They keep on ranting about the issue of racism in Cuba (II)

Elio Delgado Legon

Photo: Juan Suarez
Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — Staying on the subject of racism, I’m forced to refer to a post published on Havana Times written by Yusimi Rodriguez, contesting everything I wrote about Guillermo Farinas’ many hunger strikes, who has been transformed from a common prisoner for having seriously injured an old man into a political prisoner, because the counter-revolution needed more prisoners for its propaganda and to get their hands on the scraps that the US government pays out to them for their actions against the Revolution, which has made and supports the Cuban people, black and white alike, together.

And Yusimi is right when she says that I’m going to argue that I have a lot of black friends. Not only do I have black friends, but my best friends have been black and my best friend of all who I love as if he were my brother is mestizo. Furthermore, my son-in-law in mestizo. I have never had racist or discriminatory sentiments in my head or in my heart, just like any true revolutionary shouldn’t.

I’m very surprised that somebody who should have a high level of education writes things like the Revolution benefited from improving the lives of “a large part of the Cuban population, including those of Afro-Descendants. However, the regime has taken advantage of these improvements in the same way that Carlos Manuel de Cespedes did when he freed his slaves, inviting them to join the war against Spain: thereby guaranteeing committed, indebted subordinates.”

Firstly, it reveals a complete moral and ethical devaluation of the Father of our Nation, by judging him as a mean-spirited man interested only in benefiting from the liberation of his slaves. She forgets that she is referring to a man who had a great fortune and who committed this fortune to our Homeland. He gave slaves the freedom to choose whether they wanted to fight for their Homeland or be “free” under colonial Spanish oppression.

She refers to the Revolution in the same way, as if it were a person or an organization distanced from the Cuban people; however, the Cuban Revolution belongs to everyone, irrespective of race.

Calling the Revolution “racist” displays her great ignorance about what the Revolution is, or she’s on the counter-revolution’s side, organized and funded by the US government, and is therefore a counter-revolutionary mercenary.

By the way, I have never said that those who write for Havana Times are mercenaries, like Yusimi claims in her article. Mercenaries are those people who receive money from a foreign enemy power, whatever it is they do. And the person who belongs to this counter-revolution, funded by the US, is nothing but a mercenary, even though he holds the Guinness world record for hunger strikes, which are only carried out to make propaganda against the Revolution.

Yusimi ignores, because of her age, what life for black Cubans were before the Revolution. If white Cubans were exploited and died of hunger and preventable and curable diseases, you can imagine what it was like for black Cubans, in a country which was just as racist as the US. I invite her to read and familiarize herself with this subject. And if she still insists on the idea that the Revolution is racist, at least it will no longer be out of ignorance.

One thing that caught my attention in Yusimi’s post was her mention of the film “City in Red” and [race car driver] Juan Manuel Fangio’s kidnapping. I’d like to clear up the fact that the bombs they made were to sabotage the economy of Batista’s tyranny, not to kill innocent people, and therefore it wasn’t terrorism, but sabotage, which are two very different things. And I don’t understand why she referred to Fangio’s kidnapping, as Fangio understood what was going on and cooperated, he wasn’t harmed in any way.

Finally, I want to refer to what Yusimi said about “we’ve been injected with the idea that if white people don’t have the right to oppose the regime, we black Cubans certainly don’t…”

Every Cuban of every color has the right to oppose the regime, however, they have to understand that they are opposing a revolution which belongs to the people and is for the people. Whoever opposes a revolution like ours is a counter-revolutionary and this person can’t be offended for being labeled as such, as it’s the path that has been drawn out, not by Fidel, like Yusimi said, but by the 97% of the people who can vote, which is a right our Constitution has given us. It is the path towards a prosperous and sustainable socialism which we have worked hard to build in spite of the US blockade and subversion plans that the government of this country pays for with taxpayers’ money.


Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

12 thoughts on “No Way that the Cuban Revolution is Racist

  • As Elio points out, the revolution of 1958/9 was supposedly for the people and its supposed purpose declared by Fidel Castro Ruz was:
    “There can be no danger if we do WHAT CUBANS WANT, if we provide social practice and solve the substantial social problems of all Cubans, of LIBERTY, OF RESPECT FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, OF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND THOUGHT, OF DEMOCRACY, OF LIBERTY TO SELECT THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT.”
    In light of that statement of the 16th of March 1959, there can be no doubt that Fidel Castro Ruz knew the actual wishes of the people of Cuba. His subsequent actions were to deny those very wishes in his manic pursuit of personal power and control as a communist dictator. He failed the very trust of his fellow Cubans. The revolutionaries of the Sierra Maestra were not all communists, but those who were not like Camilo Cienfuegos and Huber Matos were subsequently eradicated by devious means, jail and the firing squad.

  • I wish to thank everyone who was as outraged as I was with Elio’s disgraceful accusations against me and for their support, as he tried to justify the unjustifiable.
    My position on Cuba and my people wherever they are, is known to many therefore, allowing any opportunist to attempt to tarnish my image will not be allowed. Please allow me to break my rule of thumb and show to the Elio’s of this world what I was doing I was doing 30 years ago.

    02/24/88 ICS IPMRYNB RN0 JFKA

    ALBERTO JONES
    212TH ST
    QUEENS VILLAGE NY 1 1429

    DAR ES SALAAM 107/106 24 1 400 PI/50 ALBERTO JONES,

    I ,WISH TO EXPRESS OUR DEEPEST GRATITUDE FOR
    CONSIGNMENT OF MEDICINES RHICH ARRIVED ALST WEEK WITH CAROL ,

    2, FOR US, STILL ENGAGED IN A BITTER STRUGGLE TO
    ACHIEVE BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MONSTROUS
    APARTHEID REGIME, WE FEEL ENCOURAGED BY THE
    SPIRITUAL, POLITICAL AND MATERIAL SUPPORT NE GET FROM
    PEOPLE OF CONSCIENCE, KEEP up THE GOOD WORK, WE SHALL
    INDEED NEVER FORGET ALL THOSE WHO STOOD BEHIND US DURING THIS TRYING
    TASK OF TAMING THE APARTHEID BEAST . APARTHEID GO. THE DAWN
    OF A NEW NON-RACIAL AND DEMOCRATIC S 0 AFRICA IS NOT
    FAR OFF,

    3, PLS ALBERTO EXTEND OUR SICERE THNX TO YR cOMMITTEE, LETTER FOLLOWING, AMANDLA.

    NNN
    0714 EST
    07 : 19 EST
    MGMCOMP

  • I must concede your point. In using the expression “the struggle he launched” I was making an assumption about the struggle against slavery in Cuba.
    Would it be fair to say that your criticism is not so much against Cespedes as it is against a narrative that downplays the actual struggle of the slaves and highlights the actions of “white’ Cubans?
    A similar point has been made about the struggle against slavery in the US.

  • “the struggle he launched”? As if those of African descent had been passively accepting their fate all the time before… the problem with the lionisation of Cespedes is that it is part of the Euro-centric narrative that paints Africans as helpless children (or worse, animals) to be raised up by the noble “Whites”. It is as if the murderer who repents is remembered in a greater light than those he murdered.

  • I confess that until this discussion I had never heard of Manuel Cespedes. So I checked him out on Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Manuel_de_C%C3%A9spedes According to their item, while he himself was defeated, the struggle he launched led to to the “…liberation of all slaves and Chinese who had fought with the rebels…”
    Manual Cespedes comes off rather well in the article. If he has his critics, they haven’t succeeded in changing the Wikipedia article.
    What was in his heart? I don’t know, but it appears that his desire for an independent Cuba was stronger than any desire he might have had to live the luxurious life of a slaveowner.
    In any case, he comes in ahead of many of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

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