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On December 1, 2009 a group of 60 prominent Afro-American leaders (including Princeton University Professor Cornel West; Jeremiah Wright, former Pastor of President Barack Obama; and Susan Taylor, former editor of Essence magazine) publicly condemned the Cuban government long standing policies of discrimination and human right abuses of Afro-Cubans in the island.
On December 4, Cuba responded: “To say that among us exists a callus disregard for black Cubans, that their civil liberties are restricted and to demand an end to the unwarranted and brutal harassment of black citizens in Cuba, would seem a delusional farce.” The Cuban statement said the island is not a racist society adding that blacks have opportunities “like never before in our country.”
In March 2009, CTP published a report showing glaring abuses against
Cuban blacks and inequalities in Cuban society. Following is the report.
2. Rodrigo Espina Prieto and Pablo Rodríguez Ruiz, “Raza y desigualdad en la Cuba actual,” Temas , no. 45: 44-54 (enero-marzo), 2006, p. 48; http://afrocubaweb.com/News/Cuba/RazaDesigualdad_Rodrigo.pdf.
3. Ibid., p. 48.
4. Cf. Oscar Espinosa Chepe, “La soga en casa del ahorcado,” Cubanet, Havana, July 10, 2007, http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y07/jul07/10a6.htm.
5. R. Espina Prieto and E. Rodriguez Ruiz, op. cit., p. 48.
6. Cf. Fernando Ravsberg, “Cuba y las tinieblas del racismo,” BBC Mundo.com, Havana, October 10, 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/latin_america/newsid_6037000/6037099.stm.
7. Partido Comunista de Cuba, “Buró Político,” April 28, 2008, http://www.pcc.cu/estructura_organizacion/buro_politico/buro_politico.html.
8. Partido Comunista de Cuba, “Integrantes del Secretariado del Comité Central,” http://www.pcc.cu/estructura_organizacion/secretariado/secretariado.html.
9. Cuba, Consejo de Estado, http://www.parlamentocubano.cu.
10. Cuba, Consejo de Ministros, http://www.parlamentocubano.cu.
11. Cuba, Asamblea Nacional, “VII Legislatura”, http://www.parlamentocubano.cu.
12. Cuba, Asambleas Provinciales,” http://www.parlamentocubano.cu.
13. Within the Cuban Ministry of Defense (MINFAR) organizational framework, only one Afro-Cuban, Division General Raúl Rodríguez Lobaina, ranked among the top ten members of the senior command as of January 2009. Cf. Granma, “Ceremonia militar de cambio de mando en el Ejército central,” May 24, 2008, http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/2008/05/24/nacional/artic06.html.
* This report was prepared by Hans de Salas del Valle, Research Associate, Cuba Transition Project, Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami.
The CTP can be contacted at P.O. Box 248174, Coral Gables, Florida 33124-3010, Tel: 305-284-CUBA (2822), Fax: 305-284-4875, and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CTP Website is accessible at http://ctp.iccas.miami.edu.