Updated 07:00 PM EST, Wed, Nov 25, 2020

U.S.-Cuba Relations: Cuban Parents Prioritize Learning American English Over Traditional Second-Language Russian Due to New Ties with the United States

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Cuban parents are now changing their priorities in education and are pushing the country's young to learn American English instead of the traditional Russian amid the warming relationship between Cuba and the U.S.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Havana and Washington's current gradual normalizing relationship is bearing fruit in the most unexpected way.

Before the demise of the Soviet Union, residents of Cuba considered Russian as their second-language, allotting very little attention to English particularly after the Revolution.

But now, the nation's young have been flocking Steve Metzger, a massage therapist and volunteer English teacher, for lessons on the language.

According to Metzger, his Cuban students are mostly interested in economics-related English.

The WSJ report cited that one reason behind the sudden interest in the language may be the newly announced requisite from the Communist Party stating that college students would not graduate unless they learn English.

The report also cited a statement from Higher Education Minister Rodolfo Alarcón back in September as published in the state newspaper Granma about one case that resulted to Cuba's lack of English education.

"We have to resolve the problem that the Cuban professional isn't able to express himself in the universal language of our times," Alarcón stated as translated by WSJ.

A separate report from the outlet also cited American University professor and Cuba expert William M. LeoGrande who explained that the change in language preference in the country means that they are all ready to gradually learn how to welcome English-speaking tourists to boost their economy.

"It's taken them a long time to make the switch, but it's recognition...that English is the language of global commerce," he explained.

Cubans' ability to speak and write in English has been proven to be at a very young stage by several historic images including a caricature of ex-U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the country's Museum of the Revolution.

The said mural is embellished with a sign, saying: "Thank you cretin for h lped us TO STRENGTHEN THE REVOLUTION."

This has also have been a subject of several stand-up comedy acts including one by Erik Rivera. See video below.

This, says WSJ, is come as no surprise because of the country's blatant disregard for the English language and the entire U.S. culture itself as the Latin American nation's educational system had strongly leaned towards the Russian language.

A feature in the Washington Post revealed details of where the U.S.-Cuba relations stand according to who can travel to the Latin American country which now includes members of religious organizations, those from the education sector, journalists, and people visiting Cuban nationals who are "close relatives."

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