Standing up for black Cubans
My friend Jorge Ponce spoke for many of us 3 years ago when he criticized the Congressional Black Caucus "Love Trip" to sit down with a couple of dictators in Cuba:
"It is surprising that the CBC delegation chose to ignore the racist policies of the Castro regime, and, yet, there were plenty racial inequalities to see in Cuba.
For example, although the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami said that 68% of the Cuban population is black, 90 percent of the current prison population in Cuba is black, while the ruling Communist Party is only 9 percent black.
When the Cuban Government developed its tourist industry in the early 1990's, whites were given preferential treatment. The Cuban authorities let its foreign partners from such countries as Spain to control its hiring decisions, and many opted for whites. Academics say that black Cubans are failing to earn university degrees in proportion to their representation in the Cuban population.
Afro-Cubans are more likely to be harassed by police on the street than their white counterparts - a Cuban version of racial profiling. Nevertheless, Cuba does not have an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce anti-discrimination laws, and has no plans to set up one in the future."
This week, Rep Federica Wilson of Florida, a member of the CBC, published a timely article about the plight of blacks in Cuba:
"The Castro brothers may never come around to our values like freedom of the press and an impartial judicial system, but it's long past time that they live up to their own rhetoric about racial equality. The lives of brave people including Damaris Moya Portieles depend on it."
Thank you Rep Wilson. It is refreshing and a good sign. I hope that she persuades others and joins our efforts to bring this communist dictatorship to an end.