A page from The Journal of Christoper Columbus
“These people in the Caribbean have no creed and they are not idolaters, but they are very gentle and do not know what it is to be wicked, or to kill others, or to steal…and they are sure that we come from Heaven. So your Highnesses should resolve to make them Christians, for I believe that if you begin, in a little while you will achieve the conversion of a great number of peoples to our holy faith, with the acquisition of great lordships and riches and all their inhabitants for Spain. For without doubt there is a very great amount of gold in these lands….
The people of this island, and of all the others that I have found and seen, or not seen, all go naked, men and women, just as their mothers bring them forth; although some women cover a single place with the leaf of a plant, or a cotton something which they make for that purpose. They have no iron or steel, nor any weapons….They have no other weapons than the stems of reeds…on the end of which they fix little sharpened stakes. Even these they dare not use….they are incurably timid….
I have not found, nor had any information of monsters, except of an island which is here the second in the approach of the Indies, which is inhabited by a people whom, in all the islands, they regard as very ferocious, who eat human flesh….
They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”
— Christoper Columbus
The “man” was a vile, pathetic human being, who during his “travels” only brought death & disease to all those he came in contact with. The fact that American still celebrates his journey of genocide, shows how far we have NOT evolved as a country; It’s time to abolish this abomination of a holiday.
Why do you ask?
Is it your curiosity in the ‘origin of my features’?
Is it your fascination for ‘other’ cultures and what they have to offer you?
Why do you desire to establish an exact definition of my difference?
Why do you assume I desire, and am able, to define this difference to you?
Do you show the same interest in determining the ‘ethnic make-up’ of every white face that you see?
Isn’t everyone from somewhere?
Do you not have a heritage?
Why does whiteness make yours invisible yet my brownness make mine subject to your anthropological investigation?
Do you believe that I should be delighted to personally inform and educate you?
Do you think it is my responsibility to know, and always be ready to impart, the details of my cultural heritage?
Do you apply these same standards to yourself?
Why do you assume that I’d love to reminisce about what my family, or I, left to come here?
Did it not cross your mind that we may have left for good reasons that I do not wish to reminisce about, especially with a stranger?
Do you believe your curiosity is commendable?
Do you think I should be grateful for your ‘tolerance’ and interest in ‘diversity’?
Do you believe this is YOUR country to welcome me to?
While brownness prompts
“Where are you from?”
Your whiteness prompts
“What do you do?”
You wish to define me by my physicality but you expect to be defined by your actions and your intellect.
Have you travelled the world and been asked the same question?
It is not the same experience in a place where you had expected to be treated as a visitor.
Perhaps your whiteness provided a fascination, but wasn’t it also exalted?
Weren’t you still treated like a speaker at a podium?
Or don’t you see this because you are so used to being heard from that position?
Do you not realise that in expecting to discuss my brownness as subject of your fascination you position me as an exotic curio on a pedestal?
Do you think I wish to be a talking doll, spilling my secrets each time yet another curious child pulls my cord demanding that I politely answer your question?
BLESS THIS POST
Africa’s Oldest Known Boat8000 years ago, in the region now known as Nigeria. ”Africa’s oldest known boat” the Dufuna Canoe was discovered near the region of the River Yobe. The Canoe was discovered by a Fulani herdsman in May 1987, in Dufuna Village while digging a well. The canoe’s “almost black wood”, said to be African mahogany, as “entirely an organic material”. Various Radio-Carbon tests conducted in laboratories of reputable Universities in Europe and America indicate that the Canoe is over 8000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and 3rd oldest in the World. Little is known of the period to which the boat belongs, in archaeological terms it is described as an early phase of the Later Stone Age, which began rather more than 12,000 years ago and ended with the appearance of pottery.The lab results redefined the pre-history of African water transport, ranking the Dufuna canoe as the world’s third oldest known dugout. Older than it are the dugouts from Pesse, Netherlands, and Noyen-sur-Seine, France. But evidence of an 8,000-year-old tradition of boat building in Africa throws cold water on the assumption that maritime transport developed much later there in comparison with Europe. Peter Breunig of the University of Frankfurt, Germany, an archaeologist involved in the project, says the canoe’s age “forces a reconsideration of Africa’s role in the history of water transport”. It shows, he adds, “that the cultural history of Africa was not determined by Near Eastern and European influences but took its own, in many cases parallel, course”. Breunig, adding that it even outranks in style European finds of similar age. According to him, “The bow and stern are both carefully worked to points, giving the boat a notably more elegant form”, compared to “the dugout made of conifer wood from Pesse in the Netherlands, whose blunt ends and thick sides seem crude”. To go by its stylistic sophistication, he reasons, “It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”Egypt’s oldest known boat is 5000 years old.P. Breunig, The 8000-year-old dugout canoe from Dufuna (NE Nigeria), G. Pwiti and R. Soper (eds.), Aspects of African Archaeology. Papers from the 10th Congress of the PanAfrican Association for Prehistory and related Studies. University of Zimbabwe Publications (Harare 1996) 461-468.ISBN: 0908307551
Oh, so what you’re saying is… they finally realized we’re not their racist stereotype of primitive and fecund nativity? Clap.
Let me add some more deliciousness to this knowledge soup by discussing Mansa (King) Abubakari II of Africa’s ancient Mali empire.
Citing the book written by the famous Egyptian scholar, Ibn Fadi Al-Umari in 1342, there were two large voyages across the Atlantic Ocean preceding that of Columbus. Both expeditions were pioneered by one man, Abubakari or to give him his rightful name, Mansa (King) Abubakari II.
In the time of the Malian Empire, the general conception was that on the other end of the Atlantic lied the end of the world. This delusion took its roots from then primitive Europe. Abubakari on the other hand was far from convinced. If the Niger had its beginning and its end, then the Atlantic Ocean must have its end with people living on its shores. He also felt this could be a sea root to Mecca (The kings of the Mali Empire had already converted to Islam).
With the quest for knowledge burning in him, Abubakari sent out 200 ships. Their duty was to sail across the Atlantic, with the aim of finding out what lied beyond. It was recorded that only one of the ships returned. Its captain claimed to have turned around when he saw the other ships disappear into the wild ocean.
Abubakari was not convinced by the captain’s testimony. This further increased his thirst to discover what lied on the other end of the Ocean.
13th century Mali was a center of excellence in Abubakari’s time, though reaching its peak after his era with Timbuktu having the second oldest University at that time with students numbering more than that of New York University. Courses such as mathematics, geography, history, astronomy, chemistry as well as Islamic studies flourished in Timbuktu. Mali was a center for trade, the exact spot to meet all who made the world spin. With the aid of the ship builders from Egypt and Mali, Abubakari built ships off the coast of Senegambia. His ships were 2000 in number. With this, he was to use to discover the end of the ocean. Abubakari was no coward. He insisted on accompanying the ships across the ocean.
In the year 1311, Abubakari abdicated his thrown to Mansa Musa. Not a son of his (contrary to contemporary literature). Abubakari equipped 1000 of his ships with the finest men, sorcerers, physicians, sailors and navigators. Every ship had supply ship attached to it. The number of ships totaled 2000. The other 1000 ships were loaded with foodstuffs, drugs, fruits and drinks to last his team for 2yrs. It was believed that Abubakari arrived on the other end of the Atlantic in the year 1312. Proof of the Malian expedition can be noted in the names given to places in Haiti as the Malians renamed places after themselves. Examples of such are Mandinga Port, Mandinga Bay and Sierre de Mali.
Lots of other proof abound and many more keep unfolding. There is also a Malian folktale which gives reference to this great expedition.
How could this be possible in Abubakari’s time? From a scientific point of view, the Atlantic is governed by 2 currents, which usually remain the same irrespective of month or season. These are the Guinea Current and the Canary Current. Both possess currents powerful enough to pull a ship form the coast of West Africa to the Americas. It is at end of these currents that you see the signs of negroid presence in the Americas.
It would therefore be suspected that Columbus employed similar knowledge of the currents of the Atlantic to sail across to the Americas. Such could only have been possible through the help of someone familiar with the rout. Hence the speculation that Columbus was accompanied by an African, Pedro Alonso Nino, who helped him navigate the Atlantic, appears more credible. It must be made clear that Columbus recorded seeing blacks in America. He also recorded seeing a building which looked like a mosque. The Malians were Muslims and hence there is a possibility that the mosque could have been erected by Malians. Columbus also recorded seeing a ship, filled with goods just departing the coast of Guinea and heading in the direction of America.
In addition to the above, another proof of this voyage comes from words of Mansa Musa, the successor to the thrown. Upon his arrival in Egypt, it was obvious the Egyptians were expecting to see Abubakari for the Hajj. On arriving in Egypt, Mansa Musa was quoted as explaining how ascended the thrown of Mali. Once again citing the manner King Abubakari had given up his thrown to contribute to global knowledge.
The presence of the Malians on American soil may thus be the reason for the presence of African crops such as Banana Plants and mango to mention a few.
My professor also said that some of the gold in the Americas has been traced back to Mali.
And to reiterate, Columbus reported the presence of Negroesin the “New World” on his third voyage. Even after the very first voyage, Columbus knew that Africans had already “discovered” America because he received a present of “guanines” from the Native Americans he encountered.
“…and he (Columbus) wanted to find out what the Indians of Hispaniola had told him, that there had come to it from the south and southeast Negro people, who brought those spear points made of metal which they call guanin, of which he had sent to the king and queen for assaying, and which was found to have in thirty-two parts, eighteen of gold, six of silver, and eight of copper”
“The only thing more American than apple pie is casual racism.” @ South of the Border
When Taurus marketed the Judge upon its release it was touted as a great “anti-carjacking” gun. Simply shoot several shots of .410 gauge shotshell into the carjacker’s face. Some haters complain about the lethality of .410 gauge but none of them want to test it out by take a couple to the face apparently…I wonder why. The Judge is Taurus’s best selling firearm, so much so that Smith & Wesson wanted a share of the market and created the Governor.
- comes to tumblr
- “people find the batman theater killer attractive”
uuugh it’s terrible. Another example of how white killers are not only seen as individuals that do not stand for their race and/or religion- and the media and everyone else go out of their way to wonder and say the most ridiculous things like, “The Most Important Question: Waz he hurting inside??” “Doctor looks at his face during trial: is he really tired and angsty or is that a jk??” “He’s kinda cute if he cut his hair! teehee! Liek I would date him if he weren’t… A MASS MURDERER.” It re-writes him as if he’s sort of some harmless guy with weird hair instead of yeah… a gun wielding murderer who changed peoples’ lives forever.
Springfield Armory imported several FAL variants under the SAR name, much like the G3 variants. This is an Israeli Heavy Barrel FAL. There was also a Light Barrel version. I believe the receivers are from IMBEL in Brazil. One of my favorite FAL variants.
I’m not racist but I need to say this…
African Americans need to fucking STOP pulling the slavery heritage card!
I’m Native American.
You know what that means? My people were mass murdered, raped, kicked off our own land, converted and guess what?
WERE THE VERY FIRST FUCKING SLAVES IN THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE IT WAS OUR LAND FIRST!
You learn about The Trail of Tears in history class for about a week. WE GET ONE SMALL WEEK IN ONE CLASS. WE DON’T GET A FUCKING MONTH! You don’t hear me going around saying “Is it because I’m indian?” “You don’t get to speak to me like that, youuuuu don’t know what my ancestors went through”
First off, neither do you because you live in the 21st century.
Second off, your own people sold one another to the white men so look in the mirror and be pissed.
Third off, get the fuck overt it. You get free fucking college and benefits because of what your ancestors went through even if you’re like 1/16. I’m fucking 25% Indian but i don’t get benefits so shut the fuck up because my race got fucked harder! There is no excuse to be racist towards all white people now because all white people were once racist towards your ancestors. Past is the past, especially when it isn’t your very own past.
Slavery was fucked up.
Racism is fucked up but people need to stop pulling the race card in order to get rid of racism.
Best way to do that is picture everyone as your favourite color, that way they are all lovely and equal to you. It isn’t until you get to know them on the inside that you get to turn them to your least favourite color. I see everyone as lime green until you piss me off, then you become an ugly ass yellowish/orange color!
Dear White Folk,
Saying the phrase “I’m not racist, but” is a clear indicator that you actually are a racist.
Dear White Folk,
There is no such thing as a Race Card which gets us out of any situation.
Dear White Folk,
Colorblindness is a facet of racism.
Dear White Folk,
Good for you if you have Native American heritage, but you’re still white. Being 1/8th Cherokee or whatever or less doesn’t count. You don’t get to play the “Native American Race Card”.
"There is a problem in America. An Irish or Polish American can write a story and it’s an American story. When a Black American writes a story, it’s called a Black story. I take exception to that. Every artist has articulated to his own experience. The problem is that some people do not see Blacks as Americans."
Gloria Naylor (via notime4yourshit)
Dear NAACP, KKK, Urban League, etc…,
Although your organizations has served your purpose in the past, I’m here to inform you that your services are no longer needed. No more do we need organizations that practice separatism to speak out and protest against the same type of behavior that you yourselves practice. Far removed are we from the titles of White American, Black American, Latin American, for I bear the title Proud American. So, please stop trying to make yourselves remain relevant by over stepping your bounds, prematurely accusing people of wrong doing, and bringing up issues that were resolved years ago. The time we stop being separate on our own accord, we will see the economy work the way it should, lesser tension with those that volunteer to serve and protect, and a more harmonious and united United States of America!
(Source: dysfunctionalstatesofamerica, via )
Certificate of Residence for a Chinese Person in the United States
This is copy of a Certificate of Residence issued to Ah Jeung in 1894 in Portland, Oregon. Years later, Jeung traveled to Arizona and was arrested for not being in possession of any proof of legal U.S. residency. Although this copy was sent to the District Courts in Arizona Territory and Jeung testified that he had lived continuously in the United States for about 25 years, he was still found to have been in the United States unlawfully. On May 5, 1906, a judge presiding over the First Judicial District in Arizona ordered that Jeung be deported. These Records are held at the National Archives at Riverside.
Observing Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
To pay tribute to the many generations of Asian-Pacific Americans that have enriched our nation’s history, the National Archives at Riverside will be highlighting some of our holdings relating to Asian American history in our region (Southern California, Arizona, and Clark County, NV), including records relating to enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Act, records relating to Japanese internment and relocation, and many more.
For more information about Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, see http://asianpacificheritage.gov/
“So when the Irish, when Germans, when Italians were coming, and they didn’t speak the language and they didn’t know the culture, the idea was they will assimilate into Americanhood; they will become American, which in the American tradition has meant white American. But that melting pot never included people of color. Blacks, Chinese, Puerto Ricans, etcetera, could not melt into the pot. They could be used as wood to produce the fire for the pot, but they could not be used as material to be melted into the pot.”
To read more of.
I think it’s important to note that the first wave of Irish immigrants were treated like rodents.
I think it’s also important to note that the identity of being “American” didn’t pop out of thin air. It took a long time to develop, because they were British colonists first and then they were loyal to states which led to the Civil War.
One of the things the 18th century British empire had in common with the new American nation was that they both had principles of liberty. Britain had parliament, America had its whole thing going on… but both practiced slavery. The principles of freedom, democracy and liberty were hypocritical because they weren’t put into practice on their “subject” peoples, even as they lauded themselves for the rights they gave themselves.
This changed over time. And America had a hard time with its initially mostly-white population taking in first the huge swathes of Mexican territory after the Mexican War (with it millions of former Mexicans), then freeing the black slaves, and so on.
The problem with this quote is that it takes history out of context. America, just like most countries, figured things out as it went along and it reacted to situations as they happened, sometimes regressing and sometimes rolling with the times. There was no great initial plan to say “Let’s let everyone come here, but let’s let the coloured peoples do the crappy work.”
It just happened, with various tragedies along the way, but there was no great White Person Plan for America.
Whoa, is this real?
There was no great initial plan to say “Let’s let everyone come here, but let’s let the coloured peoples do the crappy work.” —Of course there was. People from Africa were brought (by White Europeans) across the Atlantic to the Americas specifically to labor without pay, specifically to do the “crappy work”, and their identity as enslaved workers outside of respectable society was marked specifically by their physical appearance, because they were “coloured” as you say. From the earliest years of the colonial period people were brought to the US and the rest of the Americas from Africa specifically to work. Black slavery and the life of Black communities across the continent played out in a variety of ways depending on a number of variables, but the condition of Blacks on this continent was always dependent on being the people who were initially brought here to do the “crappy work”. Indigenous peoples across the continent were also exploited for their labor, and treated quite differently from the White European colonists specifically because of their perceived racial and ethnic traits, both in Latin America and in the United States. Basically all non-Whites who have come to the continent have come here to do work, Chinese immigrants in the West Coast on the US, Irish and Italian immigrants before their communities were subsumed into the larger category of White American, South Asian indentured servants in the British colonies in the Caribbean, even now lots of non-Whites come to the US with work visas, to work, and their value to and integration with US society is predicated on what they can produce, on how educated they are and what their labor contributes to society. And poor Mexicans and Central Americans cross the border into the US to work, to “do the works Americans won’t do” as people say, to do the “crappy work”. Non-whites have always been associated with “crappy work” in the Americas since White Europeans took control over much of the continent in the colonial period. Even right now, what was the most popular cinematic representation of “coloured peoples” as you say in the US last year? The Help, a movie were a group of Black women are employed as maids, doing the “crappy work” that their white mistresses apparently can’t or won’t do despite the fact that they don’t seem to be busy doing anything else. The “coloured peoples” have always been associated with “crappy work”. The value of non-whites in the US has always been tied with up labor, with work, crappy or otherwise. Non-white minorities are characterized by work: either they sterotypically work hard, being particularly good at specific labor (asians are good at math, black men are good at sports), or they’re too lazy and are taking all the resources. Their value is tied up with work. White people’s value as americans and as citizens is almost never characterized as a function of their labor at all.
And what do you mean “let’s LET everyone come here”? Who’s saying that, who’s saying “let’s let everyone come HERE”? The indigenous people who were here the whole time? No, right? You’re creating an argument where White Americans are in power by default already, and you don’t explain how this happened, and you say they are deciding who they “let” in “their” country or not.
And America had a hard time with its initially mostly-white population taking in first the huge swathes of Mexican territory after the Mexican War (with it millions of former Mexicans), then freeing the black slaves, and so on.—You can only refer to the population of the US as “initially mostly-white” if you take an incredibly Euro-centric point of view that pretty much erases the existence and importance of indigenous people, you know, the original inhabitants of the entire American continent, including the US. White people were only the majority in very particular areas where they settled and which they took from the Native Americans that were already living there, the areas where they were (and are) the majority were created by force. This isn’t just minor growing pains as you seem to characterize it. And there weren’t “millions of former Mexicans” in the territory that was taken by the US after the Mexican-American War. And “freeing the black slaves, and so on” is just a minor blip, apparently.
It just happened, with various tragedies along the way, but there was no great White Person Plan for America. — I saw this post on the Lati-negr@s tumblr. I have to say that I don’t usually reblog and respond to people that much in this blog, where I just pretty much post random facts about Latin America or whatever, and I certainly don’t respond to people who do not address this blog directly, but this has to be one of the most incredibly crass, dismissive statements about the history of the Americas I have ever read in my entire life. And typed out so casually on tumblr! I honesly cannot believe this is real. So colonialism, Black slavery, the genocide of indigenous people, violence on the part of Whites against non-Whites in this continent and in the US in particular for hundreds of years can just be summed up casually as “various tragedies along the way”? Along the way to what? “There was no great White Person Plan for America”? Are you serious? Of course there was. I don’t even know what to say.
A Brief History of Cuba:
Cuba is located ninety miles south of Key West, and lies at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and Central America. It is the largest island in the West Indies. Cuba’s geography is diverse. Most of Cuba is low, rolling country with hilly parts. The eastern end of the island is mountainous. Most of the southern part of the island is very flat and suffers from tsunamis driven by hurricanes. The highest point in Cuba is Pico Turquino, in the southeast. Its altitude is 6560 feet. From the east the land drops suddenly under the sea. There are few inland lakes, and the only navigable river is the Rio Cauto. Cuba has a tropical climate and a flora and fauna that are generally found in this climate. A large population of reptiles, insects and wide array of plants. Cuba was discovered by Cristobal Colon in 1492. It was settled nine years later in 1511 by his son Diego Colon who founded the city of Santiago three years later. Its original inhabitants the Arawak Indians were wiped out by the Spaniards. Cuba remained under Spanish rule for the next four centuries. Except for a brief period of British occupation in the eighteenth century. The soul of the Cuban nation was forged during the nineteenth century. Its teacher born in Havana on November 20, 1788 was Father Felix Varela. The culminations of his philisophical writings in Cuba was his Lecciones de filosofia which was for decades the textbook in logic, metaphysics, ethics, natural philosophy, and chemistry in the colleges of not only of Cuba, but of Mexico and other countries of Spanish origin. A random sample of the section headings give you an idea of Varela’s thought: “On the Good Use of Reason and on Its Opposites, Fanaticism and Pedanticism;” “On the Light of Reason and Natural Right;” “On the relations of Man with Society;” “On the Nature of Society and of Patriotism;” “The Knowledge Which Man Has of His Creator and His Consequent Obligations.” He viewed science and religion as not being in conflict. That one could not be blind to the truth surrounding one, and that truth would lead one closer to God. Among his studentswere the leaders of the ten years war. The Ten Years’ War was led by the Cespedes and Agramonte families who liberated large number of slaves that joined together for the independence of Cuba. Although this struggle failed it led to further uprisings in the 1890’s. One of the leaders described Varela as “the one who taught us Cubans to think.” These works and students went on to have a dramatic influence on Jose Marti the “Apostol” of the revolt against Spain in the 1890’s.
Jose Marti was born in Havana in 1853. At 17 he was exiled to Spain for his opposition to colonial rule. While in Spain he published a pamphlet exposing the horrors of political imprisonment in Cuba, which he himself had experienced. During his exile he became an accomplished writer and journalist drifting throughout Latin America trying to avoid living under dictatorship. His views on racism, liberty, class, patriotism, were heavily influenced by Varela. Marti stated, “there is no racial hatred, because there are nor races… the universal identity of man is evident in his victorious love and his turbulent appetites. The same soul, equal and eternal, emanates from bodies different in shape and color.” He was annoyed at the talk of social classes. Because to “recognize their existence is to contribute to them.” To refuse to would result in their destruction which was his end goal. Marti’s analysis of societal conflicts were that the root cause was not race or class based, but rather the ancient conflict between good and evil. In 1878 he returned to Cuba under a general amnesty, but he conspired against the Spanish authorities and again was banished. Marti then lived in New York from 1881 to 1895. In 1895, he left to join the war for Cuban independence that he had painstakingly organized. There he died in one of the first battles.
Cuba’s independence came about when the United States won the Spanish American War in 1898 and granted Cuba independence in 1902 after four years of U.S. occupation. The Platt Amendment was the price the Cuban rebels paid to get a withdrawal of U.S. troops. This amendment, grafted into the Cuban constitution of 1902, guaranteed the right of the U.S. to intervene in Cuban affairs to protect U.S. interests on the island. During the next thirty two years the U.S. continuously intervened in Cuban internal affairs.
The result was the rise of a corrupt political culture with two parties: Liberal and Conservative (which by the way wasn’t conservative) who often had business holdings with American corporations. This process continued until the election of Machado in 1924. Extending his rule to a second term by dubious means Machado’s administration fell right into the Great Depression. This aggravated the already existing resistance to his regime. In 1933 the crisis reached breaking point. Major uprisings along with pressure from U.S. ambassador Sumner Welles led to Machado’s resignation and the establishment of a U.S. backed regime under Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, son of the same named patriot of the Ten Years’ War. On September 4, 1933, Sergeant Fulgencio Batista led a revolt with student revolutionaries. Fulgencio Batista, a mulatto of modest background, would oversee and manipulate the Cuban political landscape for the next 26 years. Ramon Grau San Martin, a university professor, became provisional president, but refused to swear allegiance to a the 1901 Constitution with the planks that contained recognition of the Platt Amendment as US warships circled the island. 127 days later his government is brought down by a Batista led coup. Grau’s government had not been recognized by the United States. In 1934 the U.S. recognized that the Platt Amendment had been abolished. The end of the liberal and “conservative” governments led to the formation of two new parties “el Autentico” and later “el Ortodoxo” which claimed to be against the “corrupt Autentico’s.” Between 1934 and 1940 Batista controlled the Cuban government through a series of puppet regimes. In 1940 a constitutional convention meets in which all political forces in Cuban society are represented. After the new Cuban constitution is established in 1940. Batista is elected in 1940 as the constitutional president. The communist party made up part of the coalition that brought Batista to power. Batista described himself as a “progressive socialist.” He used the communist party to take control of the labor unions.
In 1944, Batista is defeated in a fair election and Grau San Martin is elected President. In 1948 Grau’s successor Carlos Prio Socarras is elected President. During the Autentico regime’s rule political gangsterism swept through Cuba and shook Cuban society to its very core. According to the constitution of 1940 the University of Havana was an area in which civil and millitary police were not allowed. The result was that these political gangsters were able to murder with impunity and use the University as refuge from the authorities. These groups were used by the Autentico’s to wipe out communist infiltration of the Unions. The situation worsened under Prio Socarras to the point that Fulgencio Batista was able to justify a coup de etat which took place on March 10, 1952. One of these political gangsters Fidel Castro would plan an ill fated attack on the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953. Thanks to Batista’s abrogation of the constitution and an economic downturn in the 1950’s opposition to Batista begins to grow. Less than two years after the failed attack, Batista declares an amnesty in which the Castro brothers are released from prison. Castro leaves for Mexico to train and organize. He returns on the Granma and lands in Cuba. Taking up residence in the Sierra Maestra. Four months later the Directorio Revolucionario assaults the Presidential palace, but fails in assassinating Batista and are crushed. Leaving Castro’s July 26 movement as the main opposition group. Nearly a year later a general strike fails. Towards the end of 1958 the United States under the Eisenhower Administration began an arms embargo on the Batista Regime which is interpreted as U.S. support for Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries.
On January 1, 1959 Batista leaves Cuba and Castro takes over Cuba’s government. During the next year and a half Fidel Castro consolidates power and siezes properties. Castro allies himself with the Soviet Union. Due to the residual anti-Americanism left over from the Platt-Amendment the Cuban people enthusiastically support Castro’s independence from the United States. In 1961 Cuban exiles trained and armed by the C.I.A. formed Brigade 2506 which landed at the “Playa de Giron” otherwise known as the Bay of Pigs. Due to leaks within the State Department the Cuban government had for knowledge of the invasion. In addition to preserve “plausible deniability” the Kennedy administration renegged on its pledge of air and naval support. Cuban exile troops were left on the beaches to get shot up and or imprisoned. A number of American pilots refused to abandon them and died in action. Due to this fiasco and the Kennedy administration’s percieved or actual indecisiveness the USSR believed that it could place offensive missiles in Cuba. This would alter the strategic balance of power. In 1962, Soviet nuclear missiles could only reach Western Europe; while the United States had ICBM’s capable of targeting Soviet territory in the United States as well medium range weapons in Turkey. Missiles in Cuba would give the USSR the ability to accurately target U.S. assets and population centers.
The result of these developments was the Cuban Missile Crisis and the resulting Kennedy-Kruschev pact which guaranteed Castro’s rule for the next thirty years.In 1966 the Cuban Adjustment Act was signed into law. Over a million and a half Cubans sought political refuge in the United States. Building an enclave of economic and cultural power in Miami which has changed the face of South Florida. Cuban exiles organized into a huge umbrella of political and para-millitary organizations throughout this period. Groups such as Alpha 66, Commandos L, and Omega 7 targeted Castro agents abroad and millitary and security targets inside the island. In the 1970’s Cuba embarked on millitary adventurism in Africa and Latin America. Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and El Salvador just to name a few nations would experience revolutionary “struggles” aided and abetted by Cuban arms and or Cuban troops. In 1980, Cubans seeking freedom invaded the Peruvian embassy in Havana. The resulting wave of refugees came to be kn own as the Mariel boatlift. Castro in a cynical attempt to taint the exiles mixed in mental patients, homosexuals, and criminals into the mass of refugees. These elements totalled less than 5% of the over 125,000 Cubans that entered the U.S.A. During the Reagan Administration, Radio Marti began to operate. This terminated Castro’s monopoly on information. As a result human rights, and dissident groups began to gain strength and momentum. The knowledge that somone out their could know the truth filled them with hope and energy. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 placed the Castro regime in dire straits. It’s economy shrank by more than 60% as its Soviet subsidies dried up. During this special period Castro issued a new mantra for a weary populace: Socialism or Death. The Cuban people answered by taking to the ocean in innertubes and risking death on the high seas. In addition some of the banners proclaiming socialism or death were vandalized to read socialism is death. On July 13, 1994 a group composed of primarily women and children was attacked by the Cuban coast guard. According to eyewitness accounts the women begged for the lives of their children and the Castro’s henchmen responded by using high pressure hoses to wash women and babies overboard to their deaths. The coastguard then rammed and sank the ship. A month later, on August 5, 1994, this incident sparked uprisings in Havana. Once again Castro offered the people a chance to leave and the rafter crisis overshadowed the uprising. Scores of dissidents and human rights monitors were detained. One year later on July 13, 1995 a group of Cuban exiles traveled into Cuban waters to another those who died, a year earlier in the sinking of the 13 de Marzo. The flotilla’s lead boat Democracia, was rammed by two Cuban gunboats. Crew members were injured. Less than eight months later, on February 24, 1996, two Brothers to the Rescue Planes were shot out of the sky by Cuban MiGs. They had been shceduled to travel to the Bahamas, but thanks to the combined actions of the spy Roque, and the Cuban government they were forced to cancel their flight plan. Roque arrived earlier, with out Brothers To The Rescue’s knowledge, and incited the Cuban refugees in the Bahamian camps to riot. The Cuban government decided to send a delegation on February 24. Brothers to the Rescue was told not to land in the Bahamas. Leaving them their back-up plan which was to do a patrol in the Florida straits for Cuban rafters near the 24th parallel. They were assassinated in a premeditated fashion by the Cuban government. The Cuban government botched the assassination with their failure to blow Jose Basulto’s plane out of the sky. Thus, they were unable to turn Roque into a survivor and witness of Brothers to the Rescue’s intentions.