Hate Crimes? / Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado

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The Cuban paper Granma is an inexhaustible assortment of themes for any attentive reader. I , at the risk of seeming repetitive and without any intention of making copies of what they publish, found myself often challenging their texts and points of view, as in this case. The note shown in the image published by Prensa Latina, appeared on the first page of the aforementioned daily this past July 2 and because of its poor quality, I transcribe.

STOCKHOLM- Sweden reported a notable increase in hate crimes for the year 2011 compared to the previous year according to a report revealed by the Swedish National Council for the Prevention of Crime.

For the year 2011, the Nordic nation recorded 5493 crimes of this nature, some 350 more than during 2010. According to the study, racist acts, the majority of which took the form of verbal threats, followed by those with.the highest rate of physical violence, were most frequently directed at homosexuals.

In accordance with the most widely accepted understanding, hate crimes take place when a person attacks another and chooses their victim as a function of their belonging to a designated social group according to age, race, gender, gender identity, religion, ethnicity, nationality, political affiliation, handicap, or sexual orientation.

It seems that Prensa Latina is trying to ignore what happened in Cuba in the ’60s with these types of actions like when they reviled those who were leaving the country and prevented them from taking or disposing of their own property, even their toiletries. They are trying to ignore the humiliation that Cubans suffered in the following decades because of the simple fact of their wanting to emigrate and how they were sent to perform farm work in order to humiliate them further. They also revert to forgetfulness when the historic leader of the Revolution said publicly regarding those who were leaving Cuba, not to return: “we don’t want them, we don’t need them.”

I understand that it’s not constructive to spend one’s life “reading old newspapers”. But are they that old? The only and state supported television of my country lacks programs with lead actors considered black on account of their skin color; there is political discrimination, after all, only one party is recognized and legally accepted; and they attack defenseless women like the Women in White for standing up for the rights and freedom of the Cuban people. Are these not hate crimes fomented by the government itself?

Translated by William Fitzhugh

July 10 2012