A Reader Wonders If The Failure Of Communism In Cuba Will Have A Disparate Impact
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John J. Pershing (e-mail
Because of the failure of
socialism, and the fact that the Soviet Union has gone
out of business, Cuba is downsizing its welfare state:
"But they were not entirely surprising. Raul Castro has warned for years
that the state could no longer afford to subsidize every
part of Cuban life, nor pay workers who contribute
little. In April, he floated the idea that up to 1
million workers were superfluous and must go."
Cuba to Cut
500,000 Government Workers
[Paul Haven and Will Weissert, AP, Havana,
September, 14, 2010]
What may be interesting to observe
will be the possibility of
"disparate impact" of these measures among the Afro-Cuban population.
James Fulford writes:
Most people don`t know there are blacks in
Cuba, because the
refugees who fled the
The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Also, most people don`t think of Cuba as a small,
white-ruled island, where colored people aren`t allowed
to vote, but it is.
Cuba operates on a strict one man-one vote
system. The one man is named Castro and he`s white.
The United Nations
"Estimates of the percentage of people of African
descent in the Cuban population vary enormously, ranging
from 33.9 per cent to 62 per cent. This is partly a
question of self-perception, as census figures are based
on how Cubans
This means that in the
absence of affirmative action, many Cubans would
prefer to define
themselves as white.
The UN goes
on to say that
Cuba has greater racial inequality than the US
various occasions, Fidel Castro explicitly condemned
racism and affirmed his government`s commitment to
equality. However, critics of official policy allege
that educational policy and official culture remained
strongly Euro-centric. Afro-Cubans have not, for
example, been widely represented in the higher echelons
of the ruling Communist Party nor in the upper levels of
the civil service or state industries. And, with few
exceptions, Afro-Cuban women have not yet reached the
highest professional strata."
Back in the eighties, when
Cuba was sending troops to Africa to fight the
White South Africans
South African military observers noted racial
stratification in the Cuban armed forces—white officers,
NCOs, and black enlisted men.
Staring at this
spectacle through their binoculars, they would nudge
each other and say things like
"Hey, wasn`t it
us that was supposed
to be racist, and the Communists liberal?"(This is
from memory—probably reported in
Soldier Of Fortune at the time.)