Can we please stop calling Chechnya the first concentration camp since Hitler’s. North Korea has them and the Soviet Union had them. Also Che and Castro murdered gays too. Not sure if we can classify them as concentration camps but the millions of people who died under Maoism in work camps in Cambodia, China and other areas are worth mentioning too. Do not erase the suffering of millions for your shocking headline.
“We have never aspired to having custody of the banners and principles which the revolutionary movement has defended throughout its heroic and inspiring history. However, if fate were to decree that, one day, we would be among the last defenders of socialism in a world in which US imperialism had realized Hitler’s dreams of world domination, we would defend this bulwark to the last drop of our blood.” - December 7, 1989
Long live the Cuban Revolution! Socialism or death!
why david is cancelled in a nutshell for anon’s asking. tbh this isn’t the only problematic thing and i’m not surprised even. i’m upset ofc, i loved him but now he’s dead to me and raphael, a poc vampire who’s been fighting with racism from the shadowhunters his whole life, deserves better
One revelation I made lately that made me that much more of a misanthrope is the way I used to think that I will be much more in my element if I stay away from yt spaces and be around much more PoC. Imagine going out of your way to do that, but the PoC communities you turn to are actually just as shitty in different ways. Many Arabs on twitter for example are Assadists (and many irl). Many believe in absolute bs such as the idea that Saddam Hussein was the beacon of anti-imperialism and that Castro was a nice guy. Lmao I just hate humans, I think I’ll isolate myself in a cave and just accompany myself with dolma.
One of Fidel’s lovers was a woman named Marita Lorenz, a German born American woman turned anti-Castro insurgent and CIA informant. The two met in 1959 two months after Castro took over Cuba, a passenger on her father’s cruise liner.
As a result of their relationship, Marita became pregnant twice. According to Marita the pregnancies resulted in a miscarriage or forced abortion. Details on that point are fuzzy and Marta’s account on her pregnancies are inconsistent. However it is clear that Marita was extremely angry at Castro for his blase attitude toward the loss of her children.
At that point Marita became an anti-Castro counter revolutionary, joining a secret Florida based group in 1960. During her membership in the group, she was approached by CIA operative Frank Sturgis, who went by the alias, “Francisco Fiorini”. Franks Sturgis is certainly an interesting figure in history. Originally he was actually a Castro supporter who helped train his revolutionary army and ran guns for him. In the photo below he claims to be standing on a mass grave of 71 Batista supporters he personally executed. Apparently he had a change of heart and become an anti-Castro supporter, organizing many anti-Castro militant groups. Later, he would be one of the five robbers involved in the Watergate Scandal which brought down Richard Nixon.
Sturgis came to Marita with an offer to assassinate Castro, and provided several pills filled with botulinum toxin which were said to kill a man in 30 seconds. Marita smuggled the pills in a can of facial cream. When it came time to taint Castro’s food with the poison, she found that the pills had dissolved in the facial cream.
Unable to feed Castro the poisoned facial cream, she gave up the attempt and considered the mission FUBAR. However, Castro was unable to sense that something was wrong, and asked if she was a CIA operative. Marita denied being with the CIA, saying that we she was going to do she was doing for herself, and no one else. In response, Castro handed her a loaded pistol and told her to go ahead and kill him. Marita held the pistol to his chest, but claims that when it came to actually committing the deed, she couldn’t actually do it. At that point Castro laid back chewing a cigar saying, “You can’t kill me, nobody can kill me.” Then according to Marita, in a moment reminiscent of Bond film, her heart melted for him once again, she exclaimed that she still loved him, and they made sweet lovin’ one more time.
After Marita’s attempted assassination of Castro, she returned to the United States where she became the mistress of exiled Venezuelan dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez, the relationship which produced two daughters. Yeah, she apparently had a thing for Latin American dictators. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy she testified to the House Select Committee on Assassinations that she suspected John Sturgis had recruited Lee Harvey Oswald and masterminded a conspiracy to kill the President, yet no evidence was found supporting her claims. In the 1970′s she married the manager of an apartment building in New York, and her and her husband were recruited by the FBI to spy on Eastern Bloc diplomats and Mafia bosses who lived in her building. Marita was permitted to travel to Cuba in 1985, where she met with Castro one more time. Today she currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
We are feeling many things as we awaken to a world without Fidel Castro. There is an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety. Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante. And there are lessons that we must revisit and heed as we pick up the mantle in changing our world, as we aspire to build a world rooted in a vision of freedom and the peace that only comes with justice. It is the lessons that we take from Fidel.
From Fidel, we know that revolution is sparked by an idea, by radical imaginings, which sometimes take root first among just a few dozen people coming together in the mountains. It can be a tattered group of meager resources, like in Sierra Maestro in 1956 or St. Elmo Village in 2013.
Revolution is continuous and is won first in the hearts and minds of the people and is continually shaped and reshaped by the collective. No single revolutionary ever wins or even begins the revolution. The revolution begins only when the whole is fully bought in and committed to it. And it is never over.
Revolution transcends borders; the freedom of oppressed people and people of color is all bound up together wherever we are. In Cuba, South Africa, Palestine, Angola, Tanzania, Mozambique, Grenada, Venezuela, Haiti, African America, and North Dakota. We must not only root for each other but invest in each other’s struggles, lending our voices, bodies, and resources to liberation efforts which may seem distant from the immediacy of our daily existence.
Revolution is rooted in the recognition that there are certain fundamentals to which every being has a right, just by virtue of one’s birth: healthy food, clean water, decent housing, safe communities, quality healthcare, mental health services, free and quality education, community spaces, art, democratic engagement, regular vacations, sports, and places for spiritual expression are not questions of resources, but questions of political will and they are requirements of any humane society.
Revolution requires that the determination to create and preserve these things for our people takes precedent over individual drives for power, recognition, and enrichment.
A final lesson is that to be a revolutionary, you must strive to live in integrity. As a Black network committed to transformation, we are particularly grateful to Fidel for holding Mama Assata Shakur, who continues to inspire us. We are thankful that he provided a home for Brother Michael Finney Ralph Goodwin, and Charles Hill, asylum to Brother Huey P. Newton, and sanctuary for so many other Black revolutionaries who were being persecuted by the American government during the Black Power era. We are indebted to Fidel for sending resources to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and attempting to support Black people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina when our government left us to die on rooftops and in floodwaters. We are thankful that he provided a space where the traditional spiritual work of African people could flourish, regardless of his belief system.
With Fidel’s passing there is one more lesson that stands paramount: when we are rooted in collective vision when we bind ourselves together around quests for infinite freedom of the body and the soul, we will be victorious. As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive!
In the late 1950s, Gordon Ingram (designer of the MAC-10) visited Peru for a year on business terms, setting up manufacture for his Model 6 submachine gun. He met Juan Erquiaga Azicorbe, a Peruvian army officer, who was very interested in Ingram’s work. Ingram specialized in designing cheap submachine guns and Erquiaga wanted to capitalize on this by selling such weapons to guerrilla paramilitaries.
Some years later, Erquiaga went to the United States and collaborated with Ingram in designing the MR-64. It was not a particularly special design; it was more or less a copy of the STEN gun with modified aesthetics. But it was extremely simple to manufacture, as well as cheap. Erquiaga set up the Erquiaga Arms Company in the City of Industry in California. From there, the MR-64 was manufactured in the thousands, and sold to Cuban anti-Castro guerrillas.
Understandably, when the FBI learned of Erquiaga’s actions, they feared it would threaten already poor US-Cuban relations and raided Erquiaga’s factory, confiscating the weapons being manufactured there. Erquiaga himself managed to flee the country and avoid arrest.
upper middle class white hipster in college: come oon guuys Castro wasnt baad I just dont understaand how so many of you could hate hiim he was a socialist god Cubans totally loved him even though he put most of them in caamps guys??
It would be really tacky for non Cubans to be shaming folks who have been traumatized by the Castro regime (in one way or another) for expressing relief that the man who caused them pain, is dead.
While I am certainly pro revolution and not necessarily anti-Castro, I know from actually listening to Cubans, both pro and anti Castro, that there’s lots of nuance. Lots of good, lots of bad, lots of wonders and MANY horrors.
So you know how Harry said he’s filming with David and Alberto all day?? I have a theory.
So I’m guessing if they’re filming together maybe there’s a scene where Raphael and Simon decide to discuss the terms of his punishment or getting the kill order on him removed or whatever and Magnus is like neutral ground (I know he did that in the books at one point even though I chose to kind of forget the books I hope this scenario comes true because it means Raphael and Simon are on the road to forgiveness) and then the fact that they’re filming all day means that idk maybe they work together to find Camille and bring her to an end or something.
On the side of the monument that looks out onto 23rd Avenue—a wide thoroughfare that stretches across this city from the Almendares River to the Bay of Havana—is the image of Martin Luther King Jr. On its other side, the monument bears the likeness of Malcolm X.
For over half a century, Cuba has been a forbidden fruit of American diplomacy. Banned from traveling here by a foreign policy that was deeply rooted in domestic politics, most Americans had limited access to—and little real knowledge of—this island nation that is just 90 miles off the tip of Florida. So, not surprisingly, the perception of Cuba that many “North Americans” had during this time was shaped largely by politicians in Washington, D.C.; political activists in South Florida; and a U.S. media that did more repeating than reporting on Cuba.
In announcing his decision earlier this month to loosen travel restrictions and renew diplomatic relations with Cuba, President Barack Obama opened up the possibility that many more Americans will make their way to Cuba. 🏃🏿African Americans should be in the front ranks of this surge.
Today Cuba will officially open an embassy in Washington, and the United States will do the same in Havana. This exchange of normal diplomatic missions will generate a lot of media coverage and plenty of angry talk from Cuban-American politicians who will complain that Cuba is a terrorist state that shouldn’t be allowed to rake in the millions of dollars that increased travel of Americans to Cuba will generate for its Communist government.
What these protesters won’t tell you is that the biggest contributors of dollars to Cuba’s economy are the Cuban Americans who pack the daily charter flights✈️ from Miami to Havana. There are no restrictions on how often they can go to Cuba or how much money they can take with them when they visit this island.⛵️
And while opponents of increased travel to Cuba moan and groan that Cuba is giving refuge to people like Assata Shakur, a black woman who escaped a New Jersey prison after being convicted for her role in the 1973 killing of a New Jersey state trooper, they say nothing of Luis Posada Carriles, the anti-Castro activist who is widely believed to have played a role is planting a bomb on a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people in 1976. He’s living openly in the U.S.
The objections of these people should not keep African Americans from going to Cuba in droves—🏁which a careful application of the new rules that govern American travel to Cuba will permit.
Havana’s Martin Luther King Center🕋
African Americans should go to Cuba because the link between Afro-Cubans and African Americans is much deeper than the 23rd Street monument. Like the Martin Luther King Center and Ebenezer Baptist Church that sit side by side in Havana’s Marianao district, the monument is a symbol of the rich historical ties that bind people of African descent in Cuba to those whose ancestors slave ships dropped off in North America.
There is much more that connects us to them.📞
In 1896, the same year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that racial segregation was legal, Cuba was fighting for its independence from Spain with an integrated army. The second-in-command of this interracial force was Antonio Maceo, a black man.
After the war, while the NAACP agitated for equal rights for African Americans during the first decade of the 20th century, black Cuban war veterans formed a political party to protest the segregationist practices that were forced upon Cuba by the American military force that went to Cuba in 1898 to help it defeat Spain. In 1912, while the Ku Klux Klan was busy lynching uppity blacks, the Cuban army massacred thousands of members of that black political party.
A lot of this history can be found in the files 📑of the José Martí National Library, Cuba’s equivalent of the Library of Congress, and the House of Africa, a museum of African and slave-trade artifacts. It can also be culled from conversations with black artists and intellectuals—people like Esteban Morales Domínguez, Tomás Fernández Robaina and Gisela Arandia Covarrubias; poet Nancy Morejón; and filmmaker Gloria Rolando—all of whom are relatively easily found by people who are serious about exploring the connections between Afro-Cubans and African Americans.
But to do that, African Americans have to take advantage of the opening Obama has given us 🎂to visit this country and discover a chapter of black history that we have been denied access to for far too long.
DeWayne Wickham is a syndicated columnist,
Miami's joyous Cubans hope for change with Castro's death
MIAMI — Wearing his “Bay of Pigs Veteran” shirt, 80-year-old Rafael Torre stood amid hundreds of Cuban-Americans celebrating the death of Fidel Castro and marveled that he remained in power for so long.
Cuban exiles such as Torre tried numerous ways to dislodge Castro after he took power in 1959, including the failed 1961 CIA-backed invasion memorialized on his shirt. Now, like many others, Torre is hopeful for Cuba’s future with the bearded revolutionary leader finally gone.
“We tried for more than 50 years but couldn’t do it. Now he’s dead, and maybe things can change,” Torre said. “It might take three or four years. Maybe the revolution will be on the streets in three or four months.”
Thousands of people took to the streets of Miami and nearby cities Saturday shortly after the early morning announcement of Castro’s death at age 90, and kept the party going all day. They banged pots with spoons, honked car horns, waved Cuban and U.S. flags in the air and whooped in jubilation on Calle Ocho — as Little Havana’s 8th Street is universally known.
Police blocked off streets leading to Cafe Versailles, the quintessential Cuban-American hotspot where strong cafecitos — sweetened espresso — were as common as a harsh word about Castro, the nemesis of so many exiles for so long. Many said they recognize his death alone doesn’t mean immediate democracy or freedom for the communist island.
“We need for the people of Cuba to have the freedom we have in the U.S., but this changes nothing. There won’t be change until the people revolt,” said Juan Cobas, 50, who came to the U.S. from Cuba at age 13.
Others saw Fidel’s death as a sign that a generation that has ruled Cuba for decades is passing from the world stage, many noting that his brother, current President Raul Castro, is 85.
“I’m feeling this is the beginning of the end,” said Alex Pineiro, 32. “Fidel was the architect of what’s going on. It’s a mix of emotions, I’m happy he’s dead, but I’m celebrating hope.”
There were no reports of violence or any arrests during the demonstrations, Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Fallat said Saturday. Miami-Dade County officials said there were no plans to activate the emergency operations centre — another sign of the more subdued reaction to Castro’s death than might have previously been expected.
“They are celebrating but in a very peaceful way,” Fallat said of the demonstrators.
The U.S. Coast Guard was running regular patrols and not increasing staffing levels or taking other emergency steps, said Petty Officer Jonathan Lally. The Coast Guard has seen a sharp uptick recently in Cubans attempting to arrive in Florida by sea, with at least 7,411 Cubans attempting to migrate over the Florida Straits in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 compared with 4,473 in the same timeframe last year.
After Castro took power, Cubans fled the island to Miami, Tampa, New Jersey and elsewhere. Some were loyalists of Fulgencio Batista, the president prior to Castro, while others left with the hope they would be able to return soon, after Castro was toppled. He never was.
Many other exiles believed they would never be free under Castro and his communist regime. Thousands left behind their possessions, loved ones, and hard-earned educations and businesses, travelling to the U.S. by plane, boat or raft. Many Cubans died on the ocean trip to South Florida. Some had land and possessions taken by the Castro government.
The ones that made it to Miami took a largely, and vehemently, anti-Castro stance.
“He should not be revered. He should be reviled,” said U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican who was born in Cuba.
Some people said the election of Donald Trump as president could lead to a tougher stance against the Havana government that might hasten change.
“I hope that Trump takes a hard line against the Castro regime,” said Henry Marinello, 60, who left Cuba as a child in 1961,
On New Year’s Eve every year, Cubans in Miami utter a toast in Spanish as they hoist glasses of liquor: “Next year in Cuba.” But as the Cuban exiles aged, and as Castro outlived them, and as President Barack Obama eroded the embargo and younger Cubans returned to the island, the toast rang silent in many households.
News of Castro’s death was long anticipated and had been the subject of countless rumours over the decades, so that it became something of a running joke. This time, though, it was real.
“We’re all celebrating, this is like a carnival,” said 72-year-old Jay Fernandez, who came to Miami when he was 18 in 1961 after he was jailed twice by the Cuban government. He and his wife and another woman held up a bilingual sign he’d made four years ago when Castro first became ill. “Satan, Fidel is now yours. Give him what he deserves. Don’t let him rest in peace.”
Lush reported from St. Petersburg, Florida, and Anderson from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Associated Press writers Adrian Sainz in Memphis, Tennessee and Josh Replogle in Miami contributed to this story.
Curt Anderson, Ian Mader And Tamara Lush, The Associated Press