The taboo has been broken. The Cuban boarders are open for Americans to travel there. Although, this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people. Although,this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people.
Similar to the United States, Cuba has had its share of racism/caste system within its borders. Now that Americans can visit, they will notice that the majority of the population is Afro-Cuban. According to native Cuban Laura Vargas the percentage of Afro-Cuban is between 33 percent to 62 percent. Of course this depends on who you ask.
Blanqueamiento is a political, social, and economical practice that is literally means whitening. This is whitening was meant to “improve the race.” Improving the race involved marrying a pale person and producing lighter-skinned children. In that time period it was obviously beneficial to have lighter-skin. Throughout the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro saw the inequality of life that racism/prejudice had produced. After he cemented his rule, Fidel Castro made racial inequality a crime. Mrs. Vargas gives a brief statement on how the social caste system affected her and her family.
“Personally, it didn’t affect us since my family is not racist and, we treat everyone equally,” said Mrs. Vargas.
Now with years of reforms that has taken place, things have improved in the society. There is no discrimination in Cuba. According to Mrs.Vargas , in 1891 Cuban independence fighter Jose Marti wrote an essay titled “Nuestras America.” Mr. Marti said there is not races in Cuba therefore, there is no racism. The unity of Cuba depended on the people seeing themselves as Cuban, instead of using ones racial identity. So in this era Cubans identify themselves as Cubans instead of using their racial identities .
“None discriminates against your color anymore. Inter-racial marriages are extremely common in Cuba. In fact, the most famous sports athletes are black,” said Mrs. Vargas.
Although, Mrs. Vargas said that prejudice no longer exist, a survey was taken at North Lake College and not everyone agrees that racism/discrimination is extinct in Cuba. Along with this survey two others were taken as well.
Few of us know what it is like to visit or live in Cuba. The only way to observe if racism still exist there is to travel, and view the country for yourself.