by Alberto N. Jones
Mainly white Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida, and Union City, New Jersey, who have never been friends of Blacks in either Cuba or the United States, now claim to be champions of racial equality on the island. The author, an Afro-Cuban whose roots go back to Jamaica, apologizes to Black U.S. lawmakers for the antics of the hypocritical Cuban rightwingers. Afro-Cubans, who have the most loyal to all of Cuba's revolutions, need no assistance from "mercenaries" from Miami.
A Sincere and Painful Apology to the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus
by Alberto N Jones
“The CBC has courageously stood by their brothers in Cuba for the past 25 years.”
Please allow me to express my disgust and apologize publicly to the United States Congressional Black Caucus on behalf of Cubans in general, Afro-Cubans in particular and especially in the name of those lured to Cuba from the English-speaking Caribbean islands at the turn of the 2oth Century, who were subjected to brutal racism, segregation, exploitation and forced to live in Soweto-type slums across that country.
A common historical experience of abuse, suffering and ignorance, made it easy for most members of the prestigious CBC to side from day one, with the suffering people of Cuba, victims of a 50 year old cruel embargo that have threatened the life, well-being and development of these survivors of the transAtlantic slave trade, like their brothers and sisters in the CBC.
Having failed in every past military, political, terroristic or economic effort to decapitate the Cuban government, ultra-rightwing Cuban-Americans in south Florida in collusion with US-AID, NED, Republican Party Foundation and others, identified an important demographic shift in Cuba during the early 90's in favor a blacks, due to an intensified emigration tendency among Cubans of Hispanic ancestry.
Drastic changes were introduced in all counterrevolutionary groups in the US where blacks had been previously shunned, were now they are being hastily recruited and promoted to leadership positions. Numerous black study groups, foundations, leadership training centers, and religious sects, and bloggers have donated hundreds of computers, and launched CDs, DVDs and books, mostly depicting the severe inequalities to which blacks were subjected by a “white controlled, oppressive Cuban government” – the main thread of this blitzkrieg aimed at dividing the country along racial lines.
“The Afro-Cuban community, unlike those Cubans of Hispanic ancestry, did not have access to friends and family members with remittances.”
In Cuba, these aggressive, destabilizing measures were undertaken by people who called themselves independent librarians, independent journalists, anti-abortionists, human rights advocates and every other imaginable malformation, geared to weaken, divide and conquer a nation that had fought, defended and was willing to die for its Independence and sovereignty.
These despicable mercenary activities have been abundantly documented through captured instructions, tape recordings, payment receipts, confessions etc., of a clear command and control structure in the US. The campaign is assisted by a huge, well orchestrated media barrage with multiple resonance boxes across the globe. These mercenaries have convinced thousands of poorly informed citizens of their humanistic goals, unselfish sacrifices and patriotic concerns for the betterment of their people.
The overnight collapse of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries with whom Cuba held most of its trade, the introduction of the Special Period by the Cuban government and the creation of joint ventures, proved to be devastating for the Afro-Cuban community which, unlike those Cubans of Hispanic ancestry, did not have access to a large emigrant community abroad capable of supporting friends and family members with remittances.
Compounding this tragedy, was a concerted effort by Cubans of Hispanic ancestry, to secure most or all employment in the new joint Ventures, corporations and other entities with access to hard currency earnings, further widening the racial/socio-economic gap, severely weakening the moral fiber of the Afro-Cuban community and placing it on the verge of collapse, which can be seen in increased acts of delinquency, inordinate incarceration index, prostitution and hopelessness.
“Young people’s goals were expanded to raise awareness and support the anti-apartheid struggle in south Africa.”
Hundreds of desperate plea for help from black communities across Cuba, went unheard, ignored or opposed by these neo-humanists, as they flaunted their melanin content, to spread hatred towards their land of birth.
A handful of humanitarian groups in the US and abroad, attempted to respond to this social tragedy, by collecting humanitarian goods for these endangered communities in Cuba, only to be rejected or denounced as “collaborationists” or “apologists” for the Cuban government. Indescribable pain, suffering and deaths were inflicted upon women, children and the elderly. Many resisted, others gave up, some left.
During the early 1980's, I was fortunate to meet some extraordinary, conscientious members of CONVIVIALS, a predominantly eastern Caribbean emigrant organization in Brooklyn, New York, committed to improve the plight of immigrant youths. Young people’s goals were expanded to raise awareness and support the anti-apartheid struggle in south Africa, through public speaking, holding marches and vigils in front of the UN and large collections of educational, medical or personal goods, that were sent to the ANC, SWAPO and others fighting for their independence.
With the liberation of most countries in the southern cone of Africa and the death of apartheid, the worsening of the socio-economical situation in Cuba captured our attention, leading to the creation of The Caribbean American Children’s Foundation in Florida. Through the Foundation we regularly pleaded for help, and are eternally indebted to hundreds of extremely generous people in the US and elsewhere, whose contributions helped us donate hundreds of thousands of dollars in medicine, medical supplies, educational and sports materials, and aid for the physically challenged and elder, mostly in eastern Cuba.
“The worsening of the socio-economical situation in Cuba captured our attention.”
None of the Afro-Cubans who are attempting to earn world prominence by opposing the Cuban government have ever offered an aspirin to our group or others engaged in similar humanitarian endeavors, which makes their purported platform questionable at best.
A myriad of critical problems affecting the Afro-Cuban community in Cuba must be resolved without delay, if that nation is to preserve its soul, its history and its moral motto: With all and for the well-being of all!
All branches of government, national institutions, neighborhoods, professions and hierarchies should reflect the multi-ethnic composition of the country. If the enormously successful women’s drive towards equality in the 60's signified “a revolution within the revolution,” another drive to correct 500 years of neglect, un-payable debts to the nation’s most loyal sons and daughters, cannot be postponed any longer.
Everyone who loves our country, everyone who is enamored with our beautiful history, anyone who is capable of appreciating the enormous achievements of the Afro-Cuban community over the past fifty years, must speak up.
Undeniable facts demonstrate that Afro-Cubans constituted the bulk of the casualties during the wars of independence in 1868-78, 1878-79 and 1895-98. The unsolicited Spanish-American war created an emasculated, pseudo republic, which replicated United States southern racism and segregation. In despair, blacks formed the Independent Party of Color, 3000 of whose members were massacred in 1912.
“The unsolicited Spanish-American war created an emasculated, pseudo republic, which replicated United States southern racism and segregation.”
While a majestic monument honors president Jose Miguel Gomez, the mastermind and executioner of this monstrosity, the scene of this crime in Oriente Province is still without a simple cross in memory of the victims. Mariana Grajales, the mother of the Cuban nation and one of the most extraordinary women ever to live in this hemisphere, is barely recognized.
These are the real battles for justice, equality and the future of our nation, that all Cubans and Afro-Cubans especially should be waging, not siding with those who castrated our independence in 1898 or those who enabled this massacre and kept us segregated, impoverished, ignorant until 1959 and today, are shamefully relying on the dark skin of some, willing to sell their intellect and soul to the highest bidder, by attempting to intimidate, blackmail or create a negative political scene against members of the CBC, who have courageously stood by their brothers in Cuba for the past 25 years.
We will not be threatened by letter carriers, book writers, open mike AM Radio Talk Show hosts in Miami, New Jersey or California, or by Cuban-American politicians in State Houses and in the US Congress with their segregationist past here and in Cuba, attempting to silence members of the CBC, with worn out Jim Crow tactics.
No one can tire, rest or give into the comfort of life, until this moral debt to every descendant of the slave trade is fulfilled. Millions of grateful sons and daughters in our region, expect the leadership of the CBC will continue and expand their role in achieving justice for all.
Honorable US Congresswoman Barbara Lee, please convey our Mother's Day wishes of Happiness, Health and Long Life to all females on this last delegation to Cuba and our eternal gratitude to each CBC member, their Aides and everyone else, who has stood up against all odds, with their brothers and sisters in Cuba.
Alberto Jones is an Afro-Cuban of Jamaican ancestry. He is director of the Caribbean American Children’s Foundation in Palm Coast, Florida.