Cuban Embassy officials participated in a webinar on racial issues in the Island

Photo: Cuban diplomats Rodney González y Yanet Pumariega

July 7, 2020, the Organizing Committee of the International Conference for the Normalization of US-Cuba Relations hosted the webinar “Why there are no George Floyd´s in Cuba”. Panelists agreed that in spite of the remaining challenges, the Cuban Revolution set a new social paradigm, which erased inherited structural racism, adopted laws and public policies to guarantee racial equality, and created a new police force whose main task is to protect life.

As examples of recent actions aimed at eradicating racism and racial discrimination, Cuban diplomats participating in the webinar mentioned the creation of the José Antonio Aponte Commission, headed by the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, in 2009, an entity dedicated to researching and proposing policies to address these problems from cultural, awareness-raising perspectives. They referred to a National Commission, presided over by the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, created in 2019, whose actions program was announced March, 2020. Cuba´s leadership has systematically stated that racism is incompatible with the Cuban socialist project.

A virtual audience of around 170 people from different states welcomed presentations on the legal protections Cubans enjoy through constitutional and legal guarantees, which prohibit all forms of discrimination and recognize due process and presumption of innocence. The Island representatives underscored the preventive, prophylactic approach of the police, which explains its close relation with the society and non-confrontational nature. Experts corroborated the professionalism of both the Cuban police and the judiciary institutions.

Activists groups and intellectuals opposed the situation in Cuba to systemic racism and police brutality in the United States. It was recognized the Cuban contribution to the African peoples´ fight against Apartheid. Also mentioned was the Cuban medical internationalism, mainly focused on helping local governments provide needed services to underserved populations, mostly of black, Latino or indigenous heritage. A “Concert for Cuba” was announced, July 18-19, 2020 to promote the Cuban medical brigade “Henry Reeve” Nobel Peace Prize campaign, and raise awareness against the US blockade on Cuba.

In this regard, the Organizing Committee announced that the International Conference for the Normalization of US-Cuba relations will be held November 14-15, 2020, in New York.

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