The Murderous Cuban Privilege
- (Eloquent and timely cummentary linking
the recent arrival of 200 Haitians with
the Cuban Adjustment Act and the many
other ways the Cuban exile community
has been granted extra privilege and
support by the federal government over
these past four decades.)
WHAT OTHERS SAY
PO Box 2831
Daytona Beach, Fl., 32120-2831
THE MURDEROUS CUBAN PRIVILEDGE
In the summer of 1980 and as part of the Mariel boatlift, myself and hundreds of
other Afro-Cubans and tens of thousands of Cubans from other ethnic groups,
landed illegally at the US Naval Base in Key West, Florida, where we were
registered, provided with an I-94 document that entitled us to work and
healthcare benefits, dined, lodged and flown free of charge to different States
around the country, to be further relocated.
The spectacle coming out of Miami yesterday, in which over 200 Haitians
attempted to enter illegally into the State of Florida, brought to mind a stark
contrast with now and then. Multiple factors, including political clout, ideology,
race and prejudice have been presented as the cause of such a brutal disparity.
Whichever the argument, being Black and coming from the city of Guantanamo
in Cuba, 70 miles west of Haiti, it is very easy for me to picture myself jumping
off that boat, rounded up and hauled off to jail, even though, the motives for
them now and myself thence, are maybe the same.
Contrary to Haitians and citizens of other Latinamerican countries, as of 1959
with the advent of the Cuban Revolution, the Government of the United States
through the Department of State, Department of Defense, CIA and many other
institutions, created an endless list of actions designed to destabilize and
ovethrow the Cuban government.
Swimming across Guantanamo bay into the Naval Base or jumping over its chain
link fence, ramming vehicles through embassy gates, maritime and airline
highjackings, kidnappings and bribes, are only some of the multi-prong program
that was put in place by the United States Government and broadcasted into
Cuba on a daily basis, through the Voice of America, Radio Swam, the Armed
Forces Radio Station (WGBY), White Papers, Pastoral Letters and all other
conceivable means of enticing Cubans to emigrate to the United States.
Tens of thousands of Cubans accepted this “humanitarian project” and received,
especially those arriving in the early 60s, substantial moral and material support,
that enabled them to achieve leading professional, administrative and political
control of South Florida. Contrary to what we have been made to believe, this
achievement was not the result of a spontaneous generation, but rather, a well
orchestrated program in detriment of the local Afroamerican community.
But if all of the above anti-Cuba measures are abhorent, the most despicable
ones were the “Peter Pan” program by which over 14,000 children under the
age of 17 were lured out of the country without their parents and sent to distant
communities where they knew nobody. Some had to wait five or more years to
be reunited with their parents, other never did. Many suffered physical, mental
and/or sexual abuse.
The Cuban Adjustment Act of 1964, -which remains in place today-, is the
centerpiece of this deranged and brutal policy, that have caused indirectly the
death of thousands of innocent people in the straits of Florida, lured to our
shores by the magnet of materialism, consumerism, wealth and happiness,
irrespective of the means, cause or effect employed in arriving in the United
This massive coordinated plan to inflict pain and suffering on everyone living in
Cuba, respects no human values, moral principles or religious tenet. Thousands
of loyal ex-employees of the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo, Cuba,
who faithfully provided over 80,000 years of labor before, during and after every
military conflict in which the Department of Defense of the United States
Government was engaged in, are now hungry, sick, bitter, or dead, because our
Government decided unilaterally, to withold their pension money for the past
thirty eight years.
How meaningless can all those rhetorical recitations of Human Rights, Family
Values and other principles, sound to hundreds of ex-employees of the US
Naval Base in Cuba, who have been forced to break up their families and
migrate to neighboring islands, where they immediately receive their monies
from the US Treasury Department, that was previously sanctioned by the US
State Department, which they then forward to their families living in Cuba?
Are these and other abominable governmental behaviour ever discussed in the
Human Rights Commission in Geneva or New York?
At the turn of the XX Century my grandfather and tens of thousands of his
countrymen migrated from Jamaica and all of the other English speaking
Caribbean islands in search of the “Promised Land”. He chose to go to Cuba
and instilled strong solidarity values in his family. Others may have chosen
different destinations and in so doing, may have lost the core island values that
have allowed us to survive with dignity in the midst of abject poverty.
Alberto N. Jones
PO Box 353593
Palm Coast, Fl., 32135
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