"Cuba was always represented as a black child."
I'm not a big fan of Louis Gates Jr., but this documentary actually tells much more about Cuba from the days of slavery to the days of the Cuban revolution than what is usually told.It even shows how the United States tried to import American style apartheid to Cuba. It goes into how Europeans were imported to Cuba to "whiten" Cuba. It talks about how the battleship was sent to Cuba to protect American interests long before Castro. It goes into the many years of American intervention, how America's colonialism replaced Spain's colonialism in America. The United States of America tried to impose a Jim Crow state in Cuba and these policies found support from the Cuban elite. The Cuban elite, the descendants of those who had maintained slavery for so long, have remnants in many surviving anti-Castro/pro-Batista supporters. Can one in America of Afriican descent truly know the struggle of those in Cuba of African descent and not support the Cuban revolution? (Backgrounds should always be examined, media and state objectives should always be kept in mind.).
Anyway, this documentary is, overall, a really good documentary. I must admit that I wasn't even in any rush to see it because I just didn't think that Gates would do the story of Cuba any justice. I thought that it would be full of the same American/European. narrative. It wasn't though. Perhaps being arrested in his own neighborhood had some influence on Gates, I don't know. At any rate, as I've said, the documentary is, for the most part, a good one.
Let it be remembered, also, that President Fidel Castro was no more of a magician than is President Barack Obama. Regardless of his efforts, could Castro really have erased all racism from Cuba? Regardless of his efforts, can Obama erase all racismand injustice from America? Why should this have been expected of Castro more than Obama, but why should this have be expected from either? Could Barack Obama ever have produced a colorblind America? That is terribly unrealistic. Could Castro ever produced complete colorblindness in Cuba? Some would probably be surprised, however, to compare the politics of race in America to the politics of such in Cuba.
Louis Gates Jr's Black in Latin America- Cuba
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