Dr. Darsi Ferrer on Cuban Apartheid

Friday, July 31, 2009
As Cuban pro-democracy leader, Dr. Darsi Ferrer, faces an 8-year prison sentence for his political and human rights advocacy, it's important for the world to know what the Castro regime is so afraid of. Ferrer, an Afro-Cuban physician, has continuously exposed the regime's tragic realities, such as the case of tourism apartheid.

The Accomplices of Cuban Apartheid

By DARSI FERRER

Never in Cuba's history were Cubans discriminated against because of their national origin. The use of apartheid as a state policy by authorities of the regime is the worst humiliation suffered by the Cuban nation.

The segregation imposed by the caste in power during the last several decades surmounts the racial, political, religious, and social motivations of the subordination to the disdain of Cuban nationals.

While the members of the nomenclature and foreigners enjoy the exclusive resorts, resources and services the country has to offer, Cubans are relegated to the condition of pariahs, forbidden such rights.

Such a separation, although supposedly forbidden by current legislation and by the judicial instruments in the international arena, establishes in an official and invariable manner, the arbitrary social differences, with perceptible affectations to the people.

Apartheid guarantees the usurpers of sovereignty to maintain political control and economic and social privileges that are denied to the rest of society.

Unable to generate riches because of economic incompetence, the regime uses as one of its main mechanisms for its permanence the currency it obtains from foreign investments.

The foreign economic partnerships, in an illegal and immoral manner, obtain revenues in the millions at the cost of serving as accomplices ex profeso of the international crime of apartheid perpetrated by the dominant caste.

The Spanish hotel chain Sol-Melia has the largest presence in the tourism sector on the island. It controls 24 luxury hotels, in preferential areas of tourist locations, from which it earns hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Just as in the rest of the island's tourist facilities, in those hotels the management accepts the use of the official policy of exclusion of Cubans and the exclusivity of enjoyment for foreigners and functionaries of the regime's elite.

Visiting or walking around those areas means a possible prison sentence for any regular Cuban. The denial of services does not distinguish those who have the necessary buying power; one only needs to be a Cuban national to be forbidden access.

The employees at said locales, in their great majority, are selected based on unique qualities: they must be young, white and faithful to the regime and its politics. This situation does not interfere with the modern day slavery conditions to which they are subjected by both their bosses, foreign investors and the state. In turn, they earn the equivalent to 8% of real salary in convertible currency and they have no right to strike, negotiate their contracts o freely unionize.

The unscrupulous employers should learn from history's lessons, remembering the Swiss banks that were morally and judicially sanctioned after the Holocaust for banking the gold that that the Nazis stole from the Jewish people.

Few are the possibilities that the people, because of their misery, can lead a boycott that will affect the economic interests of foreign investors, a different reality to the Cuban exile community and other persons opposed to the complicity of these companies with the regime in Havana, and who have the ability to lead actions directed to pressure the beneficiaries of the marginalization of Cubans.

The use of campaigns that hurt the revenues of those who adopt an attitude of indifference to injustice was shown with the elimination of British colonization in Mahatma Gandhi's India, the politics of segregation against blacks in the South in the Martin Luther King Jr.'s U.S. and the system of apartheid in Nelson Mandela's South Africa.

Foreign investment constitutes an unquestionable need for a nation's development, but in accordance with legality and the principles of human respect. Why don't Cubans and all those who agree unite their efforts and begin to boycott the Sol-Melia hotel chain?

Perhaps it is more favorable for such employers to take conscience regarding their dignity and attitude, and influence the regime so that it dismantles the vile system of apartheid.

Havana, May 18th, 2007