Friday, June 22, 2012

The True Face of Cuban History

The True Face of Cuban History / Mackandal – Manuel Aguirre Lavarrere
Mackandal - Manuel Aguirre Lavarrere, Translator: Chabeli

One hundred years after the massacre of the Independents of Color, the
most horrifying crime that has been committed in Cuba, against blacks
and mestizos, who were only seeking the recognition of their rights
after having fought for Cuba's independence from Spain for over three
decades, they were left with nothing and were massacred by their
brothers from struggle. We need to bring to light some of the events
that historians hide or distort, adding up to the misinterpretation and
muddying of national history.

Any study carried out on whether or not there was a request from the
Independents of Color for Americans to intervene in the conflict that
broke out between them and the government of José Miguel Gómez, as well
as Martín Morúa Delgado — representing the interests of the Liberal
Party — must be based on solid facts if it is intended to be serious.

In the first place, we have to ask ourselves about the role of the
United States and its relationship with Cuba at that moment. The U.S.
was the paradigm of freedom and representative democracy.

Secondly, we have to ask ourselves: where was Cuba back then? Cuba had
just come out of the Independence War, becoming a Republic in 1902; it
continued to be a country that depended on outsiders. Cuba spent
centuries under Spanish rule without having the least autonomous power.
All the conflicts that emerged on the island were resolved by Spain.
Cubans did not have a sense of belonging yet. Anything that came from
the outside seemed good to them.

Therefore, it was neither a mistake nor a betrayal for the Independents
of Color to ask for the intervention of the United States, as confirmed
by Rolando Rodríguez, author of "La Conspiración de los Iguales", the
most racist and anti-black text that has been edited in Cuba since 1959.

It was logical that they requested assistance from the United States.
The aspiration was to become like the U.S. when it came to development
and civil liberties. Throughout the struggle for independence, the most
patriotic men like Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Ignacio Agramonte, and
other heroes, who today are true icons of Cuban History, saw the United
States as a role model in terms of development and civil liberties.
Neither these patriots nor the Independents of Color can be judged as
traitors. The epithet of traitor is for others.

Domingo Del Monte, who regretted so much that slavery disappeared with
the efforts of England and France, was a notorious racist and the
tattletale of the Metropolis (Spain). The Memorial that he sent to the
Spanish government proves his shameful submissiveness. This
distinguished humanist and organizer of literature workshops, who felt
threatened by blacks and feared them, contributed to the instability and
panic that caused the massacre of the, still nebulous Ladder Conspiracy
in 1844.

Narciso López, a recalcitrant slave owner, who made his slaves work to
the limit of human endurance, under the whip of his plantation
overseers, was perhaps the most fervent annexationist of all of those
who, with their way of thinking, made up the icing of the Cuban
bourgeois cake.

The uprisings and massacres of blacks continued to take place throughout
the history of Cuba. There was an uprising and a massacre for the
emancipation of centuries of slavery and forced exploitation. There was
an uprising and a massacre because of the betrayal of many of the major
white colonels from the wars for independence, like Gaspar Betancourt
Cisneros, Manuel Sanguily, and more than a hundred of them, who used the
negro as cannon fodder and then got rid of him, leaving him empty handed
and with no rights to make any claims. There was an uprising and a
massacre to stop the negro from being recognized as a human being and to
stop him from overcoming, with his own effort, the abysmal gap of
inequality and civil annihilation.

Published by Primavera Digital, 2012/05/03

Translated by Chabeli

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