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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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