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West Indians in Cuba

Welfare Center
West Indian Welfare Center
Perhaps over 100,000 Cubans descend from West Indian immigrants who came mostly in the early part of the 1900's. They typically have mixed names, with a Spanish first name and an English last name. Gloria Rolando tells their story in her film, My Footsteps in Baragua, which Cuban Foreign Office officials have shown all over the Caribbean. She has another film, Cherished Island Memories, which chronicles an immigration from the Cayman Islands in to the Isla de la Juventud in the 20's and 30's.

The West Indian immigrants in Guantanamo founded the Bristish West Indian Welfare Center, whcih now has chapters in other Cuban towns. It boasts a membership of numerous engineers and doctors as well as other educated professionals.

Only a few West Indians in Cuba are rasta, but they exist. And of course reggeaton is now very popular in Cuba, but actually has little to do with the West Indians in Cuba. It was invented by Jamaicans in Panama and developed in Puerto Rico.

Rescuing Our Roots: The African Anglo-Caribbean Diaspora in Contemporary Cuba, 11/2015 by Andrea Queeley

The British West Indian Welfare Center, 5/09 by Jenny Kassman

Caribbean American Children's Foundation, Alberto Jones, Director

Alberto Jones Column

Dialogue with Founding Leaders of Guantanamo’s Social Club ‘La Nueva Era’, Eugene Godfried, 2004: "There is another part of this story and I want to stress this, that when the anglophones of the British West Indian Welfare Center saw us without a place, they offered us their space. Because the Africans, and when I say Africans, I mean to say the Jamaican, Barbadians, Cubans, and all, with that sign of solidarity leant us their center. And they were so generous that they shared the time table for the use of their space with us. For example, if we used the building from Monday to Wednesday, then they would use it from Thursday to Friday. Saturdays and Sundays were also divided among our two organizations."

Samuel Furé Davis, Lázaro de la Rosa Reyes

Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Cuba, by Eugene Godfried, 6/04

Eugène Godfried in Memoriam: a celebration of his life, Guantánamo, July 6, 2010. Billed as a First International Meeting, with plans for follow-on meetings. Sponsored by the Haitian Community and the Anglophone Community in Guantánamo, with the participation of the the British West Indian Welfare Center and the Ballet Folklórico Babul. We have a report from Professor Tony Van Der Meer: Guantanamo's Cuban British West Indian Welfare Center Hosts the 1st International Eugene Godfried Memoriam Gathering, 7/1510.

News of West Indians in Cubatop

Mientras la agricultura en Cuba pase del siglo XIX con arado de palo y buey al siglo XXI con tractores computarizado  7/12/2020 AfroCubaWeb: "Agregarle la enorme contribucion de los descendientes de la emigracion caribeña del siglo XX a Cuba, es como el merengue del cake, en la que ningun otro grupo de emigrante a Cuba, haya aportado mas a las ciencias, el deporte, la cultura y la defensa. Cuantas glorias y honor trajeron a Cuba los Drs. Elizastegui-Dupuy, McCook, en cultura, Berta Dupy, Alden Knight, en deportes Teofilo Stevenson, Richards, Yipsi Moreno, Mario Kindelan, Rigondeaux, Mireya Luis, Braudilio Vinent y Eduardo Paret solo por mencionar algunos?"

Concedido Premio a la Obra de la Vida a cineasta cubana Gloria Rolando en el Festival de Cine Independiente de Barbados.  1/28/2020 MINREX: "Esa ocasión motivó la entrega por parte del Festival de un Premio Especial por la Obra de La Vida a la autora Gloria Rolando, quien ha documentado la diáspora de los africanos en el Caribe y más allá y sus huellas en las diferentes culturas locales, especialmente en Cuba. Un panel de profesores de la Universidad y que también incluyó al cineasta Director del Centro, Dr. Andrew Millington, al Embajador de Cuba, Sergio Jorge Pastrana, y al Co Presidente del Festival, comentó tanto este filme, como toda la obra de la cineasta y reconocieron la trayectoria de su trabajo de tanta importancia para la historia de las poblaciones de afrodescendientes en todo el Caribe."

Presented the Work of a Lifetime Award to Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando at the Barbados Independent Film Festival.  1/28/2020 MINREX: "A panel of professors from the University which also included the director of the Center, Dr. Andrew Millington, the Ambassador of Cuba, Sergio Jorge Pastrana, and the President of the Festival, commented on this film as well as all the work of the filmmaker. They recognized the trajectory of a portfolio of such importance for the history of Afro-descendant populations throughout the Caribbean. That occasion motivated the delivery by the Festival of a Special Prize for the Work of Life to author Gloria Rolando, who has documented the diaspora of Africans in the Caribbean and beyond and their traces in different local cultures, especially in Cuba."

The UWI-University of Havana Institute for Sustainable Development  1/22/2020 Cayman iNews: "Vice-Chancellor Beckles conveyed his gratitude to Ambassador Bristol for her leadership on The UWI’s behalf. He commended President Nicado García, for the excellent physical facilities made available to The UWI-UH Institute within the historic campus of the University of Havana, adding that researchers and scholars at The UWI would be excited and stimulated to make full use of them."

The UWI-University of Havana Institute for Sustainable Development  1/22/2020 UWI: "The agreement was struck when President of the University of Havana, Professor Miriam Nicado García, a distinguished Mathematician, and the first Afro-Cuban to head the 200-year-old university, hosted Vice-Chancellor Beckles and his UWI team in Havana, Cuba. That team included Ambassador Gillian Bristol, Director of The UWI’s Latin American–Caribbean Centre (LACC), who was key in developing the project. Together, The UWI and UH conceptualised, coordinated and finalised the operations of the joint research institute, whose mandate is to promote innovation and scientific application in three broad areas of regional development — application of medical research and innovations in critical areas of public health, such as diabetic foot amputation, invasive eye treatment, and cancer studies; scientific research into Caribbean natural products, and the industrialisation of research findings; and promotion of Caribbean culture and tourism, social justice issues, and commercial development in the area of cultural industries."

Vice chancellor of the UWI gives a keynote lecture at the University of Havana  12/11/2019 MINREX: "In the context of the final day of the XIII International Conference of the Chair of Caribbean Studies "Norman Girvan" of the University of Havana, Dr. Hilary Beckles, vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), gave a keynote lecture at the "Aula Magna" of the Cuban higher education centre. During his presentation, Dr. Beckles reflected on the history of the Caribbean, its struggles, as well as how much can be done from the universities of the region, to strenghen its unity. The Caribbean academic also expressed his satisfaction for being in Cuba, a country he described as a “great nation”, and for the opportunity to do so "in the context of the celebration of the life and legacy of Professor Norman Girvan, a close collaborator and personal friend"."

Inaugurated Joint Center of Studies between the University of Havana and the UWI  12/11/2019 MINREX: "In the context of the XIII International Conference on Caribbean Studies, celebrated between December 9th and 11th in the University of Havana (UH), the Joint Center for the Sustainable Development of the Caribbean was officially inaugurated. The ceremony was chaired by Dr. Miriam Nicado, chancellor of the UH, and by Dr. Hilary Beckles, vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI)."

Jamaica Welcomes Cuban Health Professionals  11/26/2019 Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba: "Authorities at the Ministry of Health and Wellness of Jamaica along with Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, Inés Fors Fernández, officially welcomed at the office of this institution in New Kingston, St. Andrew, a group of forty Cuban health professionals who will render their services in Jamaica for the next three years."

Marianao celebrará la fiesta de la cultura caribeña y latinoamericana  10/15/2019 Granma: "Los días 19 y 20 de octubre, la Asociación Caribeña de Cuba, ubicada en el municipio Marianao, celebrará la fiesta de la cultura caribeña y latinoamericana, dedicada a Jamaica y Barbados. En la actividad, que forma parte de la jornada por la cultura cubana, participarán funcionarios de las embajadas de ambos países, así como profesores de la Cátedra de Estudios del Caribe de la Universidad de La Habana y representantes del Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos."

Black British Migrants in Cuba  10/9/2019 New Books: "Giovannetti-Torres focuses on the workers and their interactions with British colonial officials, American landowners and sugar producers, and local and national-level members of the Cuban government. Black British workers arrived as Cubans were reckoning with racist violence in tension with supposedly race-blind nationalist ideology, and often bore the brunt of animosity towards people of African descent. At the same time these workers were integral to the growth of the sugar industry and the efforts to meet demand in the United States and the UK. The book offers a clear explanatory framework for this explosive setting, but it also unfolds like a novel, with striking characters and sharp observations."

Recibe Rodrick Dixon Gently Distinción Fidelio Ponce Por la Obra de la Vida  9/19/2019 UNEAC: "Dedicado además, al aniversario 505 de la Villa de Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe, en ese contexto se entregó la Distinción Fidelio Ponce Por la Obra de la Vida al artista de la plástica Rodrick Dixon Gently, miembro de la Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba. Similar reconocimiento mereció la Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad."

Black British Migrants in Cuba: Race, Labor, and Empire in the Twentieth-Century Caribbean, 1898–1948 (Cambridge Studies on the African Diaspora)  3/29/2019 FIU: Book presentation

The British West Indian Welfare Center  11/25/2018 Desde Guantánamo: Historia e Identidad 

Mista Savona – 'Carnival' feat. Solis & Randy Valentine [from the Havana Meets Kingston project]  2/16/2017 YouTube: "HAVANA MEETS KINGSTON is a world first album due for release in mid 2017. The project began in 2015 when Australian producer Mista Savona teamed up with Sly & Robbie, Bongo Herman, 'Bopee' Anderson and other legendary Jamaican musicians and personally flew them to Havana to work with members of the Buena Vista Social Club, Los Van Van, Havana Cultura & more. Alongside these highly experienced musicians Savona also scouted for young & up-and-coming artists from both countries, and it's this fusion of age, experience, culture and musical styles that makes this project so exceptional."

Havana Meets Kingston - An Introduction  1/4/2017 YouTube: "Australia’s leading reggae and dancehall producer and accomplished pianist, Mista Savona (aka Jake Savona), has gathered some of Cuba and Jamaica’s most influential musicians in the one recording studio to create a world first album. Despite their huge respective global appeal and geographical proximity, there has never been a full length album that unites the unique sounds of both Jamaican and Cuban music - till now."

Premiere of Cuban films in Barbados as part of the 40th Anniversary of the terrorist attack.  10/4/2016 MINREX: "As part of the activities commemorating the 40th anniversary of the bombing of the Cubana airliner off the coast of Barbados in October 1976, the social organizations of Barbados in coordination with the Embassy of Cuba, especially invited two members of the Cuban delegation to do the Premiere of two important pieces of Cuban cinema. The documentary "My footsteps in Baraguá", by Cuban producer Gloria Rolando, about the Barbadian community resident in Cuba, and the epic film "Kangamba" which tells one of the many battles the Cuban troops shared in their internationalist struggle for the liberation of Angola."

Carlos Moore y su libro Pichón hablan de racismo e identidad en Cuba  9/10/2015 Cibercuba: "La autobiografía Pichón trata, entre otros temas, la relación personal de Carlos Moore con el maltrato a la cultura negra en Cuba, un país en el cual nació con un apellido anglosajón, pues su padre era jamaicano y su madre cubana. De ahí su apelativo de pichón, pichón de jamaiquino, una manera despectiva, usada desde siempre en Cuba, para referirse a los descendientes de inmigrantes caribeños negros, gente venida de Haití, Jamaica, Barbados. Más tarde, en su juventud y madurez, Moore llegó a conocer muy de cerca a figuras como Malcolm X, Abdias Nascimento, Aimé Cesáire, Fela Kuti, Cheikh Anta Diop, y Alex Hayley, entre otros grandes nombres de la lucha por los derechos de los negros en el mundo. Su autobiografía Pichón, presentada en inglés en 2008, logró costear la edición, la gráfica y la traducción al portugués de esta versión recién presentada en Brasil."

El racismo y sus mecanismos de perpetuación  10/23/2013 Havana Times: de Alberto N. Jones - "El British West Indian Welfare Center en Guantánamo, fue fundado en 1945 y como una Organización No Gubernamental, realizó un excelente trabajo social y cultural para miles de emigrantes y descendientes anglófonos. La petición de una Licencia al Ministerio de Justicia para reconstruir su calamitosa edificación, operar un restaurante-cafetería o una hospedería, ha sido denegada una y otra vez, en tanto, un puñado de descendientes asturianos, judíos, árabes y chinos en Cuba, poseen y operan legalmente cafeterías, restaurantes, casas de alquiler y un hotel. El grave daño que esta marginación selectiva ha ejercido sobre los negros en el país puede verse en su estancamiento, frustración y la desmoralización de sus jóvenes. En el periodo 1960-1975, los negros procedentes de Guantánamo y Santiago de Cuba, constituían el grueso de los médicos, enfermeros, maestros y dentistas graduados en Cuba. Hoy la presencia de negros en estas mismas profesiones está en vías de extinción."

Visualizing the Caribbean  4/11/2013 Stanford University: "Featured confirmed guests include prominent Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando whose work is devoted to the African ancestry, traditions and history of Cuba (1912: Breaking the Silence, 2012; Pasajes del corazón y la memoria 2007; Roots of my Heart 2001; My footsteps in Baragua, 1996; Oggun, 1991), Dominican writer Pedro Antonio Valdéz who won the Dominican National Novel award for Bachata del ángel caído, renowed artist Antonio Fernandez “Tonel” joining us from Mexico City, and literary critic Jerry Carlson (CUNY) presenting on Dominican film."

RASTAFARIS DESDE JAMAICA HASTA CUBA: TRES ESFUERZOS UN SOLO PENSAR  4/1/2013 Revista Caribeña de Ciencias Sociales: "La cultura rastafari ha despertado interés de las ciencias sociales e incluso humanistas, por la singularidad de su ethos e imaginario sociopolítico y religioso. En estudios realizados, se destacan referencias de corte sociológico, antropológico, lingüista, psicológico e incluso en la línea cinematográfica, por su cualidad compleja y diversa de cultivar una fe, un modo de vida que no solo profesa sino que instituye en la praxis cotidiana valores universales como el amor, la justicia, la libertad, la paz, el amor al medioambiente y la igualdad entre los hombres, pero socialmente ha sufrido etiquetajes y prejuicios incitados, fundamentalmente, por su práctica ritual del uso de la marihuana."

Cuba town battles to preserve British West Indian ways  12/27/2012 BBC: "The English-speakers have applied for registration as an official association, hoping that will help in their fight to protect their traditions. But four years on they have had no answer."

Cuba town battles to preserve British West Indian ways  12/27/2012 BBC: "Several hundred people of West Indian descent live in Baragua but there are no official numbers either for the town or for Cuba as a whole, and the community's stories have not been recorded. The English-speakers have applied for registration as an official association, hoping that will help in their fight to protect their traditions. But four years on they have had no answer."

Marcus Garvey, la UNIA y la Comunidad de inmigrantes jamaicanos de Banes  12/2/2012 Monografias: de Yurisay Pérez Nakao

Este viernes 17: Reggae en Alamar por Marcus Garvey  8/16/2012 Red Observatorio Crítico: "Un género común para grupos de músicos de La Habana, quienes “vienen trabajando en uno de los géneros más representativos del Caribe y menos promocionado en Cuba”. “Sus influencias y aportes a la nueva generación de la música popular son de nuestro interés, así como visualizar una muestra de sus exponentes en La Habana” –explican los organizadores en un promocional. “El homenaje al nacimiento de Marcus Garvey…” será realizado por “…un Grupo de Artistas y Promotores de la Música, con la colaboración de la Dirección Municipal de Cultura de Habana del Este…” –contiene la nota."

Mala in Cuba  7/30/2012 Havana Cultura: "When Mala— a British-Jamaican electronic artist better known as ‘Digital Mystikz’— accompanied his friend and fellow DJ Gilles Peterson to the recording of his latest Havana Cultura album, he wasn’t sure what to expect. The experience, however, allowed Mala to meet some of the Cuban capitals most promising artists—from vocalist Danay Suárez to jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca—with whom he recorded traditional Cuban rhythms. Mala returned home with a laptop full of inspiration, which he then sewed together in his own particular way. The result of this experiment is the album Mala in Cuba, which marries the sound system culture of London with the rhythmic leanings of Cuban jazz."

Otorgan Premio Internacional Casa del Caribe al Doctor Norman Girvan.  7/9/2012 Casa del Caribe: "El eminente intelectual jamaicano Doctor Norman Girvan recibió el Premio Internacional Casa del Caribe en la clausura del Coloquio El Caribe que nos Une de la edición XXXII de la Fiesta del Fuego, otorgada a personalidades que han contribuido con su obra al enriquecimiento cultural y la unidad de los pueblos de la región. Girvan, uno de los más importantes exponentes del pensamiento contemporáneo anticolonial y antihegemónico en el Caribe anglófono, tiene once títulos publicados sobre profundos análisis desde la sociología, la antropología y otras disciplinas, de las culturas derivadas de las economías plantacionistas como casi todos los países del área. Fue profesor en universidades de Jamaica, Trinidad y Tobago, Estados Unidos, Canadá e Inglaterra."

500 Cuban health workers to relieve understaffed hospitals in Jamaica  1/19/2012 AP: "Jamaica’s government says that about 500 Cuban health workers will work on the island for the next two years to bolster understaffed clinics and hospitals. Health Minister Fenton Ferguson said Thursday that 117 doctors and nurses are expected to arrive in February."

Interpretations of Garveyism Over Time in Jamaica and Cuba  11/25/2011 76 King Street - Journal of Liberty Hall: The Legacy of Marcus Garvey: by Samuel Furé Davis, published in 2009

The Caribbean Diaspora from the African Diaspora. The Cuban Chapter  5/30/2011 Cuba Now: by Graciela Chailloux - "The 1929 world crisis represented the end of a frenetic sugar growth in the Island that lost its support in the international market. Unemployment took over the national life, as for Cubans as for foreigners, so the resource at hand was the massive deportation of Haitians and English-speaking West Indians, and the promulgation in 1934 of a law that guaranteed employment in every company to 50% of the Cubans."

Guantanamo’s Cuban British West Indian Welfare Center Hosts the 1st International Eugene Godfried Memoriam Gathering  7/13/2010 AfroCubaWeb 

Race and Class in Cuba  1/24/2010 Jamaica Observer: "As luck would have it, my home in Kingston, Jamaica, was right next to the Cuban embassy, so I went there often. When I informed them excitedly that I wanted to study blacks in Cuba, I was told that I should go to Oriente, the Eastern part of the country, as that was where all of the blacks were. I would come to learn that this was an expression of the white Cuban tendency to claim that all blacks were descendants of Jamaican and other West Indian immigrants to Oriente. When I would protest that the Spanish had lots of slaves and that all of the blacks could not possibly be descendants of West Indian immigrants, known derogatorily as pichones (literally blackbirds), I was told that all of the ones who had come as slaves had inter-married, as the Spanish were so much less racist than the British. White Cubans expressed sympathy for the Jamaicans who were under the British, who did not mix with them, supposedly, and so the black population there was not able to dilute itself and move up the racial hierarchy."

This is where my father is from  11/20/2009 Island Mix: Post on Gloria Rolando's film "My Foosteps in Baragua" - "Migration has been and is a constant theme in the life of the people of the Caribbean. In the municipality of Baragua, in the present province of Ciego de Avila, Cuba, the stories and customs of the English speaking West Indians and their descendants still remain alive. In the style of the documentary are merged family memories in a process very familiar to other Caribbean people: for example the trip from Jamaica, Barbados, and other islands to Panama and subsequently to Cuba which started the heady development of the sugar industry in the early years of this century. Direct testimony does not preclue the poetry present in the charm of the environment of the old sugar barracks, the re-creation of the traditional music and dance such as the Maypole, and the use of old photos that allow us an imaginary approach to that past."

The new 'brigadistas' - More Jamaicans get scholarships to study in Cuba  6/15/2009 Jamaica Gleaner 

Empire beyond the Imperial Domain: British Colonial Encounters in Cuba  1/1/2009 British Academy: by Dr Jorge L. Giovannetti

Jamaican Gov't sends storm aid to Cuba  9/23/2008 Jamaica Gleaner: "IT WAS no easy task on Saturday in Santiago de Cuba for the 16 crew members from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard, who toiled for almost seven hours in the heat of the sun, unloading relief items. The 2,771 boxes, which included food, household supplies and pharmaceuticals, were taken to Cuba on the JDF Coast Guard's Middlesex vessel."

More Than 3,000 Needy Jamaicans Benefit from Corrective Eye Surgeries in Cuba  9/13/2006 Jamaica Info Service: "On its one-year anniversary, the Jamaica-Cuba Eye Care Programme has successfully facilitated corrective eye surgeries for more than 3,000 needy Jamaicans, and has been hailed by healthcare officials from the governments of both countries as a partnership marked by "solidarity"."

Conexión de jazz a lo cubano en Jamaica  5/24/2006 Cubarte: "Los jardines del jazz, el evento bimensual que desarrolla en Jamaica el hotel Pegasus, de Kinsgton, el último domingo de esos meses alternos, tuvo en abril de este año una Conexión cubana que contó la presencia del saxofonista de la Isla, Jesús Fuentes, líder musical de la Banda "Las Canelas". En el 2006, en el segundo show de Fuentes actuaron Seretse Small, la Banda “The True Democrats” y la baterista Ouida Lewis, entre otras figuras. El espectáculo, que se desarrolla en esa prestigiosa instalación de más de 30 años de experiencia en Kingston desde hace más de un lustro, tiene su noche culminante en diciembre cuando se presentan las principales estrellas de lo Mejor ocurrido en el espacio jazzístico… Las noches del jazz del Pegasus de Kingston Jamaica son patrocinadas por el Banco de Crédito y Comercio, cadena privada CVM TV, la compañía de café Wallenford y la línea Air Jamaica, entre otros."

First ever Cuban film festival comes to Jamaica  6/13/2005 Jamaica Observer: includes Gloria Rolando film Hijos de Baragua, My Footsteps in Baragua, here listed as Children of Baragua.

Rethink Position On Cuba Says Jamaican Minister To U.S.  12/15/2004 HardBeatNews: "Jamaica’s Foreign Minister, K.D Knight, is urging the George Bush administration to rethink its policy on Cuba. Knight, according to the Jamaica Observer, made the suggestion to Ambassador John Maisto, the U.S.’ permanent representative to the Organization of American States, during a meeting on Monday."

Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Cuba  7/6/2004 AfroCubaWeb: "Marcus Garvey died in 1940. The ideas of Marcus Mosiah Garvey were of great interest to the later to be formed Rasta movement in Jamaica, therefore he was a predecessor to the Rastas. The Rasta movement has a significant presence in present day Cuba, thanks to the work done and examples set forth by Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, who is adored by a cross section of the Cuban youth and people."

Oldest U.S. base overseas harbors hometown feel  12/22/2003 Sun Sentinel: In reality, the US has reneged on thousands of pension payments to largely black West Indian Cubans - "The dwindling of the commuters, who range in age from the 60s to the 80s, presents a problem for the United States. The five men -- down from 10 a year ago -- carry pension payments to the hundreds of former base workers living in the surrounding towns. There is no other way for the U.S. government to transfer money to individuals in Cuba. "We can't just hand dollars through the gate," McCoy says. "We are working with the State Department to come up with a solution." "

Jamaica braces for tourism competition from Cuba  10/24/2003 Jamaica Observer: "...Local hotel and airline interests have already established ties with Cuba," Assamba said. "... We wholeheartedly support the lifting of the US travel ban on our regional neighbour (and) we look forward to establishing strong tourism partnerships, at various levels, that can benefit both our countries."

Crying wolf with Cuba  5/15/2003 Nassau Guardian: "The U.S. is now conveniently re-inventing international laws and precedents because of the mighty dollar. It is absurd. The Bahamas Government must stand for something. We should not be told by an Ambassador, who disgraced our Defence Force and thinks of every Bahamian male as a suspect, to support a resolution against our Cuban brothers, whose blood helped to free South Africa. Comedy cannot describe this request. Madness cannot describe such an attempt by the U.S. If one day the U.S. dreams that our Minister of Foreign Affairs is a terrorist, he may be arrested and held by the United States without trial at Guantanamo Bay and be tortured. Is that democracy or freedom - U.S. - style?"

Jamaica agradece propuesta de Cuba de aumentar número de médicos en el Caribe  12/12/2002 Radio Havana: "Jamaica acogió con gran beneplácito la propuesta cubana de reforzar la presencia de su personal médico y paramédico en el Caribe, lanzada por el presidente Fidel Castro recientemente en La Habana. La iniciativa fue expuesta por el máximo líder cubano durante una reunión especial entre Cuba y el CARICOM, efectuada con motivo de los 30 años de relaciones de la mayor de las antillas con Jamaica , Barbados , Guyana y Trinidad y Tobago. El ministro de salud de Jamaica, John Junior, elogió la propuesta cubana de aumentar su destacamento médico en el Caribe, los cuales -agregó- ayudarán a combatir el Síndrome de Inmunodeficiencia Adquirida (SIDA) en la zona. En todo el Caribe existen actualmente unas 440 mil personas infectadas con ese virus mortal, de los cuales 60 mil fueron diagnosticados este año."

Cuban Plan Against AIDS Well Received by Caribbeans  12/11/2002 Prensa Latina: "The Caribbean nations welcomed the Cuban initiative to reinforce the regional struggle against AIDS by increasing the presence of its health personnel in the rest of the area. According to Jamaican Public Health Minister John Junor the proposal by the Cuban government includes raising the number of specialists to help fight against the disease. Although the details of the program have not been revealed yet, the Caribbean peoples and governments welcomed the idea of strengthening the fight against AIDS in the region, said the health minister. Junor also stated that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat entrusted Saint Kitts & Nevis and its Prime Minister Denzil Douglas to analyze the details of the Cuban initiative."

Violence Forces Gay Jamaican Men To Seek Asylum Overseas  12/2/2002 Black World Today: Those who focus on homophobia in Cuba may want to consider it in its Caribbean context - "When the United Kingdom (UK) granted asylum to three Jamaican men last month, it once again shone the international spotlight on the severe homophobia that have cost many here their homes, their jobs and even their lives. The men were granted asylum on the grounds that ”severe homophobia” in this northern Caribbean island, had endangered their lives, and that the Jamaican government failed to protect them from violence."

De los ancestros jamaicanos le viene el ritmo  8/19/2002 Victoria, Cuba: "Con la rítmica alegría del calipso y ante un numeroso público que sigue el Encuentro Nacional de Artistas Aficionados, en el Pabellón Cuba de La Rampa, irrumpió en el escenario el grupo músico-danzario avileño La Cinta, de larga tradición en el género."

Cuban widow gets benefits after 25 years  5/30/2002 Palm Beach Post: "Her husband, Ruben Bancroft, was born in Cuba and worked at the base from 1942 until his death in 1977 at age 58. He commuted daily from his home in Guantanamo." - Classic story of a West Indian Cuban, many of whom worked at Guantanamo and are denied a pension: "There could be as many as 5,000 pensioners or their survivors in Cuba entitled to benefits, he said lawyers in Cuba have told him. Boca Raton attorney Charles Randall, who joined Enriquez in filing the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, said many owed money are suffering deprivations."

Guantánamo embraces an ethnically rich past  1/27/2002 Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale: "The Cuban revolution in 1959 brought an end to these migrations, but to find the Guantánamo of old with its rich ethnic blend just ask for La Loma del Chivo, Goat's Hillock, on the eastern edge of town. There, descendants of the West Indian settlers still cook up saltfish and dumplings and offer them up in perfect English with a sweet island lilt. The red pods of the ackee tree, Jamaica's national tree, peek over concrete walls. And every Saturday at the 96-year-old Tumba Francesa Pompadu, the only remaining Haitian cultural center, Haitian descendants drum out the rhythms of their ancestors' homeland and dance the dances modeled long ago after French favorites like the minuet. "It was a social criticism," said Emiliano Castillo Guzman, 37, one of the Tumba's drummers. "The slaves tried to imitate or mock their masters with these dances. In the beginning their festivals were held in huts on the sugar cane plantations or the coffee plantations."

La pobreza golpea a los orientales  1/13/2002 El Nuevo Herald: what they fail to mention is the disastrous impact of the Guantanamo US Naval Base on the economy of Oriente: it takes up the best deep water port in the Caribbean for US fantasies.

Undesirable Aliens: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in the Comparison of Haitian and British West Indian Immigrant Workers in Cuba, 1912-1939  3/1/1998 Journal of Social History: "This article examines the intersection of class, race, and culture in attempting to explain the forced repatriation of as many as 38,000 Haitians from Cuba during the 1930s. Using a variety of primary and secondary sources, it explores the related yet diverging experience of Haitian and British West Indian immigrant workers in Cuba between the 1910s and the 1930s. The study challenges the tendency to analyze the histories of black populations exclusively in terms of race, thus ignoring the ethnic and national identities which distinguish different-groups within the African diaspora from one another. The article examines the main differences between the two black immigrant populations in Cuba, including their structural characteristics, the social and religious institutions they formed, the diplomatic representation they received, and the perceptions that native Cubans held toward them. Although all Afro-Caribbean immigrants confronted "conjugated oppression" based on race and class, Haitians in particular faced discrimination based on culture and ethnicity, culminating in mass deportation as economic decline coalesced with a rising Cuban nationalism during the 1930s."


Rastas in Cuba

Reggaetón Cubano - Cubaton

Rescuing Our Roots: The African Anglo-Caribbean Diaspora in Contemporary Cuba, 11/2015, by Andrea J. Queeley

Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba


Contacting AfroCubaWebtop

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