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Fidel Castro-A Black Man’s Guide to Understanding His Death

By Khary Pestaina

I recently shared this information on my Facebook wall and was asked to share it with a broader audience.

1. 900,000 Slaves were brought to Cuba, 3rd most slaves ever.
2. Cuba practiced slavery until 1886, it was high intensity, high death rate, industrial slavery all the way to the end too…longer than any country in the Western Hemisphere.

3. By 1900, 90% of all Cubans were Black.

4. In the early 20th century, Cuba joined other Latin American countries in purposefully whitening their population by allowing unrestricted immigration from Europe while simultaneously imprisoning, exploiting and killing its black population (blanqueamiento).

5. Until the Cuban revolution, dictators like Machado and Batista oversaw incredibly corrupt an inequal societies which featured over a 1/3rd of the population living in abject poverty and illiteracy, disproportionately black.

6. Until the Cuban revolution, the American Mafia had unlimited access and power in Cuba with the pain of drugs, childhood prostitution felt disproportionately by Cuba’s black society. It was Las Vegas before Las Vegas.

7. Until the Cuban revolution, the burden of penal society rested on the backs of black people in Cuba. Vegas.

8, Today, 65% of Cuba’s population describes itself as white. This number would be even higher, if Miami’s exiles returned. This should highlight the degree of racist attack, Cuba’s black population has been under for over a hundred years.

9. The Revolution led by Castro aimed to erase inequality, remove corruption, and destroy racism. No one knows how successful the social goals of La Revolucion would have been except for interference and embargo by the USA.

10. Cuba, under Castro, was a consistent ally in the fight against global racism and colonialism. Cuban soldiers and doctors were present all over the African and Third World.

11. Cuba, under Castro, successfully erased illiteracy, offered free health care to its citizens, and offered free medical school to any citizens of the western hemisphere.

There is more. Educate yourself about the revolutionary country. They did more than most, and certainly more than the United States in tackling the legacy of slavery. Don’t just count on the American media to bring you information on the significance of this event.

Khary Pestaina is a History expert and educator. His is also a radio host, business owner and prolific social commentator. 

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6 thoughts on “Fidel Castro-A Black Man’s Guide to Understanding His Death

  1. Indaplace

    “Cuba practiced slavery until 1886, it was high intensity, high death rate, industrial slavery all the way to the end too…longer than any country in the Western Hemisphere.”

    Brazil was the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery in 1888!

    • Biff Tannen

      Longer doesn’t mean ended last. I don’t know the figures but if slavery started in Cuba before Brazil and then ended on two years before, slavery would have existed in Cuba longer than it existed in Brazil.


    slavery even for one hour or 100 yrs. was an is wrong , the only difference between them an those in amerika was about 90 miles of water. at least they kept most of their language.

  3. Femi Folami

    All of the above is historically correct and if one isn’t taking this information into consideration as part of their analysis, then their perspective will be flawed.


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