English will be a requirement to graduate from Cuban universities
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English will be a requirement to graduate from Cuban universities

Dominance of the English language will soon be part of the requirements needed to graduate from universities in Cuba as U.S. relations thaw, Cuba’s Granma reports.

After Russian was language of choice, during Fidel Castro’s relations with the former Soviet Union.

Since 1991, English once again became more popular, as tourism began to increase and the Soviet block crumbled.

“We are gradually incorporating study plans for which a requirement will be to demonstrate dominance of the English language before graduating from university.” Higher education minister Rodolfo Alarcón commented.

“We have to solve this problem of how Cuban professionals are unable to express themselves in the universal language of our times,” he added, outlining that “courses and access to online platforms will enable self-study.”

“Necessary” requirement

“Using these methods, speaking a foreign language (English) will become a necessary requirement for students,” Alarcón outlined in a report by the State National Information Agency (AIN).

In 2008, even Fidel Castro recognized the importance of Cubans learning English, “even the Russians were learning English. Everyone was studying English apart from us (Cubans) who were studying Russian.”

“The language (English) is indispensable as day-by-day we are going to be making more contact (with the United States and other countries).” Communist party member José Ramón Machado Ventura commented during holding meetings with university students, La Tercera reports.

U.S. and Cuba diplomatic relations were restored on July 20 of this year.

See also:

Turning the page for US and Cuba relations

Pope Francis’ White House visit will discuss Cuba