For decades, the world has bought into the Castro dictatorship’s claims that racism has been eradicated in socialist Cuba. In reality, however, socialist Cuba is rife with racism. One only need to look at the lily-white, European descent rulers of Cuba to realize people of color on the island continue to be treated as second-class citizens.
Nevertheless, despite the incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, the apartheid Castro dictatorship’s incessant propaganda has not only allowed it to hide its racism, but also portray itself as an “inclusive” socialist society.
But on an island nation of 11-million people where more than a third of the population is Afro-Cuban, rampant racism can be tricky and difficult to hide. So difficult in fact, that even The New York Times can’t miss it:
A common scene plays out in Havana: four female Spanish tourists arrive at one of the city’s many nightclubs in the company of two Afro-Cuban men. “You’re in, but they’re not,” the bouncer tells them. “The house reserves the right of admission.” The tourists protest, citing such practices as those of “a racist country,” but in the end their companions are denied entry. They’ll have to try their luck elsewhere. Cuba’s social policies benefited most of the population, regardless of color, but it’s clear they did not succeed in putting an end to racism.
The club’s bouncer, Yúnior, is also black. He is a prime example of the contradictions and racialized tensions that characterize contemporary Cuban society. After completing his studies in accounting and finance at the University of Havana, he secured a teaching position at the university. But his salary, equal to about $20 a month, wasn’t enough to survive on. So he went to work in the private service sector where his physical attributes — especially those society attributes to his skin color — were more valuable than his education. Blackness is equated with brute force. Accounting and finance are for white people.
Private employment practices are openly racist (and sexist), as illustrated by the advertisement through which he found his job: “Seeking qualified experienced personnel: wait staff (good looking blonde or brunette women, who speak foreign languages) and security and protection (strong men of color).”
This is quite an admission by The New York Times, which has spent much of the past 60 years promoting, defending, and helping maintain the apartheid Castro dictatorship in power. They seem perplexed by how such an egalitarian society ruled by a benevolent socialist dictatorship that only cares about taking care of the people, regardless of their race, could be so racist.
Of course, the Times believes it has figured it out:
Cuba has experienced a kind of bifurcation: The public sector continues to operate under an egalitarian logic, but it is no longer a source of mobility and social advancement. According to official figures, 32 percent of the labor force works in the nonstate sector. But the growing private sector has engendered discriminatory occupational structures and contributed to the growth of income disparities according to skin color.
A private sector, which generates the best-paid jobs on the island, has flourished since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. But Afro-Cubans have faced mounting racism and been excluded from these opportunities. The argument is that to work in the service sector, one must have a “good presence,” a quality supposedly incompatible with melanin.
According to the Times, the rampant racism in Cuba is not the fault of the socialist dictatorship, but of the private sector. Forget the fact the private sector operates under the watchful eyes of a totalitarian regime that maintains a jackboot on the necks of all Cuban entrepreneurs. Let’s ignore decades of suffocating socialist rule on the island, which have not only changed Cuban civil society, but transformed it into the image of the Cuban dictatorship.
All of this needs to be forgotten because the racism in Cuba that has existed uninterrupted for six decades cannot possibly be the fault of the apartheid Castro dictatorship.