Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Youth army poised to defend

Members of Cuba's Youth Labor Army, or Ejercito Juvenil del Trabajo, EJT by its Spanish initials
GlobalSecurity.org says the EJT is a part-time force with "only light arms which are issued to them only on occasion. They are not capable of sustained combat, but are effective for controlling and coercing the general public."

The Web site said the EJT's main missions are:
* To make productive activities in interest of the economic-social development of the country.
* To execute measures for the protection of the environment and the rational use of the natural resources.
* To prepare militarily to its members and to participate in the accomplishment of the armed warfare.
* To contribute to the education and patriotic, military, labor, sport and cultural formation of the young people.
The EJT, GlobalSecurity.org said, "is structured in divisions, regiments and battalions. Their members completely receive the wages or salaries established for the work that make, like the rest of the workers of the country."

The EJT and other Cuban paramilitary units "have suffered considerable degradation of morale and training over the last seven years," but "still have the potential to make an enemy invasion costly," the Web site said.

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