“The most equal, multiracial country in our hemisphere.”
In a 2019 interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, New York Times journalist and 1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones had strong praise for Cuba.
“Cuba has the least inequality between black and white people of any place really in the hemisphere. I mean the Caribbean — most of the Caribbean, it’s hard to count because the white population in a lot of those countries is very, very small, they’re countries run by black folks, but in places that are truly at least biracial countries, Cuba actually has the least inequality, and that’s largely due to socialism, which I’m sure no one wants to hear.”
She’s right about one thing – no one wants to hear that. Mainly because it’s also not true.
According to Hanna-Jones’ hometown paper, the New York Times, “The Cuban government under the Castros has historically been viewed as one made up mainly of white men, especially those of advanced age. Although it has generally had at least one Afro-Cuban in a high-ranking position, cynics dismissed them as symbolic figures.”
Minority Rights Group International adds, “Yet, however radical the assault on institutional racism, little was achieved in eliminating racial discrimination. Attempts by intellectuals to raise the issue of racism in revolutionary Cuba were harshly dealt with in the 1960s, and the government insisted that it had eliminated racial discrimination.”