The Alberto Jones Column XVIII - 2015 and 2016
Dr. Alberto Jones is a member of the West Indian
Welfare Society in the city of Guantanamo, Cuba who now resides in northern Florida.
He is an activist with strong communal ties to his homeland and is the director of
the Caribbean American Children's Foundation as well as a director
of the Cuban American Alliance Education Fund, Inc. He writes regularly on issues
concerning Cuba, and we present his letters and columns here. Past columns are in Alberto Jones Column,
Column I covering the period
1998 - 1999, Column II, 2000,
Column III, 2001 (Part I), Column IV,
2001 (Part II), Column V, 2002, Column
VI, 2003, Column VII, 2004, Column
VIII, 2005, Column IX 2006, Column
X 2007, Column XI in 2008, Column
XII in 2009, Column XIII in 2010,
Column XIV in 2011,
Column XV in 2012,
Column XVI in 2013, and
Column XVII in 2014.
A deserving homage for Ali, 6/7/2016
Letter to Michelle Obama, 2/22/16
Comment on Bucket-list item for African Americans: Experience Cuba 1/31/2016 USA Today
Feeble, innocent, unblemished USA, 1/24/2015
Another Haitian Tragedy, 6/20/2015
Ojo por ojo! 18/6/2015 Para los Dominicanos
I can venture to say, that until July 25 1953, not many people in Cuba or around
the world had ever heard the name Fidel Castro. This changed dramatically on
As in previous summers living in Guantanamo, we were invited by the Payares family to share with them Santiago de Cuba’s renowned Carnival, which usually began with a dance at the Hatuey Beer gardens that went on until 3:00 AM.
When we tried getting home, there was no taxi so we had to walk and sing our way home, which took us alongside the walls of the Moncada garrison, just 4 blocks away from home.
As we were ready to get in bed we heard explosions which most assumed were fire crackers. When they intensified many neighbors rushed to their doors and looked toward the garrison where many believed it to be a conflict between Santiago based soldiers and the reinforcement from Havana.
The intense shooting lasted until around 7:00 AM and many teenagers moved daringly close to one of the garrison entrance. There was an intense in an out movement of army jeeps which were followed by sporadic gunshots that turned out to be prisoners’ executions after torture.
A subsequent curfew shut down the city and the random home searches, beatings and detentions terrorized everyone. At noon on Monday the curfew was lifted and as my family headed towards the harbor to return to Guantanamo, we came across approximately 40 stinking, leaking coffins covered with swarms of flies, laying in a blazing sun on the sidewalk near the garrison.
Fidel Castro was captured a week later and he miraculously stayed alive because Afro Cuban Lt. Sarria disobeyed his orders to kill Fidel on sight, for which he was court martialed and imprisoned. The trial took place months later and Fidel Castro’s powerful self-defense, “History Will Absolve Me”, was sneaked out of the courts and became the recruiting manifesto of the movement.
|Alberto Jones in 1959|
Guantanamo was horrified by the murder of student leader Omar Ranedo , which led
to a city uprising that was harshly squashed and prompted many youths to seek
safe heaven on GITMO in the summer of 1958.
On GITMO, we supported the insurrection by collecting cash and used military garments until I quit my job on October 22, 1962, at the beginning of the Missile Crisis.
The Cuban government had created the University Scholarship System in 1960 which covered student needs, but I had not completed my HS studies making me ineligible. A good friend in Medical school kept me abreast of every development in education and when the Agriculture Faculty offered an entry exam, 700 hundreds applied and miraculously, I was among the 128 lucky ones.
I had a hard time during the first two years, but I recovered in the third year when we and fourth year students were temporarily transferred to the Engineering Faculty at the CUJAE. We and a large engineering registration created a massive classroom disruption, indiscipline and a mess hall management crisis so the Faculty administrator Silvia Sanchez commissioned me to fix it. After setting up a complex rotating system that angered most but solved the problem, I earned Silvia’s gratitude and the respect.
Fidel instructed our director to train twelve 4th year students in German Language who would travel and receive urgent special training in exotic diseases in the German Democratic Republic.
Although I was in my 3rd year and had no knowledge of the German language, I was asked to replace a last minute drop-out. During our nineteen months’ stay in Germany we received language classes and basic Epizootiology training in catastrophic animal diseases, which I applied five years later during the first outbreak of African Swine Fever in Cuba in 1971.
I had a number of opportunities to corroborate Fidel Castro’s photographic memory. He visited the University frequently at night in 1967-68, where he discussed with students international issues he could not talk about during his mass gatherings. Once I posed to him a question to which he responded, how do you know about that? When I answered, he said: “Are you one of those who went to Germany?”
That was the period during which Fidel was obsessed with the development of
agriculture and the cattle industry. He invited to Cuba the most outstanding
researchers in these fields from around the world. When Dr. Bonna Dona visited
Cuba, he was impressed with Fidel’s deep understanding of the issue and the
first class national Artificial Insemination system he created. Shortly after
that, Fidel invited Dr. Andre Voisin to Cuba, who marveled at his knowledge and
commitment when he saw the massive development of his pet project “Intense
Cattle Pasture in the Tropics” in Cuba.
At Dr. Voisin farewell, Fidel showered him with praise in a powerful speech recalling his enormous contributions to mankind and how his work produced more health than health professionals. His heart could not resist so many accolades and he suffered a massive heart attack. His widow decided to bury him in Havana, a country he came to love dearly.
While I was still in 4th year, Silvia Sanchez again enlisted me to be her veterinarian for four experimental farms that Fidel personally oversaw. It was terrifying and I feared coinciding with Fidel’s frequent visits and his questions. I learned through the administrators of these sites that he knew that I was the veterinarian in charge.
Upon graduation and completing my residence, I became Director and Pathologist of the province of Oriente, but that did not keep me out of Fidel’s reach. Maria Antonia owns one of Cuba best cattle farm and I was instructed by my boss to oversee her veterinary needs. Maria Antonia was very demanding, but she always expressed appreciation and respect for my work. I later learned that she was Fidel Castro childhood friend and confidant and he was just a phone call away.
With hundreds of threats on Fidel Castro’s life, four days before a visit to Bayamo during one of his cross country inspections, two pigs died suddenly at the farm house he was supposed to stay. Everyone thought the worst after another veterinarian made a premature diagnosis of an outbreak of deadly Anthrax.
I investigated all animals, took many samples and based upon my findings I concluded it was not Anthrax, but in my youthful inexperience I declared the facility safe, instead of having them re-route his tour. Weeks later I received his Thank You through the guards of that facility.
I achieved many professional successes and got respect, but some people were envious. I was forced to confront a burgeoning nexus of corruption within Veterinary Medicine, and this earned me more enemies than I could handle. I was blacklisted and accused of horrendous crimes against the nation, for which the prosecutor requested 30 years in prison. I was found guilty in a kangaroo court and sent to prison for 8 years. I was released after 4 ½ years. One of my accusers is today a distinguished speaker/collaborator of the 2506 Brigade in Miami, the invaders of the Bay of Pigs in 1961.
Upon my release, I sought justice at the highest level of every legal and political institution in the country to no avail. I migrated to the US in 1980 and was able to visit Cuba 12 years later. Surprisingly in 1994, I was invited to a huge solidarity meeting at the height of the Special Period at Cuba’s Convention Center. Before closing this 2 days event, all participants were invited to a reception that evening at the Palace of the Revolution.
The event began at 8:00 PM and we stood in a single line to get in. A personal security officer told everyone that Fidel was waiting in a large hall and that when we met him, we should identify ourselves. He usually gave women a hug and men got a handshake.
When it was my turn and I approached Fidel he was flanked by the Foreign Minister, Roberto Robaina, and Sergio Corrieri, President of ICAP. He extended his hand and gave me a warm handshake. When I told him my name while shaking my hand he murmured Jones, Jones as if he was trying to remember something, then Sergio Corriere said to him, he is Dr. Jones from Bayamo.
He looked into my eyes in dismay and said, “How could that happen?” Without thinking I responded, “The only thing that matters is to save the Revolution.”
He squeezed my hand so tight that my wedding ring hurt my adjacent fingers, erasing then and there forever the treacherous and false accusations that tarnished my image and landed me in jail in Bayamo in 1974.
Jose Marti, the father of the Cuban nation warned his people with these
prophetic words: Ignorance Kills the People.
One hundred and fifty years later, I read a hearsay laden article from another born-again Cubanologist, Kimberly Lyle, who has received her information from ultra-right wing Cuban Americans in Miami* and may have read an article or two on Afro Cuba here and there. In addition, she pretends ironically enough to write without basis about my home town Guantanamo!
Instead of doing the basic leg work of traveling to Cuba, visiting Guantanamo, and compiling a wide variety of opinions from the people who live, know and have an absolute understanding of the issue, Ms Lyle chooses to write a third rate soap opera.
I am not a writer, just an old man from Guantanamo who lived through it all. Please read and feel free to reach me if you would like to hear more about our tragic history. Visit AfroCubaWeb.com and other well researched sites to learn the views of the victims, not the diversions from the people who denied your grandmother Lorenza access to school, healthcare and any job other than farm work, being a maid or being a prostitute. I wrote about Guantanamo in Havana Times: Guantanamo: Cuba’s Cinderella City (I) 6/26/2112 and Guantanamo: Cuba’s Cinderella (II) 8/26/2112
Alberto Jones, cacf2_AT_aol.com (_AT_ = @]
* and their paid staff in Cuba, who are cited in the article: Coco Fariñas, Berta Soler, Manuel Cuesta Morua, Antúnez, and Nelson Alvarez Matute. AfroCubaWeb has materials on some of these.
Note also that Roberto Zurbano is not "another dissident" and his article was redone to suit the tastes of the New York Times psyops crew. See also The US, the Exiled Plantocracy and Race and Fidel Castro Ruz (1926-2016): Race in Cuba
El 26 de septiembre pasado, Elio Delgado Legón publicó un artículo corrosivo
bajo el ilustrativo título de
Periodismo de terror con relación a Cuba. Él es la
misma persona que lanzó un ataque relámpago, virulento y traicionero en contra
de un post escrito por mí,
persistencia del racismo en Cuba, un tema del cual no
conoce, que no le interesa y de lo cual de manera selectiva él es ciego y sordo.
Tratando de aplicar la vieja y gastada táctica de ignorar el mensaje y matar al mensajero, Elio ejemplifica el viejo axioma español, que es más fácil coger a un mentiroso que a un cojo. Nada tengo que ocultar o de qué avergonzarme, mucho menos que requiera me cubra con la bandera cubana o me esconda detrás del número de amigos blancos que tengo. Otros quizás tengan que recurrir a eso.
Elio se arrogó el derecho de lanzar una andanada de acusaciones denigrantes en contra de ellos (yo) en un artículo incendiario titulado Siguen con el tema del racismo en Cuba. Él enfiló sus cañones de alto calibre, mentiras, amenazas y milagrosamente no me calificó de operativo de la CIA o miembro de cualquier organización anti-cubana.
La historia de mi vida me impide temer a Elio o a sus secuaces. Como un joven empleado de la Base naval de Guantánamo en los años 50, recolectamos calzado militares usados, abrigos y dinero para los combatientes de la Sierra Maestra. Renuncié a mi empleo el día 22 de octubre de 1962, al inicio de la Crisis de Octubre.
Me incorporé a los estudios de Medicina Veterinaria en La Habana, recibí un curso de Epizootiología sobre enfermedades exóticas, en la República Democrática Alemana y regresé a tiempo a Cuba para establecer la primera barrera sanitaria en contra de un ataque de bio-terrorismo.
Como director y patólogo del laboratorio de diagnósticos veterinarios de la provincia de Oriente, cuya responsabilidad abarcaba la ¼ parte del territorio nacional, pude diagnosticar 5 entidades que no se sabía existían en Oriente y 2 que no existían en el país. Fui elegido presidente del Consejo Científico Veterinario de Oriente e instructor de Patología de la Universidad de Oriente por un mismo salario.
Por oponerme a la incipiente corrupción y desvío de los recursos del Estado, fui acusado falsamente y enviado a prisión por 8 años de privación de libertad. Indultado al cabo de 4 y medio, trate en vano de esclarecer mi nombre y moral, y cuando los funcionarios legales y políticos del más alto nivel no pudieron sostener la espuria acusación ni fueron capaces de disculparse por el grosero error, decidí emigrar hacia los Estados Unidos a través del Mariel en 1980.
En Nueva York organizamos vigilias y marchas en contra del Apartheid frente a las Naciones Unidas, recolectamos dinero, medicinas, suministros médicos y escolares para el Congreso Nacional Africano, Namibia y Zimbabue y sus delegados ante las Naciones Unidas catalogados de terroristas, ellos encontraron respiro y solidaridad en mi casa.
A partir de 1984 hasta hoy, hemos enviado cientos de toneladas de medicina, suministros médicos, material escolar, de cultura y deportes y medios de movilidad para impedidos físicos, recursos medioambientales, ómnibus, camiones y conducidas numerosas delegaciones de afroamericanos y caribeños a Cuba.
Me encuentro entre las primeras personas en los Estados Unidos quienes desde los año 1990, han denunciado los intentos del gobierno de los Estados Unidos por dividir a los cubanos en grupos raciales y promover una guerra fratricida en Cuba, mediante artículos periodísticos, visitas al Caucus Negro del Congreso de los Estados Unidos, Transafrica, NAACP, Universidades y alcaldías en la Florida, California, Pennsylvania y Carolina del Norte.
Hoy cuando es mas fácil, miles de personas visitan a Sudáfrica, Namibia y Angola para sacarse fotos como muestra de su solidaridad y otros como Elio tratan de amenazar a cualquiera que tenga una opinión distinta a la de él, debido a su falta de conocimiento sobre las críticas y delicadas relaciones raciales en Cuba. El amor a Cuba se demuestra resaltando y denunciando sus errores, no cubriéndolo o enmascarándolo con mentiras.
Por respeto a este blog y a sus lectores, concluyo este capítulo repugnante con la inclusión de una nota del Congreso Nacional Africano. (Vease la version PDF)
Algunos de los escritos de Alberto Jones sobre la estrategia de injerencia de los EE.UU relacionada al tema racial en Cuba
Conferencia afrocubana en Miami: Un hito en la lucha contra el racismo, 11/98
Una Batalla Mundial de Vida o Muerte. Primera Parte, 25/12/09
Sentando las bases para otro 1912, 8/12/09 - respuesta a la campaña de Carlos Moore
Una Batalla Mundial de Vida o Muerte. Segunda Parte. 4/4/10
Una Batalla Mundial de Vida o Muerte. Tercera Parte, 5/1/10
Ecuanimidad, cordura y visión ante el peligro de la división racial en Cuba.
On September 26, Elio Delgado Legon published a corrosive article with the
instructive title of "The
Journalism of Terror regarding Cuba." This is the same person who unleashed
a vicious, treacherous, blitzkrieg attack against my article "The Persistent Racial Crisis in Cuba"
a subject he knows nothing about, does not care for and about which he is
selectively blind and deaf.
Applying the old worn-out tactic of ignoring the message and shooting the messenger, Elio exemplifies an old Spanish axiom: "it is easier to catch a liar than a lame". I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of, nothing that requires me to wrap myself with the Cuban flag or shield myself behind the number of White friends I have. Others may have to do so.
Elio took it upon himself to launch a fusillade of disparaging statements against "They" (me) in his inflammatory article "They keep on ranting about the issue of racism in Cuba". He directed his big guns, lies and threats against me and miraculously did not call me a CIA operative or a member of any anti-Cuba organization.
My life history allows me not to fear Elio or his cohorts. As a young employee on GITMO in the late 50s, we collected used military shoes, jackets and cash for those fighting in the Sierra Maestra. I quit my job on GITMO on October 22 at the beginning of the Missile Crisis. I went off to study Veterinary Medicine in Havana, received a course in exotic diseases in Germany and returned to Cuba in time to set up the first sanitary barrier ever in Cuba against a bio-terrorism attack. (See Biowar Against Cuba, 7/99)
As Director and Pathologist of the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab responsible for 1/4 of Cuba´s land mass, I discovered 5 unknown entities in Oriente and 2 that were unknown in the country. I was elected president of the scientific council and instructor of pathology at the University of Oriente, all under one salary. For opposing corruption and the misuse of government property, I was wrongfully accused and sent to prison for 8 years. Upon release, when all efforts to clear my name failed and no one among the highest political and legal authorities would either stand by this bogus conviction or be willing to apologize for this gross mistake, I migrated to the US in 1980.
In New York I organized vigils and marches against Apartheid at the UN, and collected cash, medicine, medical and school supplies for the African National Congress, Namibia, and Zimbabwe Their delegates to the UN in New York found a respite in my home when they were labelled as terrorists.
Since 1984 to this day, I have sent hundreds of tons of medicine, medical supplies, school materials, cultural, sports, physically challenged mobility equipment, environmental resources, buses, and trucks to Cuba. I have led numerous delegations of Afro Americans and Anglo Caribbean friends to Cuba. I am amongst the first people since 1990 to denounce the United States´attempts to divide Cuba along racial lines and promote a fratricidal war by writing articles, visiting the US Congressional Black Caucus, Transafrica, the NAACP, Universities and City Halls in Florida, California, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Today when it is easier, many have flocked to South Africa, Namibia or Angola for photo ops as proof of their solidarity. Others like Elio try to threaten anyone with a view opposing his lack of understanding of the critical and dangerous race-relations disparity existing in Cuba. Love for Cuba must be expressed by highlighting and denouncing what is wrong, not with cover-up or white washing or lies.
Out of respect for the blog and for our readers, I will conclude this repulsive chapter by including a note from the African National Congress. (See PDF version)
Some of Dr. Jones' articles denouncing the United States' attempts to divide Cuba along racial lines:
Afrocuban conference in Miami: Un hito en la lucha contra el racismo, 11/98
attempt to divide Cuba on racial lines I, 7/9/01
The attempt to divide Cuba along racial lines, II, 8/9/01
the Promoters of the Racial War in Cuba, 9/07
Desenmascarando a los Promotores de la Guerra Racial en Cuba, 9/07
A Failed Revisionist attempt To Mask Cuba’s Tragic History 11/07
A Worldwide Battle of Life and Death. Part I, 12/25/09
A worldwide Battle of Life and Death, Part II, 4/4/10
A Worldwide Battle of Life and Death. Third Chapter, 5/1/2010
En menos de 4 meses Barack Obama dejara de ser el presidente de los Estados y regresara a la vida civil, sin que muchos de sus aspiraciones nacionales e internacionales se hayan cumplido.
La restauracion de las relaciones diplomaticas entre los Estados Unidos y Cuba constituyen sin lugar a dudas, una de las grandes victorias politicas de Barack Obama, al lograr lo que todos los presidentes Norteamericanos que lo precedieron no pudieron alcanzar en medio siglo.
A pesar de las enormes presiones, denuncias radio/televisivas e impresas las 24 horas al dia, un congreso obstruyente en manos del partido opositor y toda la maquinaria reaccionaria Republicana del pais en su contra que no cesaron de regurgitar los tragicos dias de la guerra fria y la crisis de Octubre, el logro detener y quizas revertir el conflicto politico mas importante de nuestra region en los ultimos 50 anos.
Los indescriptibles daños economicos, sociales, presion sicologica, enfermedad y muerte a las que estubo sometido el pueblo Cubano, ha marcado con huellas endeleble a un pueblo heroico que supo resistir la mayor arremetida del gigante del norte.
Intelectuales y politologos norteamericanos que han visitado a Cuba han
intercambiado con sus homologos, visitado el museo Hemigway e ingerido un
daiquiri o mojito en el Floridita y regresan a los Estados Unidos convertidos en
Cubanologos, editores de temas Cubanos, imparten conferencias en universidades y
la television, con lo que algunos de ellos han contribuido a tergiversar y
caldear los sentimientos anti Cubanos en los Estados Unidos.
De igual manera, algunos intelectuales Cubanos que han visitado el exterior, impartido conferencias o leen los cables y la prensa internacional en Cuba, son considerados especialistas en la complejisima y contradictoria politica de los Estados Unidos, en el cual excepto la autoridad para declarar la guerra, el presidente de los Estados Unidos esta atado de pies y manos por las interminadables deliberaciones en el congreso y senado y peor aun, cuando los anteproyectos de leyes son engavetados y perecen en manos del lider del comite del partido opositor.
Ha sido autodestructiva la falsa impression que los medios masivos de comunicacion en Cuba han hecho creer al pueblo, que el presidente de los Estados Unidos posee las inmensas prerrogativas, la autoridad y el poder de decision que posee el presidente de Cuba.
Algunos miembros de los medios de comunicacion masiva en Cuba que demandan que el presidente Barack Obama levante el embargo, la Ley Helms Burton y otros saben, que lo mas que el puede hacer es horadarlo con las limitadas medidas a su alcance. Estos medios debian haberle explicarle al pueblo, que estas medidas, gracias al presidente Bill Clinton fueron codificas dentro de la ley, lo que significa que para cambiarlas se requiere la improbable aprobacion de las ¾ partes de los 450 miembros del Congreso y Senado Americano, quienes estan enfrentados y agudamente divididos por ideologias partidistas.
Negar que los grandes esfuerzos que Barack Obama haya realizado para normalizar las relaciones entre nuestros dos paises es mucho mas que suma de cuanto han hecho todos sus antecesores es cruel e injusto.
Por mantener falsas posturas politicamente correctas y el temor a represalias
por admitir verdades irrefutables como son que la presencia de Barack Obama en
Cuba fue una infusion de dignidad, admiracion y esperanza especialmente para los
negros, quienes pudieron apreciar la forma sencilla, ejemplar y amistosa con la
que el y su familia se condujeron, demoliendo arcaicas preconcepciones racistas
inferiorizantes acerca del negro que aun subsisten en el Cuba.
Lamenteablemente muchos prefirieron capitalizar en un parrafo errado de su discurso al sugerir olvidar el pasado como forma de avanzar las relaciones entre ambos paises. La reaccion fue inmediata, virulenta y demoledora, mucho mas que cuando Cuba le respondio a Kennedy quien colimo al pais con armas nucleares, al bribon de Nixon o a las amenazas de Ronald Regan de borrar al pais de la faz de la tierra, lo que propicio la ofensiva frase de "Negro, tu eres Sueco"?
La amnesia momentanea llevo a muchos a olvidar los riesgos, invasiones, penurias, desolacion y muerte que otros gobernantes estadounidenses les habian inflingido al pais y a pretender que Obama al igual que el ex presidente Carter nos extendio una mano de reconciliacion, intentaron crucificarlo como a Hatuey en la hoguera publica.
Cualquier intencion macabre oculta que ambos presidentes Estadounidense podrian haber tenido, debia haberse tratado diplomaticamente en la mesa de negociacion como ocurrio entre Fidel Castro y Vernon Walters, Carlos Rafael Rodriguez y Henry Kissinger, no en la palestra publica que nos desacredita.
Cuanto mas hubiera ganado nuestro pais, si se le hubieran invertido los cañones a Barack Obama invitandolo a visitar ya sus hermanos negros en Marianao o Santiago de Cuba, mostrandoles los enormes daños materiales y siquicos que la presencia de la Base Naval le ha causado al pueblo de Guantanamo o haberlo invitado a la Isla de la Juventud para mostrarle las escuelas al campo, donde miles de niños huerfanos de las guerras en Africa y otros recibieron amor, educacion, salud y hoy son hombres de bien en todo el mundo?
Cuba podia haber emplazado ante el mundo al presidente Obama al proponerle convertir conjuntamente la infame base naval de Guantanamo en el mayor centro medico, educacion y de investigaciones cientificas del mundo , donde millones de veteranos con afecciones neurologicas post traumatica sin tratamiento ocasiona que mas de 20 personas se suiciden todos los dias, ofrezca asistencia medica a 20 millones de personas de bajo ingresos sin seguro medico y donde la violencia racial entre jovenes de Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Oakland y otros, ocasiona mas bajas mortales que en los frente de guerra en Libia, Afganistan, Iraq y Siria, que ningun politico ha podido resolver.
Esa oportunidad unica para demostrarle al mundo el altruismo, humanismo y la empatia de nuestro pueblo fue tirado por la borda a cambio de recriminaciones y ofensas personales.
Cuba no puede esperar por mejores condiciones para negociar con ninguno de los dos candidatos aspirantes a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos. La improbable eleccion de Donald Trump a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos revertiria las relaciones de los dos paises a los peores momentos de la guerra fria y la mentalidad belicosa de Hillary Clinton es harto conocida.
Este es el momento de la verdad y la de actuar!
When Jet Blue flight 387 landed at the Abel Santamaria International airport in
Santa Clara on August 31, history was made with the resumption of the first US
commercial flight to Cuba since 1961.
This event confirmed like nothing else that the daring decision Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro took on December 17, 2014 to normalize relations, was the right step in the right direction.
Many pundits, staunch believers in the status quo and obstructionists interested in derailing this first step have been demanding perfection and instant solutions for problems that were accrued over half a century.
Horrible harm, too many to enumerate, were inflicted on Cuba by the United States as it was to Native Americans, Japan, the Philippines, Mexico, Iraq, Libya and others. None of these abominable acts should be condoned or forgotten, but neither should they become an unsurmountable ridge towards a better world.
Those who lived through the past 50 years of fears, hunger, threats and deaths truly believe that both sides must move forward in an honest and sincere effort to undue past horrors and create a better future for our children.
Precious time has been wasted. In three months, President Barack Obama will be
out of office and leading political contenders Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
will not have a better deal for Cuba.
For our own sake and to avoid any reversal to the past, Cuba must move aggressively forward by encouraging commercial, health, social and political agreements with the United States that will be able to withstand any push back by whoever is elected president in November.
Intractable and crippling problems afflicting one or both countries can be solved through serious and honest negotiations such as:
Where else in the western hemisphere is there an immediate need to build 500 hotels, two million homes, 10 million kilometers of roads, water, sewer lines and highways, 5,000 bridges and overpass, 500 aqueducts, 500 waste water treatment facilities, 20 thousands kilometers of railroad tracks, hundreds of cool storage, upgrade 15 airport terminals, 20 marine and fishing terminals, while millions of men and women are underemployed, unemployed, impoverished and hopeless in Cuba and the United States?
Should groups postulating hate, divisions and strife prevail over those in favor of peace, eradicating illiteracy, hunger and sickness?
Recent controversies in Havana Times and other online media about the heated
issue of racism in Cuba sadly confirm my predictions decades ago about the
unfounded fear of the Cuban government in recognizing and confronting the
increased racism in the country. Its intent is to pretend this tragedy does not
exist, which serves only for this malady to metastasize and end up devouring the
victim, if an effective and aggressive therapy is not applied.
I read carefully an article written by Lenin Ledo Galano about Guillermo Fariñas on 8/8, Elio Delgado’s response on 8/16 and Yusimi Rodriguez’s counter-response on 8/24, all of which touch on the signs, symptoms and clinical appearances, while ignoring the sinister racist past that our country has dragged with it for 500 years.
Because the cases of Fariñas, Zapata, Berta Soler, UNPACU, Ladies in White and others similar are signs and symptoms of an enormous pathological issue that is devouring our country, I will not refer to them although I have a personal opinion. Neither will I refer to articles written by Elio, Iroel or the panelists that have taken part on the national TV show The Round Table, who are prone to present these evils in technicolor as if they were the sole result of a campaign by the United States.
Thousands of historical documents before and after Cuba’s independence demonstrate categorically the existence of a racist, supremacist trait in people in position of authority and influence in Cuba, who have imposed with blood and bullets their Eurocentric philosophy. Recently, authors such a Rolando Rodriguez have tried to dissemble and justify themselves with a tendentious inflammatory description of the massacre of the Independent Party of Color in 1912 as a ”mistaken uprising” or “the conspiracy of equals”.
The cruel, brutal and shameful experience of Blacks in Cuba remains as a pending task and a wretched, festering wound that exudes a scornful and fetid odor, which everyone including our illustrious Nicolas Guillen thought was eradicated with the triumph of the Revolution as he wrote in his memorable poem “I Have”.
An irrefutable lack of political will has ignored the depth, gravity and malignancy of racism in Cuba, which some have tried to resolve by closing their eyes, applying band aid remedies or intimidating all discussions and analyses with fear of social division.
The government’s complicity in the persistence of racism in Cuba and its sequel does not require academic studies or bibliographic compilations. Suffice a comparative analysis with the form, energy and determination that the same government has dealt with and resolved educational, social, political or military problems, far more complex than the oldest defect the country has dragged around for centuries.
* The Revolution taught the entire nation to read and write in less than a year and in less than a quarter of a century, turned the country into the most educated in this continent.
* The Revolution liberated women and conferred upon them the most advanced social rights in our region.
* The Revolution recognized in less than a decade, equal rights for homosexuals, bi-sexual, transgender etc., in a country with an engrained sexist, prejudiced and homophobic mentality.
* The Revolution defeated every military, economic, financial, political and isolationist attack against the country by the most powerful country on earth and its allies.
* The Revolution placed the country ahead of Latin America in education, arts, culture, sports and the sciences.
How can we explain to ourselves, that racism, which can also be eradicated, has been able to survive, reproduce and constitutes today the greatest source of derision and the greatest obstacle to the country’s development, riding freely in plain sight of the authorities. Sporadically, people espouse it tangentially without any law enforcement consequences for violators?
The persistence of supremacist, sectarian and segregationist mentalities that reside in the minds and heart of many Cuban government officials are determining factors in the continuance and development of this plague. Absolute power and the unwillingness to change course is drawing the ship of state dangerously close to a reef and shipwreck, as is demonstrated by absurd and stagnating decisions that are fossilizing the nation.
As a result, Cuba has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in food production and deprived the population of basic nourishments. The government has preferred to keep millions of acres of fertile lands idle and devoured by weeds rather than reverse a cruel and unjust entry law into the country for Caribbean migrants, who were responsible in the past for the production of sugar, coffee, cocoa, fruits and small animals.
Had governments before the Revolution acted in a similar fashion, the country would never had a Teofilo Stevenson, Lesbia Vent Dumois, Regino Boti, Rita Manley, Lidia Turner or Wilfredo Lam and others.
While Cuba spends millions of dollars promoting tourism in Europe, Asia and Oceania, it has never made a similar effort in the Caribbean or among the Afro American community, although the latters is responsible for a GDP of over 1.2 trillion dollars a year.
How can Justice Institutions in Cuba explain the disparity in the administration of the law between whites and blacks? Minor crimes committed by blacks are severely punished while extremely grave crimes committed by high ranking white government officials against the integrity and stability of the nation are only denounced, reprimanded verbally and the offender returned to society without further consequences.
What other reasons except the fear of blacks and the horrors of poorly hidden racism can explain the self-inflicted harm to the country by forcing into poverty and decimating an entire sector of the population. By exclusion, being subjected to hunger and forced into crime, tens of thousands of blacks are incarcerated, which constitutes today a flagrant and undeniable accusation of race-relations failure in Cuba.
Either Cuba musters the moral fortitude to eradicate the Sowetos it has created or it will be forced to live with an international stigma as it succumbs to the flames of racial strife like Baltimore, Ferguson, Miami or Europe.
English version: The Persistent Racial Crisis in Cuba 8/26/2016 Havana Times
Las recientes controversias en Havana Times y en otros medios en el mundo
sobre el candente tema racial en Cuba, confirma mis predicciones de más de una
década que el temor infundado del Gobierno cubano a reconocer y enfrentar el
creciente racismo en el país y sus intentos por pretender que esta tragedia no
existe, ha servido solo para que esta haga metástasis y termine devorando a la
víctima, si no se aplica una efectiva y agresiva terapia.
He leído con cuidado los artículos de Lenin Ledo Galano sobre Guillermo Fariñas del 8/8, la respuesta de Elio Delgado el 16/8 y la contra respuesta de Yusimí Rodríguez del 24/8, que de una manera u otra giran alrededor de los signos, síntomas y el cuadro clínico, pero omiten la siniestra etiología racista que nuestro país arrastra hace más de 500 años.
Por cuanto, los casos de Fariñas, Zapata, Berta Soler, Unpacu, Damas de Blanco y similares son signos y síntomas de una enorme patología que está devorando la nación, no me refiero a ellos a pesar de tener un criterio sobre los mismos. Tampoco a los artículos de Elio, Iroel o taimados que han analizado el tema en la Mesa Redonda, proclives a presentar estos males en tecnicolor o como si fueran el resultado exclusivo de las campañas diversionistas de los estadounidenses.
Miles de documentos históricos antes y después de la independencia de Cuba demuestran categóricamente la estirpe supremacista y racista de personas en posiciones de autoridad e influencia en Cuba, que han impuesto a sangre y fuego su filosofía eurocéntrica y que aun en fecha reciente, autores como Rolando Rodríguez tratan de enmascarar y justificar en libelos tendenciosos, hechos monstruosos como la masacre de los Independientes de Color en 1912, catalogándolo como “un alzamiento equivocado” o “la conspiración de los iguales”.
La cruel, brutal y vergonzosa experiencia del negro en la Isla permanece como tarea pendiente y lacerante herida supurante que produce hedor y asco, que todos, incluso nuestro ilustre Nicolás Guillén creyó erradicado al triunfo de la Revolución, lo cual dejó plasmado en su emotivo poema Tengo.
Una irrefutable falta de voluntad política gubernamental ha ignorado la profundidad, gravedad y malignidad del racismo en Cuba, el cual se ha querido resolver cerrando los ojos, aplicando curitas, mercurio cromo o intimidando con la división racial cualquier intento de discusión y análisis.
La complicidad oficial en la permanencia del racismo y sus secuelas, no requiere de estudios académicos ni recopilación bibliográfica. Basta un análisis comparativo con la forma, la energía y determinación con que ese mismo gobierno enfrentó y resolvió los problemas educacionales, sociales, políticos o militares más complejos.
La Revolución alfabetizó a todo el país en menos de un año y lo convirtió, en menos de un cuarto de siglo, en el más educado del continente.
La Revolución liberó a la mujer y le confirió los derechos sociales más avanzados de nuestra región.
La Revolución reconoció en menos de una década los derechos de igualdad de los homosexuales, bisexuales, trangéneros etc., en un país de mentalidad machista, prejuiciada y homofóbica.
La Revolución derrotó cuantas agresiones militares, económicas, financieras, políticas y de aislamiento en su contra, por el estado más poderoso del mundo y sus aliados.
La Revolución logró poner al país a la cabeza de América Latina en educación, arte, cultura, deporte y las ciencias.
¿Cómo explicarnos, entonces, que el racismo que es mucho más fácil de erradicar, ha podido sobrevivir, reproducirse y hoy constituye el mayor escarnio y obstáculo para el desarrollo, cabalgue libremente a la vista de todas las autoridades y del cual se habla esporádicamente en forma tangencial, sin la aplicación de leyes o repercusión para los infractores?
La persistencia de una mentalidad supremacista, sectaria y segregacionista que pervive en la mente y corazón de muchos funcionarios del gobierno cubano, ha sido determinante en el mantenimiento y desarrollo de esta plaga. El poder absoluto y la negativa a cambiar el rumbo, está acercando peligrosamente la nave a los arrecifes y a un naufragio como lo demuestran decisiones absurdas, descabelladas y un inmovilismo que está fosilizando al país.
Como resultado de ello, Cuba ha perdido cientos de miles de millones de dólares en la producción de alimentos, privado al pueblo de nutrientes básicos y ha preferido mantener ociosos, devorado por el marabú a millones de hectáreas de terreno fértil antes que suspender la cruel e injusta entrada al país de braceros del Caribe sobre los que recayó en el pasado, la producción de azucar, café, cacao, frutos y animales menores.
De haber actuado de igual manera los gobiernos anteriores al triunfo de la Revolución, el país no habría tenido un Teófilo Stevenson, Lesbia Vent Dumois, Regino Boti, Rita Manley, Lidia Turner, Wilfredo Lam y otros.
Mientras Cuba gasta millones de dólares en promoción turística en Europa, Asia y Oceanía, jamás ha hecho un esfuerzo similar en el Caribe ni dentro de la comunidad afroamericana que posee un Producto Nacional Bruto que sobrepasa los 960 mil millones de dólares al año.
¿Cómo pudieran explicar los órganos de justicia del país, la enorme disparidad en la administración de justicia entre blancos y negros en Cuba, incluso entre altos funcionarios del gobierno, en los cuales delitos menores cometidos por negros son severamente sancionados y otros gravísimos cometidos por blancos en contra de la seguridad e integridad de la nación son denunciados, reprimidos verbalmente y reintegrados a la sociedad sin ninguna consecuencia?
Qué razones que no sea el horror al negro y un racismo mal encubierto que pudieran explicar los daños auto-infligidos al empobrecer y diezmar a todo un sector de la población mediante la exclusión, el hambre y obligarlo a delinquir para encarcelar a cientos de miles de negros, los que constituyen hoy una flagrante e innegable acusación del fracaso de las relaciones raciales en Cuba.
O el país acopia las fuerzas morales para erradicar los Sowetos que ha creado, acepta sobrevivir con el estigma y escarnio internacional o se prepara para sucumbir en las llamas de la discordia racial de Baltimore, Férguson, Miami y de Europa.
A moving article written this week by columnist Leonard Pitts in the Miami
Herald marks the 10th anniversary of the violent death in a “punk gangster”
crossfire of 9 year old Sherdavia Jenkins in Miami. This X-Ray image of the
human disaster that is rooted in that city and has metastasized throughout the
United States suggests the existence of an ethnic cleansing program in place.
In a tragi-comedy ritual, ex-Congressman Kendrick Meek was speechless, stricken by grief, and that personification of a shameless Florida politician, then Speaker of the Florida House Marco Rubio, said “we sit on a crisis of epic proportions,” something I had noticed shortly after arriving in the US as part of the Mariel boatlift in 1980.
Tensions were very high in Miami, because of the brutal murder of Afro American businessman and Viet Nam veteran Arthur Mc Duffie at the hands of 4 Hispanic (2 Cubans) police, who smashed his skull into a pulp with their flashlight. The case was transferred to Tampa, where an all-white jury acquitted all perpetrators, setting off the first city wide riot I had seen in my life.
Frustrated, neighbors from Overtown, Liberty City and other predominantly black neighborhoods set their community on fire and the anticipated response of the governor was to unleash thousands of National Guards armed to their teeth with M-16, armored vehicles and helicopters, which left in the aftermath over 15 dead, nearly a hundred wounded civilians and 100 million dollars in damages on the victims, not on the perpetrators.
Since then, the list of cruel, vicious and blatant murders of blacks and Latinos with impunity across the United States are too many to enumerate. I painfully recall Illnor Bumpers, an 84 year old grandmother shot repeatedly and killed by 4 cops in her living room in the Bronx. Amadou Diallo, an African emigrant, was opening his apartment door in the Bronx when he was shot at 41 times and hit 19 times.
Most thought we had seen the worst brutality, perversion and cruelty of a nationwide deranged police force when Abner Louima was sodomized with a broomstick in a police station in Brooklyn or when 43 year old Eric Garner, who was peddling “illegal” cigarettes in Staten Island, was attacked by 9 police officers and choked to death on the sidewalk in broad daylight.
But the vicious police killing of 12 year old Tamir Rice with a fusillade of gunfire while playing with a toy gun in a park, goes beyond all logic or reasoning, precisely in a country that is enamored with guns, allows guns to be purchased as easy as buying bread and where ownership is legally inscribed in its Constitution and enforced by the National Rifle Association.
After these revolting examples, why waste any time with the notorious killings of Trayvon Martin in Florida, Michael Brown in Ferguson or the wicked murder by police of Freddy Gray in Baltimore?
In another section of Mr. Pitts article, he offers a chilling sample of babies who have been murdered across the United States such as Joseph Spencer 12, Michael Alvin 12, Roberto Lopez 4, Rosay J. Butler 3, Gabriel Martinez 5, Delric Miller 8 months, Antonio Santiago 13 months, David Garth 12, Ja’ Quail Mansaw 7 months or King Carter 6 years old. No steps have been taken by any government institution to eradicate this gun violence epidemic.
The horrors of centuries of slavery, whippings, lynching, and massacres in Colfax, 1873, Arkansas, 1919, Tulsa 1921, Rosewood 1923 or the monstrous killing of Emett Till in Mississippi, have not touched the moral fiber of a nation with a tarnished past.
Yet, the United States government has dedicated years of investigations, congressional hearings and millions of dollars trying to find Hillary Clinton or the Obama administration guilty of failing to save the lives of 4 spies infiltrated in Benghazi that were ambushed and killed in a CIA compound, euphemistically described as an Embassy.
These irrefutable facts are the basis for Frederick Douglass' most legendary speech in Rochester, New York on July 5, 1852 when he said:
What to the American slave is your 4th of July? I answer a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is a constant victim, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless, your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hallow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.
The outpouring of love, grief and the worldwide recognition of the extraordinary
and principled life of Muhammad Ali must not end at his burial site on Friday in
Louisville, Kentucky. His multifaceted life touched and promoted a variety of
human values that every individual and viable society should uphold.
· He gave us lessons in courage at his own peril, when he refused to join a war of conquest we came to regret.
· He tought us important principles when he sacrificed his titles, income, reputation and absorbed the scorn of an irate society.
· He gave us a seminar in faith when he resisted the many push backs and remained loyal to the religion he professed until his last breath.
· He gave us lectures in morality and humanity, when he opposed racism, lending his powerful voice to the segregated, beaten, bitten, incarcerated and killed during the civil rights movement.
This man of humble beginnings, reduced to a punching machine by many, amazed the world with the principles and dignity he exuded during his travels, when he was received and revered by the most important leaders of the world.
We have a moral crisis that afflicts inner cities across the US in which more youngsters die by black on black violence or police brutality in Chicago, Miami Gardens, Baltimore and Jacksonville than in Iraq or Afghanistan. In Ali, we have the perfect role model to build upon and stop this relentless carnage.
Improved relations between the United States and Cuba may allow both governments to perpetuate Ali's towering figure by strengthening and widening the bridge of friendship he built between both countries.
Ali knew that Cuba is the only place on earth, where the intractable, corrosive inner city malady derived from poverty, illiteracy, drugs, violence and deaths can be reversed through education, culture and the perfect environment, which precludes a genetic recessive factor as it has been demonstrated by others www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/cuba-offers-poor-med-students-a-free-ride
We may refuse to change course, continue our failed policies, or muster the courage and determination Ali exhibited to do what is right and stop this tragedy from growing and metastasizing into every neighborhood.
Desde Cuba, Solidaridad por el fallecimiento
de Muhammad Ali, por Gisela Arandia, 6/5/2016
Caribbean American Children Foundation
PO Box 353593, Palm Coast, Fl., 32135
(386) 446-4921 cacf2_AT_aol.com (_AT_=@)
Alberto N Jones DVM
April 9, 2016
To our members, friends and supporters,
It is with great pleasure and pride I wish to inform you that the courageous work displayed by renowned Afro Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando, who with limited financial and material support from a handful of friends, was able to document the partially hidden, horrendous massacre of over 3000 blacks in Cuba in 1912 in her masterful documentaries “Roots of my Heart” and “Breaking the Silence”. Many had hoped time would erase these memories.
Thanks to Aline Helg's epic book, “Our Rightful Share” in 1995, Gloria Rolando was able to assemble a team of volunteer historians, librarians, technicians and ordinary citizens across Cuba, who opened their homes, fed and supported this monumental piece of history.
Afrocubaweb.com played a pivotal role in sharing this transformative piece of history with the world.
Ivanoa Ivonnet, the surviving Grandaughter of General Pedro Ivonnet, founder and second in command of the Partido Independiente de Color (PIC) or Independent Party of Color, who was murdered in Micara, Cuba, is seen crying in the documentary, but never stopped fighting for justice denied and the recognition her ancestor deserved.
Hurricane Sandy in 2012, partially destroyed her modest home in Santiago de Cuba, but she continued her tireless struggle in 2013. No local, provincial or national government, cultural or history leader in Cuba escaped her demand for justice.
The epilogue of this difficult road to victory took place in the year 2013 during the commemoration of the Independent Party Of Color Martyrdom in the Heredia Theater in Santiago de Cuba. At the end, Ivanoa raised her hand and with tears in her eyes posed the question to those presiding this event “How was it possible that a banquet celebrating this massacre could take place in front of Jose Marti statue in Central Park in Havana?
Dr. Abel Prieto former Minister of Culture and now President Raul Castro adviser, got up from his chair on the podium, comforted her and said, Justice will be made. Shortly after, she learned that famous sculptor Alberto Lescay from Santiago de Cuba had volunteered to develop with Ivanoa the art piece that will memorialize her Grandfather.
Rather than a monument in La Maya, site of one of his last battle, Ivanoa has chosen a sculpture with a Cuban flag will one day fly on the family tomb in Santa Efigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba.
Because Colonel or General Pedro Ivonnet (which is being reviewed in historical documents) was a Cuban of Haitian descent, the French Alliance in Cuba has offered to contribute financial support to erect this memorial.
Ivanoa expressed her gratitude to Aline Helg, Gloria Rolando for their works and to those anonymous friends in the US, who through AfroCubaWeb gracefully extended a helping hand to her family after hurricane Sandy ravished their home.
Long before President Barack Obama thought of running for political office, the seed of discord was sown in Miami in 1998 with the creation and training of anti-Cuba groups disguised as Independent Journalists, Independent Librarians, Independent Farmers and Independent everything else, with the sole purpose of highlighting existing racial disparities in Cuba.
Managed, financed, trained and directed into battle by Frank Calzon’s subversive Free Cuba organization under the watchful eyes of US-AID, NED, IRI and the Cuban American National Foundation, these predominantly black men and women were recruited in an attempt to succeed where Miami lily-white counterrevolutionaries groups had failed.
Newly anointed leaders emerged out of nowhere and were hailed, failed, replaced or devoured in vicious verbal battles on Miami airwaves. Most of them today wander the streets of Miami demoralized, despondent, driving a cab or running a family cleaning business.
Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro shocked the world with their simultaneous announcement on December 17, 2014 that they had agreed to begin a process of normalizing relations between both countries. For Cubans this meant for the first time in half a century, they would be able to go to bed knowing they would not be strafed or bombed.
For the United States this was a first step forward to restore its shattered relation with Latin America and to clean up its tarnished image around the world, by proposing peace rather than war, hope rather than dope, harmony, love and development.
When this time bomb detonated in Miami, historic Cuba-haters assembled tens
of defunct groups and urged them to rise and denounce Obama’s betrayal. The
effect was immediate, when the handful of “Ladies in White” who marched
regularly on Sunday’s on 5th Avenue in Havana, grew exponentially as if they had
been fertilized with Miracle Grow and they metastasized across Cuba like any
Leaders of these groups became frequent fliers into Miami where they delivered their activity report, picked up instructions, and visited Radio Marti and TV Marti, Radio Mambi and Mega TV to address their local and foreign constituency.
President Barack Obama had difficult relations with an obstructionist Senate and a “do nothing Congress” where he was called a liar. The GOP decision to make him a one-term president and the endless accusations of his being weak by giving everything to Cuba in exchange for nothing, even questioning his birthplace, all prompted him to prove otherwise to his constituency in the US.
His unfortunate decision to call upon the Cuban Government to improve their Human Rights record and the sensitive race-relation disparity publicly after hours of private conversations, raised his political standing in the US, but left a discordant message among many in Cuba.
Supporting this hypothesis was his different approach to Argentina's horrendous Human Rights violations during the military dictatorship -- he said nothing and chose to avoid a memorial march of the coup d'état by relaxing in Bariloche.
Many Cubans were rightfully offended and others smelling blood in the water and not understanding American dirty politics, jumped on the bandwagon and stridently denounced Obama’s poor ethics for meddling into Cuba’s internal affairs. Some who had never asked for an apology from visiting dignitaries from Spain, England, France, Denmark or the Pope, demanded one from president Obama.
Fortunately, both Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro's statesmanship has remained above the fray, their initial agreement seems to come out unscratched, and they are prepared to deal with the unavoidable hurdles that rise to obstruct the way to peace.
After half a century of a vicious, suffocating embargo that has caused so much hunger, suffering, sickness and deaths in Cuba, no one can expect that rectifying so much hostility, anger and distrust, will be a walk in the park. The United State's image is severely tarnished around the world through GITMO, Abu Ghraib and others. Honesty, goodwill and the pursuit of a better world demand that GITMO be returned to its legal owner to close that wound in the hearts of Cubans and, in conjunction with the Cuban people, convert that heinous symbol of abuse, torture and death into a permanent memorial to peace, harmony and humanity.
Millions of narrow-minded, tunnel-vision short-sighted individuals in the US will question or oppose this necessary investment that will reverse decades of hate and destructive policies, while most of these individuals happily support spending billions of dollars on useless aircraft carriers, sophisticated fighter/bombers, maintenance of nuclear weapons and fleet, other weapons systems and armies in modern asymmetrical warfare.
If these thoughts were to be considered and evaluated impartially, everyone would agree this could become a tremendous healing tool for millions of people and the only tool in our arsenal, that can instill hope of a better life for millions of men, women and children living under injustices, warfare, hatred and the uncontrollable rise of extremism around the world. The alternative is clear, the end of humanity or:
• Return GITMO to Cuba, pay fair market price for its illegal use during 113
years, decontaminate bombing ranges and pay reparation for Cubans tortured,
wounded and killed because of this conflict.
• Jointly transform GITMO into a Beacon of Light for Human Relations, with the US financing a huge High School/ Medical/ Nursing School and Hospital with Cuban and American staff, for thousands of minorities and the poor of this hemisphere.
• The US will finance and build the world largest Tropical Medicine Institute and Research Center, a huge Environmental Health Institute and Marine Biology Research Center in GITMO, staffed jointly by Cuban and American professionals and technicians.
• The US shall construct and finance a large mental health facility for tens of thousands of deranged veterans and everyone else suffering from PTSD, drug addiction and other mental illness.
• Propose to the Cuban government to declare the Province of Guantanamo as a demilitarized zone of peace, human, development and harmony.
• Dedicate 500,000 acres of land and deliver it in usufruct to 50,000 Haitian families in the municipality of Maisi, Yateras and Baracoa for coffee and cocoa production which would help mitigate the intractable poverty afflicting that neighboring country.
• Dedicate 500,000 acres of semi-desert land in usufruct to 50,000 Palestinian families in San Antonio del sur, for the development of olive, figs, goats, sheep and other typical agricultural staples of their country.
• Relocate 50,000 refugee families from war torn Iraq, Syria, Libya, Pakistan and others and assign them plots of lands in usufruct for the development of citrus, fruits and vegetable gardens in the municipality of El Salvador.
• Finance and construct 250,000 low income homes for retirees in l Niceto Perez and Imias municipalities.
• Finance and construct large Rehabilitation Centers in Tres Piedras for non-violent, unjust sentencing of juvenile and expose them to the Cuban proven correctional methods, from where thousands can regain their morale, education and values to become worthy men and women to society.
These and other indisputable reasons demand President Barack Obama historic trip to Cuba should not fail.
Alberto N Jones
President Obama visits Cuba, March 2016
Alberto Jones re-sent his letter on February 22. It was first written in 2012, but remains topical as the President and Mrs Obama prepare to go to Cuba. Makes the case for a visit to Santiago de Cuba.
First Lady Michelle Obama
The White House,
December 5, 2012
Like millions of people of African ancestry and other minorities around the world, who never expected to see a son of Africa sitting in the White House in our lifetime, we wish to congratulate the President from the bottom of our hearts, yourself and everyone else who made the unthinkable happen twice!
This unique, unprecedented accomplishment will instill in the minds of millions of children deemed inferior, incapable or unworthy by some, the fact that they too have no limits for their dreams and aspirations.
But the other reason for reaching out to you has been your proven dedication to the sick, veterans, children and others in need, who may be impacted positively by your actions.
Two weeks before the President's incredible human triumph over backwardness and prejudices, hurricane Sandy visited Santiago de Cuba and later the United States, reeking havoc in her path here and there. Please accept our sympathy for the massive deaths and destruction it caused in numerous NE states, Canada, Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
Dear Michelle, allow me to share with you, a few words about Santiago de Cuba, the most Caribbean city in Cuba, the home of the largest Afro-Cuban community and the holder of a unique and distinct Cuban history that stands tall as it lies in ruins today.
Santiago de Cuba is not only the second largest city in Cuba, it is the birthplace of Mariana Grajales, the mother of the Cuban nation and the most outstanding woman of African ancestry to live in our hemisphere, who led her entire family to war in 1868, 1879 and 1895, where most died fighting to end Spanish colonialism.
General Antonio Maceo, her most outstanding son and revered military leader, rose through the ranks from a soldier to become the second in command of the Cuban Army of Independence, where he defeated on the battle field each of Spain's most decorated generals and successfully led the invasion from east to west, with a military strategy that is perpetuated in Paris and other military museums around the world.
Santiago de Cuba is also the birthplace of legendary General Quintin Banderas, the leader of the fiercest Army in all three wars of Independence, who was brutally segregated and viciously butchered after the war, when he denounced the racist government his actions helped to put in place.
Santiago de Cuba is the site where Teddy Roosevelt landed in 1898 with his Rough Riders and where many Tuskegee black soldiers were wounded or died.
Santiago de Cuba was at the epicenter of the massacre of over 3000 mostly Afro-Cuban members of the Independent Party of Color in 1912 (another Rosewood), which was organized after the failure of the Cuban government to live up to its platform of "With all and for the wellbeing of All".
Santiago de Cuba is where the seed was sown on July 26, 1953 against the bloody dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, the birthplace of Frank and Josue Pais, Vilma Espin, Pepito Tey, Tony Aloma, the Protest of Baragua and the martyrdom of 16 year old William Soler.
Santiago de Cuba is home of the 2500 students of Caribbean School of Medical Sciences, where hundreds of underprivileged students from Africa and the Caribbean have received their medical degree, especially Haiti with over 700, all free of charge.
Santiago de Cuba is where thousands of Afro-Americans and Hispanic youths at risk, could safely spend their drug-violence-free summer vacations, learn conflict resolution and improve their self-esteem, by accessing the rich Afro-Cuban history and culture.
As it was proposed by Booker T. Washington, R. N. R. Nelson, Langston Hughes, Marcus Garvey, Mary Bethune-Cookman and others, integrating African-Americans with Afro-Cubans in the world of education, science, business, sports and culture, is a precondition for mutual advancement.
Above and beyond all existing ideological differences between the US and Cuba, I am inviting you to come to Santiago de Cuba and see for yourself, what this city was, is and what it can once again become for millions of uneducated, poor and hopeless young people in the world.
Alberto N Jones DVM
January 12, 2016, the world was presented with a profoundly different Sate of
the Union, when President Barack Obama broke away from the stylistic, upbeat,
all is fine rhetoric. which is filled with the historic glitz and glamour format
of this national event. Most in the audience choose this unique opportunity to
express their partisan emotions, while striving for their 15 seconds of glory on
Far from the cold, empty promises or triumphalist discourse of similar January gala in Congress, President Obama choose a balanced, hype free, objective and detailed presentation of the government he was handed seven years ago with two monstrous wars, a threat of economic collapse, unemployment and despair, up to where the nation is today.
Notwithstanding that his administration had to confront, the most hostile, disrespectful and openly antagonistic Congress in history, whose only agenda was to make him a one term president by derailing or blocking every social, economic or political proposition coming out of the White House, President Barack Obama tenure has succeeded in the most diverse ways in modern United States history.
Although the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq he inherited from the previous administration are still a work in progress, the situation is far better than ever. Syria, Yemen and the Israeli Palestinian conflict remain unresolved and a monumental refugee crisis threatens to destabilize Europe, while ISIS terrorist attacks worldwide is still a fact of life. The world is safer today, there is hope and the threat of WW III under the previous administration is greatly diminished.
For the past 40 years, the United States had an intractable hate-filled relation with Iran, as a consequence of overthrowing their popularly elected president in 1953 and installing one of the most brutal dictator the region has ever known. Careful, tireless and respectful negotiation has achieved what no one could have anticipated, a badly needed distention, the freezing of the nuclear development by Iran, which should have a successful closure with a total denuclearization of the world beginning with Israel.
Difficult and quiet negotiations are slowly emptying GITMO infamous prison, by returning detainees without charges for over 10 years to their countries. Many of them has accused the US of blatant abuses and torture no different than those at Khandahar, Abu Ghraib and any of George W. Bush 100 dark holes, which has tarnish the image of the US and become a permanent recruitment magnet.
The longest civil war in the history of mankind, which has been raging in Colombia since 1948 and has caused unspeakable deaths and destruction to that nation, may now come to an end through respectful negotiations that are taking place in Cuba.
For half a century, the United States unleashed a vicious, destructive and disgraceful war of attrition against Cuba, in which all forms of invasions, terrorism, economical and financial warfare, demonization, isolation, bioterrorism and others, were all fair game to achieve their goals. Thousands of innocent Cubans paid a horrific price through hunger, suffering, sickness and deaths.
Then by resorting to wisdom, decency and vision, quiet negotiations with the help of the Vatican and others, lead the US and Cuba to meet, talk and agree on December 17, 2014, that normalizing relations was the best option for all.
Cuba has thought the world a lesson in humility, by refraining from humiliating the US with victory marches, grandiloquent speeches about its resistance, demanding an apology from the United States or doing anything that can be demeaning to the US.
Cuba greatest moral and military intervention in Africa, was seen by most of the world as a small, dignified country paying back its gratitude to Africa for its endless contribution to the world and to Cuba. This tiny country was willing to send tens of thousands of its children to Africa, to fight side by side with freedom fighters from Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, in order to preserve Angola’s independence, secure the freedom of Nelson Mandela, obtain the independence of Namibia and Zimbabwe and demolish the odious Apartheid system in South Africa.
And today the world has seen the impressive moral standing Cuba has earned over the years, when Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Russia have agreed to meet in Cuba, to begin to allay 1000 years of grievances.
Cuba can do much more for itself and the world!
Cuba can remove immediately the onerous prohibition on hundreds of thousands of its children living abroad, who are denied entry into their country!
Cuba can remove the embarrassing requirement of demanding its citizens to own a Passport to go home!
Cuba must stop pretending and end the massive brain drain of that is taking place around the world with its youngest and brightest people, in which the country invested billions of dollars in training!
Powerful China has called upon its children abroad to return home and help to build even more the motherland. Why can Cuba not do the same? Taking advantage of every conceivable way to weaken the country, Cuba’s enemies in the United States created Peter Pan, Freedom Flights, Family Reunion, Wet Foot/Dry Foot and most recently the infamous Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, which has lured over 10,000 medical professionals from the poorest and neediest patients around the world and from Cuba to Miami, turning most of them into tractor trailer drivers, waiters or crooks, depleting Medicare/Medicaid in South Florida.
Cuba can and must stop shooting itself in the foot by stubbornly insisting in paying hunger wages to the best and brightest of that nation -- just simply correct a huge mistake and allow 300,000 Cuban Americans who are presently denied entry into the country, each of whom should spend a mean of 2,000 CUC per visit.
If the anticipated influx of 2 million Americans, Asian and non-traditional Europeans flock to Cuba in 2017, the economy will receive a transfusion of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will be sufficient to pay every Cuban worker a decent, well deserved salary, repair de country dilapidated homes and roads, water supply, sanitation and turn Cuba into a model of sustainable environment to the world.
As an Afro Cuban living in the US for the past 35 years, not an occasional
weekend traveler to Cuba, I wish to commend the writer and USA TODAY for
publishing, albeit in an incomplete fashion, about the crucial problems
afflicting the Afro Cuban community, which has been placed on the verge of
social, economical and moral collapse.
This complex issue cannot be solved by looking into the percentage of black Cubans in government, high ranking positions or by visiting Paladares and Bars. We must look into the deep marginalization they are suffering today, because of their crime of being the most loyal and trusted supporter of the Cuban government which led them to stay put in Cuba where they have little or no material support abroad.
Conversely, of those, mostly of Hispanic ancestry, who left Cuba from early 1959 until today, many have become wealthy and now have resources to finance the development of business opportunity in Cuba and many in high ranking position in the tourist industry and even in government in Cuba have limited the entry and rise to choice positions of those of African Ancestry.
We do not need to instill in Afro Cubans a mentality of victimization, rather, let us assume our rightful share of our country. Incredible numbers of Afro Americans fought alongside Cuba and helped it survive a brutal embargo that threatened to anihilate its people. Pastors for Peace, headed by Reverend Lucius Walker, led the charge -- he was beaten and nearly died on a huger strike defending Cuba.
Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Serrano, Rangel and thousands of others, put their careers and livelyhood on the line and stood up to hatemongering from all sides and today, they have not been recognized the way they should and are rapidly beeing supplanted by "Johnny's come lately," mostly Hispanic Cubans, who denounced and fought Cuba every step of the way in the Cuban American National Foundation, Alpha 66 and tens of other counterrevolutionary organizations. Yet some of them are the ones leading delegations and pursuing business opportunities in Cuba.
No country in the world is visited every week by more Presidents, Kings, Prime Ministers, International Organizations, Clergy etc., as Cuba.
Thus the US Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, Clergy, Black farmers and other black leaders who were on the frontline for decades must continue their struggle, by bringing Afro Cuba, Afro America, the Caribbean and Africa together, so that we can break the yoke of dependency, subjugation, illiteracy and violence that is corroding our society everywhere.
If we miss this one in a lifetime opportunity, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. Let's combine Afro America wealth, Afro Cuba knowledge and the opening in Cuba for business to do for our peoples what Mandela, Toussaint L Overture, Maceo, Mariana, Manley, Garvey, Malcolm X and Martin L. King fought for, suffered for and died. This decisive, life and death predicament must be solved in the XXI century or Never!
Chronic defenders of the United States wrongdoings continually present Cuba as
the aggressor and abuser of a feeble, innocent, unblemished United States, who
must be compensated and apologize to for misbehaving. A few points to consider:
- GITMO is one the many spoils of the 1898 Spanish-American War, coerced out of the Cuban government with threats of the Platt Amendment, of not leaving the country after 4 years of occupation.
- GITMO turned the City of Guantanamo into the largest Red Light District in Cuba with rampant sexually transmissible diseases, corruption, kick-backs, violence, rape.
- Cuban civil service employee Lino Rodriguez was beaten to death and his body was found floating in the bay on 12/17/1940
- Cuban civil service worker Lorenzo Salomon was arrested and tortured during 15 days, accused of embezzlement on 9/1954
- Written and graphic documents proves how Batista's government Air Force was resupplied at NAS on GITMO as late as 12/27/58, whose bombing decimated large areas of the Sierra Maestra and killed countless farmers.
- On January 12/61, Manuel Prieto a Cuban GITMO employee was arrested, accused of being an agent of the Cuban government. He was tortured, forced to swallow poisoned pills. On 3/13 a pirate boat coming from GITMO, strafed Santiago de Cuba oil refinery with 57-milimter cannon, killing Cuban sailor Rene Rodriguez.
- On 9/30/61. Ruben Lopez Sabariego was arrested by the GITMO Military Intelligence Service. 18 days later, his mutilated body was given to his wife, alleging, it was found in a ditch. Navy Lt. William A. Szili told the Philadephia Bulletin reporter, that Capt Arthur J. Jackson had finished off with some shots.
- Fisherman Rodolfo Rosell Salas was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on GITMO in May 1962. His mutilated body was found in his boat adrift near Caimanera. Cuban Border Guard Ramonn Lopez Peña was shot dead in his sentry box in 1964 and Luis Ramirez Lopez Lopez in 1966. Antonio Campos, Luis Ramirez Reyes and Andres Noel Larduet, were wounded by shots coming out of GITMO.
- A a result of these aggressive acts, Cuba cut-off GITMO water supply from the Yaterita river and over 2000 GITMO employees were given 8 hours to decide either to "exile" on GITMO with all their prerrogatives or return to their families in Cuba and Be On Their Own! Seven hundred decided to return to Cub and their annual leave and retirement benefits was withheld for 40 years in Boyers, PA, while they got old, hungry and died in Cuba. Those who stayed on GITMO, had to wait 15 years, before being able to return to find what was left of their families.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
|The Haitian people are going through another one of their periodic
tragedies. We have had the jailing of Toussaint L'Overture in a French
gulag until his death, the 60 Million dollars bribe for "reparations"
to Imperial France, US military invasions, the Duvaliers, Earthquake,
Poverty, Hunger or Disease.
This time, we are experiencing a horrendous repeat of the 1937 slaughter of thousands of Haitians by Leonidas Trujillo's Military/Mob/Militia, who should be their brothers, but whose minds were perverted and turned into racists by Leonidas Trujillo. The racist behaviour we are seeing today among a broad sector of the Dominican Republic's population was introduced, bred and fed by the sick mind of Leonidas Trujillo, who did everything within his power, in addition to murdering his people, to whiten himself and the mind of his people.
As I write these notes, Haitians are being beaten, threatened with machetes and a massive deportation hangs over their heads. Scorned by those who opened their borders, when they needed cheap labor for the sugarcane, construction and other menial jobs.
I am tired of seeing Haitians being maligned, abused and preyed upon across the Caribbean in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands and in my own country Cuba, which has an unpayable death of gratitude to Haiti, whose women and men, sons and daughters shed their tears, sweat, blood and lives in 100 degree sugarcane plantations in Oriente and Camaguey in Cuba, pouring billions into the national economy, which contributed to build everything that is visible and invisible in Cuba.
Cuba too was not immune to such racist, segregationists practices. Gloria Rolando, the premiere Afro Cuban Film maker in Cuba, last year made a new film, "Reembarque", depicting when Cuba deported thousands of Haitians in the 30's and a complicit Caribbean community of nations, governed by colonial puppets, tyrants and dictators, sided against the victim.
We must prove to the world, that we are in the XXI Century and we will not allow this new crime to stand. Today we have Haitians leaders around the world who MUST come forward, rally our people and develop a unified strategy to defeat the "Mulaticos" in the government of Santo Domingo.
Masses of an uneducated Domincan population were bought into a racist fallacy which is widespread today, but they are likely to change if we make them pay the price for their inhumanity. Until this cruel legislation is reverted, none of us should patronize any Dominican Bodega, Bar, Restaurant in Miami, Orlando, New York Upper West side and Queens, DC, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Italy or vacation in the Dominican Republic. Even though we are an historical enemy of Boycotts, Embargoes and Blockade everywhere, this time it applies perfectly against this horrendous crime.
Elected to the highest post in the history of Miami, Mr. Jean Monestime has today a call to duty that is far more urgent, important and moral than making sure the garbage is picked-up, the sewer is flowing or the tolls are paid. His people, who are my people, are on the verge of enduring a monstrous attack, taking advantage of their inability to fight back.
Cuba has long begun to pay back part of its debt to Haiti. Thousands of physicians, nurses, engineers have been in that country before, during and after the earthquake working for free. The Caribbean School of Medical Sciences in Santiago de Cuba has committed itself years ago to train 20,000 thousands physicians for Haiti, free of charge. Over 700 have received their diploma!
Yet, the politically correct posture in south Florida's rarefied environment impedes Caribbean leaders in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm Beach to have the courage to stand-up and defend the greatest gift that has ever been given to our children. Thousands of students from Jamaica, Saint Lucie, Grenada, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Antigua, Central, South America, Africa and Asia, are studying in Cuba in spartan condition mostly for free.
Fearing for their lives or the wrath of a handful of Cuban American right-wing slave masters from yesterday, no one dares to send these students a stethoscope, syring, a used laptop or a simple ball point pen, to make their difficult student lives easier.
Cuba can no longer afford such a heavy financial burden, but under the aegis of Mr. Monestime and other community leaders, we can ask the Cuban government for help, to double or triple the capacity of its Nursing and Medical School, Technological and in other fields of knowledge for those young men that are being deported from the Dominican Republic, being shot on our streets, without jobs and who are prone to become drug addict or jail birds.
Do we have a political leader who is capable of convincing all Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities in the US, to contribute $1.00 a month, to build and operate the largest University City in the World in Santiago de Cuba for those children while some prefer to mourn, hold vigils or marches?
We have complained since slavery about the crimes that have been committed against us. The time has come for us to do for ourselves what no one else has done. No more Ferguson, South Carolina's, Baltimore, Oakland or Miami Gardens.
We can continue to do the same and expect a different outcome or rise-up, assume our moral responsibilities, stop weeping and put in motion the biggest concerted effort to cleanse the horrors of slavery and the middle passage!
[See also Ethnic Cleansing in the Dominican Republic]
|Solo aquellos que no se han ocupado de conocer su propia historia se
expresan como la jauria de Dominicanos enajenados, racistas, que
arremeten y atropellan a quienes debian ser sus hermanos, tal cual
Educados en la perversa formula creada por el monstruo de Rafael Leonidas Trujillo que se empeno en convertirlos en Blancos, que gentes poco leida asumieron y se imaginaron superiores, se lo creyeron y masacraron a mas de 15 mil Haitianos en la mayor masacre de nuestra region en 1937.
Los mas aplaudieron y toleraron a aquel asesino entorchado en el poder, hasta que se ensano en sus aduladores de entonces. Pero repetir tamana infamia en el Siglo XXI no puede ser tolerado por ninguna persona digna, que respete la vida y tenga una idea de la contribucion que estos hombres, trabajadores, honestos contribuyeron al desarrollo de la Republica Dominicana, Cuba, Bahamas y dondequiera que han puesto los pies.
Sin embargo, la hipocresia de estos llamados "mulatos" no tiene paralelo, al expulsar vergonzosamente de sus tierras a su vecino mas cercano, pero inundan con sus indocumentados al Upper West Side, Queens, Miami, Orlando, Valencia, Madrid y Barcelona, donde exigen como el que mas sus Derechos Humanos.
Ha llegado la hora de aplicar la ley universal de diente por diente. Ni un comensal mas en las bodegas, bares y restaurantes Dominicanos en estos lugares. Ningun turista Latino Americano debera visitar Republica Dominicana mientras se mantenga esta ley draconiana y no seamos remisos a denunciar a sus indocumentados en estos paises del mundo en un simple, Ojo por Ojo!
[Vease Limpieza étnica en la Republica Dominicana]
Email: albertoj_AT_afrocubaweb.com [replace _AT_ with @]
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