Fidel Castro used ‘race-based propaganda’ to vilify Cuban exiles

It's easy for Cuban leaders to say: "There is no racism in Cuba," when no one is permitted to challenge this claim.

27 Jun Fidel Castro used ‘race-based propaganda’ to vilify Cuban exiles

Frank Rodriguez, Jr. FACE contributor

June 27, 2018–

The same way that the Imperial Japanese used ‘race-based’ propaganda to try to persuade Filipinos to kill their American military ‘liberators’ , Fidel Castro also used race-baiting language to promote hatred for Cuban exiles.  Over the years that Castro was dictator, he made statements to the effect that all Cuban Exiles were white, privileged, greedy, capitalists, who left Cuba because they could no longer exploit people of color under the Castro regime’s leadership.

Unfortunately, these lies about Cuban Exiles have been perpetuated up to the present day.  Below is a rather disturbing ‘race baiting’ opinion expressed in a Vanity Fair article from 1994 by a mixed-race woman who was living in Santiago, Cuba :

In Santiago, on the southeastern coast of this sumptuously beautiful island, an elderly woman, who describes herself as a mulatto, tells me [Fidel] Castro’s secret weapon: “Los negros,” she says, pointing to her brown arm. “Not me. I am fed up, but the others are not. And we are many more than los blancos.”

The article went on to say:

Of the more than one million Cuban exiles now living in South Florida, approximately 95 percent are white, while, unofficially, more than 58 percent of Cuba’s 10.7 million people are black, mulatto, or some shade in between. “That’s why there’s paralysis in Cuba,” one U.S. State Department analyst explains. “When Cubans look at white, right-wing Miami, they’re afraid. Castro has been very successful in convincing Cubans that the most extreme Batistiano element in Miami has a stranglehold on U.S. policy.” – Conversations With Castro article. Vanity Fair magazine. March 1994.

Of course, it’s ridiculous to call the first wave of Cuban Exiles ‘Batistianos’, since many of them were persecuted by Fulgencio Batista, who was every bit as ruthless in many ways as Fidel Castro was.  At least under Batista’s rule, many of the so-called ‘white Cubans’ had an economic incentive to work, and to ensure ‘quality control’ in their work.  Under the Castro regime, the people’s work ethic dried up faster than a drop of water in the middle of Death Valley.

Speaking of race, on numerous occasions Fidel erroneously referred to Fulgencio Batista as a “white man”, when everyone could plainly see that he was of mixed-race heritage.  Ironically, Fidel had a more Caucasian, European appearance than his predecessor Batista, but Fidel never let the facts get in the way of his narratives.

For all of Fidel Castro’s past criticisms about capitalism and democracy being ‘white race ideologies’ that are detrimental to other races, no one in Cuba is ‘allowed to complain’ about race-based hiring that discriminates against people of color who seek jobs in the Island’s (relatively) lucrative tourist industry, where many workers’ tips exceed their daily wages by more than 5 times in any given day.  Furthermore, it’s difficult to know the truth about what’s happening in Cuba at any given point in time because the Island’s secret police regularly threaten, harass, assault, and incarcerate those who they catch ‘complaining’ about social and political injustices.

Fidel Castro’s race-based positions were nothing new, and unfortunately many Cubans on the island today still inaccurately view Cuban exiles as ‘white Cubans’, in spite of the number of non-white and mixed-race Cubans that have been fleeing the island since the early 1960s.  In addition, it’s easy for Cuban leaders to say: “There is no racism in Cuba,” when no one on the island is permitted to challenge them on this claim.  If a top-ranking official like Miguel Díaz-Canel or Raúl Castro says:  “Sewer water is safe to drink,” then the Cuban people must nod in agreement. Then if one person claps, then everyone else in the venue is expected to clap, because ‘whatever’ that Cuban official said is ‘gospel.’   There is no room for contradiction or dissent.  Merely questioning any Cuban leader’s decisions or conclusions is hazardous to that person’s well-being.

In Cuba, you see what the government tells you to see, you hear what they want you to hear, and you believe what they tell you to believe.

Holly: You’re fighting the forces of evil that none of us can see without sunglasses?

George: Take a look!

Holly: If you want me to look through your sunglasses, I’ll look through your sunglasses.  If I don’t see what you see, I’m going to see it anyway.

The dialogue above is a ‘hauntingly accurate’ analogy of what everyday Cuban people face on the Island nation.  When the Cuban people are told that the United States is a racist nation that shows preferential treatment to ‘white Cuban exiles’ then that is what the people are expected to believe.  Of course it doesn’t help that the Castro government tightly controls internet access, and prosecutes people who are caught ‘illegally’ logging onto unapproved websites.


Frank Rodriguez Junior
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