Friday, March 26, 2010

Rafael Cancel Miranda writes in defense of Cuba

March 26, 2010

Rafael Cancel Miranda, a giant in the Puerto
Rican independence struggle, a man who spent 25
years in prison in the United States following an
attack on the U.S. Congress meant to call
attention to that struggle, has a few suggestions
for Guillermo Fariñas, the latest Cuban hunger
striker. In an interview
some years ago, he spoke more about the attack at
the U.S. Capitol and explained the significance
of the Cuban he mentions here too: Saturnino.

“For me, Cuba is Saturnino, a black man who
worked with me. When he saw me eating bread with
quail for lunch, he took me to his house. He
lived in total poverty but his mother gave me a
sandwich from the larder. He was called Saturnino, and that for me, is Cuba.”

The Truth is On the Side of the Cuban Revolution
and it Shall Prevail –ñol

Compañero José Estevez
Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples
Havana, Cuba

Jose, my brother.

Of course it is with the greatest of honor and a
sense of justice that I am signing the
Declaration in Defense of Cuba to counter the
hypocritical and cynical campaign by the Yankees
and the European Union. With what moral
authority can these plunderers of humanity speak
of human rights? It’s beyond cynical that those
who have never bothered themselves about the
deaths by starvation of thousands of children who
would have liked very much to have something to
eat, should suddenly and in a very orchestrated
way pretend to be so worried about someone on a “fast.”

This “fasting” gentleman – who I understand is
black and is also said to be a psychologist (if
so, it is thanks to the Revolution) – has no idea
how his race was treated by those who today claim
to be so concerned for his health. I was
surprised enough to hear about this psychologist
because I lived in Cuba under [Cuban presidents]
Prío Socarrás and the bloodthirsty Batista and I
never knew of any black psychologists. I
remember that when the legal and illegal mafias
were predominant in Cuba, there were clubs where
black people were prohibited from entering and
places where they were not even allowed to
approach, such as the house belonging to the
DuPonts. To be precise, those that organized
those clubs were of the same mentality as those
who today claim to be worried about the health of
the “faster.” I also remember the poverty of my
brother, the black man named Saturnino, who
worked alongside me repairing streets in Havana.

Seeing as this “faster” is of the noble black
race, I’d like to suggest to him that he make a
“fast” in favor of the liberation of a group of
his black brothers from the Black Liberation Army
and the Black Panthers, who’ve spent more than
thirty-five years behind bars in Yankee prisons
for having fought for the rights of their race. Here are their names:

Abdulla Majad

Sekou Odinga

Dr. Mutulu Shakur

Jalil Muntaquim

Robert Seth Hayes

Sundiata Acoli

Also having spent more than three decades in
prison are compañero Herman Bell and the
spiritual leader of the Native Americans (the
originals) Leonard Peltier, as well as the Puerto
Ricans Carlos Alberto Torres and Oscar López Rivera.

As well, the “faster” might honor the four
compañeros of the Black Liberation Army who died
while incarcerated: Kuwasi Balagoon, Bashir
Hameed, Albert Nuh Washington, Teddy Jah
Heath. And he might also remember his brother,
the black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has spent years on death row.

Of course, the imperialist and oligarchic press
will not mention him, and as we say amongst
ourselves, they’ll look the other way; they’ll
shut their mouths, just as they remained silent
about our Five Cuban antiterrorist brothers, as
they’ve remained silent about the rape of
Colombian girls by Yankee soldiers, as they’ve
said nothing about Haitian women marching to
protest the abuses committed against them –
including rape – by the Yankee
soldiers. Well…they’re black women and dressed in the garments of poverty.

The truth is with the Cuban Revolution and it
shall prevail. The fakers will fall in their own trap.

Well, my brother José, I began to write these
lines to you some three days ago, but my father
in law fell ill and you know what the deal is
with healthcare in Puerto Rico. The first thing
they ask you is not where it hurts, but how
you’re going to pay and go on from there. You
can’t believe how many people die because they can’t pay.

Onward, forever!

With a warm Caribbean embrace,

Rafael Cancel Miranda

Machetera is a member of, the
international network of translators for
linguistic diversity. This translation may be
reprinted as long as the content remains
unaltered, and the author and translator are cited.

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