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realclearworld

Racism in Cuba

It is something that every Cuban is well aware of, and something that any non-Cuban can confirm if they were to take the time and look: Cuba's slave masters are racist. As badly as white Cubans are treated by the island's dictatorship, non-whites -- blacks, mulatos, mestizos -- are treated even worse. There is an inherent and vile disdain towards any person of color held by the white nomenklatura of Cuba that is impossible to hide in Cuban society.

In an article in The Griot, Marlie Hall takes a look at the blatant racism that has existed in Cuba since 1959 that few in the civil rights movement here in the United Stares have been brave enough to address.

Rosa Parks refused to stand. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. Barack Obama won the presidential election. America' s plight for racial equality has had its struggles, its heroes and its progress. But on the nearby island of Cuba, some say modern-day racism against blacks is blatant, and fighting it isn't as simple as public protest.

According to Afro-Cuban activists, racism against blacks in Cuba is systemic and institutional. They say, to this day, blacks are excluded from tourism related jobs, relegated to poor housing, have poor access to health care, are excluded from managerial positions and are more likely to be imprisoned.

As the poster child for leftist leaders and many in the civil rights movement, Fidel Castro has enjoyed an incredible amount of leeway in exercising a brutal and deadly apartheid on the island that targets anyone that is not white. The desire not to tarnish the image of one of their icons has caused many civil rights leaders to betray blacks in Cuba in favor of a white dictator of European descent. They look the other way as the son of a wealthy Spanish landowner persecutes Cubans simply because of the color of their skin.

For a half-century, Castro has enjoyed a free pass from those on the left to oppress, imprison, and murder black Cubans only for being black. But, as this article illustrates, the days of the world looking the other way as Cuba's slave masters practice their particularly brutal style of apartheid may soon be nearing the end.

Our own Henry Gomez is extensively quoted in this article and it's worth a read.

4 comments to Racism in Cuba

  • Cubanita

    Alberto, this is the huge neon green elephant in castro's communism living room. No matter how hard they work to ignore, it is always there.

    Just for the sake of numbers, this is what I saw in my New Man generation:

    -In my high school class (la Lenin) we were 29 girls [I know, we were "trouble"] Only one of us was, Karina, was Black. And that trend was more or less the same in the rest of the school, consistent of six high schools physically together in a huge space next to el Parque Lenin.

    -In my group Havana University (distance education program for Law School) there was NOT a single Black student.

    -In my group in the hospitality technical course I took in the Sevilla hotel, prior to start working in tourism while getting my degree, there was ONLY ONE Black student. And he was what we call "un negrito fino", a brilliant student BTW.

    -When I worked in La Divina Pastora restaurant, in la Cabana, we had only two Black waitresses, and it was mostly because they were the typical mulatas with awesomely beatiful figures. I personally once heard a disgusting higher up saying they will never fired them because the gallegos and Canadians loved them!

    -When I lived in Cayo Hueso, Centro Habana (San Jose entre Oquendo y Soledad) in my block, the worse houses, those that were literally falling apart, were inhabitated by Black families.

    -In any given street in Cuba, when police stops and search someone, Blacks are the first ones to be targeted.

    -Look at the faces of the Cuban apparachits... how many are Black?

    -In Cuba, racism is still deeply rooted in people's mind. Interracial marriages and relationships are still a BIG, BIG, issue and huge stereotype in most of the families, despite the fact that the biggest percentage of the Cuban population are Black, mulatos or racially mixed. You know the saying: el que no tiene de congo, tiene de carabali.

    -Black Cubans massively live in the most empoverished neighborhoods and areas at any given city. And they also comprised the largest percentage of Cuban prison's population.

    Again, is the world has not been able to see this elephant in its face is, well, because they didn't want to...

  • Henry A.

    Cubanita...the worse part of this is that Black American Democrats look the other way when it comes to the horrors suffered by Black Cubans. They have been fed the Castro propaganda for so many years that it must be truly embarrassing to admit that once again they have been made fools of. SAD!

  • In 1959 Cuba was ahead of the US in race relations. Now they make apartheid South Africa look good. Is there anything in Cuba that the revolution didn't destroy?

  • Cubanita

    Henry, for the Black American Democrats, as for so many useful idiots that surround us, is easier to turn their sight to the other side. After all, most of them had somebody else doing the civil right movement job for them. They can now sit back and relax, and who cares about those substandard Black Cubans...they have free health care!