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Andy PetitAndy Petit
Writer

Andy looks for the facts that don't fit the accepted patterns. A French citoyen living in the US, he is often struck by the similarities between France and Cuba in their concepts of republics, especially as relates to race and ethnic identities. He has been writing on AfroCuban culture since 1997. He is grateful to his friend, Havana Radio journalist and activist Eugene Godfried, who gave him an impeccable introduction to the intricacies of Cuban culture and politics.

Writings

Fidel, Ché and the post 1959 Executions: Post 1945 Executions of Nazis and Nazi Collaborators  12/10/2016 AfroCubaWeb: "In 1945, thousands of nazis and nazi collaborators were executed across Europe. In France alone, "9,000 were summarily executed during the liberation campaign, 1,500 were executed after a trial, and 40,000 were sentenced to prison." In Czechoslovakia, 30,000 German civilians were summarily murdered while 3 million were expelled to Germany."

Fidel Castro Ruz: Race in Cuba  12/1/2016 AfroCubaWeb 

Revisiting the Quinquenio Gris, 1971-1976, 9/30/13, AfroCubaWeb

Maceo - Martí: why did the image of Antonio Maceo disappear after the Revolution?   5/14/13, AfroCubaWeb

NED funded Black Cuban dissidents visit Pittsburgh for AfricAméricas Week, 5/11/13 AfroCubaWeb

Prominent Cubans are defending Zurbano's right to talk about racism 4/7/2013 AfroCubaWeb

Los comentarios sobre "Para los negros en Cuba, la Revolución no ha comenzado" 4/4/2013 AfroCubaWeb

Comments on "For Blacks in Cuba, the Revolution Hasn't Begun" 4/4/2013 AfroCubaWeb

El Consejo Supremo de la Asociación Abacuá de Cuba - Buro Abakuá 12/1/2012 AfroCubaWeb: ...the Buro was originally a creation of the authentic Abakuá potentias. In 1960 as Cuba was nationalizing all property, some Abakuá leaders drew a line and said: "We need separation between state and religion. Abakuá is a religion. We are more Cuban than the palm tree. Leave us alone." They created a "Buro Abakuá" to confront the excesses of the Revolution. That didn't work: in 1967 the state prohibited any Abakuá initiation. This lasted until 1977. From 1960 to 1991, the state trained Abakuá initiates to infiltrate the lodges and spy, and they sought the complete integration of Abakuá into the state. Possibly some of the comrades were reacting to the presence of former Batistianos in the lodges, but there are former Batistianos across most aspects of Cuban life! This is a case of over-reaching, excessive state control. There were also a number of comrades in the lodges, it is a religion, not a political organization."

Republican Ideals and Cuban Ethnic Identities, AfroCubaWeb

Supressing a Public Pilgrimage: Day of the 5 Abakwá - 27th of November 12/2/2012 AfroCubaWeb: "The Abakwá parade parallels another parade from the University of Havana to the same monument at La Punta, a traditional parade that has been held for many years and was held again this year to honor the fallen students and a Spanish army captain who broke his sword over his knee to protest the executions, thereby ending his career. This parade would never mention the 5 Abakwá. They may be doing that now, although the official press articles about them tend not to. However, this year various sources in Havana confirm that the Abakwá parade going down the Paseo del Prado to La Punta was forbidden and an impressive contingent of police as well as a Rapid Response Brigade was on hand to enforce the prohibition."

Ataque de un escuadron de la muerte al palacio del Obong del Calabar 8/25/2008 AfroCubaWeb: "El lunes 25 de agosto del 2008,10 miembros de un escuadron de la muerte del grupo ISAKABA atacaron el palacio donde recidia el Sr Bassey Ekpo Bassey, Obong del Calabar quien ha sido un baluarte en el apoyo y reconocimiento del Abacua cubano. Este grupo criminal es apoyado por el corrupto gobernador Imoke del estado del Rio la cruz."

Isakaba Death Squad attacks Obong Palace in Nigeria's Calabar 8/25/2008 AfroCubaWeb: "On Monday, August 25, 2008, a 10 member Isakaba death squad attacked the Palace of the traditional ruler of the Efik, Obong Bassey Ekpo Bassey, who is close to the Cuban Abakuá. The death squad is under the protection of Nigeria's Cross River State and its corrupt Governor Imoke."

Entrevista con Eugène Godfried: Una llamada para el dialogo sobre la masacre de 1912 10/5/2007 AfroCubaWeb: "Yo me encontraba en Grenada invitado por el Primer Ministro Maurice Bishop con una pequena delegación de Curazao. Estando en esta isla el barco XX Aniversario de Cuba visitó el Puerto de Saint Georges capital de esta tierra. El barco venía de Carifesta que acababa de celebrarse en la vecina isla de Barbados. Contaba con una cantidad elevada de artistas y trabajadores culturales de al rededor 200 personas. Estaban programados realizar presentaciones culturales para los trabajadores cubanos del aeropuerto y otras esferas así como para el pueblo de Grenada. Duramte estos días yo estaba también en contacto con la embajada cubana y su primer secretario Gaston Diaz y el embajador Rizo. Me incluyeron en todas las programaciones efectuadas por el conjunto de artistas y trabajadores culturales del barco XX Aniversario. Me presentaron e introdujeron a una gran variedad de personalidades culturales incluyendo a Pedro Izquierdo - "Pello el Afrokan" – con quien hice muy buena amistad. Estos artistas enfatizaban su pertenencia al Caribe y me hablaban del componente africano en la cultura cubana. Todos me habían hecho indicaciones de lo ocurrido en 1912, pero nadie se profundizaba en ello. Antetodo era importante entender la situación general de los descendientes de africanos en Cuba. Eduardo Rivero Walker me dio informaciones de la presencia de los inmigrantes angloparlantes del Caribe en Cuba. Electo Silva director del Orfeon de Santiago y que ha vivido en Haiti sabe expresarse en kreol y me dio una perspectiva diferente de la vida cubana. Entre otros, he podido conocer a Eliades Ochoa y Alberto Lescay. Silva y Lescay me aseguraron que mis visitas a La Habana siempre no me iban a dar el imagen exacto de la realidad cubana. Para esto era necesario ir y visitar a Santiago de Cuba en Oriente. Esto reflejaría mejor la verdad del Caribe en Cuba. Es también la zona que es la fuente de todas las luchas libertarias en Cuba."

Interview with Eugène Godfried: Call for dialog on the 1912 Massacre 10/5/2007 AfroCubaWeb: "I was in Granada, invited by Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, with a small delegation from Curacao, and while I was there, a ship, the XX Aniversario, came in from Carifesta in Barbados and docked at St Georges, the capital. On board there were over 200 artists, and they performed for the Cuban workers building the airport and also for the Grenada public. During those days, I was also in contact with the Cuban embassy through its political secretary Gaston Diaz and Ambassador Rizo. They included me in all the programming and introduced me to the artists, including Pedro Izquierdo - "Pello el Afrokan" - who became a good friend. These artists emphasized the Caribbean, the African component of Cuban culture. All of them hinted to me about 1912 but no one went in depth into it. First I had to understand the general situation of Africans in Cuba. Eduardo Rivero Walker spoke about the English-speaking immigrants in Cuba. Electo Silva, director of Orfeon, spoke Creole, had lived in Haiti, and gave me a different perspective on Cuban life. I also got to know Eliades Ochoa and Alberto Lescay, among others. Silva and Lescay told me that because I was going to Havana, I was not getting the real picture of what Cuba was like. They told me I needed to go to Oriente, the most Caribbean tinted area in Cuba and the source of all its liberation movements."

Pedro Agustin Pérez 5/30/2005 AfroCubaWeb: "Pedro A. Pérez is renowned in Oriente as a Mambi general and resistance fighter. Even today La Seccion Provincial de Cultura de Guantánamo, which is under the Ministry of Culture, promotes him as the Father of Guantánamo Province. However, he was in fact a vile racist from a family of bounty hunters who tracked down escaped slaves. As mayor of Guantánamo during the 1912 Massacre, Pérez was himself directly responsible  for ordering the liquidation of 50 AfroCubans (mostly Haitians) in one night, which is something people in Guantánamo have not forgotten. He also sanctioned numerous other murders in the troubled days of 1912."

Rogelio Scull: founding member of Afrocuba de Matanzas dies in Texas jail after kangaroo court gives him life 6/1/2004 AfroCubaWeb: "Rogelio Scull was a talented percussionist who was among the founding members of Afrocuba de Matanzas, along with Francisco Zamora, Dolores Perez, Pedro "Pello" Tapanes, Regino, and the other greats of that group. He is remembered fondly by the members of the group. He died on Saturday, June 12, 2004. Rogelio left Cuba in the 1980 Mariel event and played for some time in NY. He spent over 10 years in jail on a life sentence for being an accessory to a murder. I obtained a copy of the court transcript and was not too surprised to see that the case against Scull was unsupported by physical evidence and relied only on the testimony of one Ana, who fingered him as a participant after being squeezed by the cops on a bad check charge. It turns out from the transcript itself that Ana was the wife of the murderer and there were high heel marks at the site where the body was found. Ana has since been jailed for her participation in 3 other murders. Hardly a reliable witness."

What was Al Sharpton doing in Cuba? 12/1/2000 AfroCubaWeb: "What was the Reverend Al doing in Cuba? As is clear from his recent forays, he is trying to build up a national reputation. The news about the hip-hop ventures may also be seen as an effort to restore credibility on the streets and on the left. The Reverend Al appears to have gained ground in erasing his earlier career as an FBI informant, by having lunch with Fidel Castro and organizing a large hip-hop exchange with InterScope records, among others. However, the road has sometimes been rocky: folks in Detroit prevented him from achieving much there by posting these Newsday articles below from 1988. Basically they outline how he was an FBI informant and tried to set up Assata Shakur for capture."

The CANF: a financial portrait 4/15/2000 AfroCubaWeb: "The CANF has a board of directors with about 60 members, each of whom gives over $10,000 a year. A separate board of trustees numbers 60. Each of them gives over $5,000 a year. The total number of contributors is 50,000. In addition, the Jorge Mas Canosa Freedom Foundation, which is funded by Mas Canosa's estate, matches each dollar contributed to the CANF with two dollars of its own. The administrative budget is around $1.5 million a year with separate funds raised for each activity."

Operation Northwoods, Joint Chiefs of Staff, USA 4/15/2000 AfroCubaWeb: "Operation Northwoods was a plan by the highest US military authorities to create a series of incidents involving loss of American and Cuban exile lives through the actions of phony Cubans in order to persuade the US public to go to war against Cuba. The document detailing this plan were obtained from Defense Seceretary McNamara's files and were first published in Australia by Jon Elliston (Psy War on Cuba: The Declassified History of US Anti-Castro Propaganda, Ocean Press, 1999) with no reaction at all from the US. They were used again by ABC News journalist James Bamford in his history of the NSA (Body of Secrets, Doubleday, 2001), causing some minor notice among historians."

What was Al Sharpton doing in Cuba?, 12/1/00 AfroCubaWeb: "The news about the hip-hop ventures may also be seen as an effort to restore credibility on the streets and on the left. The Reverend Al appears to have gained ground in erasing his earlier career as an FBI informant, having lunch with Fidel Castro and organizing a large hip-hop exchange with InterScope records, among others. However, the road has sometimes been rocky: folks in Detroit prevented him from achieving much there by posting these Newsday articles below from 1988. Basically they outline how he was an FBI informant and tried to set up Assata Shakur for capture."

Black Caucus Delegation visits Cuba, meets with Castro, Robaina 2/20/1999 AfroCubaWeb

Transafrica delegation goes to Cuba, seeks ties with AfroCubans, and meets with Castro 1/8/1999 AfroCubaWeb: "Randall Robinson, the TransAfrica's president, said "American policies, 40 years in application, have hurt ordinary men, woman, and children in Cuba, and AfroCubans particularly, and it's simply unacceptable." He thinks that the trade ban will end soon and that once it has, Cubans will need help adjusting to new realities. For example, he worries that as capitalism enters the Cuban economy, AfroCubans won't get their fair share of opportunities: "Already there is discrimination in the selection of people for some jobs, but I don't think there's any question that the Cuban government opposes practices of this kind."

Republican Bob Franks (NJ) sponsors bill on Assata 5/1/1998 AfroCubaWeb

Poem to Assata in Exile by Comrade Askia M. Touré 4/27/1998 AfroCubaWeb

Luis Calle Garcia 12/1/1997 AfroCubaWeb: "The Guaguanco, one of the principal forms of rumba, was invented within this family. Folklorists have known of a relationship between Efik/Efo dances and rumba, but this is a very direct indication of such a relationship.

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