Cuba's Racial Harmony Myth

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

Eugene Robinson reports on the myth of Cuban racial harmony, a major bragging point for the Castro brothers:

Race is a touchy subject in Cuba, and for many years it went all but


unmentioned. Raul Castro, who knows the island and its people as well


as his older brother does, caused a stir in 2000 when he said that if a


hotel were to deny entry to a person because he or she is black, that


hotel should be shut down—an acknowledgment that such things happen.


Popular rappers in Cuba’s hip-hop underground have made racial


grievance a major theme of their daring lyrics. I once interviewed a


Cuban scholar whose husband, an officer in the military, pooh-poohed


her research into racial discrimination—until he had the experience of


being detained and harassed by police for no apparent reason other than


his dark skin.