Cuba’s Racial Harmony Myth

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.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.