Una Batalla Mundial de Vida o
Muerte. Primera Parte, 25/12/09
La paradoja de dos mujeres cubanas: Irania Martinez y Yoani Sanchez, 11/26/09
The Alberto Jones Column XII - 2009
Dr. Alberto Jones is a member of the West Indian
Welfare Society in the city of Guantanamo, Cuba who now resides in northern Florida.
He is an activist with strong communal ties to his homeland and is the director of
the Caribbean American Children's Foundation as well as a director
of the Cuban American Alliance Education Fund, Inc. He writes regularly on issues
concerning Cuba, and we present his letters and columns here. Past columns are in Alberto Jones Column,
Column I covering the period
1998 - 1999, Column II, 2000,
Column III, 2001 (Part I), Column IV,
2001 (Part II), Column V, 2002, Column
VI, 2003, Column VII, 2004, Column
VIII, 2005, Column IX 2006, Column
X 2007, Column XI in 2008, Column XII
in 2009, Column XIII in 2010, and Column
XIV in 2011.
Opportunists fishing in murky waters, 5/18/09
Una Batalla Mundial de Vida o Muerte. Primera Parte, 25/12/09
|El dia 1ro de Diciembre del ano 2009 pasara a los anales de Historia Negra, como el dia en el cual un plan cuidadosamente urdido, estructurado y ampliamente financiado hace unos 15-20 anos, debia debilitar, corroer y dividir a Africanos y a sus descendientes alrededor del mundo. Esta campana irrumpio en el escenario mundial como un poderoso volcan, cuya devastadora lava y gases toxicos permean, antagonizan y amenzan con evaporar nuestra tenue
Habiendo intentado y fracasado en mis esfuerzos por prevenir esta catastrofe desde que este fuera detectado, me queda la duda si hice cuanto debia, si mi enfoque fue el mas apropiado o quizas, si mi falta de formacion intelectual pudo haber contribuido a este resultado.
Mi mayor temor entonces y ahora, es que el objetivo central de este instrumento sectario, no es lo que de manera prominente despliega el Dr. Carlos Moore a traves de sus articulos, conferencias, entrevistas y otros mecanismos en sus ataques en contra de Fidel Castro y la Revolucion Cubana, sino mas bien, se trata de crear el ambiente propicio para introducir una cuna que obligue a los negros a alinearse con un partido u otro en esta lucha intestina.
Sirva pues para confirmar esta presuncion el hecho que dos semanas despues que este veneno aniquilador ha saturado el espacio cibernetico con correos electronicos, twitter, face book y otros medios de comunicacion moderna, los Blancos interesados en este asunto en los Estados Unidos y en Cuba, se han mantenido ajenos al mismo o de manera conspicua por encima de esta discordia.
Permitanme ayudar a nuestros lectores de esta compleja thematic, a identificar a las partes involucradas en este conflicto, al senalar con un indice acusador a todo aquel que de una manera u otra, su accion voluntaria o involuntaria nos ha llevado a esta delicada coyuntura.
(a) El movimiento de Solidaridad con Cuba de los Estados Unidos, (b) el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos (c) los grupos anti-Cubanos negros alrededor del mundo y (d) el gobierno Cubano que ha sido acusado de un virulento racismo, tal cual aparece expuesto en Actuando Sobre Nuestras Conciencias.
a.- El Movimiento de Solidaridad Norteamericano con Cuba esta formado predominantemente por personas de la raza Blanca, los que apoyan fuertemente al gobierno Cubano basado principalmente en los hechos acontecidos a partir del ano 1959, los impresionantes programas sociales, de solidaridad internacional, salud y desarrollo educacional, pero a la vez, muestran un limitado conocimiento acerca de los 500 anos de esclavismo, racismo, segregacion y desigualdades.
b.- Durante los ultimos cincuenta anos, diez diferentes adminstraciones del gobierno de los Estados Unidos han apoyado, financiado, dirijido y supervisado una brutal politica desestabilizadora, amenaza militar, de terror, diversionista y de demonizacion en una Guerra de desgaste en contra de Cuba, la que ha causado danos imposibles de cuantificar en dolor, sufrimiento, muertes, el criminal secuetro de miles de ninos bajo el plan Peter Pan, la espuria ley de Ajuste Cubano, invasiones, sabotaje, cientos de asesinatos y la proteccion en su territorio de terroristas confesos, todo, en nombre de Democracia, Libertad de Expresion, Libre Empresa y Libertad Religiosa.
Incluso nuestro afable y popular Presidente Afro-Americano Barack Obama, ha introducido cambios minimos en el fosilizado conflicto entre los Estados Unidos y Cuba, tal cual habia prometido durante su campana electoral, en tanto, todas las medidas agresivas, desestabilizadoras se mantienen, como ha quedado demostrado recientemente con la captura de un “Contratista” Norteamericano repartiendo sofisticados equipos de comunicacion en Cuba.
c.- A fin de comprender el origen y desarrollo del movimiento negro anti-Cubano alrededor del mundo, sera preciso remitirnos al verano de 1980 cuando arribe a los Estados Unidos, como parte del exodo del Mariel.
Prevalecia en Miami un racismo furibundo donde acunaron el termino despectivo Marielitos, lo cual era sinonimo con analfabeto, negro, ladron, asesino, drogadicto, prostituta y/o criminal.
En infinidad de articulos periodisticos y en programas radiales AM de microfonos abiertos de Miami decian sin inmutarse, “Esta gente no parecen ser siquiera Cubanos”, lo que significaba que la percepcion generalizada que fue creado a partir del ano 1959, en el cual los Cubanos se describrieron como un pais exclusivamente blanco, rico. de casatenientes residiendo en mansiones con cadillacs, viviendas en la playa, catolicos temerosos de Dios, sin una gota de sangre negra en sus venas y asociando la religion Afro-Cubana con el Voodoo de Haiti.
La comunidad Afro-Americana de Miami habia dominado historicamente la industria de limpieza de hoteles y centros turisticos de Miami Beach. Los Cubanos recien llegados con recursos economicos provistos por el gobierno de los Estados Unidos y la Iglesia Catolica, les permitio que escalaran a cargos de direccion, desde donde cesantearon masivamente a los Afro-Americanos, forzandolos a depender de los servicios de bienestar social, lo que sirivio para convertir sus barriadas en los ghettos de hoy.
Este solo hecho creo un enorme resentimiento dentro de la comunidad Afro-Americana en contra de los Cubanos, a los que denominaron Los Judios del Caribe. Complicando aun mas esta grave situacion, fue una sustancial incorporacion de Cubanos al departamento de policia del condado Miami-Dade, desde donde ejercieron una violencia sin par en contra de la comunidad Afro-Americana.
Esta crisis alcanzo su cima en el ano 1981 cuando el ex-marino, veterano de Viet Nam y hombre de negocios Arthur McDuffie, fue asesinado por Alex Marrero en union de otros tres policias, quienes le fracturaron el craneo con el tolete; fueron convictos y hallados inocentes, lo cual motivo una masiva revuelta en las barriadas de Liberty City, Overtown y Black Grove, donde los Afro-Americanos enfrentaron a mas de 3.600 miembros de la Guardia Nacional armadas con carros blindados y armas automaticas, lo que causo 13 muertes, 150 heridos y mas de 100 millones en danos a la propiedad.
En 1989, el policia William Lozano y otros tres, balearon, asesinando a Clement Lloyd y Allan Blanchard durante una violacion del trafico e igualmente estos fueron vergonzosamente absueltos, motivando otra revuelta en las mismas barriadas con 16 muertos, 300 heridos y millones en perdidas materiales.
Estas y decenas de violaciones de los Derechos Humanos todos los dias en las comunidades Afro-Americanas llevaron al Sr. Garth Reeves, editor del diario Miami Times con una circulacion diaria de mas de 27,000 ejemplares a exclamar despues de un arbitrario incidente de trafico: "No habra paz verdadera en esta ciudad, mientras los Afro-Americanos perciban que los policias Hispanos tienen el derecho de caza sobre sus vidas".
A lo largo de estos anos, los Cubano-Americanos en Miami han negado la existencia de negros en Cuba, por lo que esta falacia ha quedado grabado en sus mentes de tal manera, que cualquier Afro-Cubano al efectuar un pedido en un restaurant o cafeteria en Espanol, sera respondido en Ingles durante los proximos 2-3 intercambios hasta que el/la empleada ajusta su computadora mental e inexorablemente pregunta de manera casi inocente, es usted Panameno? ya que siendo negro que hable Espanol debe de ser de cualquier otro lugar menos de Cuba.
Los Afro-Cubanos en Miami han padecido una doble segregacion durante los ultimo 40 anos, ya que sus solicitudes de alquiler/compra de casas en barriadas de clase media o aun en Hialeah de clase trabajadora, le son negadas sistematicamente, viendose obligados a residir en Allapata, Liberty City, o Overtown, donde tampoco son bienvenidos por los Afro-Americanos, debido a su origen Cubano.
El propietario de la libreria de la 7ma calle en Liberty City, es un activo lider comunitario quien trabaja incansablemente por mejorar el medio ambiente, crear programas culturales, sociales y educacion, con el proposito de ampliar el nivel de su comunidad. En el ano 2002, este me propuso participar en un conversatorio que ellos organizan los Domingos en horas de la tarde.
Arribe a dicha reunion con 15 minutes de antelacion, donde fui afectuosamente saludado por las 50-60 personas alli reunidos, quienes casi de immediate comenzaron a referirse al hermano Jones para aca y hermanos Jones para alla. Mi acento Caribeno los llevo a pensar que fuera de origen Jamaicano. Durante mi exposicion acerca de la importance de la educacion, comparti con ellos mi experiencia con el sistema educacional Cubano.
Note que muchos se tornaron serios, rigidos en sus asientos y en lugar de cambiar el enfoque, erroneamente continue haciendo referencia a Cuba, lo cual dio al traste inmediatamente con el anterior hermanamiento, seguido de una enardecida diatriba acerca de la crueldad de los Cubanos, la devastacion que habian traido a sus comunidades y su racismo enfermizo.
Confirmando mas alla de toda duda el racismo arraigado en Miami, fue lo planteado por Jorge Mas Canosa, Presidente de la Fundacion Cubano Americano al decir: “Cuando los Americanos ven a una persona negra asociado a una causa, todo lo que ellos (Americanos) alcanzan a ver es indigencia, anafabetos, crimen y dependencia, lo que minimiza la causa. Para que nuestros programas (CANF) sean exitosos, debemos mantener esos rostros negros en la oscuridad . Si tenemos que darles entrada, hagamoslo cuando las camaras fotograficas no esten presentes“.
A finales de los anos 80’s, los negros eran culpados en Miami de mantener al gobierno de Fidel Castro en el poder, debido a nuestra amplia presencia en las fuerzas armadas y como miembros de su seguridad personal. Armando Perez-Roura, director de Radio Mambi 710 AM y el recien fallecido Agustin Tamargo, director del programa Mesa Revuelta en la propia emisora y otros, abogaron abiertamente por la obtencion de Tres Dias de Licencia a la caida del Gobierno de Castro, a fin de ajustar cuentas con los negros.
La crisis de los Balseros de 1994, trajo unos 35,000 inmigrantes a las costas del sur de la Florida con una fuerte presencia de negros, lo que llevo a varios centros de investigaciones a realizar estudios demograficos en Cuba, demostrando un marcado predominio racial a favor de negros y mestizos que algunos llegaron a situar en un 62%.
Estos hallazgos los llevo a efectuar un cambio radical en la filosofia de todos los grupos contrarrevolucionarios en los Estados Unidos, en los cuales los negros habian sido historicamente ignorados y rechazado su participacion, y donde ahora eran activamente reclutados y propuestos para puestos de alta visibilidad y de direccion.
Se crearon academias emergentes bajo la supervision de grupos de Derechos Humanos, Derechos Civiles Afro-Americanos y de algunas Universidades predominantemente negros en los Estados Unidos, donde se graduaron un sinnumero de alumnos, quienes a su vez fueron encargados de fomentar grupos Afro-Cubanos dentro de Cuba tras la fachada de Bibliotecas Independientes, Periodistas Independientes, Servicios Medicos Independientes e Independientes de otras mil cosas.
Bajo la acusiosa mirada del notorio operativo de la CIA Frank Calzon, director de la Fundacion para un Cuba Libre, los Blancos en posiciones ejecutivas dentro de los grupos contrarrevolucionarios fueron echados hacia un lado, apenas se referian a ellos y sus planteamientos y conferencias de prensa fueron frecuentemente ignorados.
Para ser recojido en la prensa, entrevistados o que se escriba sobre los mismos, una fuerte dosis de melanina epidermica era una pre-condicion ineludible. Los nombres de Afro-Cubanos desconocidos se volvieron celebridades por arte de magia. Revistas de papel lustroso de alta calidad son distribuidos en forma gratuita, documentales sobre temas negros son financiados casi de inmediato y los festivales de libro, musica, seminarios y simposios fueron tantos, que resultaba imposible participar en ellos. Al mismo tiempo, miles de Fax, computadoras, radios de onda corta, DVD y telefonos celulares fueron distribuidos en Cuba como pan caliente.
Hasta este momento, Paya, San Roman, Roque-Cabello y otros eran la joya dentro del movimiento disidente en Cuba, hasta que se determino que estos estaban por debajo del umbral de la melanina requerido, siendo discretamente tirados por la borda y puestos fuera de circulacion , donde han sido reemplazados por el Dr. Biscet, Antunez, Roca, Dr. Ferrer y otros con los niveles adecuados de melanina para cumplir dicha mision.
Grandes sumas de dinero de la US-AID (Agencia Internacional de Desarrollo) se destinaron a Radio y TV Marti, quienes a la vez, compraron cientos de horas de transmisiones en emisoras de Radio y TV de Miami y el Caribe capaces de alcanzar a Cuba. Se estimulo la instalacion de discos de TV por satelite y multiples revistas donde se reflejan a negros ricos y famosos, religiones fundamentalistas y literatura de derechos humanos de doble filo, se distribuyeron profusamente en Cuba.
En el verano de 1994, a la altura del periodo especial, caracterizados por apagones interminables, falta de alimentos, medicina, ropa y otros medios elementales de subsistencia, un exodo masivo de personas, pirateria aerea y naval y en medio de un alto grado de inestabilidad, se produjo el primer motin en Cuba, desde el ano 1959.
Varios miles de Afro-Cubanos provenientes de barrios marginales empobrecidos de Centro Habana, escenificaron una violenta estampida a lo largo del malecon, destruyendo vehiculos, vidrieras comerciales y arengando en contra del status quo hasta que el Presidente Fidel Castro se presento, les hablo, despues del cual se retiraron ordenamente para sus casas.
En medio de este ambiente altamente tensionado, en un intento fallido por secuestrar un ferry en el Puerto de la Habana, tres jovenes Afro-Cubanos fueron detenidos, encontrado culpable y sentenciados a la pena capital. Este resultado triste, tragico y lamentable, ha sido utilizado por Ninoska Perez Castellon de Radio Mambi 710 AM, como un ejemplo grafico del furibundo racismo del gobierno Cubano.
Decenas de estudios comparativos sobre el grave desbalance de la composicion racial del gobierno de Cuba y el alto indice de encarcelamiento Afro-Cubano, son banderas que se enarbolan a diario en su campana racial en contra de Cuba.
Un papel clave en la instrumentacion de este proyecto multipolar corre a cargo de Frank Calzon, quien recibe millones de dolares anualmente del contribuyente, lo cual disimula y distribuye a traves de multiples fundaciones fantasmas, aun cuando se embolsillan y dejan una gruesa tajada en Miami, como puede demostrarse con el encarcelamiento de su aliado mas cercano Felix Sixto, tras embolsillarse medio millon de dolares, mientras otros estan a la espera de ser enjuiciados.
Mediante cientos de articulos publicados en Afrocubaweb, Cubanews@yahoogroups, La Nacion Cubana, Cuba Journal, Daytona News-Journal, el Record de San Agustin, Miami Herald, Havana Times y otros, asi como en conversatorios y simposios, escuelas, iglesias, grupos socials, gobiernos locales, el Congreso y Senado de los Estados Unidos, he denunciado la intentona de promover la division racial y una guerra fraticida en Cuba.
En dos conferencias internacionales organizadas por El Centro de Politica Internacional de la Universidad John Hopkins de Washington DC, una celebrada en Miami en 1989 y la otra en el 2001 en Washington, el Dr. Carlos Moore expreso publicamente estar convencido que los blancos y negros no pueden convivir en Cuba, por lo que el propuso la immediate secesion del pais, con los negros ocupando la region oriental, los blancos la region occidental y dejando sin definir donde se ubicarian a los mestizos.
Estas y otras evidencias demuestran de manera irrefutable, los principios e intereses que guian las acciones de estas personas, por lo que nadie debia sorprenderse ante el artero ataque del 1ro. de Diciembre, que estaba destinado a convertise en el tiro de gracia de la unidad negra en apoyo de Cuba.
A Worldwide Battle of Life and Death. Part I, 12/25/09 concerning Carlos Moore's Acting On Our Conscience
|December 1, 2009, will be recorded in the annals of Black
History as the day in which a 15-20 year old well conceived, structured
and financed plot to weaken, corrode and divide Africans and their
descendants around the world erupted on the world scene as a powerful
volcano, whose devastating lava and toxic fumes are permeating,
antagonizing and vaporizing our tenuous unity.
Having tried and evidently failed in my efforts to pre-empt this catastrophe since it was first detected, I am left wondering if I did all I could have, if my approach was the right one or if my abilities were overwhelmed by a lack of knowledge in the field of Humanities.
My greatest fear, then and now, is that the prime objective of this divisive tool was not what was prominently displayed across the writings, speeches, conferences, interviews and other means used by Dr. Carlos Moore to attack Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution but rather, to create an appropriate environment and introduce a wedge that would force Blacks around the world to take sides and fight this internecine war.
Confirming this assumption is the fact, that two weeks after this annihilating venom has been raging in cyberspace through e-mails, twitter, face book and every other means of modern day communication, Whites interested in this matter in the US and Cuba have remained unaware and/or conspicuously absent from the fray.
Let me help readers of this very complex issue identify all parties involved, by pointing an accusing finger at everyone whose voluntary or involuntary actions may have contributed to bringing us to this extremely dangerous juncture.
(a) The Cuban Solidarity Movement in the US, (b) the United States Government, (c) anti-Cuba Blacks groups around the world and (d) the Cuban Government, who stands violently accused of blatant racism in Cuba as denounced in Acting On Our Conscience.
(a) The Cuban Solidarity Movement in the United States is primarily White and they have strongly supported the Cuban Government based mostly on events which have taken place since 1959, its impressive social programs, international solidarity, health and education development, but to a great extent, with a limited awareness of the 500 years' legacy of slavery, racism, segregation and inequalities in Cuba.
(b) For the past fifty years, ten different administrations of the United States Government have led, supported, financed, directed and overseen the most brutal political, military, terror, diversionist and demonizing war of attrition against Cuba, which has caused unquantifiable pain, suffering, deaths, the wicked kidnapping of thousands of Peter Pans, a spurious Family Adjustment Act, invasions, sabotage, hundreds of assassinations and the harboring of convicted terrorists, all in the name of Democracy, Freedom of Speech, Free Enterprise and Religious Freedom.
Even our affable, popular Afro-American President Barack Obama has introduced minimal changes in the chronic US-CUBA dispute despite promises during his electoral campaign, while all aggressive, destabilizing measures remain firmly in place, as has been proven recently with a roaming “Contractor” incarcerated in Cuba for donating innocuous communication equipment to ordinary Cubans he casually ran into on city streets.
(c) In order to clearly comprehend the origin, rise and development of anti-Cuba Black groups around the world, it will be necessary to go back to the summer of 1980 when I arrived in the United States, as part of the Mariel boatlift.
Racism was raging in Miami, where they coined the derogatory term Marielitos, which was synonymous with being illiterate, black, a thief, a murderer, drug addict, prostitute and/or criminal. Newspaper articles and AM Radio Talk shows in Miami said openly, “These people don’t even look like Cubans anymore”, meaning, the generalized perception created as of 1959 that Cuba was a lily white, rich, real estate magnate community living in mansions, driving Cadillacs, in beachfront properties -- a predominantly catholic, God fearing population, who did not have a drop of black blood in their bodies and who equated Afro-Cuban religion with Voodoo.
The Afro-American community in Miami had traditionally dominated the housekeeping industry in Hotels and resorts in Miami Beach. Newly arrived Cubans, supported by a number of US government and Catholic grants, rose quickly to leadership positions, and they massively displaced Afro-Americans from their jobs, pushed them into welfare and turned their neighborhoods into today’s ghettos.
This simple act created a monumental resentment amongst Afro-Americans against Cubans, who they labeled as Caribbean Jews, which was further compounded by an influx of Cubans into the Miami-Dade Police Department, from where they exerted a near sadistic violence against Afro-Americans.
This crisis reached its peak in 1981, when ex-Marine, Viet Nam veteran and businessman Arthur McDuffe was murdered by officer Alex Marrero and three others, who busted open his skull with their night sticks -- they were indicted and later acquitted by an all-white jury. This lead to the massive riots in Liberty City, Overtown and Black Grove against 3,600 National Guards, armored vehicles and heavy weaponry, which caused 13 deaths, 150 wounded and more than 100 million dollars in damages.
In 1989, officer William Lozano and three others shot and murdered Clement Lloyd and Allan Blanchard during a traffic stop incident and again, they were shamefully acquitted, which lead to another massive 4 day riot in the same neighborhoods, causing 16 dead, 300 wounded and millions of dollars in material loss.
These and tens of daily Human Rights violations in the Afro-American community lead Mr. Garth Reeves, publisher of the Miami Times with a daily circulation of over 27,000, to exclaim at an arbitrary traffic stop: “You are not going to have real peace in this town, as long as Black people feel Hispanic officers have hunters' rights on their lives”.
Through willful denial of the existence of Blacks in Cuba, this fallacy got imprinted in the minds of Cuban-Americans to the extent that any Afro-Cuban sitting in a Restaurant or Cafeteria in Miami placing an order in Spanish will be answered in English for the next 2-3 attempts, until the waitress resets her mental computer and as a rule of thumb ask innocently, are you Panamanian, since being Black and speaking Spanish, the customer ought to be from somewhere else except Cuba.
Afro-Cubans in Miami have had to endure 40 years of double segregation, since most rental applications in middle or working class Hialeah neighborhoods are systematically rejected by landlords, forcing people to move to Allapath, Liberty City or Overtown, where they are not a welcome neighbor because of their Cuban background.
The owner of the Bookstore on 7th St. in Liberty City is a dynamic community organizer who works tirelessly to clean up the environment, create cultural, social and education events, geared to improve the awareness of its people. I was asked by him in around the year 2002 if I would be willing to talk at one of their Sunday evening gathering.
I arrived 15 minutes ahead of time and was warmly greeted by 50-60 people gathered there, who immediately began referring to me as Brother Jones this and Brother Jones that. My heavy accent apparently led most to believe I was of Jamaican background. Halfway through my talk about the importance of education, I began sharing my experience with the Cuban educational system.
I noticed most in the audience suddenly became sulky, stiff in their seats and instead of changing the subject, I foolishly went on and on referring to Cuba, which brought the Jones brotherhood to an abrupt end, and I had to endure an endless diatribe about the wickedness of Cubans, the devastation they brought to their community and their vicious racism.
Confirming beyond any doubt the engrained racism that permeated Miami is the statements of the late Jorge Mas Canosa, Chairman of the Cuban American National Foundation and I quote: “When Americans see a Black person attached to an issue or cause, all they (Americans) see is welfare, poverty, hopelessness, illiteracy and crime; the cause become diminished. In order to make our program (CANF‘s) successful we must keep those black face in the dark. If we have to bring them in, let’s do so, when there are no cameras.”
In the late 80’s Blacks were being blamed openly in Miami for keeping Fidel Castro in power because of their disproportionate presence in the Cuban Army and as his bodyguards. Armando Perez-Roura, director of Radio Mambi 710 AM and the late Agustin Tamargo, director of La Mesa Revuelta, openly requested a three days License upon the collapse of the Cuban Government to dole out retribution to Afro-Cubans for their past deeds.
The crisis of the Balseros in 1994 brought 35,000 Cuban immigrants to south Florida, with a notable increase in the presence of Blacks, which lead numerous Think Tank groups in the US to carry out a number of demographic studies in Cuba through which they determined a substantial shift in favor of Afro-Cubans and mixed race, which some placed as high as 62% of the population. These findings introduced a radical change in most counterrevolutionary groups' thinking in the United States. Where they had shunned Blacks historically, they now found themselves actively recruiting every Afro-Cuban they could get their hands on, hoping to promote them to front desk activities and leadership positions.
Emergent leadership academies were created under the guidance of many Human Rights and Afro-American Civil Rights organizations and some historical Black Universities, which pumped out a number of graduates, who in turn, were charged with fomenting groups of Afro-Cubans inside Cuba under the cover of Independent Librarians, Independent Journalists, Independent Medical Care, Independent everything else.
Under the watchful eye of notorious CIA operative Frank Calzón, director of the Free Cuba Foundation, Whites in leadership positions within counterrevolutionary groups were placed on the back burner, seldom referred to and their press releases, statements and other activities went frequently ignored.
In order to be covered, interviewed or written about, a heavy dose of melanin skin content became a pre-condition. Names of Afro-Cubans coming out of nowhere became celebrities. Glossy magazines were handed out for free, documentaries about every black issues were readily funded, music and book festivals were organized, seminars, conferences and symposiums became too many to be attended, as thousands of fax machines, computers, shortwave radios, DVDs and cell phones were handed-out in Cuba like hot bread.
Until now, Paya, San Roman, Roque-Cabello and other darlings within the Cuban dissidents family with low melanin content, were quietly pushed aside, off the front page and replaced by Dr. Biscet, Antunez, Roca, Dr. Ferrer and others Black enough to fulfill the new strategy.
Large sums of US-AID monies went to Radio and TV Marti, who in turn, purchased hundreds of hours of air time on a number of Radio and TV stations in Miami and the Caribbean, capable of reaching Cuba. Setting up of satellite dishes in Cuba was strongly encouraged and all sort of literature depicting rich and famous blacks, religious fundamentalism or double edged human rights literature, were spread across the country in truckloads.
In the summer of 1994, at the height of the special period with endless blackouts, lack of food, medicine, clothing and all other basic means of survival, Cuba was hit with another exodus of over 35,000 people, airline hijackings, heightened instability and the first riot since 1959.
Thousands of impoverished, marginalized Blacks in the Centro Havana neighborhood rampaged violently along the Malecon (seawall waterfront), destroying vehicles, storefronts and chanting slogans against the status quo, until President Fidel Castro showed-up and spoke to the crowd. after which they returned to their homes in an orderly way.
In this highly charged environment, a failed attempt to highjack a ferry boat in the port of Havana to Miami ended with three young black men captured, tried, found guilty and sentenced to death. This sad, regrettable and tragic outcome has since been presented by Ninoska Castellon from Radio Mambi in Miami and elsewhere as the most graphic example of the pervasive racism of the Cuban government.
Comparative studies of the severe racial imbalance of the Cuban government and the high incidence of incarcerated Blacks are also banners of their anti-racist drive in Cuba. A key player in this multi-prong destabilizing campaign is notorious CIA operative Frank Calzón, who received millions in taxpayer dollars which should have been disguised and disbursed through front foundations, but they kept most of it for themselves in Miami, as can be seen with his most senior aide Felix Sixto, now sitting in jail for stealing close to half a million dollars, while others like them await to be pick-up and hauled off to jail.
In a number of articles posted on Afrocubaweb, CubaNews@yahoogroups, The Cuban Nation, Cuba Journal, Daytona News Journal, The St. Augustine Record, Miami Herald, Havana Times and others, I have been forced to speak out and denounce this brutal attempt to split our country across race lines and sink it into fratricidal strife.
In two international conferences organized by the Center For International Policy Washington D.C., in Miami 1989 and in Washington D.C. in 2001, Dr. Carlos Moore expressed publicly his conviction that the irreconcilable differences existing between Blacks and Whites in Cuba left no other alternative other than immediate secession, with Blacks living in the east, Whites in the west and no defined location for those of mixed race.
Other supporting evidence demonstrates without any doubt that most of us should not be surprised by recent developments which are an integral part of a grand scheme that has been generously fertilized and incubated.
For additional supporting materials, see Cuba Briefing Sheet: roadmap for Diaspora support of Miami-backed dissidents Claude Betancourt, 1/6/2010
|Hace unos quince anos, una campana bien organizada y financiada por US-AID, NED, grupos ultra-derechistas Cubano-Americanos radicados en el sur de la Florida y en otros lugares, acordaron iniciar la formacion de cuadros Afro-Cubanos/anti-Castristas con el proposito de fomentar grupos opositores en Cuba disfrazados de Periodistas Independientes, Agricultores Independientes, Bibliotecas Independientes, Servicios Medicos Independientes y otros, ademas de debilitar el apoyo historico que las organizaciones Afro-Americans le han prestado historicamente a Cuba.
Aparentemente, el dia 1 de Diciembre del ano 2009 fue escojido por ellos como su dia D o sea, como se utiliza en terminologia militar, el momento para iniciar de las acciones belicas.
Despues de una intensa actividad de cabildeo caracterizado por llamadas telefonicas, intercambios de correos electronico, cartas al editor y reportes fraudulentos de la Organizacion de Derechos Humanos, salio a la luz publica una carta explosiva titulada Ejerciendo nuestra Conciencia , relatando en forma virulenta el brutal racismo impuesto por el gobierno Cubano, lo que fue capaz inducir a mas de 60 academicos e investigadores Afro-Americanos y Caribenos a firmarlo.
Este documento corrosivo fue concebido, estructurado y promovido por el Dr. Carlos Moore desde Brazil, en un gran final de su odio visceral de mas de 50 anos en contra del gobierno de Cuba, lo que ha presionado a miembros de la comunidad Afro-Americana y otros, a tomar partido en este espinoso asunto.
La presentacion de estadisticas real o imaginaria sobre el esclavismo, segregacion, racismo, linchamientos y supremacia blanca, tiene resonancia immediata entre los negros dondequiera que estos se encuentren, debido a su excepcional experiencia con este horrendo flagelo.
Por lo tanto, no era necesario que algunos de los firmantes de este documento espurio, estuvieran armados de un amplio conocimiento del complejo y obstinado 500 anos de esclavismo y su secuela en Cuba o incluso haber estado en Cuba, para alinearse con un aspecto tan vivido y doloroso de sus vidas. Este documento es simplemente, hablar de la soga en casa del ahorcado!
El haber publicado esta carta abierta, constituye un ataque artero en contra de cientos de intellectuales Afro-Cubanos dentro de Cuba, quienes durante los ultimos veinte anos han venido librando una batalla honorable, discreta en defensa de los intereses de la comunidad Afro-Cubana, obligados a caminar una cuerda floja en evitacion de ser tomados como agentes de gobiernos foraneos o cajas de resonancia de grupos desafectos Afro-Cubanos, empenadas en subvertir el proceso Revolucionario en Cuba.
En multiples oportunidades he compartido con el Dr. Moore y otros, acerca de los peligros de descarrilar este proceso en Cuba, el cual ha venido mostrando signos de progreso, aun cuando este se mueve con una lentitud pasmosa. Enfatizamos siempre la importancia de la unidad y la uniformidad del mensaje de nuestro pueblo.
Sin embargo, parece que el ego personal, los beneficios economicos o el reconocimiento internacional significa mas para algunos, que la solucion de las injusticias sociales que intentan denunciar.
Aun cuando no soy historiador, antropologo, sicologo, escritor o investigador, me he visto forzado desde los anos ochenta a formar parte de estas discusiones literarias a pesar de mi escritura simple, ordinaria y frecuente brutalizacion del idioma ingles, por ser esta, la unica forma a mi alcance para expresar mi preoccupacion y senalar las graves consecuencias existentes en la pendiente resbaladiza que pudieramos incursionar.
Debido a estas preocupaciones, es posible encontar mas de 500 articulos publicados en Afrocubaweb, Cuba journal, Cuba News, La Nacion Cubana, Un Bohio, Companeyro, Blogs, Cartas al Editor de diarios en los Estados Unidos y el Caribe, Conversatorios en Iglesias, Escuelas, Festivales de Arte, Universidades, Grupos Sociales, gobiernos locales, municipales, el Congreso y Senado de los Estados Unidos.
Es por ello ademas, que durante anos hemos venido apoyando a la provincia de Guantanamo con una amplia presencia Afro-Cubana, a quienes el embargo/bloqueo ha colimado cruelmente debido a sus escasas remisiones monetarias foraneas, la falta de empresas mixtas aportando moneda convertible y la total ausencia de una industria turistica capaz de generar moneda convertible, nos ha llevado a donar millones de dolares en medicinas, suministros medicos, educacionales, deportivos y para discapacitados, tendientes a mitigar sus necesidades sociales.
Decenas de pedidos de auxilio en favor de mujeres, ancianos, enfermos, ninos, o despues de disastres naturales que han azolado esa region, han sido ignorados por este afligido grupo de Afro-Cubanos, dedicados por entero a escribir cartas al editor, publican libros y participar en conferencias internacionales.
Como esperan ellos acallar el llanto de un nino con hambre, un anciano adolorido, un paciente sin el medicamento adecuado o a un impedido fisico sin la protesis que haria su vida mas tolerable?
Ni siquiera han estado dispuesto a colaborar en la donacion de literatura medica para las escuelas de medicina, prefiriendo calificarnos de agentes Castristas.
La contradictoria conducta de estos individuos interesados en intensificar el sufrimiento de las mismas personas a las que estan prestos a proveer de una Memoria Flash para ver/oir su diatriba politica, religiosa, literatura capciosa o la promesa de una vida mejor, mientras exacerban sus penurias, resulta dificil de racionalizar.
Tampoco he permitido que un seudo Africanismo radical focalizado en Cuba absorba nuestra atencion, en tanto, comunidades negras situadas a escasa distancia de sus commodes residencies, estan siendo devoradas por el desempleo, drogadiccion, violencia, prostitucion e ignorancia, sin que esto sea motivo de su preoccupation.
Con esto no pretendo refutar o negar la existencia de una grave desigualdad social, pobreza y segregacion en Cuba, cuya urgente atencion ha languidecido, por lo que un tratamiento diferencial de los Afro-Cubanos debe ser instituido de inmediato, a fin nivelar el terreno de competencia social. Sin este simple re-ajuste , los Afro-Cubanos jamas podran equipararse a los otros grupos etnicos, por el simple hecho de haber comenzado su evolucion en el ano 1959, 100 anos detras de los demas grupos.
Decenas de miles de Afro-Cubanos combatieron, fueron heridos o se inmolaron en pos de una sociedad igualitaria, justa, el cual para la mayoria de ellos, continua siendo un sueno que los ha eludido.
Los Cubanos de ascendencia Europea, monopolizan el gobierno, el aparato administrativo, los ministerios, la educacion, empleos, las mejores barriadas, viajes al exterior, automobiles y cada aspecto del desarrollo social en Cuba. El reparto Miramar, Siboney, Atabey o Vista Alegre guardan mayor relacion etnica con Galicia, Valencia o Madrid que nuestro entorno Caribeno . Estas irrefutable verdades son demonstrables por simple inspeccion al azar.
Los Afro-Cubanos en gran medida estan limitados a vivir hacinados en barrios marginales, plagados de ilegalidades, alto indice de encarcelamiento, bajos niveles educacionales, violencia domestica y otros males sociales que contribuyen a un circulo vicioso de dependencia y subdesarrollo.
Cuba es un pais diferente del resto del mundo y no puede por tanto reflejar aquellas deformaciones sociales de esos paises, en los cuales los recursos materiales de la sociedad se concentan en las manos de unos pocos agraciados.
Ese es y debe ser la causa de nuestra lucha, cuidandonos de no minar o socavar el proceso Cubano o crear por antonomasia un sistema similar al que existe en nuestros lugares de residencia, donde estas flagrantes inequidades se han petrificadas.
Tal cual aparece parcialmente recojido en la respuesta de los intelectuales Afro-Cubanos, Cuba ha hecho mas que el resto del mundo por liberar a paises Africanos victimas del Apartheid. Cuba ha educado a mas hijos de Africa que cualquier otro pais en el mundo. Cuba ha ofrecido mas atencion medica y educacion en paises subdesarrollados que la suma de todos los demas paises del mundo.
Pero este enorme logro social no debe convertirse en una salida facil o un argumento fallido para no enfrentar las injusticias que subsisten en nuestro pais. Cuba es quizas el unico pais en el mundo que puede demostrar y cuenta con el coraje para tomar aquellas medidas de las que otros huyen o se esconden.
El momento ha llegado para que nuestro gobierno y otros alrededor del mundo, se empinen y admitan publicamente que cuanto es visible e invisible en nuestros paises y en Europa, fue construido y existe como resultado de toneladas de lagrimas, sudor, sangre y de millones de vidas de negros victimas de aquella infamia.
Millones de Africanos arrancados de sus tierras no solo fueron privados de su idioma, cultura y religion, fueron ademas forzados a crear billones que enriquecieron a Europe y a edificar ciudades que hoy son declaradas Patrimonio de la Humanidad, mientras sus descendientes continuan viviendo en condiciones infra-humanas en tugurios propios del siglo XIX.
The 1912 Massacre saw the death of over 6,000 AfroCubans, members of the Independent Party of Color.
|Approximately fifteen years ago, a well funded campaign organized by the US-AID, NED, and right-wing Cuban-American groups in south Florida and elsewhere was poised to create an Afro-Cuban/anti-Castro leadership corps, charged with fomenting oppositions groups inside Cuba disguised as Independent Journalists, Farmers, Librarians, Healthcare workers and others and to dilute the historical Afro-American support of Cuba. Evidently December 1, 2009 was their chosen D-Day.
After an intensive lobbying campaign of phone calls, e-mails, letters to the editor and Human Rights Organizations’ fraudulent assessments, an explosive letter entitled “Acting on Our Conscience” scathingly described the brutal government-imposed racism in Cuba and captured the signature of over 60 prominent Afro-American and Caribbean scholars, politicians, film makers and other professionals.
This corrosive document was conceived, structured and promoted by Dr. Carlos Moore from Brazil, in a grand finale of his 50 year old, visceral hatred against the Cuban government; forcing the Afro-American community and others to take sides in this thorny, divisive issue.
Documenting real or bogus statistics describing the existence of slavery, racism, segregation, white supremacists or lynching resonates immediately with blacks everywhere, who have had the unique experience of being victims of this human scourge.
Therefore, it was not necessary for some willing to sign this spurious document to be knowledgeable of Cuba’s very complex, intractable 500 year old history of slavery and its aftermath or to have ever been in Cuba for that matter in order to align themselves with such a vivid and painful part of our lives. This document was simply talking about a rope when a family member had been hanged!
Publishing this open letter has been a treacherous attack on hundreds of Afro-Cubans intellectuals inside Cuba, who for the past twenty years or more have waged an honorable and discreet struggle in defense of the plight of the Afro-Cuban people, as they walked a tight rope so as not to be perceived as agents of foreign governments our mouthpieces of this and other Afro-Cuban groups bent on subverting the Cuban government.
In every opportunity I have had, I willingly shared with Dr. Moore and others, the dangers of disrupting this ongoing process in Cuba, which has exhibited signs of progress, albeit much too slow for most of us. We emphasized the importance of unity and a uniform approach in presenting our peoples’ need.
Yet, it seems, personal ego, financial gains or international recognition means more to some than solving the injustices they are denouncing.
Although I am not a historian, anthropologist, psychologist, writer or researcher, I have been forced since the late 80’s to become part of this discourse, notwithstanding my simple, ordinary writing and frequent brutalization of the English language, in order to express my concerns and the potential consequences of the slippery slope we were entering.
Some of these concerns can be found in more than 500 articles in AfroCubaWeb, Cuba Journal, CubaNews, the Cuban Nation, blogs, letters to the editors in the US and the Caribbean, speaking engagements in Churches, Schools, Arts Festivals, Universities, Social Groups, Local, County Government, and the US Congress and Senate.
For these reasons, we have been aiding Guantanamo province with its very large Afro-Cuban population, who are the prime target of the US Embargo/Blockade because of their limited family foreign remittances, no joint ventures/corporations paying wages in hard currencies and literally a non-existent tourist industry with access to hard currency. Our humanitarian groups have pumped millions of dollars in health, education, physically challenged and sports donations, intended to mitigate their basic sufferings.
Tens of pleas for help for the elderly, infirmed, children or those suffering from natural disasters in this region have gone unheard by these grieving Afro-Cubans engaged in writing letters and books.
How do they expect to stop a hungry baby from crying, an elderly in pain, an infirmed without adequate medication or a physically challenged without a prosthesis to make his life bearable?
They have not even been willing to provide technical/professional literature for medical schools and would rather label those extending a helping hand as Castroites.
The contradictory behavior of these individuals, interested in increasing the suffering of the same people they gladly provide with a Flash Memory to hear their diatribe, religious or double edged literature, or hopes of a better future while starving has never made sense to me.
Nor have I ever bought into their extreme, paternalistic Africanism, when communities ravaged by unemployment, drug addition, violence, prostitution, murder or ignorance lie a few miles away from their gated communities and they are oblivious to their hopelessness and solely interested in what is taking place in Cuba.
I am not disputing the existence of pervasive inequality, poverty, segregation and the overdue need for preferential treatment of Afro-Cubans to be instituted immediately in order to level the playing field. No one on the other hand can deny how much progress Afro-Cuban have achieved in the past 50 years, but that is beyond the point.
Thousands fought, were injured and died in an effort to create an egalitarian society, which for most is yet to be achieved. Whites in Cuba continue to monopolize government, administration, management, education, the best neighborhoods, travel, cars and every possible social development of Cuban life. This is an irrefutable fact!
Blacks to a great extent continue to live in marginal, overcrowded neighborhoods, with a high prevalence of illegalities, incarceration, and lower educational levels. Cuba is different than most other countries and can not therefore mimic those societies in which the wealth of the nation is concentrated in the hands of the selected few.
This is and must be the cause of our struggle, not to be undermined to create a system similar to our places of residence, where these glaring inequalities are beyond repair.
As it was partially stated in the response of Afro-Cuban intellectuals, Cuba has done more than all nations together to liberate countries in Africa under Apartheid. Cuba has educated more sons and daughters of Africa than anyone else. Cuba has provided more healthcare and education to the underdeveloped world than the rest of nations combined.
But this cannot be a cop out; this is a failed argument, not to confront blatant abuses that subsist in our country. Cuba is maybe the only country in the world that can exhibit and have the courage to do what all others have run away and hidden from.
The time has come for our government and others around the world to come clean, admit publicly that everything visible and invisible in our countries and in Europe was built and exists with tons of tears, sweat, and blood and millions of lives of brutalized blacks.
Millions of Africans ripped away from our homeland were not only deprived of our language, culture, and religion, we were forced to create billions to enrich Europe and cities that are today world heritages, while their descendents are still living in slums of the XIX Century.
Beautiful cathedrals in Spain are adorned with the finest woods of our continent, while natives in our countries are being buried in makeshift coffins, because all of our forests were ravished.
It is no accident that many still are angry at President Barack Obama for accepting President Hugo Chavez gift, The Open Veins of Latin America, which depicts like no other what these God Fearing, Democratic posturing, Election demanding folks did to our peaceful natives and our enslaved forefathers.
Cuba was a model, a symbol to the world, when it demonstrated that Batista, his Mafia friends and the US government backing could be defeated in 1959.
Cuba was and continues to be a model to the third world for what it has done since for its people and millions around the world. Therefore, nothing can justify keeping this nation from wiping its slate clean of all vestiges of racism, inequalities and segregation, that puts our country on the same social level as its neighbors and allows the worst human rights violators to attempt to take our country to court.
Worst yet is that Afro-Cubans have been educated, they have been thought to think critically and they are able to discern right from wrong. These factors make it impossible for any one in government in Cuba to pretend this burning issue can be placed on the back burner or swept under the rug.
Our country will never achieve its rightful place in history as it deserves, as long as the majority of its population has not been transformed and Cuba is not allowed to become the society with the highest per capita of educated Blacks in the world.
If we did that, there will never be another 1912 in Cuba or in our region.
|Sometime during the year 2006, CNN executives conceived a project that would be different than everything they had done until then -- the typical 24/7 news filled with death, destruction and human calamity to which we have become addicted. Instead, this project would be devoted entirely to pay homage to Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things around the world.
On December 6, 2007 in the incredibly beautiful setting of the New York Museum of Natural History, 2.5 billion viewers around the world were treated to a detailed audio-visual desciption of the activities of all ten finalists, from which Irania Martinez from Guantanamo, Cuba, was declared by a high powered Blue Ribbon commission the winner of Defending the Planet.
The incredible honor that was bestowed upon this modest, Afro-Cuban, un-wed mother, who single handedly transformed a solid waste toxic dump in Guantanamo into a Garden of Eden, -as described by CNN-, was able at the same time to put her city, her community and its people on the world map.
How could this unprecedented event come about? An accidental confluence of unrelated events, brought into fruition the most important development in the history of Guantanamo. Some facts.
The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union and all of eastern European socialist countries meant for Cuba, losing overnight 40% of its import/export markets, financial exchange, raw material, supplies, technical assistance and a traumatic mental impact of being without socio/political/financial allies. There was the threat of mass hunger, lack of medicine, medical supplies, endless blackouts and an imminent collapse as predicted by the "Domino" theory.
History will record what followed as an equally daring act by Fidel Castro, similar to when he attacked the Moncada Garrison in 1953, led the sea invasion to ignite the revolution in 1956, directed the counterattack at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and led the military strategy that defeated Apartheid and the most powerful war machine on the African continent.
In impassioned speeches, he called upon the Cuban people to stand tall in defense of the fatherland in the image of our forefathers, who forged Cuba's independence with their blood, their lives, midwifing the Special Period in times of Peace. The level of need, deprivations, suffering and related deaths that took place in Cuba during this period was a stark reminder of a devastated Europe at the end of WW II.
Doing what Cuba has done best whenever it is down and written off by academics and politicians, a flurry of ideas, projects, visions and new found energies came into play, dismantling all fatalistic predictions. Among the many novel ideas that were put in motion, were the immediate transformation of every city vacant lot into a
community vegetable garden. As an agricultural technician, Irania Martinez was assigned to the marginal neighborhood of south Isleta.
Because of an acute lack of spare parts, fuel, tires etc., all solid waste trucks in Guantanamo were grounded and exchanged for horse driven wagons. Additionally, the city was sub-divided into blocks to make it manageable by this new collection technique, creating tens of mini-solid waste dumps in lieu of the centralized old dump.
When Irania arrived in Isleta, she was received by swarms of flies, ants, rodents, choking smoke from burning household solid waste contaminated with carcinogenic plastic containers and an offensive odor from decomposing matter.
After bringing this challenging health hazard to the attention of her managers, she was told that that was not of her competence and that she should limit herself to do what she was sent there to do. She not only rejected such orders, she began organizing neighbors and asking for volunteer workers, to start addressing that critical problem.
A few joined and without any personal protection gears, salary or material support, they started sorting, recycling glass, metal, composting and creating a seedling of thousands of hardwood, ornamental and fruits trees that were given away to everyone willing to nurture a plant.
As a result of the dire humanitarian drama that Cuba in general and Guantanamo in particular was enduring in 1992 and after, we in Florida begged, packaged and sent with everyone willing to take an extra suitcase and later through every Cuba solidarity group, tons of medical, educational, physically challenged and sport supplies that were generously donated to us by peace loving, caring people in the state of Florida and beyond.
This working relation reached its peak after hurricane Gordon hit Guantanamo in 1994 and we were able in collaboration with others, to send the first four engine cargo plane loaded with humanitarian assistance to land in Cuba since 1959. This act created a permanent working relation with the healthcare, education and the physically challenged association of that province.
Because this activity needed to be structured and institutionalized, I became a founding member of US-Cuba Sister City, founded the Caribbean American Children Foundation and became an officer in the St Augustine-Baracoa Friendship Association.
These legal proceedings allowed us to apply for and receive multiple licenses from the US Treasury and Commerce Department, which enabled us to send millions of dollars in medicine, medical supplies, sports, physically challenged, cultural and environmental health supplies.
This factor, led members of different institutions to invite us to visit CEPRU or the Ecological Center For Processing Urban Refuse. I promised I would, but was not convinced that a solid waste dump was the most interesting place to spend my limited time during my family visits to Guantanamo.
On a second visit to Guantanamo, I was reminded of their desire for me to visit CEPRU. Cornered and with no other possibility, I accepted the invitation and I was doomed. The image I came across that day will live with me forever, as men and women, young and old, physically fit and challenged, worked tireless with their bare hands, ragged clothing, without personal protection, sorting through piles of household refuse.
There and then, I promised that we would support the heroic and dangerous work they were doing, by providing them with work clothing, gloves, mask, bicycles, work tools, help build a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, a computer/classroom, camera and forbade everyone from taking their contaminated work clothes home.
These modest signs of respect and solidarity became a real boost to each of them, and they multiplied their efforts and transformed their workplace into the environment that so impressed the visiting CNN team.
Today CEPRU has a midsize nursery with thousands of medicinal herbs, flowers, ornamentals, fruits and hardwood. A humid pond for butterflies reproduction is about to be completed, a small goat dairy farm for lactose intolerant hospitalized babies is in production, monthly environmental seminars with specialists in the field are held on premises and primary school children are encouraged to visit and learn to love and respect nature.
It was our hopes, that after CEPRU had been awarded meritorious recognitions by the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Science and Environment, the regional FAO office and the stunning CNN HEROES first prize, this project would be widely acclaimed by everyone in Cuba and used as a springboard to raise the awareness of the threats to country's environment.
Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Support has been questionable and bureaucratic impediments have stalled a project, "Oxygen For All", whose goals were to plant one million fruit, ornamental, hardwood and other trees per year, intended to revert the desertification and salinization on the southern coast of Oriente.
Yet, it is Yoani Sanchez, not Irania Martinez who has done so much on behalf of her community and earned international respect for her country; it is Yoani who the hostile, anti-Cuba media has turned into an international celebrity.
The path that Yoani Sanchez has taken to earn a living achieves transitory fame at the expense of degrading, tainting her country’s image and is simply revolting. One of the moral principles we learned early in our lives is to debate and settle all household differences within our homes, not outside of its confines.
Would this pseudo philologist have earned world wide repute and her "works" translated into 17 languages, if she had focused on the 500 plus minority students murdered viciously on the streets of Chicago in 2008?
Would anyone be interested in her writings if she were to report on a Hispanic 18 year old youngster shot 11 times in his back, side and forehead in Queens on 11/22/09, by members of the brutal New York Police force?
Has Yoani Sanchez ever heard about Illonor Bumpers, an 84 year old grandmother, shot six times by New York Cops in her Bronx apartment in 1984? How about South African emigrant Amadou Diallo, shot at 41 times and hit 19 times while opening his apartment door in Bronx, or Haitian Abner Louima, viciously sodomized with a broom stick in a police precinct in Brooklyn, New York?
Should I remind Yoani Sanchez and encourage her to research the Move organization in Philladelphia, on whose home a police helicopter dropped a 4 pound C-4 plastic bomb in 1985, calcinating 11 people among which were 5 children, and no one was found guilty?
Should I assume Ms Yoani Sanchez would have preferred any of those police mentioned above to have handled her recent regretful and uncalled for scuffle with members of the police in Havana?
It is pathetic to see how Yoani Sanchez and her husband have allowed themselves to be used by these Cuba- haters, who have financed their lifestyles for years, provided them with abundant cash to purchase endless internet connection in luxury hotels spewing their excretions and operate a costly web site moderated in Germany, without ever having to explain who is picking up the tab.
No one other than the Cuban authorities are to be blamed for this fiasco, by willfully denying Irania her rightful place in society and for creating a vacuum, where opportunist like Yoani, her husband and friends could walk through from their obscure past into world celebs.
It is everyone's right to agree or disagree with their government and/or its policies. What is repulsive is to denigrate your country and its people in search of false glory.
Fortunately, neither Yoani nor her husband will be on CNN HEROES Third Awards!
|En el ano 2006, miembros de la direccion de la cadena televisiva CNN, se plantearon la necesidad de crear un programa distinto de lo que venian realizando hasta entonces, basado en noticias llenas de muerte, destruccion y calamidades humanas durante las 24 horas al dia, siete dia a la semana, por lo que este debia dedicarse por entero, a rendir homenaje a Personas Ordinarias realizando Actividades Extraordinarias en todo el mundo.
El dia 6 de Diciembre del ano 2007, en el muy apropiado e increiblemente bello Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Nueva York, 2.5 mil millones de personas alrededor del mundo tuvieron la oportunidad de recibir una detallada descripcion audio-visual de las actividades llevadas a cabo por cada uno de los diez finalistas del programa HEROES, en el cual un jurado altamente calificado le otorgo el Primer Premio a Irania Martinez por Defender El Planeta.
El increible honor que le fuera conferido a esta humilde madre Afro-Cuba, que casi en forma independiente transformo un basurero en un Jardin del Eden como fue descrito por el equipo periodistico de CNN, fue capaz ademas, de colocar honrosamente a su ciudad, su comunidad y a su pueblo en el mapa del mundo.
Como pudo haber ocurrido este hecho sin precedentes? La confluencia accidental de distintos factores no relacionados, condujeron a feliz termino, el hecho mas importante en la historia del pueblo de Guantanamo. Algunos elementos.
El subito colapso de la Union Sovietica y los demas paises del campo socialista significo para Cuba, la perdida del 40% de sus mercados de importacion/exportacion, transacciones financieras, materia prima, assistencia tecnica y un impacto mental traumatico, al encontrarse sin aliados socio/politicos/financieros y una amenza real de hambruna, falta de medicina, suministros medicos, apagones interminables y la posibilidad real de un colapso total como habia sido previsto en las teorias del Domino.
En lo que la historia tendra que reconocer como otra osadia de Fidel Castro similar al ataque al cuartel Moncada en 1953, a la invasion maritima de 1956 para desencadenar la insurreccion, la direccion del contra-ataque de Playa Giron en 1961, la Crisis de Octubre de 1962 y la direccion de la estrategia militar que derroto al Apartheid y la demolicion de la maquinaria militar mas poderosas del continente Africano.
En apasionados discurscos, el presidente Cubano llamo a su pueblo a crecerse y ponerse a la altura de nuestros proceres, quienes forjaron la independencia de Cuba con su sangre y sus vidas, transformado ahora en el Periodo Especial en tiempos de Paz. El nivel de privaciones, sufrimientos y las muertes asociadas a esta tragedia que tuvo lugar en Cuba, nos recordo de una Europa devastada al final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.
Unav vez mas y haciendo lo que Cuba ha sabido hacer especialmente cuando esta se encuentra en el suelo y los politicos y academicos han determinado la muerte de este proceso, surgio un mar de ideas, decenas de proyectos, vision y una recien descubierta energia envolvio a la nacion, desmantelando todas las predicciones fatalistas. Entre las nuevas ideas que surgieron al calor de este movimiento estubo, la inmediata transformacion de cada terreno baldio, solar yermo o espacio en la ciudades, fuesen transformados en huertos comunitarios. Como tecnica agricola, Irania Martinez fue asignada al barrio marginal de sur Isleta en Guantanamo.
Debido a una aguda falta de combustible, gomas, piezas de respuestos etc., todos los camiones dedicados a la recoleccion de desechos estaban parados y su funcion fue transferido a carretones de traccion animal. Adicionalmente, la ciudad fue subdividido en regiones, para hacer posible este trabajo mediante la traccion animal, lo que condujo a la creacion de multiples mini-vertederos en lugar del tipico vertedero central.
Cuando Irania arribo al barrio de Isleta para acometer su funcion de adiestrar a personas de la barriada en el desarrollo y manejo de un huerto, ella fue recibida por un enjambre de moscas, hormigas, roedores, un hedor insoportable por la descomposicion organica y un humo asfixiante proveniente de la quema de basura domestica contaminada con material plastico potencialmente cancerigeno.
Al alertar a funcionarios de su empresa sobre el estado insalubre del area, se le dijo que esa funcion no era de su competencia, que se limitara a cumplir con sus funcionnes, a lo cual ella se opuso y en su lugar, comenzo a organizar a los vecinos y a buscar voluntarios dispuestos a ayudarla a sanear dicho ambiente.
Algunos vecinos la apoyaron y carentes medios de proteccion personal, salario o recursos materiales, comenzaron a separar metales, vidrios y otros materiales reciclables y semillas de la materia digerible, que fueron convertido pacientemente mediante el uso de lombriz de tierrra en compost, que a su vez fue colocado en recipientes recuperados, sembrados con semillas extraidas de aquel medio y donado a toda aquel que estuviera dispuesto a cultivar un arbol.
Como resultado de la critica situacion economica que sufria Cuba en general y Guantanamo en particular durante el ano 1992 y mas alla, solicitamos donaciones a infinidad de instituciones sanitarias, educacionales, deportivas o de apoyo a los discapacitados en el estado de la Florida, quienes nos apoyaron generosamente, lo que permitio empacar maletas que enviabamos con cualquier viajero que estuviera dispuesto a llevar un equipaje extra y mas tarde, a traves de cuantas organizaciones solidarias con Cuba, se pudo enviar toneladas de medicina, suministros medicos, material educacional y para los impedidos fisicos.
A raiz de los danos ocasionados por el ciclon Gordon en Guantanamo en el ano 1994, en colaboracion con las demas instituciones solidarias con Cuba en los Estados Unidos, fue posible enviar el primer avion cuatrimotor repleto de donaciones desde Miami, que aterrizara en Cuba despues del ano 1959. Este hecho contribuyo como ningun otro a consolidar nuestra relacion de trabajo con las instituciones de salud, impedidos fisicos y otros en aquella provincia.
Debido a la necesidad de estructurar e institucionalizar nuestra labor humanitaria, fui miembro fundador de la asociacion US-Cuba Sister City, fundamos en el ano 1998 el Caribbean American Children Foundation y somos miembro/fundador de la direccion de St- Augustine-Baracoa Friendship Association.
Este proceso legal nos permitio solicitar y recibir multiples licencias del departamento de Comercio y del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos, lo que viabilizo el envio de millones de dolares en medicina, suministros medicos, articulos deportivos, culturales, medio ambientales y para los discapacitados.
Por esta razon, distintas instituciones en Guantanamo nos invitaron a visitar el CEPRU o Centro Ecologico para el Procesamiento de Residuos urbanos. Prometi que iria, pero no estube convencido que visitar un basurero era la mejor forma de utilizar el limitado tiempo de mi visita familiar a esa ciudad.
En una visita sucesiva a Guantanamo, me recordaron nuevamente de su deseo que visitara el CEPRU. Acorralado y sin salida, acepte su invitacion y quede cautivado. La imagen que me encontre ese dia vivira conmigo de por vida, al ver a hombres y mujeres, jovenes y viejos, fisicamente sanos o impedidos, trabajando de manera incansable con sus ropas raidas, sin guantes u otros medios de proteccion personal, separando material reciclable de aquellos digeribles en la basura.
Impresionado con un esfuerzo tan singular, les prometi en el momento, que apoyaria su heroica y peligrosa tarea mediante la recoleccion de ropa de trabajo, guantes, bicicletas, mascaras, implementos de trabajo, los ayudamos a construir una cocina, bano, lavanderia, un aula de computacion, camara fotografica y les orientamos a no llevar sus ropas de trabajo contaminado a sus casas.
Este modesto gesto de solidaridad y respeto, les imprimio un gran impulso a sus tareas, multiplicando y transformando su centro de trabajo en el entorno que impresiono de tal forma al equipo periodistico de CNN y otros grupos procedentes de Estados Unidos y Europa que los han visitado.
El CEPRU es hoy un vivero forestal de mediano tamano con miles de plantas medicinales, flores, arbustos ornamentales, frutales y madera dura. Un humedal para la reproduccion de mariposas esta a punto de ser concluido, se encuentra en operacion una pequena poblacion de cabras lecheras para la produccion de leche para los ninos hospitalizados que son lactosa-intolerantes, se ofrecen seminarios mensuales de proteccion medio ambiental con especialistas de la rama y se coordinan visitas de alumnos de primaria para motivarlos en el amor y proteccion del medio ambiente.
Estos logros nos llevaron de manera equivocada a pensar, que la Mencion Meritoria que le fuera otorgado al CEPRU por el Ministerio de Agricultura, el ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologia y Medio Ambiente, el primer premio que le fuera otorgado por la oficina regional de la FAO en la Habana y el imponente galardon de HEROES por CNN, hubiera convertido a este proyecto en una joya de aclamacion nacional y trampolin para elevar el nivel de conciencia acerca de los retos a nuestro medio ambiente.
Lamentable, ese no ocurrio. El apoyo a este proyecto ha sido pobre o cuestionable. Mulltiples impedimentos artificialmente creados han frenado la implementacion del proyecto Oxigeno Para Todos, que pretendia sembrar un millon de arboles maderables, ornamental y frutales por ano, encaminado a detener y revertir el grave proceso de desertificacion y salinizacion de Oriente Sur.
Sin embargo, ha sido Yoani Sanchez y no Irania Martinez Garcia quien ha hecho tanto en beneficio de su comunidad y que ha ganado el respeto internacional para su pais, quien la virulenta prensa anti-Cubana ha convertido en una celebridad internacional.
El curso que Yoani Sanchez ha escojido para sostener su estilo de vida, alcanzar una fama transitoria a expensa de degradar, mancillar y desmoralizar su pais, es simplemente asquiante. Uno de los principios morales elementales que aprendimos temprano en nuestras vidas, es debatir y resolver las diferencias familiares dentro del seno y nunca fuera de sus confines.
Seria posible, que esta seudo-filologa hubiera podido alcanzar fama internacional y sus "obras" traducidas a 17 idiomas, si el contenido central de su tematica giraria alrededor de los mas de 500 jovenes negros brutalmente asesinados entre si, en las calles de Chicago en el ano 2008?
Cuantos se interesarian por sus articulos, si ella se hubiera ocupado en reportar el vil asesinato de un joven hispano de 18 anos de edad, baleado 11 veces en la espalda, frente y los costados el dia 11/22/09 en Queens, Nueva York, por miembros de una brutal fuerza policiaca?
Ha escuchado alguna vez Yoani Sanchez hablar de Ellinor Bumpers, una abuela de 84 anos de edad, baleada seis veces en su apartamento del Bronx en 1984, por miembros de esta misma honorable fuerza policiaca?
Que decir acerca del emigrante sur Africano Amadou Diallo, al cual la policia de Nueva York le disparo 41 veces e hiriendolo 19 veces, mientras intentaba abrir la puerta de su apartamento en el Bronx en el ano 1999?
Como explicarnos el caso del humilde emigrante Haitiano Abmer Louima al cual, un perverso sexual de la estacion de policia de Brooklyn, le perforo el intestino al introducirle forzosamente el cabo de un destupidor por el recto en el ano 1997 y no parece ser motivo de interes periodistico de algunos?
Tendriamos que estimular a Yoani Sanchez para que investigue las bases del movimiento Move de Filadelphia que justifico, que un helicoptero de la policia dejara caer sobre sus casas, una bomba plastica C-4 de cuatro libras, incendiando numerosas casas, mientras la policia, prensa y bomberos observaron indiferentes, como 11 personas, de los cuales cinco eran ninos, morian calcinados en aquel infierno?
Podriamos asumir que Yoani Sanchez hubiera preferido a cualquiera de los policias mencionados mas arriba, que hubiesen intervenido en la lamentalbe, vergonzoso e innecesaria confrontacion reportada con la policia en dias pasados en la Habana?
Es realmente patetico observar como Yoani Sanchez y su esposo se han unido a la industria del odio anti-Cubano para financiar su estilo de vida, la adquisicion sin limites de conexion por internet en hoteles de lujo para exudar su veneno, operar una costosa pagina web operada en Alemania, sin tener que explicarle a su pueblo, la fuente de sus abultados ingresos.
La responsabilidad de este fiasco innecesario, es atribuible enteramente a las autoridades Cubanas, por haber ignorado injustamente los merecidisimos logros de Irania Martinez y permitido que a traves de ese vacio, Yoani, su esposo y amigos, hayan podido escalar desde su oscuro tugurio a inmerecidos niveles de celebridad.
Es derecho de cada ciudadano estar de acuerdo o no con su gobierno y sus leyes. Es igualmente legal el poder expresarlo sin coaccion y menos por la fuerza bruta. Lo que resulta imperdonable, es intentar denigrar a su pais y a su pueblo, en busca de fama y fortuna.
Felizmente en esta tercera edicion de HEROES de CNN y en los que proseguiran en el futuro, no contaran con la presencia de ninguno de estos impostores entre sus homenajeados.
|In the upcoming days, the United Nations General Assembly, gathered in New York, will hear once
again an endless list of powerful arguments denouncing the fifty year old war of
attrition that the most powerful nation on earth has imposed unilaterally upon a small, developing country for no legal or morally acceptable reasons. What is really sad about this event, is that it is rapidly becoming a ritual, in which the United Nations is unable
to carry out the mandate for which it was created.
As has been happening during the past decade, we can anticipate a near unanimous parade of heads of delegation, denouncing this immoral practice and demanding the United States cease and desist from this inhumane practice, which has caused unspeakable harm to the people of Cuba. At the end, when the votes are cast and counted, the world will receive another slap on its face, when one hundred and eighty something nations abstain or vote against this monstrosity and the United States exerts its overwhelming power with the help Israel and a couple of geographically insignificant or financially compromised nations, to deny the will of the majority, further weakening the authority of this institution and leading many to ask, what's the purpose of this expensive exercise in futility?
We have and will continue to despair over this irrational behavior, yet we must remember that each of these despicable acts has become a part of human history.
On the other hand, when we read year after year the powerful arguments presented by the Cuban government describing the damaging effects the embargo/blockade has done in its effort to stifle education, health, industry, culture, development and every other sector in Cuba, it becomes harder and harder for any average outsider to understand, how can the Cuban government expect that this year, after presenting the same report, about the same government, at the same United Nations Assembly, that this time around, they will meekly go to the podium, apologize for thier historical wrongdoings, squash this rotten policy, become friends and live happily ever after with Cuba.
Never in life, has anyone done the same things over and over and achieve a different outcome. With this basic premise in mind, it is therefore incumbent upon Cuba, the victim, to actively develop a strategy that is capable of forcing the United States government to relinquish its murderous stranglehold on our people, rather than continuing to accrue symbolic, moral victories on the world scene, with no tangible results for our people.
As we have experienced over time, leverage is the key in all negotiations. Cuba has not been at war with the United States nor has it killed over 50,000 of its soldiers. Viet Nam did and yet, leverage has created a different outcome.
China have not renounced or denounced its socialist political arrangement, which puts her in a similar political camp as Cuba. Yet, the treatment of both countries by the US is diametrically opposite.
As with Cuba, the United States has labeled Iran the worst country in the world and yet, it has refrained from imposing any draconian political or military measures against which Iran would likely retaliate by reducing or shutting-off its oil supply to some of the US allies.
What were the arguments invoked by the US to send its armed forces into the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Grenada or Panama, that are absent in Honduras for the past two months, while they debate or concoct theories intended to allow time to run out on the dethroned president?
Is it not an apparent lack of leverage, that has allowed the US government to remain for over 100 years in the illegally occupied territory of Guantanamo Bay Cuba, now turned into a torture center similar to Abu Ghraib?
Cuba has too many highly educated people in and out of government, not to be able to extrapolate from these weak bargaining position and determine why this absurd position of the US government have remained entrenched, with no change in sight. As long as Cuba refrains from developing a well outlined strategic plan, capable of leveraging with the US's self imposed embargo, nothing is going to change.
Few people in the world would dispute that the main goal of the US government is to weaken, erode and encourage the collapse of the Cuban government, so that once again as in 1898, every valuable enterprise in Cuba, will be back in the hands of US transnationals. Unwittingly, Cuba's position over the years, has been based on the righteousness of its just and fair cause, which has unfortunately left in place, an outdated, unchanging approach, which the US can live with, while the Cuban people despair because of years of pain, suffering and stagnation. Cuba's patience is wearing thin, there is a clear loss of support especially among the younger generation, whose only solution seems to be emigration.
It falls squarely in the hands of the Cuban government to do an in depth study of why after fifty years of denouncing this injustice, nothing has changed. They need to come up with an alternative approach, eveh though it may or may not elicit a different result.
Many are convinced that if the Cuban government would take a few basic steps, that would send a clear message to corporate America, indicating a real possibility of losing its hopes of reconquering Cuba financial world, they would, as many others who have claims of properties loss in Cuba, assume the position to let bygone be bygone.
Open bids to international corporations, for the creation of exclusive joint ventures with the Cuban government for the next 10 years, of a national food, medicine and medical supplies distribution chain.
Open bids to internationals corporations for the creation of 10 years exclusive joint ventures with the Cuban government for all air, land and sea transportation.
Open bids to internationals corporation for the creation of 10 years exclusive joint ventures with the Cuban government for the operation of mining, fisheries and environmental development.
Open bids to internationals corporations for the creation of 10 years exclusive joint ventures with the Cuban government for the hospitality industry.
Open bids for the promotion for of small business cooperatives between the Cuban government, Cuban nationals in and outside Cuba and with every solidarity organization.
Logic suggests that one year after the enactment of these and other simple principles, the embargo/blockade will no longer exists and become an integral part of our turbulent history.
The Handling of the Cuban Housing Crisis, 10/16/09
|An article published in the Miami Herald on 10/15/09, "Cuba cracks down on unlicensed home
improvements" cannot or should not be true, because that would be the
most outrageous, counterproductive way of dealing with that country's most sensitive, painful, conflicting, unresolved social problem.
Among the multiple, crushing reasons presented by Fidel Castro in his dramatic self defense during the trials for the attack he lead against the Moncada garrison on 7/26/53, was the inhumane living conditions of 90% of our peasantry in primitive shacks, over 50% of the urban population living in beyond reach, overpriced rented homes and thousands of apartment buildings in the hands of a handful of rich homes moguls, which became a powerful argument justifying the need of changing the status quo.
Immediately after the triumph of the revolution, Pastora Nunez was given the near impossible task of solving the nation housing problem. She began aggressively substituting peasants shacks with comfortable cinder blocks homes. Thousands of modest, functional, beautiful homes were built in cities across the country applying a suburban concept, which up to this moment, was limited to the middle and upper class neighborhoods, turning this venerable woman overnight, into one of the best known faces of the revolution, leading the population to spontaneously name these communities Pastorita.
An enormous sense of pride filled these neighborhoods, in which most homes literally competed against each others in the upkeep of their gardens, planting of fruit or ornamental trees, creating vegetable gardens and raising chickens in their backyard.
Simultaneously with education, health, sports, job creation and the enormously popular Housing Reform Act enacted in 1959, which gave ownership to all renters, sent a clear message of what a triumphant revolution was all about. Mass euphoria blanketed our country with a thick pride that could be touched by all.
For unknown reasons to most, this wonderful Pastorita project ended in the mid sixties when this colorful, enthusiastic lady was transferred to other responsibilities in the agriculture ministry. I saw her for the last time during my residency at the National Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Havana, as her inquiring mind brought her in search of answers for some unknown pathology affecting a herd of cattle under her responsibility. We later learn about her passing.
The Pastorita type houses, were supplanted by similar looking, modal type, non functional, pre-fab, four story apartment buildings, that spread across the country like a wild fire and which were quickly renamed Pigeon Cubs by the population. In order to speed-up the output of apartments to address the growing needs of the population, Gran Panel, a Soviet type, similar pre-fab apartment building was introduced, creating thousands of look-alike, poorly ventilated apartments in Santiago de Cuba, the warmest section of Cuba.
This new style of living created by dense concentrations of multiple apartments buildings, brought with it, many unforeseen, negative transformational changes to our 500 year old block-style neighborhood culture, in which everyone was seen as neighbor, and their names were known. Their children, activities, personal relations and friendship created a village. All this was suddenly frayed, as people in the same building or across the streets were transformed into strangers.
Another important missing component of the conglomerate living leading to its failure, was the suppression in the name of savings, of the Super or building supervisor, who historically had taken care of all the building needs. Some housing genius presumed that a neighborhood collective administrative board would be able to sweep stairs, fix leaks, cut lawn, forbid hanging laundry on the balcony or the maximum decibels tolerable on an individual boom box.
With all the negative results outlined above and many more which would extend unnecessarily these arguments, the Cuban government has stubbornly adjudicated to itself the sole responsibility of solving the huge housing demand. In a population that has gone from 6 to 12 millions inhabitants, the construction of new buildings is far from addressing the needs of 10% of this growth, to which we must add an unbelievable lack of maintenance of all structures during the past 30 years, which has created a pathetic scene of crumbling, hazardous buildings nationwide.
For years, the Cuban government has made its most serious miscalculation by not assigning 1-2 of its 5-6 cement factories' production to satisfy the needs of its population. Ten years ago, while touring Cuba's largest cement factory in Cienfuegos, at the end of the presentation the manager proudly told us about his upcoming trip abroad in search of markets for his product.
Stunned, speechless, I could barely bring myself to ask him, what was wrong with our internal high-demand, unsatisfied, overpriced cement market, for which Cubans have been willing to pay 200% more for his product exported to neighboring countries.
Increasing overnight the output of sand, stone and other basic construction material should be easy. Importing lumber, plumbing, electrical, paint and other building supplies from countries with which Cuba has a friendly relation should not be a problem, having a monopoly of the sales prices, which could additionally, create thousands of jobs and contribute large sums of hard currency to the economy.
Yes, everyone knows that in order for every individual to solve their otherwise intractable housing crisis, every Cuban has had to bend the rules, find shortcuts, pay bribes, or purchase stolen goods as the only existing way for dealing with the monstrous overcrowding in places such as Centro Habana and across the country. Obtaining a housing renovation permit is near impossible, if an ordinary person does not have an inside connection, is unwilling to pay a hefty bribe or sexual favor. Why should we pretend this is not happening and are now willing to kill ants with a sledgehammer?
No mistake, abuse, or crime committed by any citizen in the past, as the sole way of addressing their family's desperate living condition, should ever be punitive or retroactive. I plead with everyone, to draw the line today, make all of these materials readily available to everyone at large for a price, encourage everyone to build a new home or repair or expand an existing one and stop a failed paternalistic idea of giving away homes and household goods.
Solving this social calamity in Cuba is within reach. Venezuela, our closest friend, produces an infinite amount of petroleum derivate plastic homes. Rather than follow the present thinking, why not import a few millions of these structures, put them on sale with a 10% interest payable in 20 years, address our citizens' needs and incorporate millions of hard currency to our public funds, instead of silly discussions taking place within the housing department, if these houses should have two or one bathroom.
Cubans will never grow up, as long as they hold to the false notion that government is there to solve their personal problems, not to pave the way for them to solve their needs with the sweat of their foreheads.
For those who wish our country the best, those who believes that Cuba must survive for the wellbeing of the developing world, we can no longer pretend that everything is OK and pretend to keep them in the cellar or assume an opportunistic, super revolutionary attitude, denouncing as anti-government activity when anyone dares to make public these unpleasant family stories.
Doing otherwise is a prescription for disaster.
Our love for our country must express itself in our critical denunciations of what is wrong. From the clerk who overcharges, the bus conductor pocketing the public fares, the office receptionist not picking up the phone, the pizza parlor cook stealing the tomato sauce or the baker stealing the lard, should and must be our daily work in defense of our beliefs.
Still, if this and many similar pleas to the highest level of the Cuban government from us, from tens of friendly nations around the globe and from millions of our loyal friends in every city, country and continent would go unheard, we would not only have repudiated one of the most important pillars of the revolution, we may be unwittingly inviting everyone to the death and wake of 50 years of the most honorable, unparalleled, disproportionately uneven struggle in defense of justice, dignity and values of humankind.
Cuba Financial Woes Risking its Future, while Sitting on Untapped Riches, 8/22/09
Since time immemorial conflicts among people or nations have ended either in defeat, victory or less frequently through armistice. Victory is usually remembered, honored and celebrated, because one party defeated the other, mostly through overwhelming force.
Defeat tends to be an orphan, with none or few willing to claim it. Armistice is usually preceded by a stalemate, when contending forces are approximately equal, external or internal forces preclude victory of either side or due to exhaustion, both parties are forced to the negotiating table, from where an armistice may emerge.
These sociological concepts describing human conflicts can be demonstrated in the chronic, half a century US-CUBA strife, in which the people of Cuba, have paid and continue to pay a brutal price, with no end in sight.
Although January 1, 1959 will be remembered as the largest, spontaneous celebration by millions of Cubans dancing in the streets following General Fulgencio Ba tista and his closest henchmen precipitous flight under dark as vulgar thieves, carrying hundreds of bulging suitcases, stuffed with millions of stolen dollars from the Cuban treasury, this festive mood was quickly dampen by news of the US State Department refusal to detain and return these crooks to Cuba.
Continuing a US policy of defending the regime of General Batista to the end, are well documented evidence of the Cuban Air force fighter/bombers refueling, loading bombs and ammunition on the United States Naval Air Station at Gitmo, as late as 12/28/58, which was compounded by the actions taken by the US, after 1/1/59
From this initial group of migrants and many more middle and upper class Cubans who fled immediately after, emerged the nucleus of an embryonic, well nurtured counterrevolutionary movement, of which, The White Rose was the first one officially launched in Miami, in May 1959.
Since, a couple hundreds of other counterrevolutionary groups have been created around the world, competing against each other for the pennant of being the most violent, vicious and destructive movement against Cuba.
After many years of this life and death strugg le against invasions, sabotage, assassination attempts, biological and economical warfare, mass disinformation and being labeled as a terrorist and drug trafficking nation, it is only logic to expect Cubans to have developed a siege mentality, perceiving many as potential enemies.
These realities occupied the center of attention of the entire Cuban government, in which, no effort to defend the fatherland was too much, too costly or too risky. Cuba prevailed, defeating every plan, conspiracy or attacks against our country’s sovereignty, at a near un-payable cost.
Forty years embroiled in a conventional battle with the richest and most powerful country in the world, have caused a severe financial drain on Cuba, a small, poor, developing country, to which we must add, billions of dollars shelled out in the most generous humanitarian assistance to tens of developing countries around the world.
The end result is that today, with a staggering world-wide financial crisis, the Cuban people are once again facing the specter of a serious financial crisis, that may revive the horrible experience of the Special Period in the 1990-2000’s.
Countering the economic slow-down
In addition to enormous amounts of untapped resources described in: Cuba. A Recession-Resistant Nation with a Failing Economy, 7/25/09, many more opportunities can be easily found, requiring only a careful evaluation, design, rules and implementation.
Such examples can found, in the huge investment community developers in the developed world put into creating artificial ponds, streams or lakes, in order to triple or quadruple the value of home lots, euphemistically renamed as Lakeview, Waterfront, Riverside and similar gimmicks. Cuba have hundreds of thousands of vacant acreage in prime, breathtaking locations overlooking the Atlantic ocean, Caribbean sea and tens of artificial lakes with millions of gallons of water, all without ONE community, sports or health development.
As in many parts of the world, I totally support the concept of land ownership restricted to Cuban born citizens. Still, foreigners willing to live temporarily or fully in Cuba, should have an option of leasing home sites and building homes according to pre-established zoning specifications, which would revert fully to the Cuban government, when their lease agreement expires 20-25 years after.
A typical example of this description is what visitors to Varadero are familiar with. A first class world view of extraordinary beauty, stretches alongside the Monumental highway from the entrance of the Havana Bay tunnel for the next 80 kilometers to the city of Matanzas.
A comprehensive, modern urbanization project including every possible human requirement, providing the highest quality of life, could enable the creation of a minimum of 100,000 home sites with all its amenities and a level of security that exists no where else in the world, could easily surpass the combined income of Tourism, Nickel and foreign Technical Assistance .
The enormous developmental capabilities of the project described above in conjunction with others suggested in, A Critical Look at Cuba’s Future, A Region at Risk of Famine, Caribbean Unification, an Imperative and others, would be more than sufficient to transform Cuba into the most developed, financial powerhouse of our region, forcing all of those who for decades have wished us ill and rejoiced in our suffering, to humbly come to the bargaining table, just as it happened in Viet Nam, China and with others who have steadily created a powerful leverage, to which everyone must respond.
As I write these notes, a delegation of North Koreans are meeting with Governor Bill Richardson in New Mexico, hundreds of miles away from the longstanding 25 miles radio imposed upon every foreign delegation in the United States deemed a foe, with the blessings of the State Department and the President, in search of means of reviving the six party or even, a one-on-one discussion, in hopes of resolving this disgraceful, fifty year stalemate.
Iran is prime example, in which they are bad-mouthed every day, they are labeled and relabeled with every possible evil name, but everyone have refrained from going over a line drawn in the sand, for fear of loosing millions of gallons of crucial oil, without which Europe's economy would collapse.
The Viet Nam and Chinese examples of how similar situations are conveniently handled differently, would be redundant.
Cuba do not need to ask anyone for sympathy, solidarity, pity or justice. That’s the horrible predicament of the Palestinian people, incapable to leverage their drinking water needs, leave their homeland or stop the killing of their children.
Changing this tragic picture, that have had such a high human toll on the Cuban people psychological and health wellbeing, development, nutrition, is within reach and in the hands of the Cuban government, not in the hands of the United States, as most proclaim.
A few changes in the present socio-economic system in Cuba, without changing any basic philosophical or political structure, could dramatically alter this fossilized, bitter relations between both nations, before President Barack Obama’s complete his first term in office.
Open international bids for the creation of Joint Ventures with the Cuban government for ALL supermarkets, garment, household, appliances, office and medical supplies distribution centers in Cuba.
Open International bids, for the creation of Joint Ventures with the Cuban government, for the refurbishing and operation of the once striving fishing and shipping industry.
Open International bids, for the creation of Joint Ventures with the Cuban government to triple the tourist industry capabilities.
Open International bids, for the creation of Joint Ventures with the Cuban government for the development, expansion and operation of the rail, land a nd airline industry.
Open International bids, for the creation of Joint Ventures with the Cuban government, to research, develop and expand the land and sea mining industry.
Open to International bids, the creation of Joint Ventures with the Cuban government, of the largest citrus development in the world, cattle, poultry and pig industry, and on and on.
How long would the United States Financial and Industrial institutions allow these developments to take place 90 miles off their shores, without demanding Congress and the President the remove failed political measures that would keep them out of this booming opportunity for Europe, Asia and Latin American at their expense?
Christopher Columbus saw Cuba for the first time in 1492, fell in love with it and described it in his log, as the most beautiful land human eyes had ever seen. Five hundred years after, we have failed to make the best use of Columbus findings or acknowledged how our enormous resources with that of all Latin American nations, made Spain, England and Portugal what they have come to be.
Correcting course is not a mistake, it is a virtue.
Cuba: a Recession-Resistant Nation with a Failing Economy, 7/25/09
In a few hours, the Cuban people will be marking the fifty sixth anniversary of the attack on the Moncada garrison in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953. This daring, near suicidal military operation did not achieve its goal, but it served to remove the fear and invincibility that the repressive forces of the government of General Fulgencio Batista had instilled in the population, exposing their cruelty and vulnerabilities to the entire nation.
A mere half an hour before this 5:15 AM attack, myself and other family members walked alongside the walls of this threatening fortress as we returned from Carnival celebrations, leading some in our party to express how badly things were in our country yet, no one knew or had a clue, what could be done about it.
As we prepared to go to bed four and half blocks away from this fortress, the night silence was broken by intense explosions, which we initially assumed to be fire crackers celebrating Santa Ana’s, the most important day in this week-long celebration.
Soon after we were told, it was soldiers fighting each other. On or around 8:30 am, the entire city was gripped by fear, as low flying B-26 lead most to believe they would be bombing the area. At this point, the attackers had apparently retreated and tens of jeeps and other military vehicles started flowing out of this garrison, returning shortly after to this enclave, followed by sporadic gunshot, suggesting someone had been executed.
A total curfew was imposed immediately after this uprising until mid Monday, when our family tried to get out of town and return to Guantanamo. As we walked along Victoriano Garzon Ave., a revolting, fetid odor of rotting bodies coming out of tens of coffins laying on the opposite sidewalk in the scorching summer sun, covered by swarms of flies, was a brutal desecration of those murdered during or after combat had ended.
A massive manhunt following the attack ended approximately a week after, with most combatants captured or dead, as news began to leak describing the objective behind this action. Months after, a trial took place in Santiago de Cuba Provincial Courthouse for all detainees except Fidel Castro, who was tried and condemned in his hospital room, fearing his powerful self defense in which he described the monstrous injustice, inequalities and hopelessness that afflicted our nation, which he ended proclaiming: "Condemn me, it doesn’t matter, History will absolve me!"
This document was copied by the thousands on every friendly mimeograph machine, circulated among students, workers, farmers, unions or unemployed, turning it into the platform and recruiting tool of the newly created 26 of July Movement.
And today, as the Cuban people looks back and evaluate the compliance with the postulates laid out in this document, the First and Second Declaration of Havana and many other historical documents guiding the principles of that nation, it can be said without any doubt, that all goals, except the socio-economic development of the nation have been fulfilled and exceeded in most cases.
It remain a paradox for the Cuban government to explain to its people and to the world, how after resoundingly defeating the most powerful government on earth in the political, military, ideological, social, educational and sports arena, the Cuban economy has stagnated in some areas and involution has been the norm in others.
With the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, the country saw its greatest level of creativity in history. Ministries, social groups, women, children, elderly organizations, cultural and sports institutions were created on a weekly basis. The nation was constantly on its toe, in a tit for tat struggle against the United States efforts to destabilize and overthrow the new government.
Educational brigades promoting the literacy campaign were created, militias were formed and trained constantly, nationalizations of foreign properties became a regular occurrence, popular vigilance was instituted in every neighborhood, public forum held heated discussions, historical/ideological speeches went on for hours, relegating agricultural, factory and other types of production to the sidelines.
Simultaneously, an expanded relation with the Soviet Union and other eastern block socialist countries opened Cuba to new lines of imports, substituting for the Cuban production shortfall. In order to create an equitable distribution of food and other personal goods, a ration food card and a clothing/household goods card were instituted under the guidelines of OFICODA, charged with managing this critical sphere of society.
Skilled bureaucrats created a sophisticated family card, in which regulated articles were described by age group, as well as by the quantities and frequency in which these items would be distributed to each household. Although most card owners or shopkeepers never learned to fully use this instrument, it served many purposes among which were equalizing the distribution of goods, knowing what each consumer could expect and providing central institutions with hard volume needs of every item.
From its inception, the rationed volumes of food or household goods never represented more than 75% of any household needs. Supplementing this shortfall could be done easily in the early years, when small businesses, private farming, micro industries still existed, most of which was ended abruptly in the anti-timbiriche offensive in 1968.
Egging on the Cuban people's strong sense of solidarity at the height of the Viet Nam war and when the Chilean government of Salvador Allende was under siege, additional sacrifices were asked of the Cuban people, who donated one pound of rice for the former and a pound of sugar for the latter out of their already meager quota, none of which has ever been restituted.
Both of these concepts, the OFICODA principles and the willingness to extend a helping hand to anyone in need, became valuable tools in educating the Cuban people in higher moral values and solidarity. The down side these actions brought with them would have long term consequences on the way many at the highest level of government were desensitized to the population's needs, which was demonstrated by a lesser effort to seriously increase and expand the production output and an endless willingness to divide and sub-divide the already insufficient basic needs of a revolutionary, loyal population, unwilling to complain.
An apparently inaccurate read by many high ranking government officials of the devastating effects that such chronic supplies shortfall was having on the average family by slowly eroding their moral fiber, became evident and widespread with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the introduction of the Special Period in times of peace, when literally, no material goods was available.
A whole new lexicon was born, in which every illegality was suddenly condoned, by labeling it with a milder, benign terminology. Stealing became resolving or inventing. Not working or fulfilling one’s obligation became, filming as movie-making, giving rise to an army of crooks renamed merolicos, who were swimming in money coming from their ability to unearth every material goods that anyone needed, at a price.
Children were exposed to parents not going to work, but running in and out of their homes, shuttling hidden objects on the bodies or sneaking in clearly stolen articles. Suddenly, good became bad, police were wrong and petty thieves were deserving of sympathy, silence and complicity.
Feeling the pinch through the drop in production, failing work discipline and an estimated 30% or more of all goods stolen, the government introduced stepped-up controls, vigilance and other sophisticated measures, which have not been able to stop this plague.
Novel mechanism are created every day by those bent on circumventing the law, intent on making an easy buck or propelled by a pervasively low salary, poor administrative controls and as long as demand remain high for goods and services on a thriving black market.
In the year 2005, President Fidel Castro made a dramatic speech, when he declared that outside enemies could not hurt the Cuban government, but internal moral decay, could self-destruct this process. This highly charged plea to change course, to review everything that was wrong, to correct past failures, has become a harangue rather than a policy.
And while all of these negative developments are taking place among a population desperately in need of every possible means of survival, Cuba remain the only country in this hemisphere that could be declared recession-free, based upon the human resource it have created over the past fifty years and an a large pool of material resources, many of which languish, is ignored or its implementation is forbidden, because of the strong official rejection of alternative production modalities other than those advocated by the government.
Lessons from the Special Period
The devastating effect and tragic memories left by the special period in the minds of most Cubans is frightening and enlightening. Cuba’s sudden loss of most of its import/export ability, raw materials, spare parts and medicine was further compounded by the tightening of the embargo with the enactment of the Torricelli Act and the Helms-Burton bill, which should have been the finishing shot of this conflict.
Defending itself like a cat upside down, the Cuban government rapidly liberalized and encouraged family operated small enterprises in over 200 work classification, covering a variety of services such as farmers market, land use, small repair shops, transportation licenses etc., all of which, without any doubt, played a pivotal role in shoring up first and later expanding the economy and availability of goods.
The severe economic down turn that has afflicted all nations around the world should have had only a minor effect on Cuba, given the enormous amount of natural resources that remain untapped and the large pool of highly trained, underutilized human resources, capable of generating hundreds of millions of dollars, sufficient for addressing every Cuban human needs and its solidarity programs. Following are some of such untapped resources.
This brief summary of the many things that are available to Cuba, the Caribbean and the developing world, should not be taken lightly, shelved, jeopardized or ignored, because of the huge impact it may have on a greater regional integration, job creation, safety net and the wellbeing of millions of people.
Eternal Gratitude to Floridians and to Pastors For Peace, 7/18/09
|In a fitting homage to Pastors For Peace tireless work to create understanding, love and respect amongst people in our hemisphere, its XX Caravan to Cuba was widely supported by peace loving people across our state, who generously contributed the largest humanitarian donation ever, notwithstanding the financial crisis afflicting our nation.
In festive send-offs in New Smyrna Beach, Miami, Tampa, Gainesville and Tallahassee, participants and the media were exposed to two 24 feet cargo trucks and a 16 foot enclosed trailer, emblazoned with words of friendship, love and peace; clear skies, streams, fishes and trees highlighting the protection of our environment. Words of hopes for life and a better world imprinted on these vehicles walls, protected 19 tons of medicine, educational, sports, medical supplies, a variety of resources for the physically challenged and nursing homes for the people in Guantanamo, Cuba.
What a beautiful example of the best of humankind, who were willing to join with us in this labor of love, overcoming threats, name calling, fear-mongering and to those who donated invaluable life saving, life maintenance resources, who prefer to remain unnamed, behind the scenes; as opposed to that vanishing sect of society, vociferously building walls of hatred, death and destruction.
Days of anxiety lies ahead, as the Caravan slowly approach the US-Mexican border crossing, not knowing if they will be welcome, harass or stopped. Either way, they have already earned the eternal gratitude and respect of the people of Guantanamo, Cuba. The final outcome of this exemplary human endeavor will be a genuine reflection on all of us.
Cuba’s Extraordinary Generosity Risking its own Survival, 6/24/09
Although I am acutely aware how busy most are is today‘s world, but given the importance of this issue I hope, it may capture the attention of someone in position to evaluate and act upon any or all of these troubling matters.
As a 70 year old Afro-Cuban Veterinary Pathologist/Environmentalist, who have lived half of his life in Cuba and another half in the US, have given me a unique perspective to develop a comparative analysis of the problems afflicting Blacks in the United States, Cuba and the Caribbean.
Growing up in Cuba, where Blacks had nothing except a vicious racism, segregation and ignorance, have not been adequately documented by the US mainstream media, who prefer to focus repeatedly on a host of social, political or religious mistakes that the Cuban government have made over the past 50 years, while intentionally withholding from the public, the existence of one of the largest pool of educated Blacks per capita in the world, presently at risk of being lost forever.
In addition to their academic training, Cubans have been groomed into providing their moral/material support to those less fortunate, making that nation, the premier country in the world for its humanitarian outreach to hundreds of millions of people throughout the developing world.
At the same time, the standard of living for most Cubans have remained at poverty levels and far worse for those of African ancestry, especially following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 90’s and the introduction by the Cuban government of what is known as the Special Period in times of Peace, leading to the creation of Corporations and Joint Ventures, primarily with Canadian and European companies.
This single act of allowing foreign employers to freely choose and preferentially hire employees of Hispanic ancestry with access to hard currency, have created a huge race income disparity, resurgence of segregation and racism, which most Cubans presumed had been wiped out in the early 1960’s.
Further compounding this already volatile environment, is a humanitarian outreach to their emigrant communities by countries such as Spain, Chinese communities in Canada, Arabs in the middle east and Jews in the United States, who created lifelines of monetary funds and material support for their piers in Cuba. No country or humanitarian organization in the world, created a similar lifeline for Blacks in Cuba.
Finally, the bulk of the Cuban -American emigrant community and those elsewhere, are predominantly of Hispanic ancestry, which makes it extremely unusual to find any Hispanic/Mulatto family in Cuba without family members living abroad, capable of sending remittances back home. The exact opposite is true for the majority of those of African ancestry.
These and other factors combined , have had a devastating impact on the Afro-Cuban community, which can be seen in a severe weakening of their moral fiber, increased delinquency, high incarceration rate, prostitution, loss of hope and an entire sector of the Cuban society on the verge of collapse.
For much too long, many in position to act, pretended not to know, see or hear, allowing ethnic, social, religious, linguistic or sexual differences to supersede the anguish, pain and suffering of millions of Afro-Cubans.
To allow this tragedy to continue, will not only decimate the Afro-Cuban community beyond repair, but it would also consciously enable the best and largest technical/scientific support base of African ancestry in the world to cease to exist, as tens of millions of people in the developing world desperately needs their expertise to either preserve their health, educate their children or foster their culture.
Haiti with its well publicized social disaster, is a textbook example of what a loss of Cuba’s humanitarian support can mean for its 8 million inhabitants. Since 1995, 500 physicians, nurses and a host of support personnel, constitute the backbone of that country’s healthcare system. Over 250 Haitians physicians graduates in Cuba are slowly entering the Haitian healthcare system. Another 900 students are currently enrolled at the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences in Santiago de Cuba, at an incremental rate of 100 scholarship per year for the next 20 years.
Hundreds of agricultural, engineering and environmental professionals work in country all free of charge. This is the uncertain future that lies in wait for tens of other developing countries, totally dependant on Cuba’s solidarity.
While Spanish, Arabs, Chinese and Jewish organizations have been allowed to open private businesses in Cuba, fostering their culture, generating jobs and economical benefits for their descendents, again, no primarily black country or important black institution in the world , have taken steps or presented similar proposals on behalf of the citizens of such nations or of the Afro-Cuban community.
Afro-Cubans desperately needs outside moral/material support from institutions such as the US Congressional Black Caucus, Pastors For Peace, The National Black Chamber of Commerce, NAACP, National Medical Association, Black Attorneys Guild, Black Farmers, worldwide Black Institutions and Black nations with excess financial resources, to present clear, precise development projects to the Cuban government, that may be capable of generating resources benefiting the donor country or institutions, and in so doing, elevate thousands of Afro-Cubans out of their abject poverty.
Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Granma in eastern Cuba, have all of the educational, cultural, historical, scientific and agro-industrial ingredients to become, the most highly developed region in the world of people of African ancestry and a model for African integration, from where must emanate, the development and transformation strategy of the third world, with its millions of underdeveloped people, ravaged by hunger, ignorance and disease.
Irrefutable, historical facts demonstrate, that Afro-Cubans do not need to come on their knees to the bargaining table with the Cuban or any other government in the world. With our sweat, tears, blood and our lives during 350 years of slavery, we built everything visible and invisible in Cuba. Most important, Cuba is free of Spanish colonialism today, only because sons and daughters of Africa contributed the largest contingency of fighters and bore the brunt of the dead and wounded during our wars of independence, for which we were cruelly rewarded with the massacre of 3,000 members of the Independent Party of Color, struggling for justice and equality in 1912.
And today, despite our tragic past, the unjustifiable, unresolved, shameful social inequalities described above, Afro-Cubans are convinced beyond any doubt, that they have advanced more in every measurable human parameter during the past 50 years than in the previous 500 years; which have made this sector of society, the staunchest supporters of the Cuban Revolution.
Afro-Cubans can no longer be taken for granted by the Cuban government , nor can the treacherous forces organized by foreign interests bent on decapitating the Cuban government, attempt hypocritically to share our misery or join our suffering, in a cynical attempt to enlist us into their counterrevolutionary forces, as if we have forgotten that these were in Cuba and are everywhere else, the tormentors, the butchers of everything related to Africa, native America, women or gays, with their segregationists souls.
As gloomy as these realities may seem, there is an unprecedented opportunity for the development of sons of Africa in Cuba, the United States, the Caribbean and elsewhere, if our leaders would only identify, evaluate, implement, supervise and bring together most African, Caribbean leaders and every leading Afro-American institution, to poo l our intellect and financial resources into a unified incubation center for an integral development of the third world.
For much too long, Cuba have focused and centered its meager resources on the wellbeing of others at the expense of its own. The time have come for the world to say in unison, enough is enough! As of now, the Cuban government and all conscious people of African ancestry and other developing world, must take a step forward and support a speedy development of Cuba, to enable it to reach the basic level of development to satisfy the needs of its people and by closing a major diversionist loophole.
No false pride, no unacceptable excuses on part of the Cuban government to refuse a worldwide collaboration with the country that have been most generous, should be accepted by the developing world. Cuba have never asked for anything in return for its unparallel generosity and this is not an attempt to seal an un-payable debt of gratitude.
But, beyond our moral commitment to demand or even impose upon the Cuban government our rights as beneficiaries of their incredible humanitarian acts, we have a direct interest in insuring that Cuba will survive and strive. Following are some collaborative projects that are available to the developing world, if we only dared to dream.
Cuba is the only place on earth today, where 20 thousands qualified educators can be enlisted immediately, to begin reversing the failed inner cities educational system, plagued by apathy, violence and other socials ills, transforming them into model, productive educational centers, producing highly trained, exemplary students for society, as it was proven in the 70’s with tens of thousands of African students educated on the Island of Youth.
Only Cuba can create immediately an integral, affordable, quality healthcare Insurance plan for 5-10 million uninsured or underinsured low income citizens of the US and beyond.
Cuba is the only country in the world, that is capable of providing Mental Health care at affordable rate, for tens of thousands of Hispanics in the US and Latin America suffering from mental disorders related to drug addictions or battlefield trauma.
Only in Cuba can we provide affordable Nursing and Rehab services for thousands of Afro-Americans and Hispanics senior citizens, forced into Nursing Homes settings devoid of their cultural/dietary experiences, accelerating their demise.
Only in Cuba, with hundreds of thousands of fallow acreage of agricultural lands, severe shortfall in food production, can we salvage what is left of the dwindling Black Farmers Association, which in conjunction with Cuban farmers and immigrants from the20Caribbean and Central America under a humane migration policy, would be able to rapidly triple or quadruple today’s production levels of produce/husbandry, generate sufficient income to support their families in their countries of origin, reduce the dangerous and illegal migratory tendency to the United States and encourage the formation of minority food supplier/distributor, strengthening the region food safety net.
Only in Cuba, can the US Congressional Black Caucus work out an agreement with the Cuban government, to expand its very effective prison rehabilitation programs to include US minorities, in order to restore the lives of tens of thousands inmates, condemned to rot in prison or released unprepared into society, only to rejoin the ranks of recidivists.
Only in Cuba, can a massive integral healthcare training program be assembled for 20,000 Afro-Americans and other minorities as primary care physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, environmentalists and engineering, to satisfy present and future demands of these critically anemic professionals fields in the world.
Only in Cuba can we muster immediately 20,000 technically trained or trainable youngsters to be incorporated into the high-tech communication industry, that have migrated to Asia in detriment of our regional economy.
Only the US Congressional Black Caucus has the moral authority to enter into negotiations with the US Government, leading to the return intact of the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo to the Cuban government, initiate=2 0a massive environmental impact clean-up of toxic waste from years of practice bombings and turn this sprawling complex into the world largest educational/research center for 100, 000 secondary/HS students and 50,000 higher education health and environmental students from developing countries around the world, and Construction of the largest tropical medicine research center in the world for wide scale production of low cost pharmaceutical/biological products against transmissible and chronic diseases. For many, these profoundly humane, transformative projects, geared to create a world of peace, equality and the elimination of strife and destruction, may become a source of skepticism regarding its financing ability. If most international bodies would approve and sanction this project and would agree to apply a 2% levy on all developed nations GDP and a 0.01% on the developing world, this and much more can be easily accomplished.
That is why, the specter of the world loosing its best hope for breaking the noose of subjugation and dependency, sends shivers down the spine of millions. The values and principles of the Cuban people must not be allowed to be corroded by outsiders, nor should the failure of the Cuban government to aggressively remove all vestiges of racism and its absurd insistence in perpetuating extra low wages which disincentive production, weaken discipline and promote illegalities, should be actively opposed, especially by those respectful of Cuba’s integrit y, future and wellbeing of its people, as it is expressed in:
A critical look at the future of Cuba, 12/07, 2/08 and 3/08
A region at risk of famine and the need of a survival strategy, 4/08
If they were only here, 6/08
Big problems demand big solutions 9/08
Caribbean Unification. A non deferrable reality 11/08 and
The dawning of America 12/08
In this defining moment, no one who is respectful of Cuba’s Independence and Sovereignty, can remain on the sidelines. It is a moral imperative to stand up, speak out and fight for what we believe in.
Cubans must not suffer anymore! Cuba must cease to divide and sub-divide its meager resources! Cuba must start multiplying and elevating geometrically everything it produces and will produce. Strong nations are not threatened, weak ones are!
Mimetism, New Weapon within the Cuba Hate Industry, 6/18/09
|At this late stage of the fifty year old US-CUBA political strife, reasonable individuals would assume that those charged with inflicting pain, suffering and destruction on the Cuban people, would have concluded that their despicable task have come to an end, that the game is over, and as good sportsmen, they would retreat to their burrows and accept defeat with dignity.
Doing what is right would have earned these Cuba-haters at least a few milligrams of sympathy, but it is now clear, that such principles are not part of their genetic make-up nor their life values.
Today, we were introduced to Dr. Jose Azel’s treatise. “Fidel Plays the Race Card“, Cuba Transition Project 6/16/09 ctp.iccas@MIAMI.EDU in which his mimetic, new found love for Afro-Cubans living in Cuba without family members overseas sending remittances, broke his heart. He is also profoundly offended by Castro casting himself once again as Robin Hood, with sinister overtones.
What this opportunist fail to include in his article, is that he is part of this multi prong effort to incite racial division, strife and a potentially dangerous racial confrontation without lines of demarcation, in such a highly mixed society.
Like many others bent on squeezing out every penny out of US-AID, CIA and front foundations willing to pump millions of dollars into every fake organization purporting to be fighting the Cuban government, they are required to present a bio, a body of dirty work against Cuba to support their job application and approval.
Clever, educated and able to use some extra cash, why should Dr. Azel not build up his standing among his piers and future employers, by regularly compiling and publishing tendentious fact sheets as others do?
Key in this chain of command is Mr. Frank Calzon, who has not being indicted as yet, notwithstanding his closest aid, Felipe Sixto sits in prison for the next six years, for depleting and pocketing nearly half a million dollars earmarked for their “Freedom Fighters” in Cuba.
Still, the most disgraceful trait of this band of opportunists, is their shameless attempt to exploit real, unresolved problems that seriously affect the wellbeing of tens of thousands of Afro-Cubans, by pretending to be their benefactors, when most who are familiar with our convulsive history since our forceful arrival on these shores, are acutely aware of who our real tormentors are.
Beautifully laid out, are Dr. Azel’s bio-statistics of the Cuban government breakdown, is sublimely presented to draw a parallel with the racist, apartheid South Africa government, which by the way, most of them wholeheartedly supported and many fought alongside their defense forces.
Pitifully invoking the name of their newly coined poster boy, Dr. Elias Biscet and proudly reminding us of his Presidential Medal of Freedom, I wonder, as so many other Cuban dissidents who decided after time to set up shop in south Florida, if Dr. Biscet will be a welcome guest in his neighborhood, his home or as other Afro-Cubans, he will be confined and forced to find refuge in Allapath, Overtown, Parramore, Cabrina Greens or any of the hundreds=2 0of Ghettos reserved for Blacks and other minorities across the United States?
Have Dr Azel evolved at such an astronomic speed, that he no longer think and acts like his proud ancestors, who brag of having kept their puppet President Fulgencio Batista out of their exclusive Havana Yacht Club, Nat King Cole forced to use the kitchen door at the Hotel Nacional to perform, or when the Kasalta restaurant marked the border, beyond which, Afro-Cubans could not go after dark, without being escorted out Miramar by their private security guards?
Can any of these south Floridian, right-wing Cuban-Americans, suddenly enamored with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and staunch supporters of the Civil Rights Movement, present any document, pictures, newspaper articles or oral history, demonstrating that any one of them supported or was ever near any of these history changing developments in the early 60’s, when they enjoyed privileges denied to all blacks in the United States?
Although Cuban-Americans since the early 60’s had wide access to radio and print media in the US, never, did anyone of these upper class, rich, powerful individuals, with ample access to the highest level of the US government, ever uttered a word=2 0on behalf of blacks, whose flesh was ripped apart by attack dogs, lynched by supremacists, incarcerated in mass and murdered with impunity.
Thanks, but no Thanks, is all we can say to Dr. Azel and thousands like him, who are skillfully resorting to mimetic tactics, trying to inflame our sentiments, fight the Cuban government and hand them in a silver platter, a country they have proven to be genetically unfit to fight for by themselves.
The OAS, an unburied political cadaver and Hillary’s retrograde thinking, 6/2/09
|As part of a concerted effort to wrap-up and control large swat of the world through a network of political, military, financial, cultural and religious organizations, numerous institutions in the United States spearheaded the founding of the Organization of American States, The United Nations, NATO, IMF, BID, USO and many others, tens of Foundations, Study Groups, the promotion of dictators and tyrants with their academy of higher education embodied in the School of the Americas and a worldwide media network, of which the VOA and Radio Free Europe are its best exponents.
As a precondition, the United States demanded and received the prerogative of paying the largest portion of these institutions budget, limiting the independence of these quasi satellite, marionette, on call, ready to comply organizations, which facilitated Cuba’s expulsion in 1962, after paying Haiti a large bribe to join this infamous chorus.
Although Cuba have publicly expressed its disdain for this unburied, rotting political cadaver, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton found this gathering in Honduras an appropriate setting for her to present a list of archaic, immoral demands on Cuba, which she should have known, most other members would vociferously reject, creating a stalemate of the US against the majority of other member states.
Presuming, most in the world today have forgotten when the US wholeheartedly embraced Somoza of Nicaragua, Stroessner of Paraguay, Videla of Argentina, Papa Doc and Baby Doc of Haiti, Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Gairy in Grenada, D’Abusson in El Salvador, Batista of Cuba, Noriega in Panama, Banzer in Bolivia, Fujimore in Peru and tens of others assassins, or when the United States brutally decapitated President Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic, Salvador Allende in Chile and many others, as the OAS with its complicit silence, tolerated or condoned these atrocious actions.
As the world assists to the final days of the OAS, we are forced to reflect on how the United States arrogance and lack of political sensitivity towards Latin America and the Caribbean people, enabled it to impose for nearly half a century, the most brutal blockade on a small, weak, sister nation, hoping to decimate its people, force them to rebel against their government or cry uncle.
The discord that have plagued this gathering, are the fruits of the sordid behavior of the United States during the past two centuries, with which, everyone living south of the rio Grande can relate to their own experience with the colossus from the north. Be it, depriving Mexico of 1/3 of its territory, imposing naval bases on Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Ecuador and who knows where else, gobbling up the most fertile lands in our countries, controlling all important industries, banking and infrastructure in each nation under its domain or by instilling its egoistic sentiments and its insatiable consumerism and drug addition, have corrupted the minds of our people.
Cuba have suffered like no other country in this region at the hands of 10 different Presidents of the United States, which have hardened its people to withstand 10 other US Presidents if need be.
Most objective and impartial individuals around the world believes that the administration of Barack Obama have taken an honest and sincere approach to solve a litany of intractable problems accrued by the United States over years of neglect. Still, some of his efforts seems to have stalled or placed on the back burner by members in his administration, still caught up in their visceral anti-communism, which was graphically expressed in the absurd position of the US State Department posture in Honduras.
Then today, in the clearest expression ever, of Latin America and the Cari bbean nations arriving at full adulthood, they inflicted a resounding defeat to a set of demands the US State Department wanted to impose upon Cuba, as a pre-condition for it to rejoin this community of nations.
Winners or losers are of no consequence. What really matters is the pride, respect our region have earned, in the words of Fander Falconi, Ecuadorian Foreign Relations Minister when he declared: This is a moment of rejoicing for all of Latin America, or still a more incisive statement from President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras when he stated: The Cold War have ended in San Pedro Sula. We begin a new era of fraternity and tolerance.
Long Live Latin America, for achieving its absolute Independence, Dignity and Sovereignty, after 500 years of impositions, submissions and indignities.
If they were only here? 6/1/09
|On July 4, 1961, my grandfather George Jones suffered an apparent heart attack that took the life of this modest, exemplary man, who lived a life filled with human values and principles, which have since hung over my life, carving and determining most of my life decisions.
I am very grateful to life itself, for having this man decide in 1928 to leave his beloved Jamaica with my grandmother Rose Ann, my uncles Clifford, Joslyn and Ruby Mae, who later became my mother and relocate to Cuba.
A massive promotion throughout the English speaking Caribbean islands and Haiti by the United Fruit Co., Guantanamo Sugar Co, Manati Sugar Co., and other US transnational, who portrayed Cuba as the Promised Land, propelled tens of thousands of emigrants from these islands to join this army of cheap laborers doing the back-breaking, heat stifling, semi-slave conditions in the development of the Cuban sugar industry, which became the backbone of that country’s economy and the transformation of its physiognomy.
Because of an historical black history pattern, in which records are not kept, ignored or destroyed, I am not sure if my grandparents landed in Santiago de Cuba, Cayo Juan Claro or somewhere in the Bahia de Nipe. Either way, they were herded to and settled in Banes, a sugar cane plantation community on the northern tip of what was then the province of Oriente.
Restarting his life all over with a wife and three children in a foreign and somewhat hostile land was a challenging proposition in itself. While most of these immigrants were employed in the cultivation and harvesting of sugar cane, my grandfather became part of the fortunate few when he was given a year-round job as an orderly in the United Fruit Co. hospital, earning $0.50 per day.
Ten years after this life changing experience, I was born on a hot and humid August morning, aggravating an intractable family feud between my grandfather and my uncles against my father, whom they had declared an unfit family member since the birth of my brother two years earlier.
Our living conditions was limited to a tiny thatched roof shack that made me wonder how we all fit inside of it, without electricity, running water, sewer, schools or healthcare services. What we did have was widespread malnutrition seen predominantly in children with their disproportionate heads and distended abdomens filled with intestinal parasites, rampant infant and maternal morbid/mortality and an infamous gully with its putrid effluent winding through our neighborhood.
There were always people from our community sitting in our backyard, waiting for my grandfather to return from his workplace. Some suffered diarrhea, cuts, burns or whatever, which my grandfather would cleanse and apply medications he stored in a coffin-like cabinet he kept in his bedroom.
Although we did not live very far away from the hospital and no matter what the weather was like, my grandfather always carried a raincoat over his right arm. Years later, as I pieced these events together, it became clear to me, that the raincoat was actually a vehicle with which, this very religious, respectable man who was constantly preaching moral values, honesty and dignity to all, was in fact, stealing medicines and medical supplies from his workplace, as the only way to help others in his community, deprived of all basic means of survival.
Banes was a highly segregated community in which the American neighborhood displayed its large chalet-type homes with circular verandah, running water, sewer, paved road, school, medical services, golf, polo courts and a private security force, ready to escort unwanted visitors out of the area.
Downtown Banes can be described as the commercial and business district, where most Cubans of Hispanic ancestry lived -- many occupied positions in the government administration, political system or mid-management in the United Fruit Company. They enjoyed similar social development as the American neighborhood, except for the courts and other playgrounds.
Banes' best known, infamous citizens are General Fulgencio Batista and the Diaz-Balart dynasty from which their sons, US Congressman Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, in close association with US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lethinen from the central province of Las Villas, are the culprit of most of Cuba’s past twenty years pain, suffering and deaths.
As a replica of the southern United States, there were black, white and American social clubs, public squares were partially segregated, churches were ethnically grouped, blacks were not employed in department stores, banks, office setting or any other relevant jobs. Our future was pre-determined at birth, deemed unworthy of social advancement and called a number of derogatory names such, as Jamaiquino, ladron de gallina or Negro de Mierda.
The outbreak of WWII was seen as a blessing by most in our community, because of a substantial increase in sugar demand worldwide, which lead to larger and longer sugar crops, increasing the average family income. At the same time, rumors kept flowing into our community that a large expansion was taking place on the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo, where hundreds of unskilled workers, preferably those speaking English, were in demand.
Once again our family was on the move, as one by one, we began relocating from Banes to Guantanamo. Life in this city was substantially better. We now lived in a cinder block house with running water, sewer and electricity. Salary on the United States Naval Base was also higher, further fostering in some of my family members, friends and others, a bellicose, war monger mentality.
Both in education and health, theoretically there were improvements in this city. Although 50% of the population in Guantanamo was black, racism and segregation was evident and offensive.
Against this historical background, in the month of May 2008, Prime Ministers Bruce Golding of Jamaica, Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, separately visited Cuba, where they were received by its highest authority with the full honors conferred upon heads of state.
During their stay, they visited scientific institutions, healthcare facilities, tourist resort, educational system, industrial complex, cultural centers etc., at the end of which, multiple joint cooperation agreement were signed, technical exchanges were inked and a wider and deeper brotherly relations was etched in stone.
What a difference fifty years can make!
If I were ever to meet my grandparents again, how could I possibly explain to them, that the events described above, could ever happen in the same land where they lived in infra-human conditions, where their hard and poorly rewarded work had contributed enormous financial resources to the economical development of a country that paid them with derogatory terminologies, segregation, instilling complex of inferiority and denying them every social advancement possibility.
If we were to add to that the presence of thousands of students from these islands being trained as physicians and in every other fields of knowledge free of charge, or the hundreds of physicians, professionals and technicians working side by side with their counterpart from their respective islands, assisting them in their struggle to overcome underdevelopment, sanitation and culture, it would be impossible for my grandparents to rationalize and absorb.
As important as all of the above may be, a new spirit of cooperation is permeating the region in which, rather than compete in similar sphere of economical development between islands, sharing and complementing their weak economies is becoming the guiding principle.
I will never know how my grandparents would rate their decision to migrate to Cuba from Jamaica. I will never know if their dreams and expectations were met. I will never know if they ever had doubts, regrets or would have returned if they could.
What I do know, after seeing first hand my grandfather's deep concerns for the wellbeing of others, his willingness to risk what could be construed as a good job for serving others; had he lived to see what is happening in his adopted country, I am sure he would be a very happy, proud and dignified black man, who would have been eternally grateful and forever committed to the survival, preservation and defense of the nation, that has done more for the sons and daughters of Africa, than all other countries together. Long Live Cuba!
Doing the Right Thing, Precludes Fear Mongering, 5/26/09
|An avalanche of outright lies, scare tactics and the complicit silence of many public servants, led us into an un-winnable war in Iraq, which have caused so far, hundreds of thousands of deaths, maimed and disfigured on both sides of this unjustifiable carnage.
Seven years after this moral miscarriage, Mr. Freshour’s letter to the editor , “Here’s a new idea” The Daytona News- Journal 4-A 5/26/09, is in fact, more of the same worn out fear mongering, doomsday mentality, invoking NIMBY syndrome and US Congressmen’s refusal to confine any of these individuals captured around the world in prisons in the United States.
No one in the Bush-Cheney or the present administration have asked 200,000 inhabitants of Guantanamo city in Cuba, if it was OK to incarcerate these purportedly dangerous individuals twelve miles away from their homes, where by the way, no one have gone sleepless, is afraid or concerned with the presence of these unsolicited guests.
What twelve million Cubans and hundreds of millions of people around the world have demanded for the past fifty years, is the unconditional closure of this illegally held 105 years old enclave, immediate return to its legitimate owners, cl ean up the massive environmental disaster that have been created with bombing raids and toxic dumping, senselessly destroying prime air, water and land resources.
Turning this sprawling facility into the world largest educational and healthcare complex for the forgotten and neglected of the world, could become the most important and effective antidote against spiraling anti-Americanism, Jihad and terrorism around the world, which could be thoroughly financed with two weeks of the Department of Defense war machine budget.
Opportunists fishing in murky waters, 5/18/09
|The election of President Barack Obama, was construed as a death sentence for the staunchly Republican, ultra right-wing Cuban-American community in south Florida, who have seen their Regan-Bushes era of power and promises of a triumphal entrance to Havana, evaporate before their swollen, teary eyes.
At the time when most of the world was consumed with the Swine Flu epidemic, these virulent anti-Cuba groups are being devoured by guilt, in-fighting, finger pointing and spewing hate at each other, as their fifty years old permanent war platform, crumble and fade into oblivion.
Today though, they had reason to be happy, upbeat and looking positively into the near future, as one of them, Wilfredo Cancio Isla, a salaried, Nuevo Herald newspaper writer, who sold his pen and intellect years ago to the powerful anti-Cuba hate machinery, wrote a moving article about the death of 18 inmates in prisons in Cuba since January 2009.
Pinning their hopes on a pre-emptive strike to derail the approved invitation to Cuba of Mr. Manfred Novak, head of the UN Human Rights Commission on Torture in Geneva, who will be traveling sometime this year to Cuba, they are posting articles depicting the death of these inmates this year and 42 last year in jails in Cuba, resulting from the abusive, inhumane treatment inflicted upon defenseless individuals.
Such reports have been undersigned by Mr. Elizardo Sanchez, a well documented agent of the United States Interest Section in Havana, who have been captured on camera receiving his monthly stipend, for spilling his bilious exudates around the world.
This breaking news found immediate resonance in Radio Mambi and other reactionary, bellicose AM radio stations Talk Shows in Miami, where Ninoska Perez Castellon and Armando Perez Roura, Dean of this Hate Institute of Higher Learning, littered the airwaves with their pain and suffering for these poor black inmates, one of whom had been sanctioned to 29 years in prison for murder.
No inmate should ever be subjected to abuse, ill treatment or worse, no matter their crimes. But to listen to these immoral, opportunists, capitalizing on real or perceived crimes committed against defenseless inmates, while never, ever uttering a word over the worst human rights abuses in recent history a few miles away from their den at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib, Gun Ri, Son Mi, Mi Lai and Hiroshima, is simply nauseating.
As part of a comprehensive effort to instill division, hate and eventually a racial war in Cuba, these individuals highlight in their daily programs, the plight of a handful of so called black dissidents in Cuba, some on endless hunger strike without symptoms of weight loss, another anti-abortionists, others, writing books, open letters, organizing symposiums and seminars to poison the minds of other blacks around the world, leading them to turn against the suffering of their brothers and sisters in Cuba.
Establishing their hypocrisy is rather easy. At the same time they are following instructions from their command and control center, CNN and others have been airing heart wrenching reports about thirty two school children in Chicago, gunned down on their way to school since early January. Similar tragic reports come in every day from New York, LA, Detroit, Columbine or others.
Does the death, destruction, fear and suffering of these captive communities, engulfed in an inner city genocide, in which so far, not even the President of the United states have been able to salvage his beloved Chicago, turned into the teenager murder capital of the world is of no consequence?
No, it cannot be true, to see mostly black opportunists, who have shamelessly profiteered on the pain and suffering of their brothers and sisters in Cuba and who have openly advocated to turn them into guinea pigs by increasing their misery to impel them to rise-up against their hated government, can be so oblivious, turn a blind eye to the suffering of mothers, fathers and grandparents, over the unjustified murder of their beloved children?
Having a common ethnic/social background with some of these individuals, I have always been suspicious of their empty rhetoric, theorizing and fixing their sights on outer space, while they have systematically ignored the homeless, hungry or sick across the street.
Cuba have survived the worst. Cuba will continue to move forward. Cuba astronomic scientific development will never cease to achieve new heights, especially when the threats of outside aggressions or intimidations are no longer there, which have justified and perpetuated absolete, defensive measures against its own population.
The garbage dump of history awaits for the arrival of these Cubans and their handlers, who have disgraced our history, placed our sovereignty at risk and inflicted as much pain, despair and destruction on our country, as our fiercest foreign enemy.
Quakers Meeting in North Florida, 5/17/09
|For all purposes, today was a beautiful Sunday evening in North East Florida with its clear blue sky and cool Atlantic winds, welcoming approximately 25 Quakers, members of the Jacksonville Friends into the spacious and cozy rooms of the Riverview Country Club in Saint Augustine Shores.
Hosting their annual spring Potluck was New York resident and Florida winter birds Noel and Daisy Palmer, who graciously requested my presence to discuss the status of the US-Cuba relations.
At 3:00 PM there was a solemn silent worship with occasional spontaneous anecdotal experiences, hopes for the future and the preservation of human values.
At 4:00 PM I was generously introduced by Jo McIntire. Prior to touching on the subject matter of the Cuban economy, education, tourism, culture, the church and human rights, I presented a comparative analyses of Cuba and Florida similarities, Saint Augustine and Baracoa common history from Columbus to today and other important indicators of Cuba and Florida.
A comprehensive evaluation of Cuba’s past 50 years interaction with other countries in the world, its humanitarian achievements in health, education, solidarity and failures, created a basic, non-distorted picture of what Cuba really is, which was followed by an objective analyses of that country s economy, tourism, development and its future relation with the United States. Numerous Q & A followed, complementing the interest of a very knowledgeable audience, among which, author and scholar Stetson Kennedy and his wife added important pieces of historical facts.
A friendly dinner filled with hugs, love and hopes for a better world, ended with a commitment to support Pastors For Peace XX Caravan to Cuba and an eternal gratitude for all what Cuba have done for the disenfranchised and abused of the world.
A Sincere and Painful Apology to the US Congressional Black Caucus, 5/10/09
[The context of this column can be seen in: Invoking MLK and Rosa Parks in Cuban Exile Politics, 5/30/09 and The Discourse on Racism in Anti-Castro Publications, 2008-2000. This column was also published on the Black Agenda Report and on Norman Girvan's site.]
|Please allow me to express my disgust and apologize publicly to the United States Congressional Black Caucus on behalf of Cubans in general, Afro-Cubans in particular and especially in the name of those lured to Cuba from the English Speaking Caribbean islands at the turn of the XX Century, who were subjected to brutal racism, segregation, exploitation and forced to live in Soweto-type slums across that country.
A common historical experience of abuse, suffering and ignorance made it easy for most members of the prestigious CBC to side from day one with the suffering people of Cuba, victims of a 50 year old cruel embargo that has threatened the life, well being and development of these survivors of the transatlantic slave trade, like their brothers and sisters in the CBC.
Having failed in every past military, political, terrorist or economic efforts to decapitate the Cuban government, ultra-rightwing Cuban-Americans in south Florida, in collusion with US-AID, NED, the Republican Party Foundations and others, identified an important demographic shift in Cuba during the early 90’s in favor of blacks, due to an intensified emigration tendency among Cubans of Hispanic ancestry.
Drastic changes were introduced in all counterrevolutionary groups in the US: where blacks had been previously shunned, they have now been hastily recruited and promoted to leadership positions. Numerous black study groups, foundations, leadership training, founding of religious sects, donations of hundreds of computers, encouragement to bloggers, CD, DVD and book launching, mostly depicting the severe inequalities to which blacks were subjected by a white controlled, oppressive Cuban government, was the main thread of this racially divisive bliztkrieg, aimed at dividing the country along racial lines.
In Cuba, these aggressive, destabilizing measures took on the image of Independent Libraries, Independent Journalists, Anti-Abortionists, Human Rights Advocates and every other imaginable malformation, geared to weaken, divide and conquer a nation that had fought, defended and was willing to die for its Independence and Sovereignty.
Although these despicable mercenary activities have been abundantly documented through captured instructions, tape recordings, payment receipts, confessions etc., showing a clear command and control structure in the US, a huge, well orchestrated media barrage with multiple resonance boxes across the globe has convinced tens of thousands of poorly informed citizens of their humanistic goals, unselfish sacrifices and patriotic concerns for the betterment of the Cuban people.
The overnight collapse of the Soviet Union and other Socialist countries with whom Cuba held most of its trade, the introduction of the Special Period by the Cuban government and the creation of Joint Ventures proved to be devastating for the Afro-Cuban community, which, unlike those Cubans of Hispanic ancestry with a large emigrant community capable of supporting friends and family members with remittances, were not able to navigate this raging storm.
Compounding this tragedy was a concerted effort by Cubans of Hispanic ancestry to secure most or all employment in Joint Ventures, Corporations and other entities with access to hard currency earnings, further widening the racial/socio-economic gap, severely weakening the moral fiber of the Afro-Cuban community and placing it on the verge of collapse, which can be seen in increased acts of delinquency, inordinate incarceration index, prostitution and hopelessness.
Hundreds of desperate pleas for help coming out of black communities, cities or regions across Cuba went unheard, were ignored or wereopposed by these neo-humanists, as they flaunted their melanin content to spread hatred towards their land of birth.
A handful of humanitarian groups in the US and abroad attempted to respond to this social tragedy by collecting humanitarian goods for these endangered communities in Cuba, only to be rejected, dejected or denounced as collaborationists or apologists of the Cuban government. Indescribable pain, suffering and death was inflicted upon women, children and the elderly . Many resisted, others gave up, some left.
During the early 1980’s, I was fortunate to meet some extraordinary, conscientious members of CONVIVIALS, a predominantly eastern Caribbean emigrant organization in Brooklyn, New York, committed to improve the plight of immigrant youths, whose goals were expanded to raise awareness and support the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa, through public speaking, holding marches and vigils in front of the UN and large collections of educational, medical or personal goods that were sent to the ANC, SWAPO and others fighting for their independence.
With the liberation of most countries in the southern cone of Africa and the death of Apartheid, the worsening of the socio-economical situation in Cuba captured our attention, leading to the creation of The Caribbean American Children Foundation in Florida, through which we regularly pleaded for help and for which we are eternally indebted to hundreds of extremely generous people in the US and elsewhere, whose contributions helped us donate hundreds of thousands of dollars in medicine, medical supplies, educational materials, sports sports equipment, aids to the physically challenged and elder care support, mostly in eastern Cuba.
None of these Afro-Cubans who are attempting to earn world prominence by opposing the Cuban government with marches, writing books, blogging, leading meager membership groups or their masters who organized, trained, funded and directed their actions, have ever offered an aspirin to our group or others engaged in similar humanitarian endeavors, which makes their purported platform questionable at best.
A myriad of critical problems affecting the Afro-Cuban community in Cuba are real, urgent, destructive and must be resolved without delay, if that nation is to preserve its soul, its history and its moral motto: With all and for the well-being of All!
No branch of government, institutions, neighborhoods, job opportunities or hierarchy, should not reflect adequately the nation's multi-ethnic composition. If the enormously successful women's drive towards equality in the 60’s signified A Revolution Within the Revolution, another drive to correct 500 years of neglect and un-payable debts to the nation's most loyal sons and daughters cannot be postponed any longer.
Everyone who loves our country, everyone who is enamored of our beautiful history, everyone who is capable of highlighting the enormous achievements that the Afro-Cuban community has accumulated in the past fifty years, without attempting to tarnish, demean or destroy these fruits by solely focusing on those remaining shortcomings or failures, must speak up and demand these basic, just measures be implemented immediately.
Undeniable facts demonstrate that Afro-Cubans constituted the bulk of the casualties during the wars of independence in 1868-78, 1878-79 and 1895-98. The unsolicited Spanish-American war created an emasculated, pseudo republic which replicated the United States' southern racism and segregation that lead blacks in despair and to the formation of the Independent Party of Color and the subsequent massacre of over 3000 of its members in 1912.
While a majestic monument honors president Jose Miguel Gomez, the mastermind and executioner of this monstrosity, the scene of this crime in Oriente is still without a simple cross in memory of the victims. Mariana Grajales, one of the most extraordinary women ever to live in this hemisphere, is barely recognized and honored as the mother of the Cuban nation should be.
These are the real battles for justice, equality and the future of our nation, that all Cubans and Afro-Cubans especially should be waging, and not by siding with those who castrated our independence in 1898 or those who enabled the 1912 massacre and kept us segregated, impoverished, ignorant until 1959 and today. They are shamefully relying on the dark skin of some who are willing to sell their intellect and soul to the highest bidder, by attempting to intimidate, blackmail or create a negative political scene against members of the CBC who have courageously stood by their brothers in Cuba for the past 25 years.
No threats will be accepted by letter carriers, book writers, open mike AM Radio Talk Show hosts in Miami, New Jersey or California, by Cuban-American politicians in State Houses and in the US Congress with their segregationist past here and in Cuba, attempting to silence members of the CBC with worn out Jim Crow tactics.
No one can tire, rest o give into the comfort of life, as long as this moral debt with every descendent of the slave trade is fulfilled. Millions of grateful sons and daughters in our region, expect the leadership of the CBC will continue and expand their role in achieving justice for all.
Honorable US Congresswoman Barbara Lee, please convey our Mother’s Day wishes of Happiness, Health and Long Life to all females on this last delegation to Cuba and our eternal gratitude to each CBC member, their Aides and everyone else, who have stood up against all odds, with their brothers and sisters in Cuba.
Watching our Future slip away, 4/28/09
|The stunning support expressed for Cuba by thirty three heads of state gathered in Trinidad and Tobago during the V Summit of the Americas, 4/17-19/09, demanding an immediate end of the infamous, fifty years failed, crippling embargo imposed upon Cuba, became the last nail in the embargo coffin.
An intelligent, open minded and visionary President Barack Obama, whose background, life experiences and sense of justice, made it easy for him to grasp the magnitude of the United States regional isolation, precipitating an urgent decision to introduce an 180 degree change in such harmful policy.
This dramatic development have lead politicians, business people, educators, clergy, agriculture, industrial, health and other sectors across the US, into a feverish race to position their communities for a mutually beneficial engagement with Cuba.
Ignoring History has cost us Fifty precious years of our lives, 4/18/09
|In an ironic twist of history, the V Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago will come to a successful or irrelevant closure on Sunday, April 19th, the same day, forty eight years ago when the United States suffered its most resounding political, moral and military defeat in the swamps of the Bay of Pigs.
Prior to this transformative milestone, the United States political/military thinking was formulated around a self-proclaimed invincibility, which emerged from the three months military skirmish in Santiago de Cuba, euphemistically known around the world as the Spanish-American War in 1898.
This tragic event, effectively deprived the Cuban people of the fruits of their long and hard fought struggle for independence and sovereignty, which began with the uprising of Chief Hatuey and Guarina in the 1490‘s. Thousands of Cuba’s best sons and daughters were deported, imprisoned, wounded, maimed or killed on behalf of this goal.
Tens of slave uprisings across the island attempting to free themselves from their inhumane captivity, were put down with unspeakable brutality. The infamous Ladder Conspiracy earned its name from two parallel logs with other horizontally spaced logs upon which slaves accused of plotting to escape or recaptured run-away slaves were tied to and beaten into a pulp or killed with blows from another log, reminiscent to a primitive baseball bat.
On October 10th 1868, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes a wealthy sugar baron, who later became the father of the Cuban nation, freed his slaves and encouraged them to join the war of independence, which they did in droves, contributing the bulk of the casualties during the next 10 years vicious war, which ended in an armistice. This tragic outcome was salvaged by another son of Africa, General Antonio Maceo who opposed this decision with his heroic Protest of Baragua and his commitment to continue the struggle to its last consequence.
The final war of independence was re-started in 1895 under the leadership of Jose Marti, the greatest Cuban political leader in its history. By 1898 victory was within reach of the Cuban Army, when alleging protection of life and property, the USS Maine entered the port of Havana where it later exploded under questionable circumstances, laying the groundwork for the United States to unleash the Spanish-American war, which defeated in three months, an exhausted Spanish occupying forces.
This simple, unsolicited, unilateral decision by the United States, derailed 400 years of struggle for Cuba’s independence, when they denied the Cuban Army the right to be present at the Spanish Army surrendering ceremony or at the subsequent peace talks in Paris. The dismantling of a fully integrated Army of Independence, replacing it with an all white police force and with a Rural Guard where blacks could not rise above the rank of lieutenant, opened deep and bitter wounds between the US and Cuba.
By emasculating Cuba sovereignty with the Platt Amendment, forceful occupation of prime lands for naval bases, engulfing thousands of acres of fertile agriculture lands for pennies, taking over every important industry, utilities, commerce, banking, perpetuating illiteracy, segregation, corruption, political violence etc., they sowed the seeds of discord that have survived to this day.
These and other social ills were compounded with the brutal assault on the “democratically” elected, corrupt presidency of Carlos Prio Socarras in 1952, which lead the Generation of the Century headed by Fidel Castro, to accuse General Batista before the Supreme Court for overthrowing the government and later leading a failed insurrection, imprisonment, emigration, return with an 82 man strong invading forces in 1956, which defeated Batista’s powerful, US backed military machine on January 1, 1959.
Attempting to correct years of abuse, corruption, a worldwide image of Cuba being a playground for the rich, famous and the mafia, the new government clamped down hard and confiscated most ill gotten wealth of these individuals, irritating the US government, unleashing a tit for tat and the breaking-off of diplomatic relations.
The infamous Bay of Pigs, is nothing more than a traumatic abortion of an ill-conceived, well funded, abundantly equipped, vertically CIA managed 2000 man-strong mercenary force, charged with overthrowing the newly formed, poorly equipped Cuban army.
Having failed to take into account these irrefutable historical facts, have left a legacy of distrust, billions of dollars in misguided projects and unnecessary destruction, wounded and dead.
And today, as a highly educated, visionary, courageous president of the United States is working tirelessly to reverse decades of absurd, confrontational, hate spewing, retrograde policies that have created millions of enemies around the world, many continue to undermine every idea, policy or bridge building effort the White House may develop.
Let us join hands and stave off those backward forces that revel in wars, death and destruction. Let’s express in a clear, strong, unison voice, enough is enough!
If for millions of people around the world, April 19, 1961 is remembered as the Day of Infamy, it is incumbent upon us to transform this day in the year 2009, into the Day of Rediscovering America, Goodness, Brotherhood, Love and Hope.
Another Stray Brother: Rep Kendrick Meek, 4/10/09
|Although I live in Florida, I am fortunate to do so 300 miles away from the rotten, corrupt political environment that pervade every bit of life in Miami, this unique American micro cosmos.
Many years ago, at the height of the “special Period” in Cuba, when food, medicine, transportation, electricity and all other basic means of survival were nowhere to be found and the life and wellbeing of an entire nation was at stake, tens of people of the most diverse, ethnic, social or political organizations, walked the halls of the US Congress and Senate, searching for and pleading with every politician or their staff, to pay attention to the human tragedy that was unfolding in Cuba.
Some listened politely, a few responded with compassion, most others expressed indifference or outright support for the divine punishment that had befallen the Cuban people, for straying away from their religious past or for embracing a foreign ideology.
As our sub-group of 4-5 individuals left a Congressman’s office, I noticed Congresswoman Carrie Meeks in front of her office, engaged in a lively conversation/farewell with a group of youngsters, apparently on school break. I approached the group, she looked at me and said nothing. I waited until she bid good bye to the group.
After my salutation, I identified myself as an Afro-Cuban hoping to share with her the enormous pain and suffering the Cuban people in general and Afro-Cuban in particular were enduring as a direct result of the US embargo and the collapse of the Soviet Union and other eastern block countries with whom Cuba held the bulk of its commercial/financial exchange. I also gave her a copy of my handout “A Cuba in Diaz-Balart’s Image or that of Today’s Miami“, which she promised to read and get back with me. She never did!
Years later, her son Kendrick Meeks was elected to Congress in the same district in which his mother was elected, which happens to be where my father lives . Hoping to congratulate him, I tried and failed to meet him twice at his Miami office . Months later, I heard a disturbing set of his political pronouncements and alignment with the ultra-right-wing, rabid Republican Cuban-Americans groups in south Florida, which led me to write to him, hoping to provide him with some historical background of the tragic experience of being Black in Cuba and living under the Diaz-Balart family dynasty in Banes, where they were the slave drivers for the United Fruit Company.
Months after, as I drove in front of his offices on 183rd St. in north Miami on my way to my father’s home, I decided to stop and inquire about my letter. No one in his office acknowledged knowing anything about it, presumably because it was sent to his Washington office. I asked his aide, if it would be OK if I would send her a copy of the previous letter, which I hand delivered weeks later and…..still no reply to this day.
Years ago, US Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm decided to relocate to Palm Coast, Florida. We met, greeted and I attempted to share with her this burning concern, but she respectfully suggested I bring this issue to another person, since she was an ordinary citizen, retired from politics.
Then we learned, Ms. Chisholm was ill, convalescing and unfortunately later died. A fitting and moving funeral with military honors took place at the AME Church. At the end of this sad event, as we left , friends and acquaintances met and greeted in front of the church and in the parking lot. I spotted a few member of the Congressional Black Caucus whom I had visited in their offices in DC, I went over to say hello and welcome them to Palm Coast.
Suddenly out of no where, US Congressman Kendrick Meeks walked-up to the group, hugged most present and gave me a wide and friendly smile, as he innocently asked, can you help me remember if we met before? I said not personally, but I have written to you twice without an answer.
He asked me for my business card and promised he would personally look into that matter, until today.
Since, I have followed closely and listened intently to his statements. Regretfully, I must admit, that for reasons unbeknown to me, US Congressman Kendrick Meeks and especially now with his bid for a Senate seat, is fully in the fold and under absolute control of the ultra-right-wing Cuban-American mafia in south Florida, the same group of people with blood still dripping from their hands, for untold crimes committed in Cuba especially against people of African descent, who they despised and continue to despise to this day.
Their track record with the Afro-American community and the recent emigrant community from Central American in south Florida, speaks volumes of their racist, despicable behavior towards those deemed inferior.
It would have been great to have another member of the US Congressional Black Caucus, who was aware of and supportive of the struggle, suffering, hopes and expectations of millions of sons and daughters in and outside of Africa. Tragically, as has happened before, there is always one of “ours” willing to side with our victimizers , eager to earn their trust by using their melanin content to divide and weaken our spirits.
The cause of black people will continue to suffer because of his actions and those of others like him, but we will prevail in the end. Too many dignified, heroic blacks in our turbulent history have known and measured up to their socio-historical responsibility and have been willing to suffer, put their lives on the line and pay the ultimate price.
Lumumba was cruelly hanged by his tormentors. No one knows are care who these monsters were, but his place in history is un-erasable.
Holden Roberto, Savimbe, Buthuleeze sided with the Afrikaners and their Apartheid system, but no one in the world today remember their heinous position or whatever happened to them. Nelson Mandela's heroic struggle for freedom has been etched in granite forever.
Few people if any, remembers the name of Andres Teran, Felix Rodriguez or any of the others Lilliputians charged with murdering Che Guevara in Bolivia. Che is known, revered around the world and has become a symbol of resistance to all.
What would Mariana Grajales, the heroic mother of the Cuban nation think about US Congressman Kendrick Meeks behavior, who could well have been her great grandson, allied with the worst of Cuba and recklessly tarnishing the memory of her entire family, who were willing to pay the ultimate price in defense of Cuba’s Dignity, Independence and Sovereignty?
Fifty years of infamy about to end, 4/8/09
|For Christians worldwide, April is among the most sacred and peaceful time of the year. For those living in the city of Guantanamo in 1961, except for the missile crisis one year later, this was the most tense, dangerous and frightening time in our lifetime.
Sugarcane fields were set ablaze nightly with live phosphorous from aircraft flying out of hostile countries surrounding Cuba. Bombs went of constantly in theaters and businesses, schools were torched, bridges and factory were blown up regularly.
Middle and high school students taking part in the literacy campaign were attacked and with the peasant family hosting them, were shot or hung from trees. Freighters were blown-up in ports, fishermen were captured on the high seas, hijacked and held hostage for weeks on US or neighboring keys. Airliners were hijacked in mid flight.
White papers and pastoral letters were read on Sundays in the Catholic church, warning parishioners of loosing their parental rights, that their children would be indoctrinated, shipped-off to the Soviet Union, from where some, were already returning in form o f canned beef.
The US Naval base in Guantanamo was abuzz with counterrevolutionary activities, as millions of pesos from the bourgeoisie were laundered in broad daylight. Every counterrevolutionary or ordinary crook sought by the Cuban authorities knew, they only needed to swim across the bay or jump the security chain fence into safety where food, shelter, a free airplane ride back to the United States with an I-94 document would be provided, entitling them to work, housing and healthcare.
Naval base employees and fishermen sailing through the channel were detained, tortured and murdered with impunity by military personnel. Recruiting to join counterrevolutionary groups was done openly and those enlisted, were shipped out of the base to training camps in the Everglades, Guatemala, Nicaragua or Honduras.
So assured of victory were all high ranking US Civilian and the Military brass on the Naval Base, that they spoke openly to anyone about the upcoming military plans and the remaining days of the Cuban government, probably as a recruiting tool or plain supremacist arrogance.
As mass hysteria swept across Cuba because of the Voice of America, Radio Swan, Radio Netherlands, WBGY on the Naval Base and others, broadcasting 24 hours a day threatening, encoded,20fear mongering news in Spanish, inciting the population to rise-up and rebel against the Cuban government, they fostered a siege mentality in most.
Incredible news such as invading forces landing in midland cities without ports, overrunning large garrisons, killing tens of Cuban soldiers, occupying townships and hangings in the public squares of government functionaries, are just some of the divisive tactics that were pumped across the nation into the people’s mind.
Around 3:00 AM on Saturday April 15, as a prelude to the Bay of Pigs invasion, ten B-26 with false markings of the Cuban Air Force, struck treacherously two Cuban Air Force bases in Havana and one in Santiago de Cuba, bombing, strafing and destroying on the tarmac the few fighter planes Cuba had; or so they thought.
The next morning and following a strong denunciation by the Cuban government, an emergency meeting of the security council of the United Nations was convened in New York. Adlai Stevenson, the US Secretary of State made the most disgraceful and deceitful statement in the history of this institution, as he presented fabricated pictures, tapes and notes, describing this revolting attack, as a mutiny of the Cuban Air Force.
Before dawn on April 17, a 1500 strong invading force landed at the Bay of Pigs in southern Cuba, which was supported by more than twenty B-26’s, landing crafts, heavy tanks and artillery, which should have made this adventure a cake walk. In fact, the head of the CIA supervising the mercenary training camps in Guatemala, as he bid them farewell with then President of Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza, he instructed the leader of this expeditionary force that once they took the Zapata swamp, they should travel north on the highway to the Australia sugar mill, turn left on the Central Highway and give him a call when they arrived in Havana.
At 5:00 PM on April 19, the entire Brigade 2506 had been captured, wounded or killed on this beachhead. Demoralized, most pleaded innocent or declared themselves to be cooks on national TV . After approximately 2 years in prison, a deal was worked out between the US and Cuban governments and they were exchanged for $50 million dollars worth of baby food, much of which went uncollected.
Ironically, this resounding political/military defeat took on a victorious , face-saving image with President John F. Kennedy presiding over a ticker-tape parade in Miami, where he promised to return the brigade flag to a free Cuba.
Since, this group have remained organized with other bellicose anti-Cuba resistan ce groups in south Florida, symbolizing an all-out war of attrition, democracy and free enterprise, while promising a triumphal return to Cuba every Christmas and stamping out every expression of dissent.
At the same time, the extraordinary and unmatched solidarity in health, education, military, political and moral support that Cuba have given to tens of countries in the third world and asking for nothing in return, became the most powerful weapon in the history of mankind, that have rendered useless, weapons of mass destruction, distortion, endless financial and political resources in the hands of those, bent on starving and decimating the Cuban people through disease, whose only crime was its refusal to say sorry, ask for forgiveness and go on their knees before their master.
A public recognition of Cuba’s extraordinary social commitment to those less fortunate, can be seen through constant visits of heads of states, high ranking politicians, social, cultural, scientific and business leaders from around the world, who have made Cuba an obligatory stop in their busy itinerary,
Capping this unprecedented recognition of the importance of Cuba‘s national and international role, has been the successful five-day visit of seven members of the US Congressional Black Caucus and as it will be20seen at the upcoming V Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, in which Cuba continues to be shunned against the will of the majority of the participating nations, but as it was accurately described by Prof. Norman Girvan, Cuba will be the elephant in the room.
What a timely coincidence it could be, if the world would standup, demand on April 17-19, 2009 the end of this wicked, brutal and vicious fifty year old embargo, that have been imposed upon the people of Cuba, the same days, this monstrosity reached its climax on April 17-19, 1961
Are we shooting ourselves in the foot? 3/30/09
|Last Friday, in a near celebratory atmosphere, US Congressman Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart,
Ros-Lehtinen, Wasserman, Kendrick Meek, Sires and a few others, read during a press conference, a hate letter sent to President Barack Obama, demanding he severely curtail the time allowed to Cuban-Americans legally visiting their families in Cuba.
On Saturday, as Vice-President Joe Biden traveled through Latin America, in a language reminiscent to the cold war era, he expressed a resounding NO, to any attempt of lifting the unilateral, fossilized, 50 year old embargo imposed upon Cuba.
And today, as President Barack Obama outlined his last effort to instill some oxygen into a severely ill US auto industry and attempt to salvage tens of thousands of jobs in the midst of our economical crisis , I am forced to reflect on news coming out of Cuba in which, they are ordering 10,000 buses from China, 1000 from the Ukraine, thousands of cars and heavy construction equipment from Korea, Japan, Italy and others.
Are these public servants thinking and actions in tune with the reality of the average American family needs, hopes and expectations?
The Race Card: their last bastion in a lost war, 1/31/09
|After the strident failure of ten United States presidents to decapitate and overthrow the Cuban government through invasions, bio-terrorism, assassinations, isolation, economical warfare etc., they identified in the mid 1990’s what they labeled as their secret weapon, which consisted of a substantial demographic shift in favor of blacks in Cuba.
A comprehensive destabilization project was conceived and enacted by the US State Department in which most leaders of counterrevolutionary groups in the United States should be replaced by blacks or mixed race Cubans, in order to contrast them with the Cuban government preferential treatment for those of Hispanic ancestry.
Simultaneously, US-AID and front foundations who had supported salaried dissidents of Hispanic ancestry in Cuba, were suddenly sidetracked, made irrelevant or ignored, in favor of unknown blacks pulled out of nowhere, recruited and speedily turned into leaders of bogus Free Democratic institutions.
These pseudo-leaders were tasked with creating confrontational institutions such as, Independent Librarians,=2 0Independent Unions, Independent Journalist, Independent everything else and fundamentalist religious groups dispensing medicine or personal goods, in a clear proselytizing effort, while fostering a victim syndrome in highly populated black communities.
Concomitantly, a flurry of statistics in every area in which they could numerically demonstrate the abuse, marginalization and supremacist views of the Cuban government, was widely disseminated across the globe. Other indexes which could cast blacks in a positive light, were hidden, dismissed or never mentioned.
Preferential migratory treatment was given to a handful of educated, sell-out blacks to relocate to the US, provided with grants to create diverse Afro related publications, ironically a few miles from some of the worst Afro-American ghettos in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles or in Mississippi, the lynching capital of the world, where until recently, there were billboard reading “Negro read and Run, if you can’t Read, run anyway!
Because of the well known, albeit poorly documented Cuba’s virulent racism until 1959, in which the majority of blacks were confined to Soweto-like neighborhoods in the inner cities or in sugarcane plantation communities across the country, in which most lived in thatched roof huts without electricity, running water, sewer, schools, healthcare, n ever given a job in office settings, banks or large companies except in menial ones, were not allowed in upper class neighborhoods after dark and public squares were clearly demarcated by race, made it difficult for the enforcers of the Cuban Apartheid version, to suddenly be transformed into Martin L. King or Nelson Mandela.
Our oppressors needed and sought out shameless, unprincipled blacks in Cuba and abroad, who were willing to sell their souls and intellect to the highest bidder, gladly assuming positions of leadership in a number of counterrevolutionary groupings, by skillfully laying out the groundwork to weaken society’s morale, develop a victim mentality among young blacks and plead with the world for mercy upon their abused brothers and sisters in Cuba, especially in Spain, with its bloody hands and unforgivable 400 years of crimes against millions of slaves in Cuba.
Instructed to highlight, magnify and disseminate many lingering, unresolved racial inequalities subsisting in Cuba, which must be addressed at the earliest date once and for all by the Cuban government, but never, ever, at the price of putting the entire nation at risk, by the cheap demagoguery of this bunch of opportunists.
Pretending to ignore our costly, tragic mistake of the past, when blacks following the rules of the game, tried to demand their rightful share in a “independent country” after the war of independence, it was another black man, Martin Morua Delgado, head of the senate in the puppet government of Jose Miguel Gomez, who wrote and enacted the law that facilitated the slaughter of more than 3000 blacks in Oriente in 1912, of which even today, Cuba is still too ashamed, too guilty to talk about, or too embarrassed to explain to our children.
Instead, a sprawling marble monument on Presidents Avenue and 27th Street in Havana, honors the memory of this butcher and not a single cross has been erected in Songo- La Maya to honor the victims of our El Mozote, Sabra and Shatila or My Lai.
genetically engineered by the US State Department, disguised as humanists, writers, dramaturges or clergy, helping to re-enact a similar crime one hundred years after.
And today, these ultra-right-wing Cuban-Americans pretend to ignore, that one of the first decree of the triumphant Revolutionary government in 1959 was to immediately denounce and tackle the pervasive, institutionalized racism, by dismantling schools, social gathering places, beaches, healthcare facilities, workplace or residential areas, which catered only to select racial groups.
This very courageous decision of the Cuban government created a generalized outcry from the upper, dominant class still in power. When their societies - Block Catalan, Colonia Espanola, Centro Gallego, Centro Asturiano - and many others were turned into Social Circles for the entire population, they never set foot again on its premises, which they were quick to rename with a slavish slang, “SOLOVANNICHE” which once it was unscrambled, actually meant “ONLY WHERE NIGGERS GO”.
The incredible literacy campaign which thought 95% of the illiterate population to read and write, was followed by a huge program known as Seguimiento or Follow Up, which turned every governmental building, office settings, industry etc., into tens of thousands of evenings classrooms where students achieved their sixth grade, moving Cuba’s rush hour from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM, when thousands of adults returned to their homes.
Technological and University education doors were slammed open for all. Students needing a few subjects to receive their high school diploma, were excused from their workplace with their full salary and placed in intensive remedial courses, completing their educational level in record time.
This massive educational project sent shivers down the spine of Cuba’s dominant class as they saw the writing on the wall, that their days were numbered, leading them to unleash a massive disinformation campaign consisting in labeling schools as indoctrination centers and those students with scholarships traveling abroad, was said, they would be killed in Russia and returned as canned meat.
This leveling of the playing field, allowing blacks to excel in every field of knowledge, walk through their secluded neighborhood, was too much to swallow or forgive, leading Ms Myriam Marquez, Diaz-Balart’s, Ros-Lethinen and a horde of less known foot soldiers in this subversive war, to show up in every possible form or shape, dressed as Cinderela or mother Theresa, with their murderous dagger fixed to their bodies.
Some of us, naively have fallen victim to this monstrous conspiracy. If any of these born-again humanists were really concerned about the plight of blacks anywhere, would it not be easier for them, to drive a few miles into tens of poverty ridden, drug infested, illiterate, hopeless ghettos around the US or the world and extend a helping hand in an honest attempt to reverse this tragedy?
Why are they solely concerned with Afro-Cubans? Are they in need of another beachhead to launch a new attack against Cuba?
May this partial description of the hypocrisy of those who instituted slavery, racism, segregation, ignorance and most of the social ills that have plagued so many black settlements around the world, help to make their hidden agenda abundantly clear, unmasking and denouncing their pharisaical actions, not to improve and correct the gains of blacks in Cuba but to return them to some of the worst ghetto’s in the US and around the world.
Time to regain lost grounds or perish, 1/13/09
|For the past twenty years, I have spoken to and literally pleaded with every governmental, educational, religious, health, social or business leader in our region willing to listen, about the importance of developing a mutually beneficial working relation with Cuba, irrespective of the different socio-political arrangements of both countries.
Fearful of a potential backlash from the powerful right-wing Cuban-American lobby in south Florida, most, with the honorable exception of the healthcare community, kept my suggestions at arm length at best.
In the next few days, history will be made with the swearing-in of Barack Obama as president of the United States. If he keeps his campaign promises of abolishing president George W. Bush mean-spirited regulations, which excludes uncles and cousins as family members, allows Cuban-Americans to legally visit their families in Cuba only once every three years and are not allowed to send more than $100.00 per month to an approved household in Cuba; much will be done to reverse the pervasive image of a vicious and wicked Goliath expressing the last drop of oxygen out of David.
Additionally, if president Barack Obama would close the infamous torture center in Cuba and enter into serious negotiations with the Cuban government leading to the return of the 105 years illegal occupation of 45 square miles of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, this would send a powerful signal to the world indicating, that a radical change in our past imperial impositions have ended, earning a massive respect and admiration for our nation across the globe.
Also, the downward economical spiral that threatens our fragile tourist-related economy, have come to highlight our lack of political/economical vision, as we witness states such as Iowa, South Dakota, New York, Vermont, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Washington State and many others with no geographical, ethnic, cultural or historical links to Cuba, selling millions of dollars in goods, as we stand on the sidelines reporting on business closings, job loss or budget cuts.
It is similarly painful to see hundreds of people afflicted with catastrophic health ailments dying without access to unique medications or vaccines developed a few hundreds miles from our communities, only because someone in authority decided we should not mitigate, prevent or cure pathologies, they disprove of their manufacturer.
And finally, after pumping millions of dollars in a irreversible failed effort to educate our minorities, improve their self esteem, reduce violence and drug addition, can only be solved in Cuba, where decades of discipline and expertise have enabled tens of thousands of minorities from across the world to be educated in every field of knowledge, turning them into respectable and productive members of society, working towards a better world.
After fifty years of destructive measures for both countries, the time have come for us to act as respectful adults, by searching for and implementing mutually beneficial development programs, that are capable of improving the wellbeing of our people and lay the basis for a more peaceful, friendlier and better world for all.
Email: albertoj_AT_afrocubaweb.com [replace _AT_ with @]
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