Communism and Fidel Castro’s apartheid dictatorship is no friend to black people

Perhaps one of the top achievements of the Castro regime’s propaganda machine was to convince many American blacks that the apartheid Castro dictatorship was not racist. In reality, if you are black, one of  the last places you want to live is in Castro’s Cuba.

Terrell Jermaine Starr in the Washington Post:

Fidel Castro and communism’s flawed record with black people

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Be it the U.S.S.R. or Cuba, communism, as a political system, is not the oasis of racial harmony most black Americans believe it to be. As a Fulbright Scholar who has studied how black peoples from America, Africa and the Caribbean experienced communist states, I can tell you that for every Assata Shakur who finds safe haven in Cuba, there are jails full of “darker-skinned Cubans” who have never received the dignity of their American exile guest. And for every Langston Hughes who was treated like royalty in Moscow, there are people such as Pierre Kalmek, a sailor from Francophile Africa, who lived in the Moscow during the early 1930s and complained that locals regularly spat on him.

Over the past week, Castro was lionized for his freedom-movement activities across Africa and his embrace of black civil rights figures in the United States. After Angela Davis was acquitted of murder, in 1972, she visited Cuba to thank its people for supporting her during her murder trial. And when Black Panther Party members Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton needed refuge, Castro opened the doors of Havana to them.

But in Communist Cuba, all black lives do not matter.

One of the first mistakes Castro made when he took power in 1959 was to determine that racism was solved in Cuba. Like Castro, Soviet officials made similar ill-advised declarations that allowed even more racism to fester. In Cuba, 62 percent of the population is black, but 71 percent of its public leadership is white, according to a 2009 study. What’s even more disturbing: In 2009, 70 percent of black Cubans were unemployed; 60 percent of black Cubans cited racial discrimination as the cause.

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Kimberly R. Lyle, a black American of Cuban descent, wrote in Fusion that one of her uncles, a chemist, was left homeless after he requested permission to leave the country and her cousin expressed anger that he had to flee Cuba to be, in her words, “a free man.”

“Does it matter to African-Americans that the penalties for speaking out against the Cuban government are beatings and the threat of rape or death?” she asked. “Are we concerned that black Cubans are incarcerated at higher rates than white Cubans? Do we care that black Cubans still can’t enter many hotels or restaurants? Does it matter to us that Castro could not liberate black people in his own country? This, too, is Castro’s legacy.”

Read the entire article HERE.