Saturday, November 10, 2007

VOICES OF SILENCE

By Gloria Rolando

Havana, Cuba

Like everywhere else where Blacks were taken after being forcibly removed from their native lands, slavery, beatings, breaking-up of family links, destruction of religious beliefs, murders and massacres became the norm. Cuba was no exception to this rule.

Little has been done by the mass media to bring this abominable experience to the attention of children of the victims or victimizers around the world, which could contribute positively to the understanding of this horrible event, by teaching us how to avoid its repetition.

Powerful financial interests in the hands of beneficiaries of this criminal behavior have kept this tragic event hidden, hoping it will be forgotten eventually and no one will be responsible for this holocaust.

After 20 years of a promising film making career with the Cuban Institute of Arts and Cinematography, Gloria Rolando took the courageous step of changing her focus from fun-filled, rose-tinted productions, to begin documenting our wrenching life experience, before most of its protagonists passed away, taking with them this unique history.

And now, Gloria is tackling one of Cuba’s best kept, darkest secret, which many hoped we would never learn about it. Most of this history, documenting the massacre of over 6000 blacks in 1912, the festive celebrations of mission accomplished by the ruling class and the near successful efforts to keep it out of the classroom, will soon be over.

Although the focus of this documentary is on the tragic events of 1912 in Cuba, it applies equally to the massacre in Rosewood Florida, the 2500 lynching in the United States, the brutal murder of Lumumba, Steven Biko or Samora Machel in Africa, the increasing re-appearance of the “noose” hanging everywhere in the United States and by honoring every son and daughter of Africa who paid the ultimate price in our struggle for justice.

Eighty per cent of this heart-rending documentary is done! We need your financial help, no matter how small, to bring it to fruition by March 2008. Please send us your tax deductible contribution to:

The Caribbean American Children Foundation

PO Box 353593

Palm Coast, Fl., 32135

Synopsis


In July 1912, a banquet was organized in Havana Central Park, in honor of the Cuban army that waged the “Battle of Oriente” The tables were placed around the base of the statue of Jose Marti, the leader of the Cuban independence movement , where a prominent list of politicians, financiers, military personnel, toasted over a succulent meal which was extensively covered in the press, as the Spaniards did years before, when they learned of the death in combat of the Afro-Cuban hero, General Antonio Maceo y Grajales.

And while the tingling of glasses filled with champagne could be heard throughout the park as guests toasted the victory, hundreds of black Cuban families were afflicted by fear, confusion, repression, impotence and sorrow over the death of their loved ones, just 10 years after the end of the war of independence.

The Independent Party of Color was founded at 63 Amargura (Bitterness) street in Havana in 1906 and quickly gained in popularity among blacks and mulattos, as a consequence of the abuse, discrimination and hopelessness to which they were subjected immediately after the end of the war of independence, notwithstanding that blacks represented 70% of the ranks of the liberation army and borne the bulk of the casualties.

Xenophobia, fear mongering of the creation of a black Republic in Cuba like in Haiti, the betrayal of a black leader of the Liberal Party outlawing the Independent Party of Color and the United States southern racism, laid the groundwork for the monstrous massacre and brutal mutilation of members and supporters of the Independent Party of Color and innocent bystanders, who were paraded through cities and township, sending a clear message to blacks to conform or else!

Help Us, this documentary must be done NOW!!

Alberto N. Jones

November 9. 2007

Alberto Jones, DVM, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cuban American Alliance Education Fund, a nonprofit [501(c)(3)] national network of Cuban Americans that educates the public at large on issues related to hardships resulting from current United States-Cuba relations. The Alliance is a vehicle for the development of mutually beneficial engagements which promote understanding and human compassion.

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