Monday, April 6, 2009

Afro-Cuban Fact Sheet for Journalists

The following notes were compiled by Hans de Salas del Valle, Research Associate, Cuba Transition Project, Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami and demonstrate that in spite of Cuban government propaganda, the Afro-Cuban majority in Cuba is relatively powerless and has far fewer opportunities available to it than the white minority. The Congressional Black Caucus would be wise to question the veracity of statements and representations about racial equality made to them by the ruling regime during their visit in Cuba .

Afro-Cubans in Cuban Civil Society

• Afro-Cubans comprise over 60 percent of the island’s population, yet…

• Black and dark-skinned multiracial Cubans constitute only five percent of hospitality workers catering to Europeans and other tourists' international joint ventures with foreign firms (which tend to offer the highest wages by Cuban standards), while making up nearly 70 percent of the state-run labor force.

• Moreover, only about 35 percent of managerial positions in the state-run sector are held by black and biracial (mulatto) Cubans.

• Afro-Cubans are disproportionately represented in the prison population -- 80 percent of Cuba’s inmates are black or mulatto.

• Cubans of European ancestry receive as much as 250 percent more in remittances (cash subsidies) from family abroad than their Afro-Cuban neighbors. Growing income disparities may in turn be affecting the educational opportunities as well as occupational options of many Cubans of African ancestry.

• In terms of higher education, Afro-Cubans are already perceived to be woefully underrepresented – accounting for as little as three percent of university enrollments.

Afro-Cubans in the Castro Government

• Senior Leadership (Politburo) of the Cuban Communist Party: 17%

• Executive Committee (Secretariat) of the Cuban Communist Party: 4%

• Council of State (Head of State and Senior Advisors): 35%

• Council of Ministers (President and Cabinet Members): 8%

• National Assembly (Cuban Parliament): 36%

• Provincial Assemblies (provincial legislatures): 35%

• Senior Command, Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR): 10%


Deborah Gabriel said...

Dear Bloggers United,

I would just like to register my solidarity with your campaign - my late mother was born in Cuba as my late grandmother, who was Jamaican went to live in Cuba when she was 20 and met and married my grandfather and gave birth to my mother in Cuba. They of course, like me were of African descent. I have written articles about racism in Latin America towards Afro descendants (see there is also a chapter in my book : 'Layers of Blackness: Colourism in the African Diaspora' about white supremacy in Latin America.

You can be sure that I will be doing a feature about your campaign on my website - I will be in touch shortly.

Best Wishes
Deborah Gabriel

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Anonymous said...

You have my support. That said, a little put off by the division of Afro Cubans into "black" to read as all Black or African descent and "mulatto" those of mixed racial ancestry.

Such a division contradicts your entire cause!

Henry Louis Gomez said...

The verbiage comes from the source. Not BUCL.