Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
It is with deep regret, that I read this morning "Activists Use the Blogosphere to Fight Racism Against Afro-Cubans" in the American Chronicle by Ms Deborah Gabriel and "The Fight Against Racism in Cuba goes Viral" by Ms Marlie Hall in the Grio.
Although I am not a journalist, lecturer or an employee of any of the US government agencies, masked or unmasked foundations bent on unleashing a race war in Cuba, I would like to share with you, a bit of my personal experience, having lived 60% of my 70 years of age in Cuba and the rest in the US.
For the past 20 years when segregation and racism, -which most had presumed dead since it was outlawed in 1959-, raised its dirty head again in Cuba, many, including myself have steadfastly denounced its presence in a positive, constructive fashion.
Since the late 90's, when hostile forces to the Cuban government identified a substantial demographic shift in Cuba, in which some studies have placed blacks and mixed race as high as 62%, all counterrevolutionary efforts in south Florida geared at overthrowing the Cuban government, re-directed their strategy of using the All White Cuban American National Foundation, Alpha 66, CORU and hundredes of similar groups, which had rejected and denied the participations of any blacks willing to join their groups.
In fact, prominent Radio Talk Show host, the late Agustin Tamargo said on his highly popular Mesa Revuelta on Radio Mambi 710 AM in Miami, that Fidel Castro government had survived thirty years of relentless warfare, only because of the strong presence of blacks in the Cuban Armed Forces and in his personal security, for which he demanded a Three Days License upon the collapse of that government, to dole out retribution to the Afro-Cuban community for their past deeds.
In order to achieve their goals, many Afro-Cubans with apparent leadership capabilities in the US, were recruited and trained in civil dissobedience, human rights and other teachings in some predominantly Black Universities in the US and even at the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta. These individuals in turn, were instructed to recruit predominantly Afro-Cubans in Cuba and with endless funds coming from US-AID through numerous foundations, they created hundredes of groups with flashy names such as Independent Journalist, Independent Farmers, Indepenednt Librarians and Independent Everything Else.
Are any of these writers, Afro-Americans, Caribbean and Latin-America intellectuales who signed the spurious letter "Acting on our Conscience" aware of these strategy, statements, plans and developments of these apparently innocuous groups fighting racism in Cuba, who are all on the payroll of foreign governments and institutions?
Are any of these very objective, investigative journalists willing to interview members of the Afro-American and Central America inmigrant community in Miami, in order to determine the virtues and values that governs the elitist, racist mentality of the Cuban-American community in Miami?
My deep concern and opposition to this divisive strategy stems from our Afro-Cubans bitter life experience. Similar to many of today's concerned Afro-Cubans, who are supposedly angry with many ongoing inequalities in Cuba, were others in the past, whose actions led to tragic consequences.
Martin Morua Delgado, an Afro-Cuban intellectual, who occupied a high ranking position in the neo-colonial government in the early XX century, assumed a policy that mimicks much of what we are seeing today, which lead to the enactment of laws by the racist government of General Jose Miguel Gomez, that deprived Blacks of many of their rights, which, with the support of the United States Department of State and Defense, enabled that government to launch a retallatory attack against members of the Independent Party of Color in 1912, where 6000 of its members and innocent bystanders were brutally murdered, mutilated and their bodies desecrated in Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba and Songo-La Maya.
These are irrefutable facts, not gossip. There is nothing personal in my opposition to Dr. Carlos Moore et. al., divisive tactics, except a well founded fear, that his actions may lead to the re-enactment of the race war that took place in Cuba 100 years ago, in a country without any clear racial demarcation. We, on the other hand, are demanding this horrific act be made public in its entirety, the victims honored and an apology is overdue.
These very broad injustices are what we must defend with our pens and intellect! Anyone hoping to rise to prominence or wealth, should earn that with his/her personal attributes, not by turning our pain, suffering and abuses into ladders to reach undeserved heights.
The plight of Blacks is worldwide and not limited to Cuba. What have motivated and suddenly kept awake so many black intellectuals over the sufferings of Blacks in Cuba, while totally ignoring the viscious murder of 500 of our youths last year in Chicago?
I am further annoyed with some of the of Dr. Carlos Moore behaviour because, like myself, we both were born on sugarcane plantations owned by US corporations in Cuba, where we were forced to live in thatched huts without electricity, running water, sewer, schools, healthcare or jobs and to see his thinking coincide with policies of some of our former slave-masters, be it the Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lethinen, David Rivera, Bacardi's, Fanjuls, Mel Martinez and thousands of others, who did not allow us to walk on their streets after dark, created a separate aisle for us in public squares and barred us from holding only menial jobs of picking up their trash, cooking, cleaning and raising their children, is beyond my imagination.
Many, many wrongs has to be fixed in Cuba, but our country should never return to that nightmarish, oppresive society.
Facts, not word will help to put things into perspective. While the Cuban Army fought for the independence of Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe, demolished Apartheid in South Africa and freed Nelson Mandela and his brothers in Arms from Robin Island, tens of Cuban-Americans in south Florida brag about their stoic battle flying helicopters and fighter jets against "Cuban Mercenaries" in the southern cone of Africa and it is said, that Dr. Carlos Moore, was on the other side of this battle field, as an aide to Holden Roberto, a known CIA operative.
As our small organization travelled tens of thousands of miles across Florida begging and collecting unwanted, but usable discarded personal, medical and educational goods, which we have sent primarily to Afro-Cubans and emigrants and descendents from every Caribbean islands living in Guantananamo, Santiago de Cuba and Banes , none of those denouncing the Cuban government, have ever responded to our numerous pleas for an aspirin, a walker, a wheelchair or a blanket for our brothers in dire need.
Actions, not words is what I have learned to believe in. Writing articles, selling books, lecturing or going on TV is great, if your concerns are not about a hungry baby, a dying elderly or an illiterate person.
If this sounds like a defense of the Cuban government, let it be. But until these theoriticians are unwilling to spend some time helping the needy in Cabrina Greens, Liberty City and Overtown in Miami, North Jacksonville in Florida, Detroit, earthquake ravished Haiti, Ruanda, Soweto or willing to assist victims of Katrina, where our people are suffering and dying, I will continue to question their beautiful preaching and writings coming out of their air-cooled mansions.
In closing, let me remind readers of these poorly written thoughts in anger, that the paymasters of many of these individuals, live in posh Coral Gables, Palm Beach, Plantation and many other secluded areas in south Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere.
Most of them were here in the 60's at the height of the Civil Rights struggle. None of them can present a newspaper article they wrote in support of those being hosed-down or chewed-up by attack dogs in Alabama or Tennessee, nor anyone of them can produce a picture marching alongside the victims or refusing to sit at counters or using restrooms where they were welcome because of their Hispanic ancestry and where Afro-Americans living in this country centuries before them were denied such basic rights.
It has always been easier to identify a liar than a lame.
Alberto Nelson Jones
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Alberto N Jones
May 1, 2010
I hope most of those who read the previous chapter are as persuaded as I am, that there is no valid evidence to demonstrate the existence of segregation or racism in Cuba that is promoted, instigated or tolerated by the highest level of the Cuban government. What has been clearly established is a marked increase of racial prejudices coming from whites towards Afro-Cubans, which is more evident, open and brutal than at any time in the past 20 years.
These negative expressions have manifested themselves most vividly since the introduction of the Special Period, characterized by an absolute lack of the most basic means of survival, the failure to create job opportunities for Afro-Cubans with access to hard currencies in Havana and Varadero Beach, an intensified struggle for survival and a threat of competing forces that some saw in an increased migration from the eastern provinces to the west, which many attempted to counter through segregation, defamation and racial slurs.
It is a well established fact by psychologists and others engaged in behavioral studies, that in all herds, human groupings, inter-ethnic or inter-species relations, there are always those attempting to prey, subjugate, isolate or eliminate others deemed weak.
For these reasons and as early as January 1959, Fidel Castro declared “We could not be Revolutionaries or Democrats, if we do not rid ourselves of all type of discrimination“.
In March 1959, Fidel Castro gave a speech to a workers gathering, which turned out to be a proclamation against racial discrimination, in which he made a detailed analysis of how racism expresses itself in job exclusion, educational segregation and the forceful opening by law, of all facilities and services for the fulfillment of all citizens, without discrimination.
During the V Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba in October of 1997, Fidel Castro reiterated the need of consolidating the fair policy of promoting blacks and women to leadership positions, just as had happened for youths without being dogmatic, which guarantees the moral authority of the party with the people.
During the World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance, which took place in Durban , South Africa in September 2001, President Fidel Castro endorsed the idea that “the United States and western nations must pay reparations to descendents of black slaves”.
In the last session of the National Assembly of the People’s Power on 12/21/09, the president of Council of State and Ministers, Raul Castro, said: “Personally I think it is a shame the insignificant advances that we have achieved in this”. “ I will use all my influence to make sure that these harmful prejudices continue to yield space until they have been definitively eliminated and women and blacks are promoted to leadership positions at all levels, based upon their merits and professional level.
On January 5th. 1993, Congressman John Conyers introduced a bill to “Acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery”.
The bill, which did not ask for reparations for the descendents of African slaves, won from 435-members of the U.S. House of Representatives only 28 co-sponsors, 18 of whom were black. (The Debt, Randall Robinson, p 201-10, 2000)
In the early 1970’s Boris Bittker, a Yale Law School professor wrote a book, The Case for Black Reparations, which made the argument that slavery, Jim Crow and a general climate of race-based discrimination in America had combined to do grievous social and economic injury to African Americans.
Ibrahim Gassama, a law professor of the University of Oregon in response to a question from Mr. Randall Robinson said, “ It is the strangest thing, we law professors talk about every imaginable subject, but when the issue of reparations is raised among white professors, many of whom are otherwise liberal, it is met with silence”.
Derrick Bell, another professor at Harvard Law School concluded his view of Bittker’s book in a way that may explain the reaction Ibrahim Gassama got from his colleagues: “Short of a revolution, the likelihood that blacks today will obtain direct payments in compensation for their subjugation as slaves before the Emancipation Proclamation and their exploitation as quasi-citizens since, is no better than in 1866, when Thaddeus Stevens recognized that his bright hope of forty acres and a mule for every freedman had vanished”.
Confirming this presumption is the fact that for 6-8 years, Nazi Germany inflicted horrific pain and suffering on European Jews in their concentration camps. Post WW II German governments readily paid to individuals and to the government of Israel 88 billion Marks and created a trust fund of a few billion Marks for the victims, coming from enterprises that benefited from slave work.
In February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 which forced 120,000 persons of Japanese and Korean ancestry into internment camps for the duration of the war, although approximately 65% were US citizens.
In 1988 president Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberty Act, granting $20,000.00 to each survivor or beneficiary. In 1992 president George W. Bush appropriated another 400 million dollars to cover a $20,000.00 compensation for 82,210 Japanese-American citizens. Canada compensated a total of 1,434 Japanese-Canadian citizens, with a total of $1.3 billion dollars and both governments apologized for their past deeds.
At the end of WW I, the Allied countries successfully demanded compensation from Germany . Korean women forced into prostitution by the Japanese occupying forces during WW II were rightfully compensated.
Although the United States and Europe inflicted far greater horrors upon Africa and its people, they have not only refused to pay compensation to Africa, instead, at the end of the slave trade, they re-arranged the map of Africa to continue exploiting the continent and have steadfastly refused to return thousands of pieces of arts stolen from Africa.
Both president Abraham Lincoln in the US and Carlos M. de Cespedes in Cuba offered during the Civil War and the War of Independence in Cuba to compensate slave owners for “property” (slave) loss during the conflict.
Is it necessary to present additional evidence to prove beyond any doubt the horrific crimes that was inflicted upon innocent people for centuries or the massive wealth that was derived from such tainted procedure?
That’s why it is so outrageous, disgusting and counterproductive to see a handful of opportunists attempting to capitalize on known failures, shortcomings and deficiencies in Cuba’s race-relations, in which, rather than putting forward an honest critique, offer suggestions or design ways to alleviate the suffering of the Afro-Cuban community, they have intentionally chosen the path of inciting our people, fanning the flames of anger, exacerbating their suffering and encouraging physical confrontation.
Can anyone in their right mind imagine that any of these individuals is reading these damming examples for the first time?
Once again, history has placed on Cuba’s lap, the unavoidable, moral obligation of pioneering and leading this just drive for reparations, by becoming the first nation to publicly admit its collective responsibility in the world most heinous crime, committed against millions of helpless slaves for over 350 years.
But contrary to what some have suggested, which is to provide each of the victim’s descendent with a fixed money value, which shortly after would have been spent in consumer driven societies, we are proposing a massive education, health, sport, cultural development and empowerment as the only viable way of equalizing racial differences, removing prejudices and overcoming centuries of subjugation and ignorance.
Cuba is hereby calling upon every government in the world, whose country benefited one way or another from slave commerce, slave traders derivatives, shipping and insurance companies, plantation owners, the church and to those governments who, although they were not participants in this horrendous crime, are ashamed of the deeds of others, to step forward, come clean, join hands with us and together, let’s pay our dues, clear our conscience and rid the world of this un-payable debt.
Our proposal is simple. Pool all reparations resources with a reputable international agency -UN, UNESCO, FAO, WHO and/or others, and turn Cuba into the world’s largest Healthcare, Education, Research and Development Center in the world, where hundreds of thousands of Africans, descendents and others from the developing world, can be received, educated and returned to their place of origin, equipped with specific knowledge for their personal and community development .
Segregation, racisms and other forms of prejudices derive from having power over others. Laws or decrees, can only mitigate but never eradicate these perversions. Equalizing individuals knowledge and empowerment, is the only remedy available to humans. Some thoughts follow:
Develop and lease across the former province of Oriente 200,000 lots of 100x100’ for 20 years to retirees and others interested in living in a beautiful, safe and peaceful environment, where they can build their homes, free of the urban decay in which they may now live. Leasing fees can range between $3000.00 and $10,000.00 per year, depending on location, beauty etc. Upon maturity of the lease or if it is preceded by death, both land and home will revert to the Cuban patrimony. It is anticipated that each nucleus of 5000 homes can generate $20,000,000.00 per year, excluding construction, maintenance and personal cost of living, while generating approximately 1000 related jobs.
Build a 1000 bed, high tech, Caribbean Medical Center in Santiago de Cuba in collaboration with the 30,000 member Afro-American Medical Association, the Caribbean Medical Association and the Cuban Ministry of Health, to provide the highest level of medical services to patients from our region, that is comparable to their counterparts in Canada and the United States, at 50% of their cost. It is anticipated this facility can generate $75,000,000.00 per year and create 2000 well remunerated jobs.
Quadruple the capacity of the Neurological Behavioral Center in Holguin, to offer specialized treatment to millions of Hispanics afflicted by alcoholism, drug addiction and post traumatic battlefield disorders without treatment in their communities, due to a severe lack of Spanish speaking professionals in that field. Anticipated income $40,000,000.00 per year and 1000 employees.
Develop in the municipality of Paraguay, Guantanamo, adjacent to its underutilized airport, the Industrial and Home Appliances Distribution Center for Latin America and the Caribbean, from where dealers from around can export their goods with a crucial advantage of two hours less flying time to most markets, perfect year round weather, low operating cost, safe environment, a large pool of technical support, and trainable personnel capable of generating Five Billion Dollars per year and employing 15,000.
Organize a high level Development Commission to visit China, Malaysia, India, Viet Nam and others, to promote the wonderful, low cost, secure environment and benign weather conditions in Guantanamo, for the creation of industries or subsidiaries, which would position them 7-10,000 miles closer to a powerful and growing industrial market in Latin America and the Caribbean, which can easily require 25,000 employees and billions in income.
Transform the Avenue of the Americas, Victoriano Garzon, Enramadas, Aguilera, and Michelsen Avenue in Santiago de Cuba into the Caribbean, Central and South America Pavilion, where their history, culture, arts, cuisine, education center, handcraft and commerce can be highlighted and become an additional source of friendship and brotherhood, celebrating each country’s national holidays and festivities, which can create thousands of jobs and generate millions every day.
Salvage approximately 10,000 homes in Guantanamo , Santiago de Cuba , Bayamo and Holguin city center and an unspecified number of closed former hotels urgently in need of refurbishing to preserve their architecture and cultural heritage, thereby creating hundreds of joint ventures with Afro-Americans, Caribbean and Latin America businesspeople specialized in hospitality. Hundreds of these facilities could be converted into economy Hostels for regional family tourism and Assisted living for retired persons. These simple, easy to implement projects could generate millions of dollars and create employment opportunity for tens of thousands.
Refurbish and equip 300 secondary schools in the countryside in the five eastern provinces in Cuba and offer its use to tens of thousands of Haitian school children earthquake victims, where they could receive adequate shelter, meals, education and medical care, if any or all international institutions, humanitarian groups and governments, would be willing to finance its operating cost.
This partial description of the enormous untapped resources available in eastern Cuba, is more than sufficient to begin cleansing our past history while it double the country’s GNP, create well remunerated full employment for all its citizen, stem the exodus of thousands of young, educated citizens in search of a better life abroad, re-energize the nation’s pride in its accomplishment and satisfy all its socio-economic needs, by applying any of the previous and following suggestions:
Re-open, revise and start the Salcines Project, consistent in re-directing part of the course of the rivers Toa, Duaba, Miel and others in Baracoa to solve once and for all the water needs of the Caujeri valley, Guantanamo , Santiago de Cuba , San Luis and Palma Soriano. Assign 100 million per year until completion.
Construct Water Purification Systems and Waste Water Treatment facilities in Baracoa , Guantanamo , Santiago de Cuba , Palma Soriano, Holguin , Manzanillo and Las Tunas , that are capable of purifying and treating 150% of today’s requirement. Funding 500 million dollars per year until completion.
Begin prospecting the feasibility of a Rapid Transit Rail System between San Luis and Camaguey , which will have branches going to Guantanamo , another going to Bayamo and Manzanillo and another touching Holguin and Moa. If proven effective, this system could be extended to the length and breath of the island. Funding 500 million dollars per year until completion.
Create in Guantanamo , a 10,000 student English and Creole University , staffed by high level educators from English Speaking and French Creole Speaking islands, where every Cuban enlisted in collaborative team to work in any of these countries, must have had to successfully approve and be proficient in said language. Assign 2 million operating cost per year.
Construct in Guantanamo, a modern, high-Tech Environmental Health and Safety University for 30,000 national and international students, an important solar, eolic, bio mass, water resource and regulatory research center, with a number of environmental related factories, which may double as students laboratory and production of a variety of environmental products, generating tens of millions of dollars in income from the national and international sales of environmental products.
Build in Guantanamo , the largest and most modern Cricket Sport Complex, to attract tournaments from around the world and thousands of visiting sports fans generating millions in income.
Create the Agriculture and Industrial Bank, to provide low-interest, mid-term micro-loans to everyone interested in developing all enterprises promoted by the Central government. Start up funds, One Hundred Million Dollars.
Transform the port of Santiago de Cuba into the most active and important commercial port in the Caribbean receiving all sorts of produce, livestock, handcraft, garment and industrial production from the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America and exporting Cuban goods, generating tens of millions of dollars in sales, purchase, taxes etc., of its vibrant commerce.
Create a number of specialized stores, selling agricultural supplies, seeds, fertilizer, pesticide, animal feed, livestock, veterinary medicine service, reproductive services, trucks, tractor, trailer, plows, work clothing, personal protective gears and spare parts. Start up funds, Five Hundred Million Dollars. Encourage 100,000 citizens with agricultural training, to apply for plots of lands, bank credit and machinery, to begin the development of agriculture and livestock.
Prior to the environmental disaster that is taking place in the Gulf States , Black Farmers were facing extinction. It is now a fact of life. In order to extend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in distress, we are proposing to offer a 25 year lease to 25,000 rice farming families, to relocate to Cuba rice producing region of Cauto-embarcadero/Vado del Yeso. Similar offer can be extended to another 5,000 fishing families, suffering the effect of the oil pollution.
Promote an orderly migration of 50,000 Haitians families from earthquake ravished Port au Prince to northern Oriente sugar cane plantation complex, where each family will lease 40 acres of land for the cultivation of sugar cane, produce and livestock for the next 25 years. Additionally they will receive bank credits to build a home, purchase agriculture equipment and live lease-free the first two years.
Organize an orderly migration of 50,000 Haitians earthquake victims to Cuba and lease each family a 40 acres plot of land on Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba mountain range for the next 25 years, for the development of coffee, cacao, produce and small livestock. They will receive bank credits for the purpose of purchasing agriculture equipment, personal income until the land begin to yield results and will live lease-free, the first two years.
Promote the migration of 20,000 Palestinian families from the Gaza Strip, West Bank and Jordan, to relocate to southern Oriente semi-arid region and lease to each family 40 acres plots of lands for the development of olive, palm, nuts, goats and sheep as they did in their native Palestine , reducing their hellish overcrowding. Additionally, they will be able to use the lands lease-free for the first two years, receive bank credits to build their homes and purchase agriculture instruments.
Upgrade the deficient fuel, lubricant and cooking gas service in Cuba , which is plagued by corruption, antiquated system and time consuming, irritating service, by creating a Joint Venture with CITGO, a giant, efficient, high-tech Venezuelan fuel distributor with over 20,000 macro service stations in operation, who is capable of bringing this service in Cuba into the XXI Century.
As we can see, with courage and moral determinism, we can honor the pain of the victims, salvage the vision of those who sought to remedy a notorious crime and begin to create a better world for all.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Alberto N Jones
April 18, 2010
At 5:00 PM on April 19, 1961, the Cuban government sent out its third and final military statement announcing, that all invading forces holed-up in their last outpost in Cay Largo, had surrendered to the Cuban Armed Forces and the Militia.
This apparently simple military communiqué would become a world -wide symbol of the United States vulnerability, since it had invested endless military, political, intelligence and financial resources, only to see them evaporate before their eyes less than 72 hours after it began.
For approximately 18 months, hundreds of Cuban exiles had been trained by the US Army, CIA and the State Department at Useppa Island , Homestead AFB, Opa Locka and Miami International Airport in Florida , Ft. Gluck and Ft. Clayton in Panama , by the Alabama National Guard, at Ft. Knox , Kentucky . Ft Benning , GA , at Belle Chase, New Orleans , Vieques, Puerto Rico, Puerto Cabezas , Nicaragua , Quetzaltenango base in Guatemala and others.
The CIA had created hundreds of counterrevolutionary groups in Cuba and charged them with spreading diversionary rumors, bombing public buildings, terrorizing teachers, fomenting uprisings across the country and sabotaging industrial and farming facilities. Many CIA funded radio stations pumped scare-tactics news and false military actions throughout the country, in a failed effort to break the will of the Cuban people.
Underreported by the media is the important role played by Guantanamo Naval Base, which in fact, acted as a safe heaven and beachhead in Cuba where millions of useless pesos in the hands of Batista supporters, rich Cubans and early dissenters were laundered in broad daylight, meetings with CIA operatives and Cuban counterrevolutionaries employed or hiding on the base took place unhindered, and counterrevolutionary agents were regularly flown in and out of that military enclave.
The most important, dangerous and unforeseeable consequence from the use of Guantanamo Naval Base during its infamous history stemmed from the receiving, harboring and allowing a group of Cuban counterrevolutionary men, armed with Russian weapons and dressed in Cuban military fatigue to enter Cuba through its gates, charged with executing an auto-attack on this facility -Remember the Maine, Gulf of Tonkin- which would be followed by the US self defense reaction to this enclave, by bombing Cuba back into the stone ages. Operation Northwoods provided an in depth description of this and other sinister plans of the US government.
Yet most Cubanologists, mainstream media and historians, have devoted hundreds of articles attempting to determine if the failure of the reprehensive and treacherous 1961 invasion was due to a lack of air support and fire power or the choice of a wrong landing site, without ever questioning the morality of this action or condemning its perpetrators.
Much in tune with the overall, rotten principle of this enterprise was the sleazy bombing raid on Cuba ’s three air fields two days before the invasion, using B-26´s disguised with fake Cuban Air Force markings in the hope of neutralizing their Air Force. They presented to the media in Miami a B-26 littered with fake anti-aircraft bullets and its crew, as a defecting Cuban Air Force plane with its personnel, – this was later shamefully presented by Adlai Stevenson to the UN Security Council.
How can anyone plan and execute such a treacherous act, when precisely twenty years before, the Japanese Air Force attacked and destroyed the US fleet in Pearl Harbor, leading president Franklin Roosevelt to declare December 7th, as A Day of Infamy, declaring war on Japan and entering into WW II?
And today, 49 years after this heinous act, the perpetrators and intellectual authors have not come to grips with their disgraceful behavior, accepted their responsibility, apologized to the Cuban people, the wounded and dead, but rather, they are actively hosting a series of events in south Florida to honor the victimizers and strengthen the punishing 50 year old embargo on innocent Cubans, because the Cubans dared to defend their homeland.
As a survivor and on behalf of tens of thousands of friends, family and neighbors living in Guantanamo, a mere 12 miles away from the US Naval Base or Ground Zero, we have no doubts, our city would have been pulverized and we would have occasionally been remembered like the victims of Coventry, Dresden, Lidice, Mi Lay or Nagasaki.
To those whose defensive actions saved the lives of tens of thousands of fellow citizens in Guantanamo , Santiago de Cuba , Havana and everything in between, we can humbly say Thank You Very Much for all you have done.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Alberto N. Jones
4 de Abril del año 2010
El gobierno Cubano acusado de racismo en ¨Actuando sobre nuestra Conciencia¨
Las históricas acusaciones de racismo promovidas por grupos anti-Cubanos radicados en la Florida y en Europa en contra del gobierno Cubano; las graves imputaciones del Dr. Carlos Moore que han sido profusamente diseminadas en países y comunidades predominantemente negro durante los últimos 25 años y el documento espurio recientemente circulado y firmado por decenas de intelectuales Afro-Americanos, Caribeños y Afro-Latinoamericanos, debía constituir la alquimia que detonara la explosión social que barriera al gobierno de Cuba del poder y re-instalara otro, en la imagen y semejanza del gobierno de los Estados Unidos.
La trágica, dolorosa e irreparable inmolación de Orlando Tamayo Zapata, debido a su decisión de rechazar la ingestión de alimentos, ha desencadenado una ola de protesta sin precedentes alrededor del mundo, con lo que se pretende estimular a otros llamados disidentes en Cuba, no a los que residen en el exterior, a imitar y repetir esta tragedia, como si nuestra cultura fuese Sunni, Shiita, o Taliban.
Sin pretender minimizar, cuestionar y menos aun denigrar esta fatal decisión que enlútese, mancha y avergüenza a todos, llama la atención sin embargo, que una reacción similar no se produjo cuando una decena de presos políticos se inmolaron de igual manera en Irlanda del Norte, ni despues las masacres de Sharpville, Ruanda y Soweto, las golpizas de miles de negros en Alabama, Mississippi o Tennessee durante la lucha por los derechos civiles, los miles de linchamientos a lo largo y ancho de los Estados Unidos o ante la diaria brutalidad policíaca en contra de la comunidad Afro-Americana.
Esta táctica dirigida a fomentar la división racial en Cuba, tuvo sus antecedentes en 1910 y reapareció pocos días después de producirse el asalto al Cuartel Moncada el 26 de Julio de 1953 en Santiago de Cuba, cuando los voceros del régimen echaron a rodar rumores que sugerían, que dicha acción estaba motivado por los prejuicios raciales de los atacantes blancos procedentes del occidente del país, en contra del Presidente Fulgencio Batista, debido a su condición de mulato.
Las primeras imágenes recogidas en la prensa afianzaron esta falacia, ya que todos los detenidos y muertos eran blancos. No fue hasta la celebración del juicio en contra de los atacantes meses después, que se vieron las primeras fotos de personas no blancas.
Meses despues, los estudiantes de las escuelas secundarias, instituto de segunda enseñanza, artes y oficios, maestros normalistas y de la universidad de Oriente, se vieron envueltos en intensos debates acerca de la problemática nacional y la necesidad de enfrentar al gobierno golpista. Nuevamente los apologistas del régimen hicieron grandes esfuerzos por demostrar que no existía una crisis constitucional sino, un deliberado intento por parte de los blancos para recobrar el poder.
Paradojicamente, esta táctica no tuvo resonancia dentro del estudiantado de Guantánamo, Santiago de Cuba y otras comunidades con grandes asentamientos de población negra. Las fotos de los revolucionarios a la salida del Presidio Modelo de Isla de Pinos, otras a raíz del desembarco del Granma en las Coloradas en 1956, los contactos con Willy, Cauce, Zúñiga, Temistocles, Newton, Richard, Thompson, Manfugas y otros insurrectos, constituyeron un rotundo mentis para esta patraña.
Entre las primeras leyes introducidas por la Revolución triunfante en Enero de 1959 estuvo, la desinstitucionalizacion del racismo. Todas las asociaciones recreacionales basadas en principios raciales fueron desintegradas y convertidas en círculos sociales, las escuelas privadas fueron nacionalizadas e incorporadas al sistema nacional de educación y la matricula quedo sujeto al lugar de residencia del alumno. Las playas, empleos, clubs y barriadas fueron igualmente integrados sin distingo racial.
Se aprobaron las Leyes de Reforma Agraria, Reforma Urbana, reducción de la tarifa Eléctrica, Telefónica y del 50% del costo de los medicamentos, beneficiando a las clases más desposeídas del país, del cual los negros constituían la mayoría absoluta.
La campaña de Alfabetización, Seguimiento, la Batalla por el Sexto Grado, la formación de Maestros Primarios, la apertura de Escuelas Tecnológicas, los Planes de Nivelación Educacional y el plan de Becas Universitarias, posibilitaron la incorporación al estudio de decenas de miles de estudiantes pobres.
Al mismo tiempo, cientos de estudiantes de nivel medio y superior procedentes de América Latina, África, Asia y el Caribe, recibieron becas para realizar estudios en Cuba, lo que ha permitido que graduados de estas aulas, ocupen posiciones clave en sus respectivos países en beneficios de sus pueblos.
Estas drásticas medidas en favor de los marginados, las intervenciones y las confiscaciones de los bienes de las clases dominantes, convirtió a los mas en enemigos de la Revolución, quienes acuñaron el término peyorativo eslavoide de SOLOVANNICHE a sus playas y otros centros de recreo, lo que una vez descifrado significaba SOLO VAN NICHE, donde nunca más pusieron los pies hasta que abandonaron el país, afiliándose a numerosos grupos contrarrevolucionarios.
Miles de Afro-Cubanos fueron empleados por primera vez en trabajos de administración, oficinas de la compañía de electricidad, teléfonos y similares; tiendas de ropa, ómnibus interprovinciales e incluso en algunas locales como la ruta 30 en la Habana; en cafeterías y restaurantes del Vedado, Miramar, Centro Habana y acceso a centros médicos como el Sagrado Corazón, Clínica de Miramar, Marfan, Hijas de Galicia, La Covadonga y otros.
La celebración en Cuba de la Conferencia Tri Continental y la creación de la OSPAAAL en 1966, fue motivo de orgullo nacional y símbolo inequívoco del compromiso de Cuba con los países del Tercer Mundo, lo que convirtió a Cuba en una escala obligada de decenas de líderes y jefes de estado de los países en vías de desarrollo.
El incondicional apoyo de Cuba a los movimientos de liberación de Argelia, Angola, Congo y Etiopia en África, el masivo apoyo a lucha del pueblo de Viet Nam y a los grupos de liberación nacional de Venezuela, Santo Domingo, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Chile y otros, estableció de manera definitiva la posición del gobierno Cubano ante el mundo.
Una y otra vez, Cuba no vacilo en poner en riesgo su seguridad nacional al ofrecerle abrigo a decenas de revolucionarios Afro-Americanos, Africanos, Latino-Americanos y de otras partes del mundo, perseguidos por sus gobernantes.
La epopeya militar que Cuba libro durante mas de una década en el cono sur de África en el cual, unos 300,000 militares Cubanos lucharon hombro con hombro con sus hermanos Africanos, consolidando la independencia de Angola, demoliendo el Apartheid, contribuyendo a la independencia de Namibia, Zimbabwe y Sur África y la heroica liberación de Nelson Mandela y sus compañeros de armas, es sin duda, el mayor honor que se le ha podido conferir a los descendientes de África en todo el mundo, al liberar la tierra de donde fueron arrancados en cadenas sus antecesores siglos atrás.
No obstante, el aporte de decenas de miles de Médicos, Enfermeros y otros trabajadores de la salud que han asistido a millones de pacientes y salvado a miles de una muerte segura en todos los rincones del planeta, es sin lugar a dudas, la obra cumbre de Cuba a favor de los ignorados.
Todo lo anterior y mucho mas, fue realizado con una generosidad sin precedentes en los anales de historia humana, en la que Cuba no condiciono su ayuda al estado de la relaciones bilaterales con ningún país, jamas acepto retribución económica alguna o mediante la extracción de recursos naturales de alguno de esos países.
El cúmulo de las contribuciones de Cuba en favor de los desposeídos, abusados e ignorados en general y el de los negros en particular en todo el mundo, demuestra en forma concluyente, irrebatible y refuta categóricamente todo intento mezquino por parte de enemigos confesos, asalariados y oportunistas de toda laya, que tratan de endilgarle el repulsivo calificativo de racista, como parte de una amplia campana internacional dirigida, orquestada y financiada por probados racistas Cubano-Americanos, gobiernos colonizadores, ex-esclavistas y xenofobicos Europeos, lidereados por los Estados Unidos.
Es comparable el expediente de 50 anos del gobierno de Cuba con cualquier periodo similar de los gobiernos de España, Holanda, Francia, Bélgica o Inglaterra durante los siglos XVI-XXI o el de los Estados Unidos, Alemania, Japón y otros durante los siglos XX-XXI ?
Confiando quizás excesivamente en esta colosal hoja de servicios, el gobierno de Cuba ha cometido serios errores en la administración de sus recursos nacionales, sociales, laborales, salariales, salud, vivienda, educación y otros, al someter al pueblo a severos e injustificados sacrificios materiales durante décadas, ha coartado aspiraciones básicas de la población, se ha fosilizado el desarrollo de la infra-estructura nacional, se ha perdido el sentido de pertenencia mediante la imposición de medidas inconsulta y los mecanismos de desaprobación o quejas de la población se han transformado en centros de catarsis colectivo, promotores de cinismo y de corrupción oficial.
Un factor crucial en la perpetuación de estos males ha sido, la falta de medios masivo de comunicación crítico, denunciando y desenmascarando el delito, la ausencia de un periodismo sagaz, investigativo en constante vigilia, que mida el sentimiento popular y rehuya de un falso triunfalismo creador de imagenes ficticias.
Cuba es culpable de negligencia y de una imperdonable dilación en enfrentar las crónicas injusticias y desigualdades sociales que han plagado, desmoralizado y literalmente diezmado a la comunidad Afro-Cubana especialmente a partir del periodo especial, en el que fueron excluidos intencionalmente de todo acceso a moneda convertible en un mercado dolarizado; forzándolos a delinquir, prostituirse y desmoronarse moralmente.
Cuba no puede explicarle de manera convincente a su pueblo, que las autoridades de nuestro país desconocían que Cubanos procedentes del Oriente del país eran llamados Palestinos por sus hermanos de Occidente, detenidos vergonzosamente en la calle Obispo, Parque Central o Varadero y devueltos a su lugar de residencia, tal cual ocurría en Pretoria, Ciudad del Cabo o Windhoek, antes que estos mismos Afro-Cubanos liberaron con su sangre y sus vidas a sus hermanos Africanos de tan monstruosa infamia.
Como explicarnos sin connotaciones raciales, el escandaloso y desproporcionado índice de Afro-Cubanos encarcelados en Cuba, cuya etiogenia radica en parte, en el trágico resurgimiento del racismo, segregación y las catastróficas regulaciones administrativas de muchas empresas, que han colimado y excluido a un amplio sector de la sociedad de las áreas con acceso a moneda convertible, sin que este crimen hubiera sido denunciado por académicos, centros de estudio, los medios de comunicación masiva o sometidos a acción judicial por las instituciones pertinentes?
Como racionalizar en forma desapasionada, que Santiago de Cuba con una población predominantemente negro, haya dejado de ser la segunda ciudad en importancia en el país?
Santiago de Cuba, hasta la reciente re-estructuracion politica de la provincia, se habia convertido en una ciudad frustrada, sin perspectiva, un severo desempleo, alto mentalidad migratoria en la juventud, limitado desarrollo socio-económico-cultural y relegado a una posición de menor importancia que Holguín, Cienfuegos o la Habana Vieja ?
Puede alguien explicar en forma razonable, porque el British West Indian Welfare Center, una ONG que fue fundada en 1946 en Guantánamo y que fuera encargada de fomentar, desarrollar y preservar la cultura de unos 500,000 emigrantes y descendientes de cada uno de las Islas Caribenas de habla Ingles residiendo en Cuba, ocupe hoy un edificio semi-derruido, lleno de goteras, al cual con pena, visitan decenas de investigadores foraneos de historia negra, diplomaticos y personalidades del alrededor del mundo para hurgar entre sus paginas llenas de historia en riesgo de perderse, debido el calamitoso estado del edificio?
Dolorosamente y de manera incompresible, la direccion del Ministerio de Justicia de la Provincia de Guantanamo les denego el uso de un edificio aledano apropiado, vacio por mas de una decada, en el cual la membresia podria haber construido las facilidades que satisfagan las necesidades historicas, cientificas y culturales de esta entidad, al mismo tiempo que, la direccion del Ministerio de Justicia de la provincia de la Habana, le otorgo a la Asociacion Asturiana con menos de 1000 descendientes en Cuba, un edifcio en la Avenida del Prado frente al antiguo Capitolio, donde esta ubicado el restaurant Los Nardos?
Que reglas especiales determinaron que el Ministerio de Justicia le otorgara a la pequena comunidad Hebrea residente en Cuba, todo el material de construccion requerido para remodelar sus sinagogas y para operar el bello hotel Raquel, en tanto, el Jamaican Club de Banes, fundado bajo los mismos principios que los del British West Indian Welfare Center de Guantanamo, no ha podido recobrar su local convertido en bodega, mientras la historia y cultura de esta comunidad se desvanece por minutos?
Cuales nociones preconcebidas del Ministerio de Turismo, los ha llevado a promover intensamente este sector mediante ferias de turismo en sur America, Europa, Asia, Norteamerica y Australia, en tanto han ignorado abiertamente el poder adquisitivo y la proximidad geografica de millones de turistas potenciales Afro-Americanos y Caribenos, quienes empatizarian inmediatamente con el entorno de Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo y otras areas de Cuba, con quienes tienen un fuerte vinculo etnico, historico, cultural y familiar?
Porque sorprendernos ante las crecientes manifestaciones de racismo en Cuba, sabiendo que los planes de estudio del Ministerio de Educación han omitido o soslayado importantes contribuciones históricas de los Africanos y sus descendientes?
Porque el ICAIC ha archivado películas y otras manifestaciones culturales que reflejan a negros en actividades positivas o logros historicos, mientras muestran infinidad de películas, novelas y obras de teatro hechas en Cuba o importadas, que tienden a presentar a los negros en papeles de dependencia, servilismo o delictivos, en contraste con las expresiones de Caballero, Señoríto y Damas de otros grupos étnicos?
Como se entiende que el ICAIC disponga de tiempo y recursos para honrar la memoria de Yarine, un vulgar proxeneta convertido en fabula social, pero ha carecido al mismo tiempo de recursos o interés, para rendir homenaje a la vida de Jesús Menéndez, José Maceo o Juan Gualberto Gómez?
Como explicable sin dobleces a nuestros hijos, que despues de medio siglo de Revolucion solidaria con el mundo, nuestro pais ha tenido difficultades en replicar en cientos de jovenes Afro-Cubanos, las excepcionales cualidades humanas del General Antonio Maceo, Mariana Grajales, Brindis de Salas, Comandante Juan Almeida, Nicolas Guillen o Regino Boti, formados en las abyectas condiciones coloniales o de la seudorepublica?
Complicando aun mas este cuadro atroz ha sido, el que ningun pais u organización social, humanitaria o religiosa predominantemente negro en el mundo, ha sabido extenderle una mano solidaria a la comunidad Afro-Cubana cautiva, renuente a emigrar, esperanzada en ese mañana mejor que los ha eludido, debido a los crudos rigores de bloqueo y las férreas restricciones internas que estrangulan toda gestión económica no-gubernamental, resquebrajando sus principios éticos, estremeciendo sus valores morales y situando a millones de víctimas al borde del colapso social.
Otros grupos étnicos en Cuba, han hecho un amplio uso de las posibilidades migratorias, se agenciaron los mejores empleos con acceso a moneda convertible, ocupan las mejores áreas residenciales, viajes al exterior, son promovidos y han recibido además, un sustancial apoyo monetario por parte de los países de procedencia de sus ancestros, como es el caso de España, Israel, China y algunos países Árabes, profundizando aun mas, las divisiones de clase.
En nuestro intento por crear una patria con todos y para el bien de todos en el siglo XIX, los Afro-Cubanos se incorporaron masivamente y constituyeron el grueso del ejército libertador y de sus bajas en combate. Nuestro esfuerzo fue escatimado con la humillante intervención militar de los Estados Unidos en 1898, castrando las aspiraciones sociales de nuestro país, re-introduciendo el racismo y segregación, suspendiendo la inmigración negra del Caribe, mientras introdujeron clandestinamente a mas de 100,000 Canarios en el occidente del país, entregándoles tierras y distribuyendo el grueso de los recursos del país entre los intervencionistas y los que fueron derrotados en el campo de batalla.
Traicionados, frustrados y sin otra opción a su alcance, los negros fundaron el Partido Independiente de Color a fin de demandar justicia, equidad y los derechos conculcados, siguiendo las normas políticas establecidas.
La respuesta a esta noble acción, fue la brutal masacre de mas de 6000 miembros de dicho partido político y el de otros, cuyo único delito fue su condición de negro o mulato en Santiago de Cuba, Songo, La Maya, San Luís y Guantánamo.
Y hoy, a casi 100 años de aquel crimen, un monumento fastuoso en la Avenida de los Presidentes y la calle 27 en la Habana, honra la memoria del General José Miguel Gómez, autor intelectual de aquella cacería humana, en tanto, ha faltado el tiempo o la voluntad política para erigir una simple cruz en memoria de las victimas en el lugar del crimen.
Cuba, al igual que todos los países cuyo desarrollo, modo de vida y cuanto sea visible o invisible fue creado con el trabajo, sudor, sangre y la vida de millones de Africanos y sus descendientes, quienes fueron obligados a trabajar en las peores labores de sol a sol en forma gratuita por mas de 350 años, no puede desconocer, ignorar o dar por saldada esa deuda impagable con una parte de sus hijos.
No reconocer esa infamia, no comenzar a aplicar de inmediato medidas elementales de justicia que corrijan esa mancha imborrable de nuestra historia, ha impedido y continuara impidiendo que nuestro país alcance el sitial de honor que le corresponde entre la comunidad de naciones del mundo.
Una postura diferente, no podria corresponder con la Cuba martirizada durante la conspiración de la escalera, el cruel fusilamiento de los 7 estudiantes de medicina, la honrosa Protesta de Baragua, la criminal explosión de la Coubre, la Crisis de los Misiles y el heroísmo de Cuito-Cuanavale, no tolerara que nuestra nación continué arrastrando ese secreto que mancha a todos por igual.
Ninguno de los países que se enriquecieron con la sangre de nuestros ancestros es igual que Cuba? En Cuba existe una Revolución poseedora del carácter, fortaleza moral y principios éticos capaces de identificar los males, evaluar los hechos y tomar las medidas correctivas impostergables que nuestra sociedad demanda.
Solo Cuba dispone de la autoridad moral para enfrentar y motivar a otros deudores para asumir juntos o por separado, esta deuda colectiva con la humanidad.
Para el bien de todos, el capitulo final incluirá algunas conceptos, mecanismos simples, los cuales de ser considerados viables o merecedores de ser implementados aun en forma experimental, aspira a encontrar opciones, esperanzas, claves o direcciones que pudieran contribuir a crear la nacion que merecemos y con la que hemos venido sonando durante mas de 500 años.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
April 4th, 2010
The Cuban government accused of Racism in “Acting on our Conscience.”
Historically, anti-Cuba groups based in Florida and Europe, have systematically accused the Cuban government of being racist; the serious allegations of Dr. Carlos Moore, which have been profusely disseminated through predominantly black countries and communities for the past 25 years, and the spurious document that was circulated and signed by tens of prominent Afro-Americans, Caribbean and Afro-Latin America intellectuals, should constitute the perfect alchemy to detonate a social explosion that would sweep the Cuban government out of office and replace it with one in the image and semblance of the government of the United States of America.
The tragic, painful and irreparable loss of Orlando Tamayo Zapata through his decision to starve himself to death, has unleashed an unprecedented wave of denunciations around the world, with which some are hoping to encourage other dissidents in Cuba, not those living abroad, to imitate and repeat this tragedy, as if, our culture were Sunni, Shiite or Taliban.
Without pretending to minimize, question or denigrate this fatal decision that saddens, stains and shames our country, I would point out that a similar reaction did not occur when approximately ten political prisoners in northern Ireland took a similar action in the 80‘s, nor did one occur after the massacres in Sharpville, Ruanda and Soweto, the beatings of thousands of blacks in Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee during the Civil Rights movement, the thousands of lynching across the United States or the daily police brutality against the Afro-American community.
This tactic, geared to promote racial divisions in Cuba, had its antecedent in 1910 with the campaign against the Independent Party of Color and re-appeared shortly after the attack on the Moncada Garrison in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953, when the spokesperson of the regime spread rumors suggesting that this action was motivated by racial prejudices of white attackers from western Cuba against president Fulgencio Batista, a mulato.
The first images appearing in the press reinforced this fallacy since all prisoners as well as the dead were white. It was not until the court appearance of the attacker’s months later that the first images of non-whites became public.
Soon after, secondary schools, high schools, technical and teachers school and university students in the province of Oriente were involved in a intense national debate about ways to confront Batista‘s government. Once again, the regime apologists made great efforts to demonstrate there was no constitutional crisis, rather, it was a deliberate intent of white Cuba to retake over the government.
Paradoxically, this tactic had little resonance among students in Guantanamo , Santiago de Cuba and other communities with large Afro-Cuban population. The pictures of the insurgents as they exited the Model Prison on the Isle of Pines, others, after the landing of the Granma in Las Coloradas in 1956, contacts with Willy, Cauce, Zuniga, Temistocles, Newton, Richard, Thompson, and Manfugas became a resounding denial of this falsehood.
Among the first measures introduced by the victorious Revolution in January of 1959 was the des-institutionalization of racism. All recreational associations based upon racial principles were disbanded and turned into social circles, all private schools were nationalized, incorporated to the national education system and registration was dependent on the student’s home address. Beaches, jobs, clubs and neighborhoods were integrated without racial distinctions.
The Land and Urban reform laws were enacted; the electric and telephone bills were reduced and all prescription medications were slashed by 50%, benefiting the poor, of which Afro-Cubans were an absolute majority.
The literacy campaign, Follow-Up, the Battle for the Sixth Grade , the training of Primary Teachers, the opening of Technical Schools , the Education Leveling Program and the University Scholarships enabled tens of thousands of poor students to join different educational programs.
At the same time, hundreds of middle and higher education students from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean received scholarships in Cuba , which allowed these graduates to occupy important positions in their countries, benefiting their people.
These drastic measures in favor of the marginalized, the interventions and confiscations of properties of the dominant class turned them into enemies of the Revolution who coined the pejorative term of SOLOVANNICHE to their beaches and other recreational centers, which once it was unscrambled meant SOLO VAN NICHE or WHERE ONLY NIGGERS GO, where they never put their feet again, as they abandoned the country and joined numerous counterrevolutionary groups.
Thousands of Afro-Cubans were employed for the first time in administrative jobs and office settings in the electric and telephone companies, garment stores, inter-provincial bus lines and even local lines such as route 30 in Havana, coffee shops and restaurants in Vedado, Miramar and Centro Havana neighborhoods and access to medical centers such as Sagrado Corazon, Clinica de Miramar, Marfan, Hijas de Galicia, La Covadonga and others.
Hosting the Tri Continental Conference and the founding of OSPAAAL in Havana in 1966 became a source of national pride and an unmistakable symbol of Cuba ’s commitment to the Third World, turning Cuba into a compelling stop for all leaders and heads of state of developing countries.
Cuba’s unconditional support of the liberation movements in Algeria, Angola, Congo and Ethiopia in Africa, the massive support it provided to the people of Viet Nam and to national liberation groups in Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Chile and others defined the position of the Cuban government in the world.
Over and over, Cuba did not hesitate to place its national security at risk, by offering safe haven to tens of Afro-Americans, Africans, Latin-Americans and other revolutionaries, persecuted by their governments.
The epic military battle that Cuba fought for over a decade in the southern cone of Africa, in which 300,000 Cuban soldiers took part shoulder to shoulder alongside their African brothers, resulted in the consolidation of Angola’s independence, the destruction of Apartheid and contributed to the independence of Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa and the heroic liberation of Nelson Mandela and his brothers in arms. This effort is without any doubt the greatest honor that has been conferred upon descendents of Africa around the world, freeing the lands from where their forefathers were ripped away in chains many centuries ago.
And yet, providing tens of thousands of physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers to millions of patients and saving thousands of people from a certain death in every corner of the globe is without any doubt the pinnacle of everything that Cuba has done on behalf of the forgotten.
All of the above and more was done with an unprecedented generosity in the annals of human history, in which Cuba did not conditioned its support to the state of bilateral relations with any country, never accepted payment, and never extracted raw material from any of these countries.
The cumulative contribution that Cuba has provided to the dispossessed, abused and ignored in general and to blacks in particular around the world demonstrates conclusively, without a nanogram of doubt, and refutes categorically every wretched attempt by confessed enemies, salaried or opportunists of any stripe, to lodge this repulsive racist epithet on Cuba as part of a broad international campaign directed, orchestrated and financed by proven racists Cuban-Americans, colonialists governments, ex-slave traders and xenophobic European, lead by the United States.
Can we compare Cuba ’s 50 year record with any similar period of the governments of Spain , Holland , France , Belgium or England during the XVI-XX centuries or that of the United States , Germany , Japan and others during the XX-XXI century?
Relying excessively on this colossal record, the Cuban government has made serious mistakes in the administration of its national resources in social, labor, salary, health, housing and education policies. The population have been subjected to severe and unjustifiable material shortages for decades, various basic aspirations of the population have been restricted, and numerous national infrastructure developments have been mismanaged or misconceived. There has been a heightened sense of disenfranchisement of the population through imposed regulations. Most mechanisms of complaints or remedy by the citizenry have become a collective catharsis center, promoting cynicism and official corruption.
A crucial factor in the perpetuation of these ills is the lack of a critical mass media denouncing wrongdoings, an effective investigative journalism policing our day-to-day activities and an overtly triumphal news reporting that masks deficiencies and creates a fictional reality.
Cuba is guilty of negligence and an unforgivable delay in confronting and addressing the chronic injustices and social inequalities that have plagued, demoralized and literally decimated the Afro-Cuban community, especially since the advent of the Special Period during which they were excluded intentionally from all access to hard currency in a dollar-governed economy; forcing many into prostitution, crime and demoralization.
Cuba cannot explain convincingly to its people that the government was not aware that citizens from the eastern provinces were called Palestinian by their fellow citizens in Havana, shamefully detained on Obispo street, Central Park or Varadero beach and returned to their place of residence, just as it happened in Pretoria, Cape City or Windhoek, before these same Afro-Cubans freed their African brothers from such an infamy with their blood or their lives.
How can we explain to ourselves without racial overtones, the scandalous and disproportionate index of Afro-Cubans incarcerated in Cuba, whose etiology lies with the tragic resurgence of racism, segregation and catastrophic management regulations in many enterprises, that targeted and excluded an ample sector of society from areas with access to convertible currency, without this crime being denounced by academics, research centers, mass media or subjected to judicial corrective measures?
How can anyone rationalize dispassionately that Santiago de Cuba with a predominantly black population is no longer the second city in importance in the country, which until a recent political shuffle, had become a frustrated, hopeless city with severe unemployment, high migratory mentality among youngsters, limited socio-cultural development and is relegated to a lesser importance than Holguin, Cienfuegos or Old Havana?
Can anyone reasonably explain why the British West Indian Welfare Center, an NGO that was founded in Guantanamo in 1946 to preserve, foster and develop the history and culture of approximately 500,000 emigrants and descendents from every English Speaking Caribbean islands living in Cuba, occupies today a crumbling, leaky building, where researchers of Black history, diplomats and personalities from around the world visit to glean through its historical documents at risk of vanishing, as it was denied a suitable, vacant building by the Department of Justice of the Province of Guantanamo, where its membership had hoped to build a facility to satisfy their needs and historical importance, while the same Department of Justice of the Province of Havana, provided the Asturian Association, with less than 1000 descendents in Cuba, a posh building on Central Park Blvd., across from the Old Capitol building in Havana that houses the Nardo’s Restaurant?
What special rules prompted the Justice Department in Havana to provide the tiny Jewish community with every bit of construction material to refurbish their synagogues and to own/operate the beautiful hotel Raquel?
What preconceived notion leads the Cuban Ministry of Tourism to promote heavily and organize trade fairs in south America, Europe, Asia and Australia, as it blatantly ignore the purchasing power and geographical proximity of millions of Afro-Americans and Caribbean potential tourists, who would readily feel at home in Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and other areas in Cuba, with whom they hold a strong ethnic, historical and family bonds?
How can we be surprised by rising racism in Cuba, knowing that the Ministry of Education curriculum has omitted or intentionally evaded important historical contributions of Africans and their descendents in the development of the Cuban nation, has shelved films and other cultural events depicting blacks in positive, historical accomplishments, while innumerable films, soap operas and plays made in Cuba or imported, tends to present black people in servility, dependency or unlawful activities, in contrast with the Gentleman, Lady or Mistress attributes conferred upon other ethic groups?
Can we plausibly explain how the ICAIC (Cuban Institute of Arts and Cinematography Industry) has the time and funds to honor the memory of Yarine, a vulgar pimp turned into a popular fable, but has not had the time, funds or interest to pay homage to the lives of Bartolome Maso, Jesus Menendez, Carlota, Jose Maceo or Juan Gualberto Gomez?
How can anyone convincingly convey to our children that after half a century of solidarity with the world, Cuba has been unable to replicate among Afro-Cuban youths, tens of General Antonio Maceo, Aponte, Brindis de Salas, Mariana Grajales, Nicolas Guillen or Regino Boti, originated in the abject social conditions of colonialism and the pseudo-republic?
Complicating even more this horrible scenario is the fact that no predominantly black country, social, humanitarian or religious institution in the world, has been able to extend a helping hand to a captive Afro-Cuban community, reluctant to migrate, dreaming about an elusive better tomorrow, while the crude rigors of the blockade and the severe internal restrictions that strangle all non-governmental economic activity are eroding societal ethics, shattering their moral values and placing millions on the verge of social collapse?
Other ethnic groups in Cuba, have widely used migratory possibilities and have controlled the best jobs with access to convertible money, while they occupy the best residential areas, undertake foreign travels, job promotion and have also received substantial monetary support from the countries of origin of their ancestors, as is the case of Spain, Israel, China and some Arab countries, widening Cuba’s class divisions.
In our intent of creating a country with all and for the betterment of all in the XIX century as was postulated by Jose Marti, Afro-Cubans joined massively, constituted the bulk of the Army of Independence and suffered most of its casualties. Our sacrifices were infringed upon by the humiliating military intervention of the United States in 1898, emasculating our country’s social aspirations, re-introducing segregation and racism, prohibiting black immigration from the Caribbean as they introduced 100,000 men, women and children in western Cuba from the Canary Islands to “bleach“ the country. They were given funds and farmlands while all of the country resources were distributed among the interventionists and those who were defeated on the battlefield.
Afro-Cubans received nothing material, were prohibited to rise above the rank of lieutenant in the army even though some had led victorious armies during the war of independence. They were barred from the police force and were confined to menial, jobs or unemployment.
Betrayed, frustrated and without any other option, blacks founded the Independent Party of Color in order to demand justice, equity and their brutally violated rights, following the established political norms.
The answer to this noble action was the monstrous massacre of over 6000 members of the party and others, whose only crime was being black or mulato, in Santiago de Cuba , Songo, La Maya, San Luis and Guantanamo .
And today, nearly 100 years after that horrific crime, a magnificent monument on Presidents Avenue and 27th Street in Havana honors the memory of General Jose Miguel Gomez, the intellectual author of this human turkey shoot, while there has been no time or political will to erect a simple cross at the site of the crime, in honor of its victims.
Cuba is like other countries whose development, life style and everything that is visible and invisible was created with the work, sweat, blood and the lives of millions of Africans and their descendents, who were forced to do the worst jobs from sunrise to sundown for free for more than 350 years. Cuba cannot ignore or presume it has addressed this un-payable debt with millions of its children.
To not recognize this infamy, to not begin to apply elementary corrective measures to address this un-erasable blot in our history, has impeded and will continue to impede our country to achieve the seat of honor it deserve among the community of nations in the world, as paid hypocrites are now trying to use.
No other position could correspond with a martyrized Cuba during the Ladder Conspiracy, the cruel execution of the 7 medical students, the Baragua Protest, the explosion of La Coubre, the Missile Crisis and the heroism of the battle of Cuito-Cuanavale, to tolerate our country to continue to drag or to hide this secret that stains us all alike.
None of the countries that enriched themselves with the blood of our ancestors is like Cuba . In Cuba there is an ongoing Revolution, with the character, moral fortitude and ethical principles that are a pre-requisite to identify these ills, evaluate them factually and introduce the corrective, un-deferrable measures our society demands.
Only Cuba has the moral authority to confront and motivate others to assume together or separately, this collective debt with humanity.
For the good of all, part III the final chapter, will include some honest thoughts, simple mechanisms, that if they were deemed worthy of implementing, even on an experimental basis, we hope may shed some options, clues and directions, that may help us heal this immoral scar and begin to create the nation we deserve and with which, we have dreamt for over 500 years.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Alberto N. Jones
February 15, 2010
One month after the most devastating natural disaster to hit our hemisphere, only limited progress can be reported in Haiti, notwithstanding the unprecedented humanitarian outpouring of moral and material support from across the globe.
Miraculously, a massive infectious outbreak has not happen as yet, albeit thousands of decomposing bodies under the rubble in our harsh tropical environment, insufficient healthcare, lack of shelter, food, running water, basic sanitation and every possible vector spreading transmissible diseases among survivors.
Compounding the previous description will be, the arrival in a couple of months of the rainy season with over 350,000 schoolchildren roaming the streets without classrooms, missing their school year and risk becoming victims of every possible social ills, including human trafficking.
Could the monumental tragedy that lies ahead of us, be sufficient to bring the United States, European and Caribbean governments together, to present a concrete proposal to the Cuban government, -located less than 200 miles from the disaster site-, to receive, provide shelter, food, education, healthcare, sports, culture and all other ancillary child care for 50,000 - 100,000 of these victims?
No other country in this hemisphere have the infrastructure, logistics, human resources and expertise to tackle a problem of this magnitude, although Cuba’s acute financial woes may have hindered her from stepping forward.
No geographical, political, ideological or religious differences should become an acceptable excuse for innocent children to suffer or die.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Alberto N Jones
13 de Enero del 2009
La monstrousa destruccion sin precedentes que esta teniendo lugar ante nuestros ojos en Haiti, se convertira rapidamente en un reto definitorio para la humanidad, al determinar quienes somos y cuales son nuestros principios.
Durante mucho tiempo, los humanos hemos estado prestos a pelear y matarnos, mientras los mas hemos permanecido silente ante la muerte de miles de personas inocentes por hambre, enfermedades, ignorancia y disastres.
Esta catastrofe sin embargo no nos permitira huir de el o pretender que no sabiamos. El es muy grande, muy horrendo para que algun gobierno alrededor del mundo pueda alegar, que no se le informo o desconocian lo que estaba ocurriendo.
Durante los ultimos 20 anos, Cuba ha hecho mas por Haiti que cada uno de los paises desarrollados del mundo. Cuba ha aportado cientos de profesionales y tecnicos para apoyar cada uno de las areas de desarrollo. Cuba ha graduado mas de 150 medicos y actualmente existen unos 1000 estudiantes de medicina en los distintos niveles de desarrollo, en forma absolutamente gratuita.
Cuba se ha comprometido con Haiti a formarles 100 medicos por ano durante los proximos veinte anos, asi como cientos de maestros, enfermeras y otros profesionales, aun cuando una galopante crisis financiera afecta al pais.
En medio del importante desarrollo cientifico-tecnico que se le ha ofrecido a Haiti y otros 40 paises sub-desarrollados en Cuba, los Estados Unidos, aun bajo el afable Presidente Barack Obama, continua invirtiendo millones de dollares en actividades subversivas, designadas a desestablizar, debilitar y derrocar al gobierno.
Los gobiernos Europeos que se beneficiaron ampliamente de los recursos naturales de Haiti y del resto de America Latina, han preferido convertirse en tribunos, llevar a Cuba ante cuantos forum internacionales existan, acusarla de las peores violaciones de los derechos humanos, mientras ignoran y hacen poco por millones de seres humanos viviendo en abyecta pobreza en Haiti y el resto del tercer mundo.
Nadie pretende presentar a Cuba como un pais perfecto o modelo. Tampoco pretendemos excusarla de excesos que haya podido cometer; pero nadie en su sano juicio puede negar el aplastante apoyo en sudor, lagrimas, sangre y vidas que Cuba ha aportado a Africa, Asia y America Latina en defensa de su independencia, soberania, salud, educacion, cultura y deportes.
La tragedia de Haiti nos ha ensenado a partir de ayer, que nuestros ilustres discuros altisonantes en bellas salas de conferencias alrededor del mundo exigiendo libertad e independencia en un vacio, prescribiendo nuestras filosofia politicas a espaldas de este drama humano, poco sirven para las victimas de esta tragedia o los otros millones que aguardan una muerte segura, previsible alrededor del mundo.
Despues de cincuenta anos tratando de construir una Cuba a su imagen y semejanza, esta ha fracasado estrepitosamente en tanto nada ha contribuido al bienestar del pueblo de Cuba o para los de otros lugares. Trabajemos pues para superar nuestras imperfecciones, sin imponernos valores valores foraneos o pretender que somos guardianes de la verdad absoluta.
Mientras decenas de miles de personas yacen expuestos a nuestro crudo medio ambiente tropical rodeado de cadaveres en estado de descomposicion, sin agua, alimento, faltos de higiene y de medios para evacuar desperdicios en Puerto Principe, preocupa un inmediato agravamiento de la actual crisis.
Es por ello que estamos implorando a todos los moralistas de este mundo, portadores de firmes valores inconmovibles, incapaces de negociar con aquellos de criterios divergentes y las demas personas de Buena fe, que observen cuidadosamente el mundo real, tal cual existe hoy en Haiti.
La provincia de Guantanamo se encuentra a menos de 150 millas del escenario de este desastre. Cuba, con la excepcion de los Estados Unidos, acumula la mayor reserva de personal tecnico, profesional y de cuidados de salud de la region y que posee un cumulo de experiencia nacional e internacional en disastres naturales, superior a todos los demas.
Cuba esta necesitada de recursos materiales basicos como ropa, alimentos, medicinas, que cualquier otro pais solidario pudiera aportar. Superemos decadas demonizando a Cuba e intentando destruir aquella nacion por actuar y pensar distinto a los demas.
En ningun otro lugar en el mundo nuestra inversion pudiera producir resultados mas prometedores que en Cuba. Si las Naciones Unidas, CARICOM y cada organizacion humanitaria del mundo, decidieran iniciar discusiones serias, respetuosas, honestas, con Cuba, que condujeran a la reubicacion de miles de victimas del terremoto en Haiti hacia edificios escolares disponibles, donde estos pudieran recibir todas los servicios humanos basicos y sanitarios, en tanto, todos los paises, especialmente los desarrollos, financiaran este proyecto humanitario sin precedentes en la historia, miles de vidas podrian rescatarse de una muerte segura.
Mas alla de las necesidades inmediatas, Haiti necesitara ayuda a largo plazo para ayudarlo a restanar sus heridas. Decenas de miles de hectareas de terrenos agricolas baldios en Cuba podrian ser arrendados con similar proposito a los damnificados, lo que les permitiria obtener empleos, apoyar economicamente a sus familiares en Haiti y producir alimentos, fortaleciendo la seguridad alimenticia de la region.
Si solo fuesemos capaces de hacer esto, no solo estariamos ayudando a las victimas, estariamos al mismo tiempo sentando las bases para solucionar nuestras diferencias socio-politicas a traves del dialogo franco, la compression y el comienzo de la transformacion de nuestras armas de Guerra en aperos de labranza para bien de la humanidad.
Alberto N. Jones
January 13, 2010
The monstrous and unprecedented destruction that is unfolding in Haiti before our eyes, will rapidly become one of mankind defining challenges, of who we are and what we stand for.
For much too long, human beings have been ready to fight and kill each other, while we have remained indifferent to the silent deaths of thousands of innocent people through hunger, disease, ignorance and disasters.
This catastrophe will not allow us to run away or pretend we did not know. It is too big, too shocking for any one government around the world to ever say, they were not told or did not know what happened.
For the past twenty years, Cuba have done more for Haiti than every developed country in the world. Cuba have supplied Haiti with hundreds of professionals and technical support in every field of development. Cuba have graduated over 150 physicians and presently have close to 1000 medical students from Haiti in different levels of training, all free of charge.
Cuba have promised Haiti to train 100 physicians per year for the next 20 years and hundreds of teachers, nurses and other professionals, albeit its crushing financial downfall.
As this incredible human development for Haiti and another 40 Third World countries is taking place in Cuba, the United States, even under our affable President Barack Obama, continue to invest millions of dollars in subversive activities designed to destabilize, weaken and overthrow that country.
No one pretends to portray Cuba as a perfect country. No one pretends to excuse excesses that may have taken place in Cuba, but no one in his/her right mind can deny either the overwhelming support in sweat, tears, blood and lives, that Cuba has provided to Africa, Asia and Latin America, in defense of their independence, sovereignty, health, education, culture and sports.
The Haitian tragedy has taught us since yesterday, that our grandstanding, illustrious speeches in beautiful conference halls around the world, demanding freedom and liberty in a vacuum, prescribing our phillosophy, have done nothing for the victims of this tragedy and millions of others awaiting certain death around the world.
Fifty years trying to construct a Cuba in our image has failed, while it has done no good to Cubans and people elsewhere. Let’s work to overcome our imperfections, without imposing on others or pretending to be guardians of absolute truths.
As thousands of people are exposed to our grueling tropical environment with rotting bodies, lack of sanitation, water or food in Port au Prince, I am pleading with all moralists of the world, holders of firm values and unwilling to compromise with anyone with differing views, to take a look at the real world, as we see it in Haiti today.
The province of Guantanamo lies less than 150 miles away from the area of disaster. Cuba has the largest technical, professional and healthcare human resources in the area, except for the US.
Cuba is in dire need of basic resources such as clothing, food, medicines, which any caring country could provide. Let’s overcome decades of demonizing Cuba and attempting to destroy that country for thinking and acting differently than others.
No where in the world could our investment achieve higher return if the United Nations and every worldwide humanitarian organization in the world would open an honest, fair and respectful discussion with Cuba, that would enable the relocation of thousands of the earthquake victims in Haiti to vacant school buildings in Cuba where they could receive all basic human needs, as every country, especially the developed ones, can contribute to the financial operation of this unprecedented humanitarian project.
Beyond the immediate needs, Haiti will need longtime help to get back on their feet. Tens of thousands of fallow acreage in Cuba could be leased to provide jobs for these victims and food security for our region under a similar international goodwill project.
If we did that, we would not only help the victims, we would have laid the groundwork for beginning to solve most of our socio-political ills, through peaceful dialogue, understanding and turning our weapons into plows on behalf of mankind.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Alberto N. Jones
A unilateral, absurd and baseless set of assumptions are used every year by bureaucrats of the US State Department, to label primarily small and poor nations around the world as Sponsors of Terrorism or quietly remove them from this financially crippling grouping, if they meekly comply with their demands or risk economical disaster.
The State Department most recent catalog include countries as diverse as Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.
Although it is Cuba who has been under a fifty year asphyxiating embargo, was invaded at the Bay of Pigs, suffered the first bioterrorism attack in this hemisphere in 1971 and five successive ones, had an airliner blown-up in mid-air causing the death of 73 passengers, have suffered over 100 billion in financial damages, had 14,000 children under 17 years of age literally kidnapped under a CIA inspired Peter Pan project in 1962 and have promoted the illegal exodus of thousands of professionals trained in Cuba at no charge, to migrate to the enticing US job market.
Additionally, hundreds of millions of tax dollars are spent every year under the watchful eyes of US-AID, NED and fake foundations to keep Radio & TV Marti on the air for 25 years with no listeners; by pumping tons of subversive, pornographic, escapists and violent videos into Cuba, intended to corrupt the minds of teenagers, where no school have lost a child due to Columbine-type school violence in fifty years.
A well funded, twenty year old effort by the State Department to divide Cuba along racial lines is in full gear, attempting to re-enact the racial massacre of 1912, when over 3000 blacks were butchered with absolute impunity in eastern Cuba.
Yet it is the state of Florida and not Cuba, who harbors renowned terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and Dr. Orlando Bosch who have said publicly, "we placed the bomb in the airline killing 73, so what?"
It is Florida not Cuba, where General Vides Cassanova and Guillermo Garcia who murdered over 30,000 Salvadorians have found safe haven and live as celebrities with other graduates of the infamous School of the Americas, who have terrorized Latin America for half a century.
Name calling has always been easy.