Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Spain's New "Law of Return" Lambasted in Racist Cartoon in "Granma"

Here it is, as published in Granma, official organ of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party: the graphic reaction of the Castro regime to Spain's new "Law of Return" which grants Spanish citizenship to the foreign-born descendents of Spaniards who emigrated to Cuba (and other countries) in the first half of the 20th century. This includes Fidel Castro's own children, of course, and nearly half of Cuba's population. In total, more than 1.2 Spaniards crossed the Atlantic in search of a better life in Spain's former colony. Most prospered in their adopted country and grew roots there until Castro robbed them of the fruits of their hard work and literally deracinated their lives. Many returned to Spain with only the clothes on their backs and 40 or 50 additional years to start their lives anew, or, rather, to end them as best as they could; but most remained in Cuba because their children and grandchildren had been born and raised there and they did not want to be separated from them in their old age.

In the 1990s, when most of the original emigrants were dead, the Spanish government negotiated on their behalf and without their consent a settlement of their claims for confiscated properties. The aggregate of Spanish assets in Cuba before 1959, consisting mostly of small businesses but large ones as well, far exceeded the $6 billion which the U.S. claims is owed to its citizens. Yet the Spanish government settled the claims of its nationals for $50 million (of which Castro didn't pay a cent). In effect, it transferred Spanish properties worth billions to Castro and robbed its own citizens for a second time.

Perhaps this belated "Law of Return" is a way for the Spanish government to make amends to those it wronged, or, rather, to their descendents. Spain did that before in 1924 when it promulgated the world's first "Law of Return" which benefitted the descendents of Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. That law, intended as a symbolic gesture, saved 600,000 lives during the Holocaust. Spain's scions in the Americas at least did not have to wait 400 years to obtain some measure of justice.

The new law poses a dilemma for the regime: it means fewer mouths to feed but also fewer hands to work Castro's island-wide plantation, and, of course, the humiliation of being repudiated publicly by yet another mass exodus representing yet another generation of discontented Cubans. In such circumstances there is only one card which the regime can still play: the race card. It did so during the Mariel boatlift and this cartoon indicates that it is prepared to do so again.

The cartoon itself is obviously intended for Spanish consumption and plays on the xenophobic racism which is enjoying a revival not only in Spain but throughout Europe. The implication is that a great number (in the cartoon, all) of Spain's newly-minted citizens by way of Cuba will be black. No doubt a great many will be: Spaniards themselves saw to that by mixing freely with the island's inhabitants. That, of course, is the glory of Spain: its colonists assimilated native populations, as opposed to Anglo-Saxons who tended to decimate them.

Granma's caricature of blacks could not be more grotesque or instructive. Obviously, blacks are "the other" in Castro's Cuba, and it must really puzzle the island's political commissars, who segregate Cuban blacks in non-autonomous ghettos which they are not allowed to leave, why Spaniards would wish to import what they themselves regard as Cuba's "Black Problem." Notice, also, that most of those on line waiting to emigrate in the cartoon are male except for an old woman and child. The message to Spaniards is that they should not expect the mulatas that they love but only black males, which most of them do not love as well.

The caption in the cartoon is intended for internal consumption and can be interpreted in at least two ways. It could refer to the irony that Europeans, who abducted by force the black ancestors of Cuban mulattos, are now naturalizing and repatriating them based on their white ancestry. Or it could be trying to imply that before the Revolution only those who were compelled or expelled by the Spanish authorities ever immigrated to Cuba, and to remember that the authorities that once booted their ancestors could boot them, too.

The message that the cartoon actually conveys, besides the rampant racism, is that the regime continues to be afraid of its own people and resents mightily any government that would "smuggle" its to hostages to freedom by resorting to legal "sleight of hand." The "Law of Return" is Spain's version of the Cuban Adjustment Act exept that to take advantage of it Cubans don't have to risk their lives at sea. Freedom is now just an Iberia flight away.

24 comments:

Vana said...

It's quite obvious by this racist cartoon that the regime is upset at Spains slight of hand, by trying to wrest from the Castros some of their slaves, if most accept Spains kind invitation millions would leave the island, the Castros know full well what Spain is up to hence the cartoon.

Hope others will see this racist cartoon and realize that racism is rampant in Cuba.

Fantomas said...

Manuel fidel hace poco en una reflexion hablo de los " robos de cerebros" en Cuba. Que habia que pararlo. Olvidate de eso no importa si tienen ancestors españoles , cubanos con "cerebros" no sera permitidos a emigrar a España

Anonymous said...

So that's how you got away, fantomas.

Anonymous said...

fantomas said:

"cubanos con "cerebros" no sera permitidos a emigrar"

y a los que no tienen cerebros los mandan en botes -- como a fantomas

Anonymous said...

fantomas is a couple of cards short of a full deck-- that's why he got kicked out.

Anonymous said...

Alex fantomas te bautizo en su blog

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkg473IYUpE

Video de Alex Hernandez antes de tomarse las pastillitas magicas

fantomas said...

Manuel si ya empezaron a a sacar en el granma a las caricaturas de Mama Ines y de Kid chocolate tu no crees que esto es meramente un ensayo para cuando Obama llegue al altar

Estan acostumbrando al pueblo al black humor cosa nunca antes vista en 50 años de revolucion

apunta manolete

Anonymous said...

Manuel ahora te metes a critico de cartoons

En verdad que lo tienes bien grande

Discuss

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Vana:

I do believe that Spain would prefer Cubans to other migrants whether white or black. Its own declining birth rate necessitates guess workers but popular prejudice is against them. The repatriated Cubans will adapt to Spanish society with relative ease, and, as fantomas points out, are more educated than any other potential immigrants. Spain has decided to draw not only on that brain pool but also the brawn of these young and motivated workers. This infusion of new old blood could well be the salvation of Spain.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Castro will find some way to capitalize from this situation. The brain drain will be turned into some kind of subsidy for him. I think it likely that he will not allow the emigrants to return to Cuba on visits with their new Spanish passports unless they agree to recompense the state for the "social services" that they received while Cuban citizens.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

anonymous @ 8:13:

I have always been a cartoon critic:

http://reviewofcuban-americanblogs.blogspot.com/2008/01/is-there-mole-on-granma.html

Fulano de Cal said...

Well, better late than never. I, as well as my asturiano grandfather, could have used this in 1974.

Angel Garzón said...

Good one Manuel, very good one indeed, but hey, that's a habit with you, what can I say? I await your musings and analysis just as much as my daily Kona coffee, I am hooked on your work, just as much as on those from Ms. C., Luis Garcia, Alek Boyd, Tomás Estrada Palma and Ruth from Ninety Miles Away (where are you KC & CB?.) Look for an eMail from me tomorrow, I have a couple of questions to ask you about this article, which I prefer to keep private.


Vana said...

"...Hope others will see this racist cartoon and realize that racism is rampant in Cuba."

I agree with you Vana, but I won't hold my breath. Racism in Cuba is the norm as per the wishes of the communist ruling class, they have even gone to the extreme of fostering hatred among the Cubans of different regions and provinces, while racism did exist in Cuba prior to Kasstro Inc. having taken power by deception, it was not uniformly practiced throughout the nation and it never rose to the level of vitriolic excesses that it did reach in the USA, however, considering both of our nations' past, it is fair to say that the USA has progressed tremendously towards a fair society, while Kasstros' Cuba has done exactly the opposite, the former provincial and municipal rivalries that were mostly colloquial and rather trivial, have been elevated to the level of hatred and disdain that I mentioned earlier, the goal of course, is to keep the people divided by any and every possible means, the ruling elite is majority white and just about in every area of society it is common to see the same racial structure. Our homeland has come far indeed, except that instead of having moved forward, it has been moved backwards.

There's an excellent book that touches on this subject, its author was Anthony Bryant (R.I.P.) it is titled "Hijack" (ISBN: 0917639006) I highly recommend it.

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