The Persistence of Racism in Cuba

By Alberto N Jones

From the movie “Balseros” (rafters).

HAVANA TIMES — The 1994 rafter crisis, changed the face of the Cuban emigration and the strategy of the United States government to puncture and weaken the Cuban government, when the predominantly white emigrants suddenly became black and brown.

Surprised, the mass media in the US was not reluctant to declare that the new emigrants did not look like Cubans anymore, as it debunked the myth of the 60’s that Cuba was a nation of white millionaires without social issues.

The late AM Radio personality Agustin Tamargo had argued that the Cuban government remained in power through the large presence of blacks in the armed forces, police, personal security and other repressive institutions, for which he requested a three days license to dole out retribution when it falls.

The Cuban American National Foundation held meetings in Washington and Miami to evaluate this demographic change, which led to the recruitment of blacks with higher education in the US and in Cuba.  They organized seminars and courses in peaceful resistance at black universities and at the Martin L. King Center in Atlanta, where they were organized into independent librarians, independent farmers, independent journalists etc., with branches in Cuba.

Two public meetings in Miami and Washington organized by the Center for International Policy of the John Hopkins University in 1999 and 2000 with participants from Cuba and abroad demonstrated the existence of a plan to exacerbate racial divisions in Cuba.

Tuning up on the Prado promenade. Photo: Caridad

Attempting to impede them from laying the basis for another massacre of blacks as the one that took place in Cuba in 1912, I shelved my limited knowledge in animal pathology and environmental health and safety, to venture into the complex journalistic world without previous knowledge or advisors.

I published over a hundred articles among which it is worthwhile to highlight, Una Cuba en la imagen de los Diaz-Balart 1998, Un hito en la lucha en contra del racismo 1999, The attempt to divide Cuba along racial lines 2001, Desenmascarando a los promotores de la Guerra racial en Cuba 2007, Una batalla mundial de vida y muerte 2009, A sincere and painful apology to the US Congressional Black Caucus 2009, How was I drawn into Cuba’s racial issue 2011, and Afrocubans relations with Florida 2013.

Afrocubaweb.com, [email protected], Havana Times, Cuba Journal, La Alborada and other blogs played an outstanding role in spreading these denunciations.  The Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald, Daytona Times, Daytona News-Journal, Florida Times Union, Florida Sun Sentinel, the Record, Tampa Bay, Washington Post, Listin Diario, Jamaica Gleaner, the Star, the Observer, the New York Times and others, contributed decisively to reach a wider audience.

Meanwhile in Cuba…

Paradoxically, while this battle was taking place outside of Cuba, on the island the most retrograde, racists, neo-racists and segregationists, unleashed a cruel attack against blacks by absorbing every possible job with access to hard currency in tourism, joint ventures, corporations, high level jobs and international scholarships.  Police intimidation increased on Obispo Street in Old Havana and in Varadero and other tourist areas. The obstruction of black related activities was stepped up, as was the masking of black history, culture and education and the restricting of entry into certain professional specialties.

The result is graphic, irrefutable and devastating.  Black neighborhoods are like war zones, the disproportion in the incarcerated population, level of prostitution and poverty are permanent testimony.

Prominent visitors from the US Congressional Black Caucus, artists and intellectuals from around the world who have historically supported the Cuban Revolution, expressed serious concerns to high ranking government officials, many statistical studies were carried out and numerous journalistic and literary works have severely judged this behavior.

The literary works by black intellectuals are carefully scrutinized, delayed, they do not circulate freely and some documentaries have never been shown or they were shown in the wee hours, when most people are in bed.

Obtaining financing from the Cuban Institute of Arts and Cinematography (ICAIC) for black historical and cultural projects is extremely difficult and the National Folkloric Dance Group has been on the verge of collapse. Meanwhile the life of a pimp and a psychopath were financed and distributed widely alongside other vain, violent or semi pornographic imported films.

Most Cubans understood and accepted the abolition of racial, ethnic, cultural and other societies and social organizations when they were fused into Social Clubs.  What is near impossible to explain is the quiet resurrection of the Arab Society, Chinatown, Synagogues and Asturian Societies with their commercial wing with restaurants, B&B and hotels, which allows them to do social work among their members.

No black or mestizo society has been recreated and the Ministry of Justice has done everything possible to keep former black emigrant societies from functioning, or from repairing of buildings and operating cafeterias and restaurants like the other above mentioned groups.

Barack Obama and Raul Castro at the Latinoamericano Stadium in Havana on March 22, 2016.

In the legal environment, the population is alarmed to see how easily blacks can be accused and condemned for crimes they did not commit or when they are guilty their sentences are more severe than their peers.

The sum of these factors, are the root cause of the increased racist expressions in Cuba.  From the use in employment centers of codified words like “people with nice features”, the limited presence or absence of blacks in areas with access to hard currency, the shameful job opening on a blog for Whites Only and the repugnant and disrespectful newspaper article following president Barack Obama visit to Cuba “Black, are you Swedish”? and the appearance of Swastikas with a call to kill blacks in Havana without any repercussion, denunciation or the capture of the perpetrators by the authorities, are taking the country closer to the abyss.

In the year 2006 erupted in the blogosphere the controversial letter “Acting on our Conscience”, which was signed by close to 60 black intellectuals, including the late Abadias Nascimento.  No other action intended to weaken black unity in and out of Cuba have had such a negative impact on the country.

Multiple articles in which I proposed actions that could mitigate these ills and denunciations from unconditional friends of Cuba, fell on deaf and arrogant ears and have placed the future and national unity at risk.

Let’s rid ourselves of foolish arrogance by going to the heart of this tragedy in Center Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, Marianao and others, before an uncontrollable social explosion dooms the pompous visits by dignitaries, international accords and development plans of the country.


61 thoughts on “The Persistence of Racism in Cuba

  • August 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm
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    “Youth should learn to think and act as a mass. it is criminal to think as and individual.”
    Dr. Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara de Serna Lynch

  • May 28, 2016 at 6:47 pm
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    Alberto’s article fails to point the finger at the one culprit and the one area where racism itself was glaring – the Cuban government and its notoriously almost all-white cabinet! It is understandable why Alberto would play it safe, given the arrogant, racist repression that the the “historic leadership” and its corrupt and morally-bankrupt bureaucracy will inflict on even progressive Afro-Cuban critics.

    It may sound like a heresy to many on the left to accuse the historic leadership of racism. I was a hard-core supporter of the historic leadership and Fidel was my idol for many years. I overlooked all the signs of racist hegemony by the “Gallegos” of the Cuban Revolutionary leadership. I intensely admired the dialectical prowess of Fidel and of course Cuba’s internationalist assistance to Africa and the Caribbean. All this, until I began watching Cuban TV (Cubavision Internacional) and noticed the GLARING patterns of racist exclusivity. Then it became clear how the Cuban cabinet was overwhelmingly non-black and why with every political appointment a non-black, non-mulatto would be chosen. We saw it with the Canciller appointments from Lage to Perez Roque and on and on. Neither Fidel Castro nor Raul Castro – despite distant black blood in the family lineage – will countenance an Afro-Cuban in any leadership position in Cuba. This is the glaring non-propagandistic fact! Just check all their appointments. There will never be an Obama (in terms only of race and color) in Cuba!!! Not while the Castros are in power. And it will be even worse if the Miami Mafiosos were to get their hands back on power. The danger is that the historic Gallego leadership and its successors will find common cause in their racial exclusivity as Cuba becomes capitalist using the China / Vietnam formula or the Russian oligarchy system that Putin aided and abetted into place.

    Those who have any doubts only need to look at the record of racism in China and racism and neo-facism in today’s Russia, and Eastern Europe.

  • May 26, 2016 at 5:17 am
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    Not surprisingly, I have had the opposite experience many times. No matter what I wear, I look Cuban. My wife and I are frequently stopped. Its always the same drill “Documentos por favor”. I flash my passport before their incredulous eyes and I am on my way. Every once in a while I will get stopped by some dim-witted guajiro PNR who wants to inspect the passport and then asks me to speak English. Sometimes it really annoys me but honestly, most of the time, its just another reminder that I am in Cuba.

  • May 25, 2016 at 1:20 pm
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    It was George Orwell who in 1948 published in “1984” his classic lines about “BIg Brother is watching you”. As Fidel Castro was originally 6′ 4″ tall and Cuban Schools Athlete of the Year in 1948 and as Raul achieved 5′ 8″, Orwell was prescient in writing of ‘Big Brother” regarding the introduction of the Stasi trained CDR by Fidel Castro in 1960.

    “a collective system of revolutionary vigilance so that everybody knows who lives on every block, what they do on every block…in what activities they are involved and with whom they meet.”

    That was the picture in Cuba in 1960 and is still the picture in 2016, so I guess it can be reasonably described as the “whole picture” with both Big and now Little Brother watching the day by day activities of Cubans.

  • May 25, 2016 at 8:40 am
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    I look at the whole picture: his remarks on blacks in his motorcycle diaries and his comments about blacks in Congo.
    Are you also aware that Che was homphobic?
    That is also part of “the whole picture” when assessing the true nature of his attitude towards others.

  • May 24, 2016 at 8:44 pm
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    I wish to thank HT, its readers and commentators for the extensive analysis, discussion and their supportive or opposing views on Cuba’s most critical and dangerous social illness.

    It does not matter where or what political leaning any of us may hold. What is dear to me, is that we are aware of a serious problem in Cuba that touches all of us one
    way or another and I personally encourage everyone, not only to comment but to
    write and publish your experience, your disgust with this disgraceful and demeaning monster. Alberto

  • May 24, 2016 at 8:39 pm
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    Yup! My wife likes to dress well and me, I am just a fairly tanned scruff! However, my clothes are always clean for as you may know, Cuban ladies are sticklers for keeping home and clothes spotless.

  • May 24, 2016 at 12:18 pm
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    An interesting couple. You dress like a Cuban and she dresses like a Yuma. LOL.

  • May 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm
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    Not a very good answer. People like Churchill were guilty of some anti-Semitic remarks. That doesn’t make him a Nazi. Hillary Clinton voted against the Civil Rights movement in the US. Does that make her a racist period. You have to look at the whole picture.

  • May 24, 2016 at 12:12 pm
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    I can’t find any reference to that quote on the internet so its difficult to check the truth and the context of the remark. But it might be true that they were undisciplined George Orwell said similar things about the republican side in the Spanish Civil War. I suggest you look at the whole picture.

  • May 23, 2016 at 4:00 pm
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    I am there because my wife is a Cuban and our home is there, because I love the beauty of Cuba and have a great liking and admiration for the people of Cuba. I detest dictatorship, do you?

  • May 23, 2016 at 3:55 pm
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    Dani, firstly, I dress as a Cuban not as a tourist. If we were of the same race we would not be stopped. I told a male Cuban friend of mine who bears the title of Dr. of our experiences in Havana and his response was like yours, he said defensively that: “That is because they think she is a jinetera.” My response was: “So their are no white jineteras in Havana?” His comment in itself showed racism.
    Racism is not just about white policemen in the US using guns against black citizens, it is much more subtle. That is why I drew attention to how the statistics gathered by the census are used to limit the appointment in Cuba of Blacks to administrative and managerial positions. If you know Cuba, do you personally believe that only 9.9% of the population is black?
    I agree that there is logic in saying that the eviction from the hotel was not because my wife is black but because she is Cuban, but there was nothing in her form of dress to indicate that she is Cuban – many of her clothes having been purchased in the UK and Canada. It was because she is black and security thinks “She is probably Cuban.” If she had been white, the question would not have been asked.

  • May 23, 2016 at 1:56 pm
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    Che also referred to the Congolese rebels he fought with – and wanted to lead -^as lazy and always drunk on Banana beer.

  • May 23, 2016 at 8:56 am
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    That is a lie and know it! Period.

  • May 23, 2016 at 8:54 am
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    Are you an enemy of the revolution? Why are you there?

  • May 23, 2016 at 7:36 am
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    He was a stinking racist. Period.

  • May 23, 2016 at 6:11 am
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    While not dismissing the existence of racism in Cuba, I think you have to be careful about assigning racism to things that aren’t. In Havana particularly the authorities try to clamp down on jineterismo. If they see someone looking like a European/Canadian tourist with a Cuban they will want to investigate. I realize that that is offensive to the people concerned, but think about how things would be if they didn’t do anything. Your episode at the Hotel was probably from the period where Cubans weren’t allowed – again not necessarily racist. Your issue with the survey – I mean the UK census asks whether the participant is Welsh. Any company that operates an equal opportunity policy gives a form to fill which asks your ethnic origin/race/colour. I agree that having only three categoires might be a bit cack-handed, but racist?

  • May 23, 2016 at 5:52 am
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    Che Guevara’s racist speech is in fact an excerpt from his motorcycle diaries. Though no one should dismiss this, it isn’t the whole picture. He advocated integrated schools and an integrated society. Perhaps a bit too much as some of the separate culture was lost in the process. He also had friends and a bodyguard of Afro-Cuban descent. He also went out and fought for black Africans.

  • May 23, 2016 at 5:36 am
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    Cuba is a racist country. The government chose to ignore the fact after declaring that everybody was equal and never had any sustained educational effort towards eliminating the problem. It was to be expected from a government made up mainly by white middle or high class people, no matter how well intended they might have been.

    It is true that people mingle in streets and different venues, and that new generations are less racists but the phenomenon is alive and well. You only have to here all the racist jokes and sayings that are used everywhere all the time by everyone, blacks included.

    I am mulatto and while in Cuba I suffered racism in Havana University where some people addressed me as : ‘Hey, Negro! or shut up Negro!. I also had a Canadian friend who told me that when Cuban whites are among themselves, the things they say about blacks are simply appalling. She said she had never heard such racists comments even in the US.

    Those who say there is no racism in Cuba, are probably white, and blind.

  • May 22, 2016 at 10:03 pm
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    You may dream jim, those who live in Cuba however aado so in the awful reality of a socialist state which has had three Dictators in succession. Batista, Fidel Castro and Raul Castro. In my view dictators are evil, how about your view – surely you don’t you approve of them ?

  • May 22, 2016 at 9:58 pm
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    Please list the changes you observe in Cuba.

  • May 22, 2016 at 9:57 pm
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    Go to Cristo in Old Havana at 10.00 p.m. There you will see scavengers settling down for the night to sleep on cardboard on the sidewalk beside the stuff they have scavenged during the day from garbage bins. In the morning the small ‘re-cycling place opens and they get a few pesos for their gleanings.
    I think your problem is that you are blinded by wishful thinking to the reality of Cuba because it doesn’t fit your imaginary socialist paradise.
    If you want to know how to get to Cristo, start at La Muralla in the Plaza Vieja, follow the street Muralla for about 6/7 blocks and you will find Cristo on your right hand side. The scavengers will be on your right as you go up the street.

  • May 22, 2016 at 9:38 pm
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    Mine too. Put more simply, as the economy improves in Cuba due to tourism, only the people directly or indirectly involved with tourism will benefit. Guess who is generally NOT involved in tourism in Cuba?

  • May 22, 2016 at 9:29 pm
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    De nada.

  • May 22, 2016 at 5:23 pm
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    Yes, I am a bit naive; but the whole reaproachment is underway … too slow for me … let’s hope / dream for a great outcome … for all!

  • May 22, 2016 at 5:14 pm
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    Gerard:
    It’s not just a ‘black’ issue; although that is the soup de jour. As a US gringo (yes, with all the benefits accrued by picking my parents! ha ha) I did read a great book and recommend it: “From Columbus to Castro, The History of the Caribbean” by Eric Williams (former Prime Minister, T&T). There is much in there (before black being exploited) about the dregs of European societies (those at the bottom of the rich vs. poor ladder) being shipped off to the plantations. Humm, maybe where so many Irish terms originate from (i.e. Ire). Hope you get to enjoy the book ….

  • May 22, 2016 at 5:04 pm
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    Moses:
    Big thanks. I did read your suggested source. Actually there are several examples to draw from. Che was far from an angel and probably responsible for many of the regime’s excesses dealing with fellow Cubans. Thanks for the enlightenment! Jim

  • May 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm
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    Well said … and direct to the point. Maybe Hilliary will straighten out the financial system (as Bernie S. proposes) or at least ‘tweak it.’ Yea, there is always the chance of another ‘coup’ this fall voting cycle … and men in white (opps, black) robes will decide the election. OMG .. no!

  • May 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm
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    Moses, the financial world literally creates money out of thin air (see http://positivemoney.org/how-money-works/proof-that-banks-create-money/ and https://betternature.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/money-out-of-nothing-and-why-it-matters/ for example). Whenever countries have tried to do the same as the banks, for example the Soviet Union or Cuba, financial imperialism has responded by saying that their money is worthless. Having greens does not give you power, creating greens does.

  • May 22, 2016 at 11:34 am
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    Perhaps you should insert ‘yellow’ instead of white. Oh, my bad …

  • May 22, 2016 at 11:29 am
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    My ‘ships’ reference is to all who stay on island …

  • May 22, 2016 at 10:57 am
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    Well that is not the problem. It is a more subtle racism of participation in Government and in well paying tourism jobs. It is structural. Remittences is another area that leads to disadvantage for Black Cuban’s. Since a higher percentage of whites have immigrated, a higher percentage overseas family remittences favor white families. This is not overt, it is a consequence of historical events. The United States has it’s own issues with structural racism. Cuba has made major progress since life in the 1950’s, the same as the United States. Each country has it’s own road to further progress.

  • May 22, 2016 at 9:08 am
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    The only color the financial world sees is green. When Blacks, Blues, Reds and Yellows have the Green, they will have the power.

  • May 22, 2016 at 8:43 am
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    Agreed.

  • May 22, 2016 at 8:42 am
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    I hope that you are more correct than I am. However, your rising tide reference only applies to people in boats that don’t leak. Poor Black Cubans don’t even have boats to be lifted by the tide.

  • May 22, 2016 at 8:39 am
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    You have had your eyes closed. There is abject poverty in Cuba as there is anywhere else. Worse yet, it’s increasing.

  • May 22, 2016 at 8:38 am
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    Of course I have experienced racism I’m the US. Read my comment carefully. I acknowledge that racism in the US is worse. But that doesn’t excuse the racism that exists in Cuba.

  • May 22, 2016 at 8:36 am
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    Google “Che Guevara racist speech”.

  • May 22, 2016 at 8:35 am
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    I lived in Cuba. The writer of this post lived in Cuba. It’s all painfully true.

  • May 22, 2016 at 8:34 am
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    You are white? ‘Nuff said.

  • May 22, 2016 at 4:37 am
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    Moses, the problem is how to finance the Revolution in a “White” supremacist world. Since international finance is “White” controlled that is where the market is, and that means producing things that “Whites” want. This is why Farrakhan talks of strategic use of “Black” purchasing power.

  • May 22, 2016 at 4:26 am
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    The Cuban revolution adopted a complex mixture of an internal colour-blind approach to racism following Jose Marti’s pronouncement “there is no such thing of race” combined with an external recognition that Cuba owed a debt to Africa, and promoting the “Black” vanguard in the United States. With regards to Jose Marti’s approach, if there is no such thing as “race” it follows that there is no such thing as “racism”, unless you are making use of racial categories. This is a problem in the United States which operates a survival of the fittest form of capitalism. However in Cuba it was less problematic as the other key component of the Cuban revolution was socialism which acted to address the problems of lack of opportunities and access to resources. This was very successful whilst the Soviets were investing in Cuba and the Soviets must get some credit for all the progress Cuba has made towards eliminating the legacy of racist slavery. The path towards confining the legacy of racist slavery to the dustbin of history was seriously pushed of track by the collapse of the Soviet Union. The necessity of seeking finance from the “White” supremacist countries, via tourism, was the first step towards the abyss of “White” supremacy in Cuba. “Whites” will no doubt say that there are no “White” supremacist countries left. This is disingenuous given that the former colonial countries operate to varying degrees on survival of the fittest and they are controlled by “Whites”. To be “White” and to be at the top in a capitalist country necessitates, an unconscious or not, attitude of “White” supremacy. As and if Cuba moves towards capitalism, this reality will become more and more the norm there. The essential problem remains the failures of socialism in the least developed countries and the lack of socialism (or some other system of promoting human solidarity) in the most developed. Cuba did not fail to seriously address racism, rather its methods are being found to be wanting in sustainability, and the primary culprit is the persistence of capitalism in dominating the world.

  • May 22, 2016 at 2:19 am
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    The subject of race ranks up there with the question of paedophilia as one guaranteed to produce a maximum of emoting and demagogy, and a minimum of enlightenment about what to do about the situation.

    Mix race with Cuba, and you square the amount of emotional heat and reduce the amount of honest, informed, intelligent comment to so close to zero as to be its equivalent.

    If you believe the Cuban government to be the essence of evil, run from top to bottom by wicked selfish people whose main aim is to extinguish everything good from their country, then of course you will believe that racism permeates Cuba, and that any problem a Black person has in Cuba is due to the Cuban government, and will only be relieved when that government is overthrown.

    If you believe the Cuban government to be the very essence of virtue, run from top to bottom by decent self-sacrificing revolutionaries (okay, with one or two dull bureaucrats), whose main aim is to advance the welfare of all Cubans, then of course you will believe that anything that looks like a manifestation of racism in Cuba is just a rapidly-fading hangover from the past, or — this is a stretch but not beyond the True Believer — a manifestation of el bloqueo.

    Since most discussion of race, and most discussion of Cuba, just generates heated, emotion-driven opinion, what can we expect from the intersection of these two issues? Right — just total darkness. (Oops!)

  • May 21, 2016 at 11:33 pm
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    jim See my response above. I merely record personal experience ie: fact!

  • May 21, 2016 at 11:31 pm
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    Care to list the changes you speak of? For the average Cuban, they see no change whatever.

  • May 21, 2016 at 11:29 pm
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    Oh! It certainly itself pursued and encouraged homophobia with its notorious correctional camps

  • May 21, 2016 at 11:26 pm
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    Ermle, I do live in Cuba and my wife and I are of two races. We live in a town in a rural area with good soils and in consequence there is a fairly high percentage of blacks and dark skinned people of mixed blood being the descendants of slaves, possibly about 50% of the population. The racism there exists, but not to the level we experience when making the odd couple of days visit to Havana. There we have been stopped when walking together in the streets, four times by the State Police. On one occasion when travelling in a Cuba Taxi to Jose Marti International Airport and having passed a Police car, we were pursued, the taxi had to draw in to the side of the road and the Police ordered us out of the taxi for questioning, not concerning themselves with the driver.
    On another occasion, having entered the Tropicoco Hotel at Santa Maria for lunch and having seated ourselves, the Security approached to ask if we were Cubans. My wife replied in the affirmative that she is and we were ordered out.

    In 2012, Cuba held a census. Question number 6 was:
    What is the colour of your skin?
    There were then three alternatives:
    White
    Mulatto/Metiza
    Black

    In a country where the number of black slaves threatened to exceed the number of whites and where the then Spanish dominated government became so concerned that it gave financial assistance to white Catholics from Galicia (where the Castro brothers father immigrated from) to come and farm in Cuba, there is a five hundred year history of those with white and pale skins being regarded as superior, In consequence, Cubans answering Question 6 of the census, responded claiming to be ‘white’ if possible and people who maybe had one white great grandfather would claim to be mulatto. Where did the Chinese or Indians fit in?
    The net result is that the Castro family regime claims that only 9.9% of Cubans are black.
    This enables them to justify placing whites in up to 90% of the managerial level positions.

    Now it may be that in your enthusiasm to support the Castro family’s regimes oppression you approve of the actions I have described – or it may be that you will now understand the reality.

    My response is not “propaganda” that in Cuba is directed by the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of Cuba which as you may know, is currently rated 11th on the list of most censored countries in the world.

  • May 21, 2016 at 10:53 pm
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    See my response to ‘Ernie’ below.

  • May 21, 2016 at 10:42 pm
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    On my visits to Cuba, I have seen Black men and white women walking and holding hands in the streets and it is no big spectacle. I have seen white and Black men working cleaning the streets and all working with gusto. I have not seem anyone, Black or white searching the garbage bins for food. I have never witnessed any person Black or white sleeping on the streets or under dilapidated buildings. Perhaps Havana Times got mixed up with the name of the country, for it was surely describing America and its racism!

  • May 21, 2016 at 10:33 pm
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    Moses, Do you, or have you ever experienced any form of racism in the Land of the FRee and the home of the brave? If you had said anthing otherwise than what you said, I would have been greatly disappointed in you. I must thank you most graciously brother Moses, for not disturbing my slleep or raising my blood pressure by disappointing me. Muchas Gracias!!

  • May 21, 2016 at 9:17 pm
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    The denial of racism will be an anchor in addressing the problem. It is part of a larger problem on the Island of pretend equality of outcome. The way to deal with these social ills is to accept the existence and then to constructively work to improve the situation. But one must first name the problem.

  • May 21, 2016 at 3:37 pm
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    points well made … and surely is a work in progress … same in the States!

  • May 21, 2016 at 3:36 pm
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    Propaganda? Somewhat, perhaps. But there were quite a few kernels of information that were new to me. Please enlighten more on the parts you have a problem with.

  • May 21, 2016 at 3:34 pm
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    Hurling such a accusation … is easy behind this virtual world tool of communication. I think you are lazy; but I don’t have any reference to your research on the subject. Just where is the evidence to back up your claims?

  • May 21, 2016 at 3:06 pm
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    I agree with Ernie, this article is utter nonsense. I have never encountered anything during my five visits to Cuba that supports this imaginary tale. On the contrary, I have spoken with many black Cubans who have told me the opposite is true. Coming from a country where people rarely socialise in mixed race groups, one of my strongest impressions of Cuba has been of the constant presence of people from different racial backgrounds mingling together in public places, as friends and as equals.

  • May 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm
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    This is ridiculous. You certainly don’t live in Cuba. This article is pure propaganda.

  • May 21, 2016 at 11:22 am
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    racism is endemic the world over, be it colour, race or religion. I am Irish and over the years we Irish have been referred to as thick Irish micks and various other debateable names. We pretend that we can all live together as one, but if the truth be known not all of us can live together without having our differences no matter how hard we try. The rich like to think that they are superior to the poor, all you have to do is to look at the racial mixtures in areas of housing. In England a coloured youth is more likely to be stopped and questioned if he is walking through a white affluent area that a white youth. England has it’s fair share of racist practices like most other countries!

  • May 21, 2016 at 10:45 am
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    I sometimes agree with Moses. This time he is just blind! With all the changes happening (and, mind you, so fast) it is my outlook that “a rising tide lifts ALL ships.’ This will be the final outcome. All beautiful Cuban citizens will benefit in these efforts. Jim

  • May 21, 2016 at 10:34 am
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    It sounds like Cuba needs its own version of Black Lives Matter and conscious efforts to promote and appreciate black history on the island. The revolution it appears failed to seriously address racism in Cuba much like it never addressed patriarchy and sexism never mind homophobia.

  • May 21, 2016 at 9:46 am
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    Racism in Cuba is still endemic. The “revolution” didn’t change much. Some of its laedsr, like Che, were overtly racist.

  • May 21, 2016 at 8:55 am
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    Despite pronouncements to the contrary, racism in Cuba is alive and well. I have experienced first-hand discrimination from government officials, police and even neighbors during my visits. Before you get your panties in a bind, US racism is still far worse. But, given the whole egalitarian spiel Castristas enjoy spewing, it comes as a surprise to see racist behavior in Cuba as prevalent as it is. Given the changes occurring in Cuba now, where the white Cubans are more likely to benefit financially and black Cubans are more likely to suffer even more from a limited economy, the flames of racism are likely to grow.

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