Cubans for a day: Students assume delegate roles
By Jennifer Lindsey
Cuba was well-represented Friday at the Junior High Model United Nations at the University of Oklahoma.
Four Plainview Middle School eighth-graders assumed the role of delegates for the communist island nation.
"It was a great learning experience. We didn't know what to expect," said Advisor Lynette Edmonds. "It was fun, and the kids had a good time."
Resolutions discussed mirrored topics the actual UN is discussing, such as maritime piracy.
"It was a lot different than I expected. We had to discuss bills and debate," Ali Harris said.
Jordan Jones got up and spoke on a resolution about nuclear-free zones.
"Cuba is in favor of it, and I explained why we were in favor of it — we don't have them," he said.
Attending the event gave students insight into international relations.
"I hadn't really heard about the U.N. before. It's cool how a couple of people represent each country and debate their needs," Jones said.
Those relations included the struggle to form alliances with other countries.
"No one wanted an alliance with us. We stayed with other communist countries," Paxton Little said.
Representing Cuba, the group found allies in China and Argentina.
"We started passing notes with other countries and found out who Cuba's allies are and targeted them," Jones said.
Because of their alliance, the Cuba delegates voted with China on the issue of water for Tibet.
"We didn't debate because we didn't prepare anything, but we voted with China," Little said.
Talk is now of next year's Model U.N., where the students hope to improve upon this year's performance.
"We did OK. We should have prepared more on the resolutions, but we knew everything about our country," Little said.
Edmonds is also planning to recruit some younger students, as each school is allowed a maximum of three teams of four students.
"We will take some younger kids so they have a chance to get better each year," she said.