He says it all....
By Dr. Darsi Ferrer Ramirez (Cuban dissident ).
Never before in Cuban history has the extreme act of discriminating against Cubans because of their nationality manifested itself. The application of apartheid as a policy of the state, by the authorities of the regime is the worst humiliation ever suffered by the Cuban nation.
The segregation imposed by the ruling powers during the last decades goes beyond racial , political, religious, and social motivations, which are subordinate to the general scorn of the citizenry.
While the members of the nomenclature and foreigners enjoy the exclusive facilities, resources and services of the country, Cubans are relegated to being pariahs, deprived of those rights.
Such separation, although supposedly prohibited by legislation and by international legal instruments, has solidified, officially and invariably, the arbitrary social differences, among the population.
This apartheid guarantees the usurpers of sovereignty the ability to preserve the political control and the economic and social privileges that they deny the rest of the society.
Incapable of generating wealth because of economic incompetence, the regime uses, as one of the main mechanisms for its support, the currency that comes from foreign investment.
These foreign business associations, in an illegal and immoral way, yield lucrative returns in exchange for serving specifically as accomplices to the international crime of apartheid perpetrated by the ruling caste.
The Spanish company, Sol Meliá, is the largest hotel chain in the island's tourism sector. It controls a total of 24 luxury hotels in preferred zones of tourist areas, from which it receives hundreds of millions dollars annually.
Just as in other tourist facilities, the management of those hotels accept the application of the official policy of exclusion to Cubans, preserving the exclusivity of their enjoyment for foreigners and the top members of the regime.
Visiting or roaming about those these facilities means a possible prison sentence for any ordinary Cuban. The negation of these services is not due to an inability to pay, but rather it's the condition of being a [Cuban] national to that prohibits access.
The majority of the employees of such places, are selected according to specific criteria: being young, white, and faithful partisans of the political interests of the regime.
The situation that results is one of modern slavery, to which they are subjected by foreign patrons, investors and the state. At most, they receive the equivalent of 8% of their real wages in convertible currency and they lack the right to strike, to negotiate their contracts or to unionize freely.
Unscrupulous businessmen should learn the lessons of history, such as remembering the case of the Swiss banks which were sanctioned legally and morally after holocaust for hoarding the gold that the Nazis stole from the Jews.
The possibilities of the people, because of their miserable condition, to carry out a boycott that affects the economic interests of the foreign investors is small. But the reality is different for Cuban exiles and others who are opposed to the complicity of those companies with the regime in Havana. They have the ability to lead actions that can put pressure on those who benefit from the marginalization of Cubans.
The usefulness of campaigns that harm the profits of those who adopt an attitude of indifference to injustice was demonstrated in the elimination of the English colonialism in Mahatma Gandhi's India, and of the policy of black segregation black in Martin Luther King Jr.'s southern United States and of and of the apartheid system in Nelson Mandela's South Africa.
Foreign investment is an unquestionable necessity for the development of the country, but only when bound to legality and the principles of respect for the people.
Why shouldn't Cubans, and those who are in solidarity with them, from all parts of the world attempt unite their efforts and start a boycott of the Sol Meliá hotel chain?
Perhaps the outcome would be favorable such that these businessmen would become conscious of their own dignity and influence the regime to dismantle the ignominious system of apartheid.
Dr Darsi Ferrer Ramirez Havana,
May 8, 2006.