Why would we not let Cubans fly their own flag in Cuba?
Their island. Their flag.
I don’t get it…
Anyway, we declared Cuba a free nation. Or not.
Whatever. We beat Spain and took over.
Cubans, newly free from Spanish colonists, had new colonists to oppress them.
We staged public ‘elections’ for Cubans to ‘vote’ for our choices of dictator puppet presidents who would cow-tow to U.S. interests on the island…presidents who would not interfere with our control over the island, who would in no way prevent us from doing whatever we damn well pleased on their island — regardless of Cuban outcry against it.
The first thing we did, of course, was to impose laws of segregation.
To that end, Cuba — in a mirror image of America — became a sea of “WHITES ONLY” signs.
During the U.S. occupation of Cuba, our segregation policies became laws.
Black Cubans were no longer allowed to vote. Black Cubans were kicked out of police squads, army regiments, and any other institutions in which they might wield any vestige of power. Black Cubans were no longer permitted to play ethnic music (which was dubbed ‘jungle music’), do ethnic dances (dubbed ‘monkey dances’), nor worship in their native religions (dubbed ‘Satanic voodoo’).
Jim Crow, meet Cuba.
Cuba’s racial unity which had prevailed across the entire island since its implementation by Maceo & Martí, was destroyed in one fell swoop by the U.S.
Victor said brown Cubans have a much more deep-seated hatred for the U.S. than white Cubans. And, since the majority of Cubans are brown, well, that’s a lot of resentment toward America. They blame us for Cuba’s lingering white-on-top/brown-on-bottom tendencies.
Thank you, my racist government, for spreading your hatred of brown skin across borders, fostering resentment toward us all as a nation. 😐
Not only did we contaminate Cuba with our hatred of brown skin, we took systemic racism to a whole new level by ordering Cuban anthropologists to ‘whiten’ Cuba’s history.
First, we had Maceo’s corpse exhumed to scientifically determine the percentage of African in his genes.
Who in governmental fucktopia came up with this fuckity idea??
Unhappy with the results, we ordered Cuban scientists & historians to minimize Maceo’s dominant African heritage, and instead document his genes as showing a majority percentage of White rather than Black.
But this wasn’t enough.
Lest you think our racist obsession was only a mere tendency, dear diary, here’s something that will put into perspective just how adamantly, deeply & completely racist we were: using all manner of both implied & overt threats, we ordered Cuban artists to European-ize all images of Maceo.
From that point forward, all original images of Maceo were replaced by whitened depictions of him in which the artists made Maceo’s nose thinner, his hair straighter or covered by a hat, and his brown skin whitewashed.
Why did we do this?
Well, Maceo was an army general. Images of a Black general – a figure of power – might incite Cubans to rise up in revolution against their new White colonists (us).
No need to encourage a repeat of the Haitian Revolution.
The U.S. needed Maceo to be perceived as more White than Black, in order to eradicate any example of Black dominion. But there was another Black general — José Quintín Bandera Betancourt — who, following Maceo, was the most famous Cuban in their War of Independence.
Betancourt was darker-skinned than Maceo. Much darker. No chance of ‘whitening him up’ in images.
Worse, Betancourt was still alive, still actively fighting. But now, he was fighting against U.S. colonization.
Whitening his images wouldn’t be enough.
So instead, in 1906, Victor said the U.S. ordered our Cuban puppet-president to stage a military event in which Betancourt would be killed. It was made to look like the result of a typical battle — with a major telltale difference:
Betancourt’s beaten, bullet-holed, machete-chopped body was dragged through the streets of Havana to discourage brown Cubans from any thought of further protest against U.S. occupation of their island — an occupation which was illegal, according to our own Teller Amendment.
Remember that? That paper bone we tossed out to keep those mouthy Europeans from publicly speculating about our true motives for occupying Cuba?
America’s ‘we’re-only-invading-Cuba-to-save-those-poor-Cubans-from-dictator-Spain-and-bring-those-poor-Cubans-the-democracy-those-poor-Cubans-so-desperately-need-because-we-care-and-we-promise-from-the-bottom-of-our-racist-and-imperialist-heart-that-after-freeing-those-poor-brown-Cubans-from-the-colonization-of-Spain-we-will-let-Cuba-remain-free-and-independent-because-we’re-not-interested-in-profiting-from-their-sugar-that’s-ridiculous-sugar-has-nothing-to-do-with-it-we’re-only-interested-in-kicking-Spain’s-ass-because-hey-Remember-the-Maine-and-naturally-we-have-to-protect-our-past-investment-in-Cuban-sugar-but-more-than-anything-it’s-our-duty-as-one-of-the-most-racist-democracies-in-the-world-to-spread-our-brand-of-democracy-to-those-poor-brown-Cubans-and-sugar-has-nothing-to-do-with-it’ amendment.
But, whatever. We weren’t sweating Teller. Why? Because right after drafting that altruistic amendment, we drafted a new one which nullified Teller.
It was called the Platt Amendment.
Crafty little buggers, our government.
Platt. Rhymes with ‘Shat.’ Which is exactly what Platt did all over Teller.
Platt revoked our promises in Teller by making it legal for us to take control of Cuba, and stake legal claim to choice portions of the island. Care to guess which portions, diary dear?
Can you say, “sugar cane fields?“
Or was it oil fields??
No, wait. That was the oil-has nothing-to-do-with-it “freeing” of Kuwaitis in Bush Sr.’s Gulf War against Iraq.
Wait, no…it was the oil-has-nothing-to-do-with-it “freeing” of Iraqis in Bush Jr.’s ‘Shock & Awe’ invasion of Iraq.
Sorry. Easy to get mixed up when history repeats itself so often…
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“Diary of An American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land”