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    The Tragedy of Cuban Racism

    The Tragedy of Cuban Racism
    February 9, 2015
    By Carlos Cabrera Perez (Café Fuerte)

    A group of dissidents protested last Thursday before the Cuban
    Parliament located in Havana’s Playa municipality.
    HAVANA TIMES — A video showing a group of Cuban dissidents protesting in
    front of the Cuban parliament in Havana to demand a series of liberties
    and rights has once again revealed the profound racism that continues to
    exist in Cuba.

    Today, 56 years after the triumph of the revolution, we hear the voice
    of a woman yelling: “They’re a bunch of blacks who had no rights before
    and now want everything handed to them.” The woman was referring to the
    12 activists from Cuba’s Orlando Zapata National Civic Resistance and
    Disobedience Front who were arrested on Thursday morning for
    demonstrating to demand the elimination of the absurd Ley de
    Peligrosidad (“Potential criminality law”).

    In addition to being a false statement (for black people weren’t denied
    everything in the past, and they aren’t offered everything today), the
    woman’s comments reveal the profound contempt that some Cubans feel
    towards other Cubans, equal only in their condition as victims of
    totalitarianism. The woman we hear in the video, however, feels
    superior, as though fully espousing a Nazi concept.

    White and Absolute Power

    Castroism is a form of white, absolute power. One of the sociological
    bases for Castro’s triumph was the profound contempt that the sugar
    industry aristocracy, the middle class and the population in general
    felt towards the mixed-race dictator Fulgencio Batista Zaldivar.

    In the 1980s, after the Cuban government noted that dozens of black and
    mixed-race people had left the country in the Mariel exodus, Fidel
    Castro made a point of increasing the number of black people and
    mulattos employed by government entities. This was, to be sure, a
    cosmetic rather than real measure, as none of these reached any
    positions with any real power. To be fair, neither did the new white
    recruits, as Castroism has always been a top-down, hermetic system.

    Racism and other forms of discrimination on the basis of political and
    religious affiliations and sexual orientation were not invented by the
    Castro regime. The world is full of racists, intolerant people and
    countless individuals who suffer discrimination. What is surprising,
    however, is that a revolution that alleged to have been carried out by
    the humble and for the humble should produce such racist attitudes.

    This is a serious issue, revealing the problematic perspective that has
    taken root in the mind of this woman and of those who think like her:
    one can be black, mixed-race, homosexual or whatever one wants to be,
    provided one supports the Castro regime.

    This spells a terrible dilemma for a mixed-race, poor and sentimental
    country saturated with empty speeches about equality and justice, intent
    on the moral assassination of those who dissent, are different or
    respectfully – and justifiably – decide to break with the herd that
    feigns contentment and unshakable loyalty.

    An Ailing Nation

    Regrettably, Cuba is a morally sick nation, a victim of the totalitarian
    monologue that Castroism managed to establish thanks to the acquiescence
    of the majority of the population. And the regime continues with its
    tired spiels about racism in the United States, despite the fact that
    Barack Obama is still in office, after having been democratically
    elected for a second term.

    This is why it struck me as significant that, at the sessions held this
    week before the US Senate and House of Representatives, most of the
    testimonies from dissidents and civil society representatives came from
    black and mixed-race individuals, reminding us that they are the ones
    who suffered the most and were most heavily trampled on by the
    deceitfully liberating stampede of Castroism.

    The most recent Population and Housing Census conducted in Cuba
    confirmed that black and mixed-race people are the poorest in Cuba, a
    problem that will be difficult to overcome by any post-Castro
    government. A future Cuba will also have to devote considerable efforts
    to come in aid of an aged population, the chronically ill, alcoholics,
    drug-addicts and the numerous single-mother families where fathers have
    been absent for three generations.

    Some will likely claim that what we hear in this video are the
    regrettable statements of a single woman, faced with a group of Cubans
    who demand democratic rights for all citizens, including the woman who
    insults them.

    It’s a shame this is not an isolated incident and that it embodies the
    perverse effects of a political discourse that has taken shape in the
    course of more than fifty years and has sought to transform citizens
    into obedient soldiers, criminalizing all dissent and labeling those who
    defend a Cuba where there is room for everyone (including those who
    think differently) as enemies or, what’s worse, as enemy agents (hired
    by the CIA or USAID).

    “They’re a bunch of blacks,” the offensive woman said. I say: They are
    Cuban, just like you, Madam, even if you can’t and probably never will
    see them as your equals.

    Source: The Tragedy of Cuban Racism – Havana Times.org –
    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=109220

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