Friday, June 21, 2013

Communism Didn't End Racism in Cuba

Communism Didn't End Racism in Cuba
By: Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele | Posted: June 20, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Afro-Cuban activists Calvo Cárdenas and Manuel Cuesta Morúa created the
Citizens Committee for Racial Integration (CIR) to advocate for Cuba's
underrepresented Afro-Cuban population. CIR champions policies to fight
discrimination that Afro-Cubans experience in the workforce.

The group's work gives Cuba's Communist Party pause because it refutes
the idea that 50 years of communism has eliminated inequality. The
Washington Post reports:

In 2008, the two joined other activists to form the Citizens Committee
for Racial Integration — an organization whose very name is an
indictment of their beleaguered workers' paradise. "The Afro-Cuban
population is stagnant, at the bottom of the social pyramid," Juan
Antonio Madrazo Luna, the committee's national coordinator, said during
the recent trip. As in virtually every other nation in the Western
hemisphere, Calvo Cárdenas added, "Cuba has traditionally had a racially
stratified workforce. And despite the egalitarian rhetoric of the
government, African descendants remain excluded from the most promising
None of the committee representatives accused the Castros of harboring
racial bias. The problem that the Castros and the Communist Party have
with the committee is that an independent movement for racial equality
is a living, breathing refutation of the idea that, after more than 50
years in power, communism has delivered equality. Another problem for
the party is that any independent movement is inherently not under its
control. For Afro-Cubans, the road to equality is blocked by the party's
suppression of civil society.
The CIR's efforts speak to some of the issues that The Root's
editor-in-chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr., examines in his PBS special
Black in Latin America, which explores the lives and culture of black
people in Latin American countries.

Source: "The Citizens Committee for Racial Integration: Communism Didn't
End Racismin Cuba" -

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