1980, with the objective of coordinating and presiding over publications aimed at children and young people, the Casa Editora Abril of the UJC was set up, in which the eleven children's and youth's periodicals circulating in the country were integrated: Bijirita (bimonthly), Pioneer (weekly), We are Young, Alma Mater, Technical Youth, Bearded Cayman, We (aimed at students of FEEM), Young Communist, SEPMI and The Guide (aimed at adults who attended the Organization of Pioneers in the base).

On the other hand, young people continued to offer their solidarity to other peoples, this time in the field of education. Hundreds of them joined the Pedagogical Detachment '' Ernesto Che Guevara '', and the contingents of Primary Teachers '' Frank País '' and '' Augusto César Sandino ''. The first two who carried out their educational work in Angola, and the third in Nicaragua. Numerous young men occupied the trenches of combat in Ogaden, Ethiopia; in Lubango and Cabinda in Angola, which, according to Fidel in those places, had its Sierra Maestra.


 With the aim of contributing to the economic development of the country and promoting the labor education of youth, the student movement created in 1979, the Student Labor Brigades (BET), with which thousands of young people have dedicated a part since then. from their vacations to agricultural work and the construction of fortifications, among other activities.


 In the summer of 1978, the UJC faced the activity of greater importance and importance assumed until then in the intentional plane: the celebration in the City of Havana of the Xl World Festival of Youth and Students. The Festival was inaugurated on June 28, 1978 in a ceremony presided over by Fidel and Raúl Castro. 18,500 young people participated, from 145 countries, representing around 2000 youth organizations. Within the framework of the international youth meeting, the new name of the territory was proclaimed on the steps of the former Model Presidio of Isla de Pinos on the 2nd of August: Isla de la Juventud.

The III Congress of the UJC is held (31/3 - 4/4, 1977). The issues debated were: the internal life, the work with the pioneers and their organization, the negative behaviors of a part of the student body with respect to the study and of the workers in relation to the low productivity of work, the waste of resources, and the organization of the World Festival of Youth and Students.

The III Congress approves the thesis "UPC, relay of the UJC", which decided to establish the Union of Pioneers (UPC) from first to ninth grade, with the aim of contributing to the education of children. The pioneers from first to fourth grades (from 6 to 9 years old) were called "moncadistas", and those from fifth to ninth (from 10 to 14 years old) were pioneers "José Martí".

The importance of youth participation in the electoral consultations carried out periodically thereafter, is increased in correspondence with the consecration in the body of the Magna Carta of the right to vote from the age of 16, and the 18 to be elected member of the parliament, citizen prerogative that the Cuban youth would exercise for the first time after the referendum held on February 15, 1976, when the text mentioned by 97.6% of the voters was approved.

In the 1975-1976 course emulation plans were developed with common characteristics for all levels of education for both individuals and groups. These decorations achieved considerable social and political recognition among the population, for the prestige enjoyed by their creditors.

In December 1975, the 1st Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) was held, where the work deployed by the UJC since its creation was positively valued, and resolutions on the formation of children and youth were approved, and the XI Festival World Youth and Students. The latter was to be held in Havana in the summer of 1978

The Movement of Shock Movement is born as part of which the Youth supports the construction of industrial works, the cement factories of Mariel and Cienfuegos, the fertilizer plant of Nuevitas and the construction of the central railway line.

On August 3, 1973, coinciding with the anniversary of the constitution of the Centennial Youth Column, the Youth Labor Army was created. The new productive group emerged as a result of the merger of the Centennial Youth Column, the Followers of Camilo and Che and the Permanent Infantry Divisions (work units) of the FAR.

As of this year, the militants tripled ascending to 385 464.

Between 1971-1975, 232 schools were built between basic and pre-university secondary schools in the rural areas of the different agricultural plans and enterprises of the country. Throughout the process, the UJC and the FEEM carried out an intense task of recruiting students and building the respective organizations in the schools that were inaugurating.

Starting in July, the UJC renews its functional structures and gives a new projection to political and ideological work. In his II Congress (29 / 3-4 / 4) Fidel directs the creation of the Pedagogical Detachment "Manuel Ascunce Domenech".

On the 6th of December the First National Meeting of Education of the UJC takes place where the creation of the Federation of Students of the Secondary Education (FEEM) is agreed, organization that is born with the revolution that was operated in the education with the School Plan in the Field and of Vocational Schools.

The mobilization of the organization in full towards the work of harvesting in the years 1968 and 1969, led to the abandonment of the processes of income, so that the membership decreased with respect to the previous year. This was influenced by the demand to march to the countryside to devote themselves to the work of harvesting, which put to the test the unconditionality of the militants with respect to the tasks posed by the revolutionary leadership.


The UJC creates the Centennial Youth Column that carried out most of its activities in the former province of Camagüey, where it was dedicated to the work of sowing, cultivating and harvesting the cane. It was the most productive labor force of the 70's harvest.


The III Plenum of the UJC, held in Isla de Pinos, proposed the mobilization for massive incorporation to agricultural work. The Agricultural Youth Column and the Column of Construction "Ormaní Arenado" arose then, which reached 10,000 and 30,000 members respectively.

The period was distinguished by an extraordinary number of youth mobilizations towards exhausting tasks that were carried out in extraordinary conditions due to their rudeness. This will allow a greater treatment of the organization with young people from the most diverse sectors and interests, especially workers, while forcing its leading cadres to move to the areas of work and to link with the youth masses, leaving behind the Offices.

In the course of the year, the UJC was built in the units and dependencies of the Ministry of the Interior, in a similar way as it was done in the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) since 1963.
On October 22, 1965, the first issue of the newspaper Juventud Rebelde circulated, with 16 tabloid pages in three colors (red, blue and black).


In order to promote the linking of graduates of technical specialties at all levels, Fidel proposed the convenience of creating an association that brings them together. The new entity was named Youth Technical Brigades (BTJ), and from its formation they were employed by the UJC as a way of political work with the growing number of technicians who were graduating. On December 6, 1964, the First National Meeting of the Youth Technical Brigades was held.

The process of construction of the UJC begins to ensure its status as the vanguard organization of Cuban youth by integrating its ranks with young people elected in Exemplary Assemblies, the reformulation of the methods and styles of organization and work, and the construction of the Base Committees.

On February 16, the "Hermanos Saíz" Brigade was established, in October the Art Instructors Brigade "Raúl Gómez García" emerged and on November 26, 1963 the Council of Ministers approved the Compulsory Military Service Law after submitting it for consideration and approval of all the people of Cuba.

Between the 30 of March and the 4 of April the I Congress of the AJR was celebrated, that adopted since then the name of Union of Young Communists (UJC). In the closing speech of the conclave, the Commander in Chief presented the work objectives of the UJC: "(...) the function of that organization is to train young people who have a communist attitude towards society and life, to form young people who have to live in a new society, in a different society, the mission of that organization is to train young people capable of building that society and of living in that society ". On June 14, the constitution of the Union of Secondary Students (UES) was agreed and from August 6 to 10, the 1st Congress was inaugurated.

In May, Fidel called for the transformation of the AJR into the youth organization of the Party; and between October 21 and 23 - in the IV National Plenary - it was decided to become a communist youth organization and to hold its first congress in April 1962.On April 4, 1961, the Union of Rebellious Pioneers (UPR) was founded, whose motto was "Venceremos! Venceremos! It arises on the initiative of the Commander in Chief and the AJR is entrusted with the task of creating and directing its operation.

The young people and their system of organizations contributed to the solution of the educational demands from their participation in the National Literacy Campaign carried out that year.

On January 28, 1960, in an act in front of the Capitol, Che proclaimed the official existence of the AJR. On May 17, Fidel called on the youths to join the contingents that would leave for the Sierra Maestra in order to establish there the Youth Brigades of Revolutionary Labor (BJTR), who initiated the movement of the Five Peaks. From October 21 to 24, the 1st National Plenary of the AJR agrees on the integration of the revolutionary youth organizations in it as a unique youth organization.

The Association of Young Rebels (AJR) was founded in the middle of 1959, in the Department of Instruction of the MINFAR, under the inspiration and guidance of Che



There are no results to show.