Cuba! canst thou, my own beloved land,
Counsel thy children to withhold a curse,
And call to mind the deeds of that fell band
Whose boasted conquests, mark one frightful course
Of spoil and plunder, wrung by fraud or force;
Of human carnage in religious gear,
Of peace destroyed–defenceless people worse
Than rudely outraged, nay, reserved to wear
Their lives away in bondage and despair?
To think unmoved of millions of our race,
Swept from thy soil by cruelties prolonged,
Another clime then ravaged to replace
The wretched Indians; Africa then wronged
To fill the void where myriads lately thronged,
And add new guilt to that long list of crimes,
That cries aloud, in accents trumpet-tongued,
And shakes the cloud that gathers o’er these climes,
Portending evil and disastrous times.
Cuba, oh, Cuba, when they call thee fair!
And rich and beautiful, the Queen of isles!
Star of the West, and ocean’s gem most rare!
Oh, say to them who mock thee with such wiles
Take of these flowers, and view these lifeless spoils
That wait the worm; behold the hues beneath
The pale cold cheek, and seek for living smiles,
Where beauty lies not in the arms of death,
And bondage taints not with its poisoned breath
Excepted from “Poems by a Slave in the Island of Cuba, Recently Liberated.”Juan Francisco Manzano, 1797-1854.
In fidel castro’s Cuba, everyone is a slave. How many generations before they’re allowed to be free?