From: C R Spinner <>
Newsgroups: soc.culture.zimbabwe,soc.culture.african,soc.culture.african.american
Subject: The New African: Of Exiles and Conservatives
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 13:03:46 -0700
Message-ID: <>

NAACP hit for policy on Cuba

By Steve Miller, The Washington Post, [17 July 2003]

[Publisher’s note: Contrary to my usual practice, I have included the parenthetical comments by Charles Spinner that accompanied the Post article when distributed to the newsgroup.]

MIAMI BEACH, Fla.—Cuban dissidents yesterday accused the NAACP of a double standard in its promotion of human rights, defending those of blacks in South Africa while embracing—rather than condemning—the treatment of blacks in Cuba.

With the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People holding its 94th annual convention here, Cuban interest groups have lobbied for a meeting with its president, Kweisi Mfume, who yesterday told The Washington Times he understood the perception of such a double standard. As long as they know that there were other groups also advocating in South Africa. It wasn’t just the NAACP, said Mr. Mfume. With regard to those jailed by Mr. Castro, Our concern is right up there with everyone else’s, Mr. Mfume said. I think there needs to be a diplomatic effort here, and I think it will take negotiation, and most likely through back-channel communications. But something has to come out of this to help relations between the two nations. The United States maintains no diplomatic relations with Cuba, and trade and travel are severely limited.

Anti-Castro groups here have stepped up calls for international action against Cuba for human rights violations since the April execution of three black Cubans who attempted to hijack a boat to Miami.

Crimes. Would the USA embrace those who would commit crimes in USA—for whatever motives? How would we respond to other countries or bodies to embrace those who would commit crimes in USA?

The execution drew the condemnation of the international community and renewed accusations of racism in the Castro regime, which seized power in 1959. Cuba is 70 percent black, but few blacks occupy high ranks in Mr. Castro’s government. The NAACP did not comment on the executions.

During that trip, a delegation of 18, including NAACP officials and leaders of black farmer groups, made a deal under which black American farmers would sell their goods to Cuba. [Mr. Mfume] is helping to subsidize a regime while blacks are being imprisoned and executed, said Miss Lamar.

Can we say the same about South Africa where whites who are 12% of the population own 70% of the lands and control the banking, mining, economy, industries, tourism?

We are asking that the NAACP be consistent in its human rights policies, she said. Maybe now that the national leaders are here and preparing to hold a Caribbean summit, they will use what we know about how Castro treats blacks as they speak.

Mr. Mfume said that there are ways to deal with Castro’s actions. What we hope we can do is to work in coalition with these [Cuban human rights] groups, he said.

Despite his tough talk on Castro yesterday, Mr. Mfume has praised Cuba in several discussions this week.

Mr. Mfume recounted a fall trip to Cuba during a press conference over the weekend: We met with African American students who matriculated from Cuba— by the way, at no cost—from all over the U.S. because they couldn’t get into medical school here because of this system that still sometimes creates impediments.

Not to mention vast amounts of similar humanitarian works by Cuba in African countries. Compared to UK’s involvement in Africa ...

He has also lauded Cuba’s national health care plan and praised its public education. On Monday, Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas, himself a Cuban, further inflamed some local Cubans by apologizing to South African leader Nelson Mandela for a snub by Miami city officials here during a visit in 1990. Officials refused to welcome Mr. Mandela because of his close ties with Mr. Castro.

Well. Castro supported South Africa’s freedom movement at a time that whites manacled the freedom fighters like Mandela in leg-irons that USA sold at a profit.

But, we wouldn’t understand the black’s viewpoint, would we?

The apology was made during the mayor’s opening remarks at the convention. Mr. Mandela had enraged the officials with comments he made in Havana about Cuban exiles in Miami.

Who are they to call for an observance of human rights in Cuba? Mr. Mandela asked in a speech. They kept quiet for 42 years when human rights were attacked in South Africa. > Where is our apology from Mandela? asked Ernesto Diaz Rodriguez, a Cuban immigrant. Our mayor, a Cuban, apologizes for no reason. And he does not mention the oppression of blacks in our country.

No apologies for Mandela. No apologies for Blacks. And the immigrant has no statement on slavery or the lot of the blacks in USA—where he lives in relative comfort brought about, largely, by the slave-toil and sweat of the blacks who now live mostly in destitution. . .

Lucky guy. It has been observed that the black-Cuban is NOT warmly welcome in USA—especially among the predominantly white Cuban immigrant population in Miami. . .

A spokesman for the NAACP appeared on one of the conservative (read: ’Bring back slavery, black slavery, damn it!’) TV programmes on July 18, 2003.

She was asked why the NAACP is not addressing the question of the treatment of blacks in Cuba.

[Mmh. Conservative and white and concerned about blacks? What is conservatism coming to!]

She mentioned about working with the Cuban government to address problems, creating coalitions that address the problems and that NAACP was not the only body that worked (and is working) against apartheid in South Africa ....

The conservatives on the show—with the smell of blood and a kill in their long noses—were not appeased. So they pushed. And so the worldly lady presented the following observation:

There is racism right here in USA ...

The conservatives countered this way: Racism existing in USA does not mean that we cannot condemn racism in Cuba ..

Welcome to USA.