Commentaries

PRAXIS WITHDRAWS SUPPORT
Dear Dr. Carruthers:

I hope this reaches you well. I'm writing you because I have had the
opportunity to talk with several people and groups with whom we work
closely
and are very involved in this work related to Cuba. They have convinced me
that, sadly, this letter and effort is being used as a way to help
delegitimize important progress going on in the country. And as
organization, we certainly do not want to contribute to that.

I, personally, am a very strong supporter of the country, although I know
as
a person with family on the island, that racism is not by any stretch of
the
imagination solved. I also know that the progress made in Cuba is enviable
by US standards. This does not mean that there should not be criticism and
advocacy to push for even more progress. I just don't want any public
statement that we sign to become fodder for attacking a nation and a
revolution that has contributed so much to the world.

 Certainly, we should have thought this through more carefully when we
 signed
 on but my focus was to be of support to the groups involved -- and to aid
 an
 individual who was under attack. Unfortunately, this effort is being used
 by
 enemies of all of us to attempt to undermine a government whose efforts
 have
proven critical to the uplift of Black people, despite its shortcomings.

As a result, I am respectfully asking to withdraw Praxis' name from the
letter. I'm not asking that you resend it or make any public statement to
this effect. The letter is out and not much to be done about that. We will
likely make a statement to friends expressing our love and solidarity for
 the signers but sharing our decision to pull back. Please feel free to
 share
this note with anyone you deem appropriate.

I hope you understand our position. Thank you for all you do to make a
difference!

makani
>




Commentaries from Venceremos Brigade listserve

From: soffiyah_elijah@hotmail.com
To: vbrigade@lists.riseup.net

Subject:  Cuba blasts US black leaders for charges of racism
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2009 18:37:29 -0500

 
Peace everyone,
These are some of my thoughts about the recent sad misguided statement attacking Cuba from people that many of us admire. I am thankful for the response provided by Cuba. It is my hope that those of us in the u.s. who KNOW better, who have experienced Cuba in its many facets will have the courage to speak out.  Silence is complicity.
It would be good for all concerned to check out the information on Carlos Moore on the www.afrocubaweb.com website. Moore has been a well paid u.s. puppet for decades. Periodically he resurfaces but he never shows up with any facts. His "assignment" is to make sure that u.s. Blacks do not sympathize with Cuba. The latest volley is part of his on-going assignment. He successfully duped Cornell West, Ruby Dee and others by hiding his role in this behind faces that they did not associate with Moore. The guy in Cuba who is supposedly being "repressed" has never been known to Afro Cuban activists to be a champion of their issues. All of a sudden Moore has turned him into the next Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We should be clear about the political timing. Black and Latino communities are being bombarded with military recruiting advertisements. This coincides with u.s. military contracts with Colombia to build up its presence there. Who best to send to Colombia than Black and Latino soldiers? If the u.s. can successfully discredit Cuba in the eyes of liberal and progressive Blacks then it need not worry about war resistance from a large sector of its potential soldier base.
 
I am glad that folks are pushing back HARD. The analysis should also include the following:
  • Cuba has educated thousands of students from Africa FREE OF CHARGE for decades
  • Cuba has NEVER engaged in an act of physical aggression against the u.s.
  • In all the battles that Cuba fought in support of African liberation it did not broker ONE deal for access to resources or anytihng else! All that Cuba took out of Africa after the war was won were their dead soldiers.
  • Prior to the revolution in 1959 educational opportunities for Blacks were virtually non-existent.
  • The "enlightened" u.s. is STILL refusing to pay reparations for slavery and its vestiges and continues to slip in every measuring criteria as to the progress of Blacks during the last 50 years.
  • Quality free health care and education are available to ALL Cubans, regardless of their race. The same cannot be said of the u.s.
  • All Cubans proudly embrace their African heritage and culture as is evidences by the broad spectrum of skin tones participating in all Afro-Cuban cultural activities.
  • Juan Almeada, a veteran of the revoloution and one of the 3 highest ranking members of the National Assembly, was Afro-Cuban. He just made his transition a few months ago. His passing was nationally acknowledged for months and a heart-felt emotional tribute to him was delivered by Fidel.
  • By educating all Cubans free of charge the country ensures that everyone is able to participate, debate and decide for themselves what they want the government to be.
  • Cuba was the first country to offer free medical assistance to the survivors of Katrina and the devestation in Haiti.
  • Cuba was the first country to offer its sympathies and assistance immediately after the 9/11 attacks.
  • Cuba is the ONLY country in the world to offer a totally free education to u.s. students wishing to become doctors; paying for tuition, room, board and ALL incidentals... even underwear, so that the students can excel!
  • Unlike the u.s., Cuba has sent thousands of AfroCuban students abroad to study and become bi or trilingual.
  • The National Assembly of Cuba is so racially diverse that it doesn't even need something like a Congressional Black Caucus... the people elect their representatives to the National Assembly and they have chosen a very diverse group with loads of Afro Cubans prominently working in many key roles. If the country was "suffering" from racism, would these folks be elected?
  • Prior to 1959, u.s. racist and imperialistic policies made Cuba its brothel. In 50 yrs it is impossible to rid the country of all negative attitudes and stereotypes. But Cuba has done more concrete work in this area in 50 yrs than the u.s. has done since 1865!!!!
  • In Cuba, young male AfroCubans needn't fear that the cops are going to gun them down for pulling out a cell phone, driving without a license, or thinking while Black!! AfroCuban girls needn't fear being raped or assaulted by light skinned Cuban males. AfroCuban parents don't fear for the safelty of their children when they go out at night... they don't wonder if the cops are going to harm them.
  • There are no R.I.P. street memorials all over Cuba in Black communities for fallen youth! There are none. The concept of police brutality is non existent. Black on Black crime is non existent. There are no car jackings. Armed robberies are rare. Burglaries are rare. Assaults are rare. Drug dealing is rare. Drug use is rare. Rape is rare. Child pornography is virtually non existent. The majority of crime related problems come with the tourists.
  • Women of any race can walk alone down the street in the middle of the night in Cuba without fear of assault or insult.
  • By the way, during the African liberation struggles of the 60s and 70s I did not notice any stampede of African Americans, including the signers of that letter, rallying soldiers from the u.s. to go fight for the liberation of their brothers and sisters abroad. There is not ONE African American veteran who can say that they were called upon by the u.s. gov't to go lend assistance to Africans fighting for their liberation. Meanwhile, Che was fighting in the Congo in 1965!
 
I could go on but I'm sure that I've said plenty enough already. I hope that Cuba's true reality is shared with the world. I know of no other place on the planet that has achieved such a peaceful society. It's not nirvana but it's light years ahead of every place else. Others may think otherwise and I'm happy to dialogue or debate with them.
 
in struggle...
Soffiyah


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On Dec 5, 2009, at 5:44 PM, N Jose Acevedo <njoseacevedo@cs.com> wrote:

Vbers-

In the spirit of dialogue, I thought it might be useful for people to see the actual statement that was circulated on 12/1. I must say I just can’t dismiss a statement  of a group that includes Cornel West & Ruby Dee as simply a case of deceit and distortion. That doesn’t mean I automatically agree with what was written, just that a fast dismissal might not serve critical thinking.

Racism is a complex issue that often triggers reaction rather than reflection.
There is no denying by any standard that in this age in the Western Hemisphere if not the world, Cuba is the leader of seeking economic justice for its people.  And I do understand that emanating from S Florida is a cesspool of organized right-wing Cubans hoping to one day be able to run the show on the island once again.
Yet not all criticism that touches upon social issues in Cuba comes from counter-revolutionary thinking.

Abrazos,

Jose
----------------------------------------------------
MIAMI HERALD
Posted on Sat, Dec. 05, 2009
Claim of Cuban racism rejected
By JUAN O. TAMAYO
jtamayo@...

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/cuba/story/1366579.html

Pro-government Cuban writers and artists Friday rejected allegations by
African-Americans of racism and repression on the island, calling the charges
``delusional'' and part of ``an anti-Cuban campaign.''

The reply came as four Afro-Cuban dissidents thanked the Americans for their
support, and four prominent academics from the English-speaking Caribbean
condemned Cuba's ``continued racial prejudice.''

The allegations issued Monday by 60 African-Americans touched a raw nerve
because it was the first time that U.S. blacks, historically supportive of the
Castro government, criticized the island's civil rights record and supported
Afro-Cuban dissidents.

Friday's reply was signed by eight government backers who regularly address
black issues, but seemed to have official approval because the government press
office distributed their statement.

Victoria Ruiz-Labrit, a Miami supporter of black dissidents on the island, said
she had received information from the island that government officials were
pressing other black Cubans to sign the reply. Some refused and some signed, she
said.

The Cubans' statement said the Americans' allegations would be ``delusional
craziness were it not for . . . evidence of the intention to add respected
voices of the African-American community to the anti-Cuban campaign that
attempts to undermine our sovereignty.''

Cuba has sent troops and doctors to Africa to help blacks, it said, hosted
40,000 African students in its schools, outlawed discrimination in 1959 and
promoted Afro-Cuban culture through museums, music, dance and other
institutions.

Eradicating racism ``is a process not exempt from conflicts and contradictions,
which involves not only inherited social disadvantages but rooted prejudices,''
the statement added, without directly addressing the allegations from the
African-Americans.

The Americans demanded that Raúl Castro end ``the unwarranted and brutal
harassment of black citizens in Cuba who are defending their civil rights'' and
added: ``We cannot be silent in the face of increased violations of civil and
human rights for those black activists in Cuba who dare raise their voices
against the island's racial system.''

Their statement also demanded the immediate release of ``political prisoner''
Darsi Ferrer, a well-known Afro-Cuban physician and activist jailed since July
while under investigation on charges of illegal possession of two sacks of
cement.

Among the 60 were professor Cornel West of Princeton, actress Ruby Dee Davis and
former South Florida congresswoman Carrie Meek. On Friday, Oscar Elias Biscet, a
leading black dissident and physician serving a 25-year sentence in Havana,
thanked the Americans for their support, the U.S. government's Miami-based Radio
Martí reported.


-------------------------------------------------------
Dear Tshaka and all:
this is the Miami Herald link with the attachments, yeah, the Miami Herald posts
this but doesn't post a word about a very revealing investigation by Miami CBS
local news that aired last Sunday, which did a year and a half investigation
into the 1996 plane shootdown by Cuba, which Cuban Five Gerardo Hernandez
was convicted for, showing that Cuba repeatedly protested and that the U.S.
was fully aware that there was going to be a shootdown due to the constant
overflights by Brothers to the Rescue.
Here is the link to the anti-Cuba statement:
 http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/cuba/story/1360990.html
 
and here is the link to the CBS investigation:
http://cbs4.com/iteam/brothers.rescue.cuba.2.1337438.html
 
Also, Esteban Morales, who spoke to us at the Camp in Caimito this year,
has issued a statement on La Jiribilla Cuban website, which is very good, but
still only in Spanish. In the meantime here is the Spanish:
Bob Guild just sent out the link, and here it is again: http://www.lajiribilla.co.cu/2007/n331_09/331_18.html
 
Take care, Gloria
--------------------------------------------------------
Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 8:18 PM
Subject: 2 comments: -Cuba blasts US black leaders for charges of racism

Estimados/Estimadas
Here is a respons from Poet Amiri Baraka, a brilliant author, knowledgeable of Cuba's social dynamics, current and historical/ responding to the AP "article" written by Will Weissert on alleged Cuban Racism....

All This is the work of a notorious Anti Castro Cuban negro, Carlos Moore, who was in Miami last month trying to get people to sign a questionable "petition" accusing the Cubans of racism. Moore has been pushing this style of vicious undermining since the 60's. I had an animated discussion with him while refusing to sign such BS.

Apparently (at least I hope so) some well known Black people who signed the petition were ignorant of Moore's historical backwardness. We shd speak out on Moore and as well continue to support the Cuban Revolution.Of all the places in the West or the World to attack racism, to attack Cuba is the work of Gusanos or the CIA.

Moore lives now in Brazil, does he think that a paragon of "post racial" harmony?

Amiri Baraka
AmiriBarakaBooks.
com
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