Alberto N Jones
HAVANA TIMES — On September 26, Elio Delgado Legon published a corrosive article with the instructive title of “The Journalism of Terror regarding Cuba.” This is the same person who unleashed a vicious, treacherous, blitzkrieg attack against my article “The persistence of racism in Cuba” a subject he knows nothing about, does not care and for which he is selectively blind and deaf.
Applying the old worn-out tactic of ignoring the message and shooting the messenger, Elio exemplifies an old Spanish axiom: “it is easier to catch a liar than a lame.” I have nothing to hide or being ashamed of, that require me to wrap with the Cuban flag or shield myself behind the number of white friends I have. Others may have to do so.
Elio took it upon himself to launch a fusillade of disparaging statements against “They” (me) in his inflammatory article “They keep on ranting about the issue of racism in Cuba”. He directed his big guns, lies and threats against and miraculously did not call me a CIA operative or a member of any anti-Cuba organization.
My life history allows me not to fear Elio or his cohorts. As a young employee on GITMO in the late 50s, we collected used military shoes, jackets and cash for those fighting in the Sierra Maestra. I quit my job on GITMO on October 22 at the beginning of the Missile Crisis. I went off to study Veterinary Medicine in Havana, received a course in exotic diseases in Germany and returned to Cuba in time to set up the first sanitary barrier ever in Cuba against a bio-terrorism attack.
As Director and Pathologist of the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab responsible for 1/4 of Cuba land mass, I discovered five unknown entities in Oriente and two that were unknown in the country. I was elected president of the scientific council and became instructor of pathology at the University of Oriente, all for one salary.
For opposing corruption and misuse of government property, I was wrongfully accused and sent to prison for 8 years. Upon release, when all efforts to clear my name failed and no one at the highest political and legal authorities could stand by this bogus conviction or was willing to apologize for this gross mistake, I migrated to the US in 1980.
In New York I organized vigils and marches against Apartheid at the UN, collected cash, medicine, medical and school supplies for the African National Congress, Namibia, Zimbabwe and their delegates to the UN in New York, found a respite in my home when they were labeled as terrorists.
Since 1984 to this day, I have sent hundreds of tons of medicine, medical supplies, school materials, cultural, sports, physically challenged mobility equipment, environmental resources, buses, trucks and led numerous delegations of Afro Americans and Anglo Caribbean friends to Cuba.
I was among the first persons since 1990 to denounce the United States attempts to divide Cuba along racial lines and promote a fratricidal war by writing articles, visiting the US Congressional Black Caucus, Transafrica, the NAACP, Universities and City Halls in Florida, California, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Today when it is easier, many have flocked to South Africa, Namibia or Angola for photo ops as proof of their solidarity and others like Elio try to threaten anyone with an opposing view of his lack of understanding of the critical and dangerous race-relations disparity existing in Cuba.
Love for Cuba must be expressed by highlighting and denouncing what is wrong, not with cover-up, white washing or lies.