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Discrimination Against the Poor, an Injustice in Present-day Cuba

Discrimination Against the Poor, an Injustice in Present-day Cuba / Juan
Juan Almeida
Posted on January 13, 2016

Juan Juan Almeida, 11 January 2016 — Racial and gender designations were
fundamental in the dynamics of international politics, basically
dominated by white men; but, fortunately, and like the rough action of a
Russian-made Aurika washing machine, there are cycles with an expiration
date.

Several penal codes in the world sanction racism, homophobia and
whatever other ways to exclude human beings; and, disgracefully, there
are people and groups that, clinging to outworn concepts, tarnish
themselves by raising flags, at least in Cuba, that are shameful and
unrestrained.

It’s clear that bad news is always the most fascinating, and segregation
of whatever type is an image that, by being unpleasant, seduces the
media and certain politicized groups. But I don’t think that Cubans who
live on the island are racist or homophobic; it’s more a matter of being
“classist.”

Discrimination, whether racial, sexual, religious, ideological or by
social condition, is a phenomenon that came to our hemisphere long
before Columbus. Fidel Castro didn’t invent it, nor did the so-called
Revolution create it, although, without doubt, in a purposeful moment
they used it. This “divide and conquer” stimulated resentment and
generated a cruel individuality that, paradoxically, ended up dynamiting
the essence of an “egalitarian nation.”

Demonizing wealth had the opposite effect to the one desired by the
Revolutionary leaders. It ridiculed the “way of acting that had been
established as the way of the proletariat” and created a negative image
of the working class. They started to disrespect the sacrifices of the
journalist, the soldier, the housewife, the engineer, the builder, the
street sweeper and everyone who was working. Thus, the work of those who
were able criminals was glorified.

The pyramid inverted itself, and the persistent spectacle of
indoctrination saturated everyone. By force of repetition, the echo of
the word “discrimination” contaminated all of us and converted us into a
transmitter of a thought that, I’m not saying is a lie, but yes, truth
was exaggerated so much that today I consider it worthy of study.

It’s true, Cuba is a dictatorship where the consumption of any
hallucinogen is better than Raúl Castro for social health. We don’t have
a multiparty system, much less a free press, and it’s shameful to see
how every day the percentage of the population that finds a solution by
fleeing the island is growing. But to say that apartheid and homophobia
are growing is a mistake or a very studied manipulation of those who
analyze the phenomenon from a single side of society, and identify it as
a generality.

It’s a serious fault, I think, the fact of seeing things in a provincial
way, clearly biased, and not taking personally our social
responsibility; but this appears to be a subject that is as interesting
as the problem of mating between a drone and a queen bee.

No one can deny that there exist racists, homophobes and a pack of
people who feel superior or with the right to exclude others in Cuba,
but this isn’t the majority. It’s a shame that the Communist Party of
Cuba (PCC), the National Center of Sexual Education (CENESEX), and even
some opposition organizations seem to be pushing strategies that,
instead of helping, are stimulating the fracture of Cuban society.

The reality is that today in Cuba, with rare exceptions, Cubans don’t
discriminate by black, woman, old, gay nor religious; they discriminate
against the poor, and more so when the underdog shares the
aforementioned conditions. Without a doubt, the rejection,
marginalization and differentiation by social status is frightening.

Translated by Regina Anavy

Source: Discrimination Against the Poor, an Injustice in Present-day
Cuba / Juan Juan Almeida | Translating Cuba –
translatingcuba.com/discrimination-against-the-poor-an-injustice-in-present-day-cuba-juan-juan-almeida/

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