History will condemn them forever, 7/25/01
Requiem to a Teratoma - CANF terminally ill, 7/24/01
La Nacion Cubana, 3/21/01
Guantanamo Remembered, 1/01
The Alberto Jones Column III - 2001
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. Other 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), and Column V, 2002
|Many of our faithful readers may remember through
previous articles that I was born on a hot and humid summer morning, in
the rigidly segregated, poverty ridden sugar plantation community of
Banes, in north eastern Cuba.
Although my family were among the fortunate few in our community, we were by no means not an integral part of the overall picture; it was just less blatant, less painful.
My grandfather -Pappy- had a year round, six days a week, $0.50 per day job as an orderly in the United Fruit Company Hospital. My grandmother -Mami- worked as a cook from 6 AM to 8 PM, six days a week, at the home of one of the Big Bosses of the Co., for $6.00 or $7.00 a month.
For the few youngsters in our community that could afford not to go early off to the sugar harvesting, the only other option for improving themselves, was by learning a "Trade". The most frequently available trade was as an auto mechanic, baker, tailor, musician, jeweler or barber. One of my Uncle chose the first and another, the latter. No other option was really available for people from our neighborhood.
Although I only lived in this community until the age of 5 or 6, it is remarkable how the human brain can capture and retain these early images in one's life. My recollection of my neighborhood is one of a very sad place.
Many aspects that typified our community are still vivid in my mind. Whenever I would walk with my mother or grandparents to Union Church, we had to go over the "Gully" with its putrid effluence, contaminating the environment and spreading sickness and death. Ironically, this was the gathering place for tens of idle, hopless youths from our neighborhood, who, devoid of education, training or jobs, spent hours mocking each others or passerby as their only way of making their sad reality less painful.
Most if not all of them wore the typical blue labor paints or overall, -now made fashionable and renamed "Jeans"- hoping to attrack the job that never materialized. Those clothes had been sewn, patched and stitched so many times, that is was frequently a heroic effort to establish which portion of the garment was the original.
Illnesses and deaths was another hallmark of our neighborhood. We always knew of someone who was seriously ill, died during childbearing/birth or due to causes that have now been completely wiped out of the area.
Our closest neighbor, Mr Bamberry, had rented out a back room in his home to a lady everyone called Mami. One day we learned that Mami was sick and my grandfather, -as he did with hundreds of others in need-, went over and determined that she had a lower leg infection. For days or weeks he cleansed, applied medication he kept in his bedroom and dressed her wound, to no avail. The process worsened and evolved into what I may assume today was gangrene, leading to her death. The unique odor coming from the wound on her leg has lived with me since.
My first awareness of WW II may have happened during our evening dinner, in which I heard my grandfather share with us the horrific news coming out of the war zone. At such early age, I was capable of understanding much of what was said, but I was unable to fully comprehend the content of the subject. It was clear however, that Germany and Japan were seen in a very negative way.
This on the other hand, contrasted quite significantly with the understanding and image that I had of people called Japanese. We all knew that there were some Japanese families who had small plots of land near a brook, in which they farmed a variety of vegetables, that they would carry in large baskets hanging from their shoulders and would sell door-to-door. They were very loving to the children, who could always expect a tomato or something else to munch on after a sale.
One mid-day I was able to understand the full meaning of war when the entire Japanese community were herded through our neighborhood on their way to the train station, never to be seen or heard of again.
At the same time, most people in our community kept on talking about the great news coming out of Guantanamo, where lots of jobs were being created by the huge expansion that was taking place at the United States Naval Base.
Hundreds of unskilled workers, especially those who understood English, were being hired for a host of jobs. Many people in our community fit the required profile, which led to a massive human migration from tens of similar plantation communities in northern Oriente to Guantanamo in the south.
It may have been either in 1943 or 1944, very early in the morning, my mother, brother and myself, left our modest home in La Guira, Banes and walked the dark trail to the train station and boarded a Gas Car at 5:30 AM.
Full of hopes, we were elated by the news that had being coming our way describing the better life that awaited us in Guantanamo, where one by one, my Uncle Cliff, Joselyn and my Grandfather had already relocated. The early morning chill did not bother us, we were on our way to leaving behind the misery and despair that had become synonymous with Banes.
Going from Banes to Guantanamo those days required changing trains in Dumois, Alto Cedro, San Luis and approximately 19 hours to get to your destination. The train I remember best was the one we took in Alto Cedro. That was a real train, with straw covered seats, big windows, a uniformed conductor walking the aisle collecting tickets, but above all, because this train had a cafeteria. What a treat!
The one going to Guantanamo was the second best, although it made about 40 stops. At the train station in Guantanamo, there were 2 or 3 taxi cabs. German was the best known of them. There were also horse driven coaches. Still, most people chose a unique "luggage service", which consisted of people who would walk with you and carry your luggage to your home. Depending on the size of your luggage a and distance you were going, they receive $0.05 or $0.10 for their service.
When we arrived at the home our grandfather had rented, we were thrilled, delighted with this cinder block home with Spanish tile floor, electricity, running water and sewer. Albeit poorly equiped, healthcare and educational facilities were available. In less than 24 hours, our living conditions had improved a million per cent.
The next day we went visiting friends who had migrated before us, letting everyone know we were the latest addition to a thriving Guantanamo. We were terribly impressed with the design of the City of Guantanamo. Contrary to Banes, the streets were wide and a near perfect layout, which mimmicked a checker board and made it possible to see from one end of the street to another.
One river on the northern tip of the city, one on the east and another on the west side, provided abundant summer opportunity for the kids to be happy, especially during the oppressive summer heat. The people in the community were very friendly, open and helpful.
Maybe after a week of sight seeing, visits and learning our way around, we were reminded of who we were, when we were registered in Mr Stonewall Jackson English school.
As we learned later and I will attempt to explain, Guantanamo was a unique City in Cuba. I will never know if it was this uniqueness or the fact that I lived there, the most important years of my life, that this City has left an indelible mark in my life.
Guantanamo was at the time a City of approximately 60,000 inhabitants from around the world. Native Cubans, Spaniards and emigrants from the English and French speaking Caribbean islands constituted the bulk of this community. Chinese, Hindus, Italians, Germans, North Americans, Arabs and other smaller groups, completed this polyfaceted community.
The sugar industry with seven small mills, large coffe and cocoa plantation, cattle, an important forest reserve, and the salt industry, were significant source of employment. Still, the United States Naval Base providing year round employment for approximately 2500 civil service an domestic employees, in addition to a large weekly influx of US Navy personnel on shore leave, constituted by far, the greatest socio/economic impact on the region.
The sugar industry with its seven small mills, large coffe and cocoa plantation and the salt industry, were cyclical areas of employment. Cattle was exploited on an extensive basis with very limited manpower required. The United States Naval Base on the other hand provided year round employment for approximately 2500 civil service and domestic employees, for whom, although their wages were very low, the regularity of pay created a stable source of income. On the other hand, a weekly flow of US Military personnel on shore leave created an additional source of income and the largest Red Light District in the country.
The severe lack of job opportunities in Guantanamo, the uncertainty surrounding those City or Provincial Cuban Government jobs, in which, employees were never sure if they would be receiving their next pay check, the severe instability by which every change of Government meant that losing your job to people of the other party, bribery, kick back, nepothism and a wealth of other social ills, reduced most youngsters in Guantanamo to a single goal: arrive at 18 years of age and get a "PASS" to work on the US Naval Base.
The 'PASS" per se, created a lot of anxiety among people in search of a job, which was the majority. Without this basic instrument, you would not be allowed to enter the Naval Base, fill out a job application, take a physical and hopefully, get called. Also, the 'PASS" was not sent to the general population in Guantanamo or any other community. Instead, it was someone working on the Base that would have access to this information, request a "PASS" and deliver it to a friend or family in Cuba.
This poorly thought out system created a monarchy-type structure that enabled those people working on the Base to access new job opportunities that would reach only those known to them. Other citizens in Guantanamo with no such connection were left frustrated, segregated and bitter, with occasional frictions within the community.
Living conditions in the City of Guantanamo was horrendous, with hundreds of job seekers, sleeping anywhere from 4, 5 or more to a room, while they prayed and waited for the prized 'PASS", which could translate into a weekly pay check.
Those fortunate to be employed became "different" overnight. Their living standard rose 5, 10, 20 or more times compared to their cyclical plantation income, which was for most people reduced to 4 or 5 months and kept them in perrennial debt with their employer.
These combined factors led to the creation of the most submissive, loyal and unconditional worker the US NAVY ever had, who were either unwilling or incapable of ever questioning or arguing against any given order, no matter how offensive, absurd or degrading.
The working environment on the US NAVAL BASE, was strongly segregated, oppressive, saturated with fear, devoid of all legal representation and all employees were kept in check by a horde of informants, willing to tell on his/her co-worker or in their absence, create a story in order to be looked upon with more tolerance or rise to new heights by climbing on the bodies of his fellow worker. The omnipresent "Black Ball" was the supreme threat or coercive maxim and was a wonderful deterrent, which, when applied against an employee, meant he/she would be barred for life from entering the Naval Base.
An unforseen sub-product emerged from these employees, who gradually learned that in time of peace and stability, "Reduction In Force" was a constant reality by which, employees were fired or demoted. On the other hand, instability, wars, international conflicts, were a source of creating new jobs, overtime and job security. A strong anti-communist, bellicose, war mongering, interventionist mentality became an integral part of our thinking. Fifty years after, everyone in Guantanamo and surrounding communities remembers our "Gold Rush", associated with the Korean War.
To be continued............
Just four months ago, our nation went through a heart wrenching dilemma, when it became apparent that we could not elect a new President with the transparency required by law. For the second time in the history of the United States, the state of Florida played a pivotal role in tipping the balance, in what has come to be known as a corrupt and rigged-type electoral process, that mirrors any other Third World, Banana Republic.
An important component in achieving this result, was the south Florida based right wing Cuban American community, who, capitalizing on the anti-Clinton sentiments associated with the return of six year old Elian Gonzalez to his parents, they held rallies, used Elian’s voice as background to political announcements and swore to get the democrats out of the White house at any cost.
By applying once again their corrupt Cuban political expertise, in which votes were openly bought and sold, tampering or stealing ballot boxes was routine, scaring off voters of opposing parties, using deceased people voting credentials and offering no-show jobs or lucrative contracts in exchange for these corrupting procedures, comes as no surprise to older Cubans, who lived through their so called "Democratic" system between 1902 and 1958.
But if all of the above was disgraceful by itself, it was nauseating to see Governor Jeb Bush pilgrimage to Little Havana in Miami, to pay his respects to a horde of terrorists, murderers, crooks, that have stolen every penny in the Medicare/Aid budget and drug traffickers. In essence, the worst of our society was being commended for a job well done.
At the same time, while thousands of Afro-Americans were denied their most basic right of expressing their will during the past election, for which, so many had been incarcerated, beaten, had shed their blood or paid the ultimate price, our Governor did not have neither the time or courage to apologize to those disenfranchised.
It is therefore no surprise, to see President Bush and his most senior advisers, catering to the war mongering, menacing statements and death threats that are directed at the Cuban people every day by the Cuban American National Foundation and tens of other bellicose, fossilized pressure groups, who brag openly that the Republican Party, Congress and the White House, need not to be reminded of the critical role of the Cuban vote.
Never before since the Eisenhower/Kennedy Presidency, had the Administration devoted so much efforts and resources to subvert, coerce, isolate and strangle the Cuban people. Pressure is being exerted and every nation with diplomatic/commercial relation with Cuba, through an energized Helms-Burton and Torrecilli act.
Ignoring the dire financial situation the Cuban people have been enduring for the past decade, in which food, medicine and most the basic means of survival is in short supply, the State Department and Treasury Departments are using every opportunity available, to dispense Cuban assets that have remained frozen in the US for the past 40 years, to anyone who may present the most frivolous argument.
A case in point. Twenty Italian skiers were killed when their cable car was hit by an F-16, which was later settled by paying $40,000 to each beneficiary.
On the other hand, three members of "Brothers to the Rescue" who had systematically intruded into the Cuban airspace, had dropped leaflets inciting the people to rebel and who years ago, had sprayed the country with fire bombs and unconfirmed reports of virulent agents in their bacteriological warfare, received a 189 million dollars settlement. Even the wife of a Cuban double agent, who returned to Cuba days before this incident, was awarded 20 million dollars for pain and suffering associated with the abandonment of her husband.
But what makes this issue so despicable, is that after denying the existence of Blacks in Cuba for nearly forty years and dozens of other failed violent efforts to topple the Cuban Government, these ultra-right-wing Miami Cubans, have suddenly discovered that those Black Cubans who they had vigorously segregated, treated like animals and denied all means of survival for 500 years, is now, their last hope of overthrowing the Government.
In order to achieve that objective, a well structured and heavily financed program is underway, by which, special effort has been placed on creating "Independent Journalist", "Independent Libraries", "Independent Unions" and "Independent Everything Else", all equipped with endless-minute cellular phones, fax machines, weekly stipend, with a heavy Black presence, in order to stir up racial division, hatred and strife, in hopes of re-enacting in Cuba, the Kosovo, West Bank or Northern Ireland experience.
What makes these individuals so pathetic, is that for a few silver coins, they have sold their souls and forced to ignore what happened to Diallo and Louima in New York, King in Texas, the four girls in the Church in Birmingham, the massacre of Rosewood in Florida and 1912 in Cuba.
These born again Human Rights Advocates in Cuba, are so busy spreading rumors, creating news and sending bogus reports to Geneva, hoping to have their country condemned by the UN Human Rights Commission and thereby justify their blooded $7.00 day salary, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of ex-employees from the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo, who were summarily dismissed in 1964 and their pension money have been arbitrarily withheld since.
No matter how well this issue may be packaged, wrapped or deodorized, it smells! Every peace loving man, women and child, should be aware of this heinous plot!
Aren’t these the same people that have despised every Black leader in the world?
Aren’t these the same people who during the South African struggle against Apartheid, sided with Botha against Nelson Mandela?
Aren’t these the same people that when the Afro-American people were struggling for dignity and equality during the Civil Rights Movement in the US, they sided with every segregationist in town!
Aren’t these the new John Birch, David Duke Cuban version of hate, that should not succeed?
Can we ever trust these individuals again, after knowing what they did in Cuba until 1959, and seeing what they do today in south Florida?
They will be part of history for the wrong reasons!
|July 16th, 2001
Daytona Beach, Fl
Since the early '90s, cubanologists from different universities, social workers and even some misguided or ill informed Afro Americans coming out of the civil rights movement unleashed a flood of newspapers articles, seminars, conferences, web sites, books, radio talk shows all of which became part of a well concerted and heavily funded project to divide Cubans along race lines.
These initial concerns with the wellbeing of the Afro Cuba community was welcome by most, until it became clear that these entities were all advocating similar divisive and confrontational policies towards the Cuban Government. Most of these groups used similar terminology, format and even words that are not part of the Cuban lexicon, which clearly indicates the existence of a command and control center outside of the Cuban community.
A great effort was placed on the creation of Independent Libraries, Independent Journalists, Independent Women, Children and Elderly Association, Independent Farmers and even Independent Unions in Cuba, all of this being advocated by people with the lowest union membership in the world.
Outside of Cuba, a series of Afro-Cuban "Think-Tank" charged with creating and disseminating news, rumors, distortions, or elevating to "Sainthood" a few salaried Afro-Cuban "Dissidents" that they have created in Cuba, is in fact their most cherished portion of the puzzle, because it creates for them an aura of credibility.
In order to accomplish this goal, they have provided such "Dissidents" with a monthly stipend, computers, fax machines, endless-minutes cellular phones and a resonance box in radio and TV stations in Miami, New Jersey, Texas, California, Washington, France, the Netherlands and many other places, enabling them to freely exude every day tons of bile, hate and revenge around the world.
Capitalizing on lingering racial inequalities that subsists in Cuba after 40 years of efforts to level the playing field, these demagogues, rather than explaining our tragic experience in this part of the world where we were forcibly brought 550 years ago, take pleasure in emphasizing and highlighting present shortcomings, which no one should try to hide or explain away. They are real!
As a 62 year old Afro-Cuban, who have lived 2/3 of my life in Cuba and 1/3 in the US, I have accrued sufficient first hand experience, to be able to honestly, fairly, and with an unbiased view, assess my life experience which is no different than most people African ancestry living in Cuba.
Cuba prior to 1959, was one of the most viciously racist, segregated country in this region. Being Black in Cuba meant for most of us to be born in a thatched roof house without running water, sewer, electricity, schools, healthcare, jobs or hopes.
It meant, never to be employed in garment stores, office settings, driving a Greyhound-type bus or at large enterprises like the electrical, telephone, beverage or industrial companies, except for the most menial jobs of sweeping, digging or pulling trash.
Although it was not expressly written in the Cuban Constitution that Blacks were excluded from the educational system, a very clever system with a pyramidal shape was in place that effectively eliminated most people of African ancestry and all poor people in general, from achieving any level of education.
The process was very simple. Public schools up to fourth grade were distributed throughout most neighborhoods in towns and cities. There were few or none in the countryside.This was followed by a 5th and 6th grade school, which could be located between 1 and 5 miles from your home. The 7th and 8th grade school was usually much further and in many cases, in a neighboring town or city, which could be 20-50 miles away. High school existed only in the larger cities and there was only one University in Havana until 1954, when a second one was opened in Santiago de Cuba, 500 miles away.
With our parents jobs and income limitations, it is clear why most of us did not go beyond the 4th grade. On the other hand, our parents would question the purpose of this pursuit, knowing it would not make any difference in our lives.
After the present Cuban Government overthrew, the murderous, corrupt ridden, mafia controlled Batista regime in 1959, one of its first decree was to de-institutionalize racism, giving equal access to jobs and education to all. This single act led to the existence in Cuba of the largest percent of people of African ancestry with higher education in the world!
For this and many other reasons, there is a sort of silent code of loyalty among the Afro Cuban community, which explains in part, the literal non-tendency to migrate, no matter how difficult the internal financial crisis may be. Although some researchers estimate the Afro-Cuban community at 60% or more of the island population, there maybe only a 2-3% living abroad.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the other trading partners from the eastern bloc, the Cuban Government introduced overnight a dollar-driven exchange economy, in order to adapt to the new reality.
This survival decision for the nation has exerted on the other hand the most devastating impact on the Afro-Cuban families in Cuba. Every person of Asian, European, Arabic or Jewish ancestry living in Cuba, has a family member living abroad who can help their surviving plight with cash remittances. Most people of African ancestry living in Cuba have no one abroad to turn to for help.
That is why, for hundred of thousands of people of different ethnic background living in Cuba today, the notion of the Embargo is merely an academic concept. For Afro-Cubans, it may be the difference between life and death.
And this is what makes the job of those hired voices, hired pen or hired think tank so despicable, when they apply their best intellect, vision and thoughts, not to find ways to mitigate the pain and suffering, or to shore up signs of family fragility with an incipient increase in delinquent activity among Afro-Cubans, who after 12 years of resisting this onslaught, cannot hold out much longer. Rather, as animals of prey waiting in the dark, they are ready to ambush the weak, the sick, the desperate. They are willing to offer a few silver coins, bread crumbs from the table of the wealthiest in their quest to have their victims do what they have proven to be genetically unfit to accomplish.
This shameful behavior is another attempt to tarnish the rich history of Antonio Maceo, Guillermon Moncada, Mariana Grajales, Quintin Banderas, Jesus Menendez, Aracelio Iglesias, just to mention a few of our greatest Afro Cuban leaders, who with their life and example, thought us the path to follow.
Maybe their most disgraceful behavior stem from their purported concern about the plight of the Afro-Cuban community living in Cuba.
Why haven't they established a working relation with tens of groups in Cuba, dedicated to provide moral and material support to people of African ancestry?
Why are they insisting in creating their own "Independent Whatever" or "Non-Government Organization" in Cuba, before extending a helping hand to their piers in need?
Why haven't they helped, by purchasing some microscopes, computers, reagents, medical books, stethoscopes or sanitary clothing, for some of the over 2000 Medical Students from Africa, the Caribbean and the United States, who are being trained free of charge in Cuba, and who will be back someday in their communities, to emulate what Dr Albert Schweizer did for Africa?
Why haven't these so called "Afro-Cubans unable to do what Chinese from Canada and Taiwan are doing for Chinatown in Havana, or the Spanish Government for their citizens and descendents, or the Jewish community in the US for their piers in Cuba, or the Arabic Society for the Arabs in Cuba, without asking or demanding political loyalty, ideological affinity or religious compatibility?
Is it because they need to control, manipulate and coerce their prey with the funds they receive from well known right wing institutions and foundations in Washington or from the increased funding that President Bush promised them on July 13?
If these pharisaical neo-humanitarian are truly concerned with the plight of people of African ancestry, why is it that, living in the United States and equipped with a well stuffed bank account, they have done nothing for people in Overtown and Allapath in Miami, Cabrina Greens in Chicago, South Central LA, Parramore in Orlando, Haiti or the AIDS epidemic that threatens to wipe the continent of Africa from the map?
The function and reasons for these individuals to exist is very clear. They are dedicated to fuel and fan racial hatred among the Cuban people, in hopes of creating another West Bank and Gaza, Kosovo, or Northern Ireland. It will not happen!
The CANF, Cuban American Nacional Foundation, is in the middle of a crisis that arose from the City of Miami's refusal to host the Grammy Awards. When the falangistas heard that LA made 50 million from the ceremonies, Mas Canosa Jr. himself set up the welcoming comittee for the next Grammy. Not being given to rule by consultation and consensus, he pissed off the old guard who is now defecting, I mean resigning and going elsewhere: people like Perez Castellon, information officer, etc. The idea of Mas Canosa having to hug some Cuban musician awardee proved too much. Meanwhile some bright Miami boy renewed the registration for the name CANF, a task left undone by the not too efficient CANF administration. He now owns it free and clear! See Alberto Jones' comments below.
|As I departed Miami International Airport on Thursday
evening July 19, I tuned in a Miami based Cuban Radio Talk Show, and I
was immediately hit by a tremendous sense of consternation,
hopelessness and loss, coming over the airwaves as a result of Nonoska
Perez Castellon's impending resignation as a Board Member and
spokesperson for the Cuban American National Foundation.
Since, multiple speculative articles have been written by different media and most of them have tried to focus and limit this irreversible crack, on personal differences or differing ideological approach, rather than to recognize what the average Cuban American in south Florida has come to know over the past few years that this organization is terminally ill.
With great fanfare and enormous material resources, the Cuban American National Foundation emerged on the national scene in the early 80's as another of President Ronald Reagan's bellicose projects, geared to make every country in the world, especially those small and vulnerable, think, speak and act as he did or else he would make them cry uncle. El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the thousands of deaths associated with this deranged policy stand as a mute example of those turbulent times.
Grenada, a tiny island of 100,000 inhabitants, which is much smaller than most counties in the state of Florida and with less guns than any of our neighborhoods, became his obsession, his delirium, his mission, which meant that until that government was decapitated, he would not be at peace. Our great strategist and courageous General Schwartzkopf, armed with a battle group and aircraft carrier, was charged with implementing this dangerous task.
Cuba on the other hand, posed for President Reagan and his advisers a more complex issue. Multiple options was presented to him and a multi prong effort was designed by such wise men as Oliver North, Abrams, General Alexander Haig, Bernard Aronson, and many, many others.
One aspect that stands out in this process, was the creation of an organization that could project an image that all of the anti-Cuba effort was a genuine Cuban exile grassroots enterprise, created, organized, financed and operated solely by Cubans. No links to the US Government should be visible or detectable.
And so, this teratologic creature, The Cuban American National Foundation, was born under the chairmanship of the renowned CIA operative, Bay of Pigs participant and terrorist graduate, Jorge Mas Canosa.
For many, this despicable individual was able to maintain either through fear or charisma a cohesive organization, with which, although it did not have a clear ideological platform, he constantly dispensed hate, revenge, religious passages and the hope of a prompt return to our homeland. It was the perfect ingredient to keep most of the third age Cubans aligned.
The large sum of US Federal funds that he received through multiple front organizations, foundations, donations etc. that he further recycled back into the US political arena, enabled him to buy conscience, modify voting patterns, sponsor legislation or unseat candidates in states all around the country.
His influence on all US Government issues related to Cuba was unparalleled and unchallenged. He was liked and feared by members of the US Congress and Senate, because of the effects of his long arm capability to elect or unseat anyone.
What other common ground could there be among lawmakers from the Carolinas, New Jersey, Connecticut, Dakotas, Washington State, Florida, Indiana, Texas and others with Cuba, except for the abundant campaign finance money?
In 1997 as a result of a malignant tumor, this very evil man died in Miami. He, as a host of other Cubans, are already an integral part of Cuba's darkest history.
After the arrival of Christopher Columbus to this part of the world, many names have been engraved in our history, some for murdering and decimating the peaceful and friendly aborigens that lived on our island for hundreds of years. Others were known for brutalizing and murdering thousands of African slaves, others for siding with the Spanish occupying forces during the struggle for independence, others still for enforcing brutal and repressive measures during the pseudo-republic and others more, for once again selling their souls to a foreign country in exchange for recovering their ill gotten booty and privileges that they had amassed in the corrupt society that existed in Cuba before 1959.
Mr Mas Conosa's most strongly held philosophy was the recovery of lands, mines, apartments, industries and the life style that the rich and famous lost in Cuba. He never forgot his privilege of living on Avenida Manduley in Santiago de Cuba, where Blacks could only walk to and from their jobs as maids or gardeners. These inalienable rights would be restored to them when Cuba was again free and Democratic.
With his demise, we see a the lack of coherent philosophy and the sudden emergence of his inept and arrogant son as heir to the trone. The results that we are now experiencing should come as no surprise.
Another peculiar characteristic of a large segment of the south Florida Cuban exile community is that the majority of the most vociferous "leaders" are not genuine, patriotic, democratic, religious, non-prejudice, honest individuals. Most are there as a way of positioning themselves for that tomorrow in which they hope to occupy their self appointed positions of "President", "Head of the Armed Forces" "Mayor" "Governors", "Police Chief" "Minister" etc., in a Cuba free of present conditions.
This single factor is what has exacerbated their views and actions, approximating them more to vipers and hyenas, ready to demote and devour anyone. A long list of "Leaders" in the Cuban exile community, who over the past 40 years have perished or vanished in the flames of deceit, conspiracies or betrayals, exemplifies their principles and values.
With the latest development, a few outspoken, unqualified, auto-proclaimed "leaders" are pretending to regret these new events, while deep inside, they admit that this is their best opportunity to acquire new stature, recognition and maybe an invitation to Washington to be annointed in their new Chairmanship aspirations.
This near pathological syndrome that have pervaded this community, in which, the Radio Talk Show progams with "Open Mike" has become the most effective instrument to demonize their political nemesis, is the most obvious of the many dirty tricks arsenal. By using unlisted telephone numbers, telephone trees, staunch supporters or salaried callers, they have created the most rarified air wave environment in the United States, in which evey opponent moral, political fortunes or even his/her life maybe at stake.
Hundreds of ex-Batista's henchmen, who had specialized in all forms of torture, murder, dissapearance, fire bombing, assassinations are indistintly members of the so called 50 or more intransigent groups in Miami, willing and able to carry out any violent order that they may receive.
One of Batista's Government most notorious henchemen, Coronel Esteban Ventura Novo, after receiving shelter and protection in the US for the past 40 years, died peacefully two weeks ago in Miami.
This human excretion was responsible for the most despicable crimes that took place in Cuba during the insurrection -1956-1959-. As head of the V and IX police stations in Havana, he was responsible for introducing large speculum in young ladies vagina, opening it to its maximum and forcing confessions. He routinely applied forceps to rip out finger and toe nails, eye balls were plucked out regularly, prisoners were hanged upside down and left to drown in their own body fluids, if they did not confess before.
The massacre of the four University of Havana student leaders at Humbolt 7, another brutal killing at Juanelo neighborhood or the other massacre at Goicuria and O'Farrill, where 4 men and a pregnant woman were brutally gunned down, Lidia Doce, Clodomira Acosta, the Giralt sisters, all had the misfortune to fall in his hands, subjected to the worst torture possible, were weighted and dumped in the ocean, never to be found.
This individual and hundreds others like him, have desecrated the streets of Miami, New Jersey, Palm Beach or elsewhere and today, they are the embodiement of these Democratic organizations, struggling to return freedom to their homeland.
Other notables head of organizations struggling on behalf of Cuba, are Dr Orlando Bosch, renowned terrorist, who masterminded the in flight explosion of a Cuban airliner with 76 passengers on board. His closest and most faithful deputy, Posada Carriles, sits now in a prison cell in Panama, for once again attempting to blow up the University of Panama Auditorium, where Castro was supposed to speak to 2000 Panamanian students.
The recent saga of 6 year old Elian Gonzalez contributed more than anything else, to expose these immoral individuals to the American public, who saw horrified how these specimens were willing to kidnap an innoncent child in front of tens of TV cameras, which left us to wonder, what they would be capable of doing under the cover of darkness.
Hit hard by the outrage of the American and worldwide community, they retreated to the back room, started an image "Make Over", by dropping some of their most retrograde, fossilized leaders and replacing them with Good Looking, Soft Spoken, Non Gesticulating individuals, which even included a high ranking ex- US State Department United States citizen.
A superficial understanding of the moral decay of these groups struggling to return to Cuba and their anexionist intent explains why they have been around for 40 years and will be for the next 40.
Nothing can stop the downward spiral trend in which the Cuban American National Foundation is trapped. Those indebted to them or those who wish to look upon this vicious organization with benevolence will all be dissapointed, when everyone who has been involved one way or another in the dramatic historical events that have involved the United States and Cuba for the past 40 years, bids our final farewell, our Requiem to this Teratologic entity, that should have never seen the light of day.
Everyone saw it coming. Some ran to Washington for help, others prayed, some asked the Babalao for predictions, but nothing; not even the infusion of some soft spoken, non gesticulating, non Cuban so called leaders, could stop the rotting process that had taken hold of the soul of the Cuban American National Foundation.
This abomination that was created in the basement of the White House under the auspices of Ronald Reagan bellicose mentality, will be missed by few, if any.
Only a handful of other man-made evil organizations in the world, have surpassed the pain, suffering and deaths, that this instrument of destruction, have caused to the Cuban people, during its twenty years fatal tenure.
With the passing of the Cuban American National Foundation and a few surviving similar groups that will inexorably follow suit, the world will be a better place.
I can only hope, that the self appointed/ anointed, inept Chairman of the Cuban American National Foundation and most of its followers, may see the fruits of the brutal crime they all committed against an innocent 6 year old child.
This is written in response to a number of events, including Pedro Dupre's column on The Black World Today:
|I must express my gratitude to Mr Pedro Dupre for
introducing me to this fine and informative Web Site. After carefully
reading his article Cuba, A Nation; Many governments, No Blacks
Allowed, Please, I must take a strong exception with his views and its
The intractable and extremely complex social development affecting the Afro Cuban community, requires a dispassionate, unbiased, objective analysis of it root cause, approach, corrective measures and anticipated results.
During the last decade, the Afro Cuban community living in Cuba has faced its most critical, life threatening challenge as a result of the onslaught of the US Embargo and the dollarization of the Cuban economy. With less than 1% of its members living abroad, there are very few people to turn to for help, placing this entire population on the verge of moral breakdown and extinction risk.
On the other hand, Cubans of other ethnic groups, have been able to withstand this adverse environment through family cash remittances from abroad. Their family units have remained mostly unscratched.
Why such disparity in the behavior of one group and another of Cubans?
The introduction of the most sweeping social changes in Cuba's history, after the triumph on the Revolution in 1959, by de-institutionalizing racism, creating equal access to education, jobs, sports, healthcare, recreation, housing etc., has enabled the Afro Cuban community to advance more in the last 40 years than in the previous 500 years, creating the largest per capita of people of African ancestry with higher education in the world.
This incredible social accomplishment has created a silent code of loyalty among AfroCubans and consequently, a non-migratory tendency.
Have all the AfroCubans social ill been eradicated during this 40 years?
Absolutely not. Some in fact, that were presumed eradicated, have slowly began to show their ugly heads.
Is Cuba a perfect society, devoid of all shortcomings?
Like all others, it is not a perfect society and much, much need to be done in pursuit of creating a level field for all. One important aspect that must not be left out of this and all analysis of this issue, is the need of being acutely aware, that the AfroCuban and Hispanic communities had different starting social points.
Hispanics had the infrastructure and development culture for centuries. AfroCuban had for the most part a plantation imposed mentality.
If our perception of the issue is accurate, the Caribbean American Children Foundation has worked to provide moral and material support and hope to different AfroCuban groups in Cuba among which we may mention, The British West Indian Welfare Center, the Episcopal Church and the school of the mentally challenged in Guantanamo. The Blue Mountain Association, the Geriatric Center, The Caribbean Dance Group and the Caribbean Medical University in Santiago de Cuba. The Anglo-Caribbean Association and the Pentecostal Church in Banes.
Through our work, these groups have received text books, personal and hygiene supplies, school materials, medical supplies, medicines and a feeding program, all, without ever asking their political, social, religious or sexual orientation or demanding allegiance to our perceptions.
Sadly, too many AfroCubans, Afro Americans or other ethnic groups, rather than assist our people in dire need of help, have preferred to focus on gathering statistics, researching issues, writing papers or organizing conferences, while our people are starving, sick or dying for lack of the most menial material resources.
Other ethnic groups living in Cuba - Spaniards, Arabs, Chinese or Jews - all have life lines from their country of origin or from groups of nationals living in other countries around the world. Blacks, have none of the above.
Unfortunately, many in the AfroCuban community have said, that as long as Castro is in Cuba, they will not help anyone living there. Whenever Castro is no longer in the scene, it will be however too late for hundreds of our brothers and sisters, who may have perished because of our narrow view and retrograde thinking.
I therefore reject any suggestion to ignore our people and align my actions with those right wing racist Cubans, perpetrators of most of our social ills.
Have we forgotten when these individuals did everything possible for us not to go beyond the 4th grade, forced us to live in huts with thatched roof, no running water, no sewer, no electricity, no jobs, healthcare or hopes?
Have we forgotten when we could not walk on many streets or city parks, would not be allowed to work in department stores, drive interprovincial buses, or hope for a job with the electric or telephone company, except to sweep the floor or dig holes?
Haven't we seen how 40 years after, these racist Cubans continue to despise Rev Jesse Jackson, Farrakhan, Nelson Mandela, the Congressional Black Caucus, all because of their color?
Aren't these the same people that treated Nat King Cole, Josephine Baker and many other luminaries like trash, forcing them to use the kitchen entrance in order to perform in Tropicana and the Hotel Nacional?
Who are they kidding? History will condemn them for ever!
|Approximately seven years ago, I came across the first
indications, that a concerted and well funded effort was underway,
geared to divide the Cuban people along racial lines.
Some friends and some well intentioned people suggested, I was overreacting, I was seeing ghosts or imagining things, in sum, I was a bit paranoid. Some ongoing unrelated issues, caught my attention, which, once they were placed into context with the Cuban development, revealed a striking similarity.
The never ending religious conflict in Northern Ireland, the sudden discovery by the people who bombed Iraq back into the stone ages, that what was not achieved with bombs, could be done by inciting the Shiites in the south and the Kurds in the north to rise against their central government, was very illustrative.
We saw it happen between the Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo and the rest of the Balkans. We saw it happen between the Hutus and the Tutsies and between the Misquitos and the Nicaraguan central Government we disliked.
We saw it many years ago when the Congo achieved it independence, which led to the murder of Lumumba and the annointment of Moishe Tshombe, later known as Mobutu Sese Seko, who ravished that country’s economy, murdered its citizen, but was then allowed to move into his palace, like a Bishop upon retirement.
We saw it happen in Indonesia, the Phillipines, everywhere!
Should we not have reasons for concerns, that this was a real possibility of trying to do the same in Cuba, since the engine behind this deadly machine, was the same one involved in those listed above and many other places?
Irrespective of my personal feelings, views or thoughts about how to deal with the Cuban issue; as a son of that country, I have the moral obligation not to sit idle, to ignore, or be part of the wishes, plots and destructive machinations of people who are not Cubans or of those Cubans, whose moral behavior have led them to forfeit all of their citizens rights, to remain silent and indirectly become an accomplice in this terrifying conspiracy, that would lead our nation into a horrendous fratricidal war.
No one has any God-given right to decide the future of the Cuban people! We may like or dislike the way they do things, but it is solely up to them, the Cubans, to accept, change or modify the type of government that they have.
Frustrated, some "thinkers" have floated the idea, that the Cuban people have not risen up in arms against the present government, because they are cowed, they are afraid and without arms.
Only people who doesn't have the slightest notion of what fiber the Cuban people are made of can make such a statement. No country in this hemisphere have fought harder, longer, has provided more martyrs, has shed more blood for its independence and sovereignty than Cuba.
From the first uprising of the natives in the sixteenth century, the slave rebellions, the Ladder conspiracy, the struggle for independence in 1868 and 1895, the Blacks rebellion and slaughter in 1912, the 1933 revolution and the 1953 uprising against Fulgencio Batista and his cronies, is just a brief summary of "our fear".
As a teenager living in Guantanamo in the mid 50's, which was part of the province of Oriente, the center of activity against the murderous dictatorship of Batista and where his henchmen roamed the street armed to the teeth in an attempt to instill fear in everyone, by detaining, beating, torturing, murdering and leaving the bodies of hundreds of the best of our youths by the roadside to rot; none of us stepped back. None of us walked away from the challenge.
Tens of our schoolmates and friends paid the ultimate price. We remember their ravaged bodies with their ripped out finger nails, their plucked out eyes and their cut off genitalia, and today, some of those same murderers, who have found shelter, wealth, and status in Miami, are now leading the flock of "born again" Human Rights advocates for Cuba.
A month ago, the most notorious of these Cuban henchmen died peacefully in Miami. His body was blessed by one of the most vocal religious personality in that community, who stridently demanded religious freedom in Cuba.
The sole mention of his name, Coronel Esteban Ventura Novo, sends shock waves down the spines of everyone who lived through those endless days. The V Police Station unit that he headed became the best known torture chamber during the Batista's regime, for which reason, as the new government took office, it was immediately raised and turned into a park, to honor its victims.
Still, these henchmen were not sufficient to dissuade our youths from overthrowing that corrupt regime. I remember once at a meeting when the question was raised about where to get weapons and Zuniga, the leader of the group said, " We will take it away from those who have it, the military" and that was done.
That's why it is easy for Cubans to identify where a statement originates. Real Cubans knows better than that.
For the past 40 years, all imaginable tactics, plots, conspiracies and methods which are fitting for science fiction have been applied in a effort to overthrow the Cuban government. Having failed, they are now desperately attempting to enlist the Afro-Cuban community, the same one they segregated, despised, and rendered hopeless in Cuba prior to 1959. They have since re-applied their expertise to decimate the Afro-American community in Miami.
With the dramatic demographic changes in Cuba, in which the Afro-Cuban community is the largest ethnic sector in a country where 70% of the population was born after 1959, it is seemingly easy for them to attempt to capitalize on lingering inequalities, injustices, and the urgent need for corrective measures of maladies that have been around since 1512. The opportunists now pretend to pick up the gauntlet and demand these shortcomings be eradicated in 40 years.
Shouldn't it be we the Afro-Cuban community mostly interested in solving these protracted, festering issues, more than our recently found "Sponsors", the Cuban American National Foundation and some of their mouthpieces, who happen to be Black on the outside?
The Media, Symposiums, Round Tables, Radio Talk Shows, Letters to the Editors, Communicators wandering the halls of centers of higher education, are all actively spreading these divisive initiatives.
Arts Expo, Film Festivals, Music, and an occasional sport defector, and the highlighting of any so called "dissident" who happens to be Black, are symptoms of this coordinated campaign.
Multiple Afro-Cuban Associations are being formed to challenge government policies. Rather than offering moral and material support to different Afro Cuban organizations in Cuba, struggling to provide the most basic survival means to their communities, these Afro Cuban organizations in the United States, are mostly interested in creating "their groups" in Cuba, in order to bribe, coerce and manipulate.
Mr. Tom Carter, a writer for no other media than the well known Washington Times, wrote an article "Cuban racial equality a myth; White minority has most power" (10/24/00). This is symptomatic of the course many have embarked upon. He went on to selectively choose statements provided by "Scholars, Cubanologist and people who supports Cuba's Independence and Sovereignty stance", in order to reflect his position.
Still, in the same Conference which he alluded to, he did not mention the outrageous, outlandish and offensive statement made by one of its participant, who stated categorically that the only solution for the Cuban racial problem was the partition of the country, with Afro-Cubans living in the East and Whites in the West. No mention was made for those of mixed races.
Mr Carter should know by now, that such a statement constitutes in any country, a call to war, a serious crime punishable by the Justice Department.
May I ask Mr Carter, what would have happened to the Japanese-American community in 1941, had they called for the creation of an independent state in Kentucky, Indiana or anywhere else in the United States?
There is nothing that the Afro-Cuban community would need and appreciate more, than someone who is honestly and sincerely concerned with our problems. But when we see that our problems are being used, are being manipulated in order to achieve other objectives, we are deeply hurt.
Are Afro-Cubans a different type of people descendent from Africa? Why this special dispensation for our real, lingering shortcomings, when nothing is done or said by worse problems affecting people of African ancestry living elsewhere?
Can we have these Anthropologists, Sociologist, and members of all of these groups described above, assess and report the status of Blacks in the Americas? Will Afro-Cubans be at the bottom of the pit, as they attempt to infer?
General Antonio Maceo, the greatest son of Africa ever to live in Cuba, warned us about these dangers. He eloquently described in 1895, " The dangers of contracting debt of gratitude with such a powerful neighbor".
General Maceo thought us also that a distinction must be made and principles must be kept. In his prophetic statements when he anticipated the involvement of the United States in Cuba's War of Independence, he stated: After fighting against the Spanish occupying forces for more than thirty years, if the Cuban soil was ever invaded by the United States forces, I would align my sword with the Spanish forces until the invaders were pushed back into the sea, at which time, I would resume my struggle against Spain.
It is therefore clear, we Cubans in general and Afro Cubans in particular, have a road map, a guide, as to which standards we will be held accountable.
Contrary to all our teachings, there is no argument, no reason, no explanation capable of justifying what happened last week, when a delegation of Afro-Cubans, supposedly preoccupied with and interested in improving the plight of the Afro-Cuban community in Cuba, traveled to Washington and visited the Congressional Black Caucus, under the auspices of no other than the Cuban American National Foundation.
This organization that negated for many years the existence of Blacks in Cuba?
This organization whose members have never visited Overton or Allapath?
This organization that supported the disgraceful offense that the City of Miami did to Nelson Mandela?
This organization whose Board of Directors has no Blacks and is saturated with the landlords who literally enslaved the Afro-Cuban community in Cuba and enforced one of the most vicious racism in this hemisphere?
This organization who ejected one of their own member, because a Black person could not occupy such public position? Should I need to provide more specifics?
This organization, that has sided with and has financially supported every White and Hispanic Police in Miami, that has murdered every kind of black person, even an invalid?
This organization, in which so many members of its Board of Directors, by controlling most of the financial sectors in south Florida, have a direct hand in decimating the Afro-American community in Miami?
This organization, whose hands was all over the recent questionable electoral process, in which thousands of Afro Americans were denied their most basic rights?
No, it could not seem to be true. History taught us that we should Rise or Fall by our own ability, never by subjecting ourselves to debts of gratitude we may not be able to live with.
Rather than travel to Washington to do the dirty work for The Cuban American National Foundation, I think my brothers and sisters who mistakenly participated in this regretful attempt to separate the Congressional Black Caucus from the 6 million Cubans living on the island, they could have traveled to Fort Lauderdale to comfort the 14 year child that was sentenced to 28 years in prison for killing his teacher.
Rather than trying to convince any member of the Black Caucus, they could have tried to establish the root cause of this tragedy, develop preventive measures in order to avoid a repetition.
Rather than traveling to Washington, they could have flown to Cincinnati and look into the violence that have caused the death of more than 20 Blacks in a month.
Rather than accepting money from the Federal Government to subvert our people and lay the ground work for a bloodshed, they could use some of that money to help thousands of homeless in their communities .
Rather than theorizing and writing articles and papers, they could visit any of our neighboring islands in the Caribbean and extend a helping hand, to people really in need.
Rather than speaking on behalf of Afro Cubans that are suffering badly in Cuba, in part, as a direct result of the brutal, 40 year old embargo imposed on that nation that many of Civil Libertarians decry, they could stop by Parramore in Orlando and share an evening with our brothers without hope.
These are some of the reasons why, without questioning the intent or attempting to read the minds of people who join such questionable groups, it becomes increasingly clear that behind the Race Card, there is an hidden ulterior motive.
Every Cuban has the constitutional right to bear arms against wrongs perceived or imposed by any government on our people. It has happened many times before.
What none of us should conscientiously do, is to lend a hand, become a vehicle of despicable actions of others or try to emulate and become another Narciso Lopez of our contemporary history.
|On December 7th 1941, a treacherous attack by the
Japanese Armed Forces on the United States Navy in Pearl Harbor,
Hawaii, led to what is known to most people around the world as the
Day of Infamy.
The tragic and despicable event in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11th, have led many well intentioned people to propose this day be remembered as the Second Day of Infamy.
One or both names attempts to express in a few words, the bestiality, viciousness and other deranged dominant genetically controlled traits that are clearly present in humans, even as we pretend otherwise.
This atavistic behavior expresses itself in thousands of forms, shapes, places and occasions, ranging from road rage, racism, rape, murder, selfishness or hate. A typical example of such behavior, are the events described above and its aftermath.
Every decent person around the world must be outraged, hurt, speechless, in awe, incredulous of man's willingness to inflict pain, suffering and death on each other. Capitalizing on the incredible suffering that have gripped the entire nation, the President and his closest advisers have chosen the easy way out, by resorting to our most primitive instinct, that is, to elevate exponentially the pain we will inflict on those who dared to hurt us. Ancient history is full of such responses.
Without allowing the world community to recover from the numbness, the shock, the mental scaring that this cruel and inhumane action have inflicted on all of us, "Wise Men" in charge of leading the world, are molding opinions, spinning events, massaging facts, unleashing a barrage of news, graphic reports, morbid presentations and a concerted character assassination of an entire sector of society, in order to further their views.
Osama Bin Laden and his henchmen may well be the culprit in this heinous crime that have stigmatized the entire human race and should be persecuted, prosecuted and executed as an example to everyone else, that such actions will not be tolerated by the world community.
Why then this obsession with secrecy, refusal to share the facts with everyone capable of impartially reviewing the evidence, linking all the participants and formulating a sequence of events of these nauseating actions?
Why should the US Government assume the position of an Overlord, answering to no one and limiting the access of the information that have been gathered, only to those war mongering characters?.
The entire world, -friend, foe and in between-, have grieved and mourned the tragedy that have befallen the United States. Not even the sporadic signs of jubilation among a few Palestinians and others around the world, that some demagogues in the US media have tried to imprint in the minds of many, can negate the shock and pain of all.
And now, ignoring the massive worldwide solidarity with the people of the United States and the near unanimous rejection of the actions of the perpetrators of this tragic event, the administration have done once again, what most feared.
The barbaric military action that the world's only superpower have savagely unleashed on the poorest nation on earth, is as despicable as what was done to us on September 11. Worst yet, is that this terrible decision was made in secrecy by a handful of self appointed world jurors.
Afghanistan is sadly the most unfortunate nation in the world. It's geographic location have placed it in the midst of warring nations, who have always felt is OK to traverse its land, destroy its environment and its people on behalf of their individual views. The Soviet incursion twenty years ago and now the United States, are simple events in the tormented history of that nation.
Even if the horrible events of September 11 could be linked to the present Government of Afghanistan or to some suspect living there, should the entire population be entitled to, and subjected to the devastation we are inflicting on them?
If the answer is yes, why didn't we hang every German, Japanese, Hungarian, Italian or Romanian at the end of WW II?
If this were standard procedure, why haven't we bombed Texas and Oklahoma where Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh concocted and executed their heinous crime?
Did anyone think of bombing Krissynsky's mountain cabin?
The disproportionate military response with a massive use of WW III equipment and technology, the callousness with which the massacre and destruction of an already impoverished nation is treated by news anchors, military analysts, press secretaries and others, makes it difficult to recognize that they are in fact, referring to human beings and their future.
Just as it was during slavery and other tragic historical events in which most chose to stay on the sidelines, pretending nothing was wrong; now, the entire world community has been cowed, threatened and their patriotism called into question, if anyone would dare express their concerns with these actions.
During the Viet Nam war, many appalling actions took place. Agent orange was sprayed, dams were demolished, ports were mined, tragic events like Son My, My Lai and others occurred and was accepted by most of us, only to leave us in the end with an army of deranged soldiers, that have since caused much pain to themselves and to others.
For these and other reasons, twelve days into this war have proven to be sufficient to turn off increasing amounts of initial supporters in this "Battle of Minds".
In a futile effort to revert this backlash, an Arab media that have presented tapes of the Taliban Government and Bin Laden, that was dismissed as mere propaganda, have since been used by a couple of our high ranking officials, trying to convey to the Muslin community, that our intentions are not anti-Islam.
Does any of this means that people are siding with Bin Laden or whoever committed this heinous crime? No, absolutely not! What most people reject is the abusive, overwhelming and selective manner is which this war is being conducted.
As hard as I have tried, I have not found anyone who supports this terrible terrorist act. What I have found consistently, are arguments, elements, reasons that explains the root cause of these inhumane developments, which, as long as they remain in place, will constitute the ingredient that will fuel more of the same.
We have all lived in a world saturated with injustice. Crime is not determined by its nature, but rather by "who" the perpetrator is and "who" the victims are. Amadou Diallo was shot at 41 times with 19 direct hits, but no one was found guilty!
The Middle East is a prime example of such behavior. When a Palestinian armed with stones or a bomb attack an Israeli, he is labeled a terrorist. When an Israeli attack a Palestinian or any structure in the West Bank and Gaza, either with a gun ship, tank or fighter jet, it is always in retaliation.
That is why, these developments comes as a surprise to most Cubans living in Cuba. For the past forty years, people on that island have endured terrorism in all of its forms, including but not limited to, sabotage, invasions, fire bombing, economical and biological warfare, character assassinations, airline and maritime hijackings and murder, only to find itself prominently displayed and labeled at the United Nations, as a Terrorist Country. The perpetrators of hundreds of the most heinous acts committed against Cuba are living in south Florida, New Jersey and California, never having to hide their identities or their actions. They are assured protection by the US Government that have organized, financed, trained, deployed and rewarded these actions.
Airline hijackings was literally conceived, developed and implemented by the huge CIA station that was created in Miami in 1959. Tens of Cuban airlines and hundreds of maritime vessels were hijacked, their passengers terrorized, some were injured or killed, while the perpetrators were always received as heroes in Miami and the vessels confiscated by the authorities, further encouraging the occurrence of such actions.
Did we unwittingly thought the nuts of the world a technique that we have come to regret?
On October 6, 1976, a Cuban airliner with 73 passengers on board was blown up in mid air shortly after departing Barbados International Airport. The perpetrators, Dr. Orlando Bosch, Luis Posada Carriles and two Venezuelan mercenaries, were rapidly detained by the security forces of Barbados.
The US State Department exerted unspeakable pressure on the Government of Barbados, until it was forced to recluse itself and extradite those murderers to the corrupt Government of Venezuela at that time. They were tried, found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in Prison.
Six years after, Posada Carriles was able to walk out of his maximum security prison, thanks to a $50,000 bribe that was paid to the prison warden by no one else than our premier freedom fighter, Jorge Mas Canosa. Mr Posada went on to work for the CIA under direct orders of Col. Felix Rodriguez and Oliver North in our two bases in El Salvador and Honduras, from where they pumped tons of cocaine into our nation, -whose tragic result we will never know-, through the ill fated re-supply effort of the Iran-Contra scandal, that was conceived in the basement of the White House.
Dr Bosch was released 10 years after from prison in Venezuela. Because his passport had been revoked, President George H Bush, -the father-, granted this murderer an amnesty, that have allowed him since, to live as a celebrity in Miami.
Another example of our selective classification of terrorism/terrorists, is in the case of General Vides Cassanova, under whose orders, thousands of Salvadorans were massacred, raped and murdered, including the Bishop of that country and the four Americans nuns, whose gruesome unearthing have been presented repeatedly on the evening news. Today, this monster lives as an honorable, adoptive son of the state of Florida.
If we were really serious about eradicating terrorism, would we have to travel 5000 miles away with Smart Bombs to find one of them?
That is why the Cuban people could care less about this Terrorist Label, that every year in a strident speech at the UN, the United States chief delegate presents -in this occasion- all sorts of supporting evidence, to make a political classification created for military purposes.
Proof of all of the above was seen on Saturday October 20th in Miami, when the most reactionary, rancid, ultra-right, bellicose, terrorist Cuban American community came out under inclement weather to support the United States of America in what was billed as "God Bless America" March. The President of the United States and the Governor of the state of Florida, both sent letters of gratitude to the organizers, of what was supposed to be the largest gathering ever in our state.
No decent person could dispute everyone's right to express their grief, pain and anger with the tragic, criminal and inhumane act of September 11.
But, shouldn't we not ask ourselves, why is it, that having the state of Florida nearly 70 Counties, just one have hit the street in mass, demanding the blood of all terrorists?
Isn't Miami, a predominantly Cuban community trying to convey to the world, that they are hurt, aggrieved, devastated much more than all of the other predominantly Anglo Counties in the state of Florida and the nation for that matter?
What type of soulless people can they be, trying to capitalize on the pain and suffering of an entire nation that had offered them shelter in time of need, by attempting to deepen their wounds, widen their suffering and increase their grief, all in hopes of turning this immense sorrow into a weapon against Cuba, the country they want off the world map?
Since the horrible events of September 11, the right wing Cuban-American establishment, have written hundreds of newspaper articles, editorials and dedicated hundreds of hours to an endless array of "specialists" in terrorism on their open mike Radio programs, hoping to portray Cuba as the world largest biological warfare center and provider of the Anthrax bacteria that is terrorizing this nation.
If there was ever a sinister conspiracy in the world that reduces its perpetrators to a monstrous, sub-human classification, this is it. They, as the rest of the world very well knows, that if any country in this world have been a victim of this disgraceful and heinous procedure, that is Cuba; not once, but at least seven times.
Dengue, African Swine Fever, Western Equine Encephalitis, Necrotic Fungi against Potato and Scuba Diving suit to be worn by the Cuban President, lined with virulent skin fungi, is an incomplete sampling of their actions.
Some may question the veracity of the previous statements. I would suggest they review the US Senate Church Commission and Public Libraries around the world.
These ultra right wing Cubans never had any credibility in Cuba, thus their forty year purgatory in exile and forty more to come, all because of their absolute disregard for the wellbeing of the Cuban people and their willingness to go any length, in order to recover a country for which they have proven to be genetically unfit.
As an appendix of the US State Department and the CIA, no matter what fictitious name they may assume, -Cuban American National Foundation, Alpha 66, Unidad Cubana, Concilio Cubano, CORU, Hermanos al Rescate, Municipios de Cuba en el Exilio, Brigada 2506 or La Rosa Blanca, they have all been since their inception in May 1959, creatures that were funded, directed, instructed, guided and governed by a foreign government, thus, their illegitimate nature and mercenary character.
No well intentioned person, irrespective of their political and ideological views, can agree with the complete submission, lack of character and absence of principles of all of these groups. We thought they would have learned something after the invasion of the Bay of Pigs in 1961, when the head of the CIA station in Miami, decided on his own, -without consulting the Cuban figureheads leaders of the invasion-, to change the landing site, to replace the leader of the invading forces and to literally place under house arrest, the entire Cuban Civilian Government in Exile in Miami. This, in Judicial terminology is called "Repeat Offender".
But, as most repeat offenders, chronic masochists and sufferers of battered spouse syndrome, they continue to come back for more beatings, embarrassment and disrespect. The event organized this past week, attest to this pathologic behavior.
Hurt, ashamed, refusing to believe that myself and millions of other Cubans, could have seen our first ray of light on the same land as these monsters; who, acting like caged wild beasts, trotting through the rain on Calle 8, kept clamoring, pleading with the United States Government, to do in Cuba, what it has done in Panama, Bosnia, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Kosovo, Lybia or Afghanistan.
How rotten, perverse and heartless must these people be, when they have seen the devastation caused to hundreds of thousands of other innocent people around the world and yet, they are willing to pray to "Their" God, sell their souls to the highest bidder and prostitute themselves, in order to see their country reduced to rubble, by the most powerful killing machine mankind have ever seen.
It is so sad to admit, that these mercenaries, neither know their country nor its history. Bonifacio Byrne wrote his most eloquent poem 100 years ago and a portion of it said:
If we would ever see our Flag ripped in minute pieces
Even the dead, raising their arms
Would still be ready to defend her
And General Antonio Maceo, the greatest son of Africa to ever live in that country said in 1895:
Those who dare to invade this land
Must be ready to die in the struggle or
Pick up the dust of our country
Saturated with their blood
Luis Ortega, our highly respected Dean of the Cuban Journalists living in the United States, recently wrote about the need of building a WALL in Cuba, in the midst of the largest landfill, containing the names of each and everyone of these sell out, traitors, murderers, whose crime against their country of birth, dwarfs the heinous crime committed by General Valeriano Weyler one hundred years ago.
No matter how revolting, nauseating and repugnant it may be to read the names of these sub-humans with their despicable deeds collated, we owe it to the thousands of dead, maimed, orphans and widows, all victims of their actions and inspirations, not to allow future generations to forget.
As the citizens of the United States of America had before, we the Cubans, now have our October 20th, our Day of Infamy!
Alberto N Jones
October 24, 2001
Daytona Beach, Fl.
The horrendous crime that was committed on September 11th, have once again shocked the conscience of the entire world, when millions of people in their homes were exposed to the incredible bestiality, that over the years have become an integral part of the human psyche.
With this act, those that preceded it, and those that will inexorably follow in this endless killing, maiming and dehumanizing process, we have all being placed in the "defendant's" seat, accused of being mankind's worst enemy.
Any attempt to reconstruct those terrifying last minutes of tens of innocent people on board of those airlines facing a certain death or the despair and hopelessness of those trapped in burning structures hundreds of feet above ground and having to decide either to jump to their death or stay put to an equally macabre end, is simply nauseating, sickening.
Capitalizing on the incredible pain that have engulfed the entire world, some are attempting to use this horrendous act to further their political agenda, introduce draconian and coercive measures or simply extol their knowledge or pretense knowledge of the issue.
In the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy, in which the American people have not had time to recover or a chance to sort through the evidence and possible root causes and to allay their justifiable fear, we are now confronted with a virulent bio-terrorist attack, leaving most of us to ask why?
Terrible mistakes made in the past and even today, with the hurriedly military campaign in Afghanistan, are the ingredients, the raw material that fuel these horrendous cycle of hatred, violence and revenge.
Compounding this situation, are some conflicting directions and instructions that have been provided by high ranking authorities, and a desperate rating-oriented media, willing to allow every charlatan to have his/her 15 seconds of fame, by inundating us with unscientific, misleading and occasionally dangerous prescriptions about an issue they may have heard about for the first time in their lives.
Establishing the etiology or root cause of every problem in the world is at the crux of its solution. No headache medicine has ever cured a diarrheic onset.
Resorting to subterfuge or diversionary tactics as it is with Mr. Richard Holbrooke's, -ex- US representative to the United Nations- in his article "Counter to Cave Messages" News-Journal, 5A, 10/31/01, serves only to perpetuate the possible cause of these deranged behavior, by intentionally withholding historical facts, capable of shedding light on these aberrant behavior. Some facts.
As a young student of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Havana in 1965, I was part of the numerous teams of students and graduates in different fields of biology studies, who were sent primarily to Europe, to be urgently trained in anti-bio-terrorism methods, in order to counter some hard information, that Cuba would be subjected to this despicable warfare technique.
In the summer of 1966 our team returned from Germany after 19 hectic months of intensive training in different diagnostic, therapeutic and research laboratories. Five years after, we had to apply our expertise during the first outbreak of African Swine Fever ever in the western hemisphere, which caused the death or slaughter of over 500,000 pigs in western Cuba and clearly establishing the first massive bio-terrorism experience in the Americas.
Another 18 or 20 clearly demonstrable bio-terrorists attacks against Cuba are well documented, recorded and have been thoroughly investigated by reputable international institutions, including the US Senate Church Commission, the last of such acts was reported to the United Nations, as late as 1996.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been woefully wasted, crops have been destroyed, domestic animals decimated, millions of innocent people have been deprived of thousands of tons of food and tens of thousands of people have been exposed to a host of transmissible disease, causing numerous type of illnesses, irreversible physical changes and deaths, as a direct result of the senseless 40 year old confrontation between the United States and Cuba.
Having had to live at least 15 years of my life under a war-like environment, constantly concerned with my surroundings, afraid to attend a movie theater, frightened by an unattended package, frequent bomb explosions, shootings, airline and maritime hijackings and knowing that the simplest object can be lethal, thought us how to deal with these adverse, life threatening conditions.
The two most important aspects that we learned during those difficult years, was to organize the people in their respective communities and to teach them how to prevent, confront and deal with potential threats.
Equally important, was never to stigmatize any social group or lash out blindly against any purported enemy. All perpetrators must be treated with respect in accordance to the law, personal violence must never be inflicted against anyone and the final outcome must be decided in a court of law.
Although the whereabouts of all of those concocting, financing or executing terrorists acts against the country was public knowledge, Cuba have always refrained from retaliating outside of its border, which would have laid the groundwork for exacerbating the cycle of violence.
Sadly, the experience that Cuba have accrued over years of fighting this plague, have been grossly ignored, and the US Administration have done exactly the opposite, as it faces it first clash with terrorism.
Endless examples exists around the world supporting the policy of searching and unearthing the root cause of these conflicts, rather than engaging in a spiral of violence, which will inevitably lead to a more vicious response. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its spiral of violence, is a study case.
The same applies also to the technical/scientific community, in which we find tens of leaders of different institutions, devoid of the most basic understanding of the pathogenesis and other important variables of this disease, sharing confusing and contradictory directives, that only serves to increase the level of frustration, fear and anxiety of the general public.
Let us all hope, that the benign nature of the microorganism that was chosen by whoever is involved in this deranged activity, may not know, or do not have access to others more virulent and readily transmissible agents, that could create havoc with our poor level of preparedness.
Cuba, with nearly forty years of experience in successfully combating and eradicating these man-made monstrosity, have since assembled a formidable array of scientists in each and every field of knowledge, capable of dealing with this matter. No one should die needlessly because of political myopia.
The time may have arrived for us, on behalf of the well being of our communities and its citizens, to put behind us the mediocre Cuban-American Miami political agenda, that have been fueled, fanned and kept alive, by a group of fossilized, unrepentant, war mongering, Cuba haters, who have hijacked the US-Cuba foreign relations and kept it frozen for the past forty years. We owe this dramatic new thinking to future generations!
Email: albertoj_AT_afrocubaweb.com [replace _AT_ with @]
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