Cuba acknowledges ‘vestiges’ of racism, launches program to combat it

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HAVANA (Information) – Cuba’s authorities has launched a program to fight racism, acknowledging that an issue that Fidel Castro tried to remove after the 1959 leftist revolution stays unresolved.

This system goals to establish steps to combat discrimination, broaden training on Cuba’s African legacy and begin a public debate on racial points, Tradition Vice Minister Fernando Rojas instructed a cupboard assembly, in accordance with state-run media on Friday.

“Everybody acknowledges our revolution has been the social and political course of that has probably finished most to remove racial discrimination,” state-run media quoted President Miguel Diaz-Canel as saying.

“However there are nonetheless some vestiges that aren’t in our society due to coverage however which can be quite anchored within the tradition of a bunch of individuals.”

Activists welcomed the transfer by Diaz-Canel, who changed Fidel’s youthful brother Raul Castro as president final yr, however mentioned it remained to be seen how effectively this system can be carried out.

Cuba has lengthy hailed its elimination of racial segregation as one of many revolution’s best achievements.

Earlier than 1959, training was largely off limits to blacks and mestizos they usually had been shut out of universities and jobs that concerned interacting with clients. Whites had their very own social golf equipment, seashores and personal events.

When he took energy, Fidel Castro abolished segregation and gave all Cubans entry to free training and well being care.

However Diaz-Canel acknowledged that some Cubans nonetheless make racist jokes and a few personal sector companies marketed jobs solely to folks of a sure pores and skin coloration.

“This can be a actual step forwards, after now we have fought for therefore a few years,” mentioned Deyni Terri, a lawyer and founding father of Alianza Unidad Racial (Racial Unity Alliance). “It’s an excellent begin, notably that the president is taking this on personally.”

Racial discrimination was additionally an issue in state establishments, with police extra prone to arrest black residents, Terri mentioned.

Activist and literary researcher Roberto Zurbano mentioned he hoped the federal government would hearken to the proposals that had already been made.

“Welcome to the membership,” he mentioned. “That is an awakening”.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Modifying by Sonya Hepinstall