Jackson wants more Vincentians to be proud Cuban graduates
December 21, 2012

Jackson wants more Vincentians to be proud Cuban graduates

One beneficiary of the Cuban educational system has called for more past students to be proud of their association with the communist Caribbean country.{{more}}

Angela Idesha Jackson, the mistress of ceremonies at the Cuba/CARICOM Day event last week, said she believes that these students fail to show their gratitude for the scholarships received at Cuban taxpayers’ expense.

“I am very ashamed sometimes that the benefits that we the Vincentian graduates derived do not stand up and say I am proud, very, very proud to be a graduate of Cuba.

“A lot of them put up on their Facebook status that they studied in UWI (University of the West Indies). A lot of them put up that they studied in England, in Spain, and a lot of them neglect that they got an education off of the hard work of the Cuban people. And I am very ashamed of them. But I wouldn’t be like them; I am very, very, proud to have studied in Cuba…”

Jackson, who Cuban ambassador Pablo Antonio Rodriguez Vidal described by as “the Cuban who was accidentally born in St Vincent”, said she was not just grateful because of the higher learning she received, but also grateful for the whole cultural and eye-opening experience.

Jackson studied in Cuba from 2001 to 2007, earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance.

But she said she left Cuba with more than what any student can gain in a classroom.

“What I had learned from Cuba is way more than a bachelor’s degree. I really have a doctorate, in that I’ve learned how to appreciate what you have and how share the little you have, and I always like to transfer the information from what the Cubans taught me,” she said.

I got the opportunity to be a part of the May 1st marches, where you know why we must respect rights of workers … I got to be a part of the house of economists, where I understood that it’s good to practise your profession … I learned the value of voluntary work … I have gained friends that have passed the relationship of friends.

“I have sisters who don’t share my blood, but they are sisters in every sense of the word. In my class I was one of two foreign girls and I never walked with the foreign girl. I had eight Cuban girls who were my best friends, and they were in my room every day. We shared experiences.”

The former student of the Girls’ High School and St Vincent Grammar School told SEARCHLIGHT that since returning to St Vincent she has not visited Cuba, but she hopes to return to in the not too distant future.

She related that she has two other distinct connections to Cuba — her great-uncle moved there many years ago, and her cousin had a cataract removed there. Jackson further stated that she uses every opportunity she gets, to share her Cuban experiences with others.

“We give from what we have, not what we have extra, so it’s not that there is extra spaces in the university in Cuba so we want to fill them up. No, these are the spaces we have and we are going to give some to our neighbours from St Vincent, from Grenada, from Africa, from Bolivia, from Columbia, from all of the friends that I have all over the world.

“I’m very happy to stand here and say ‘Viva the relationship between CARICOM and Cuba. Viva the relationship between St Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba.’” (JJ)