Cuban blacks and mulattos will suffer the most with the elimination of a million government jobs, which could easily become a racial problem, consequence of the radical reforms imposed, and ‘must be addressed as a priority’, points out a report from Cuban academic Esteban Morales.
“They have always been, historically, the sectors with the least qualification, the least favoured in employment, holding the worst jobs, the lowest pay and the most modest old age pensions”, said Morales in reference to Cuban blacks and mulattos.
President Raul Castro is going ahead with 313 reforms which have the full backing from the Communist Party and include the elimination of a million government jobs in five years in an attempt to make efficient a worn out degraded centralized economic model.
The redundant workers will have to look for jobs in other productive sectors of the economy such as agriculture and construction, or with the private or cooperative sectors.
Morales a political scientist, economist and columnist who happens to be black and has many books written on Cuba’s racial and discrimination problems continues to be entirely identified with the revolution speared by Fidel Castro in spite of the fact he was fired from the Communist Party for exposing wide spread corruption.
Afro-Cubans are also “the least absorbed by the so called new economy” (tourism, mixed enterprises, cooperatives) and “who can less balance their family income from outside remittances”, since most of the Cuban emigrants (mostly in the US) are white.
In his study, “Challenges for colour as part of the debate on Socialism”, Morales points out that given this situation “some tend to take refuge in pagan rites as a way of making a profit, illicit activities, pimps and prostitution and the sale of smuggled or pilfered goods”.
Morales says that according to the latest census, 65% of the Cuban population is white and 35% black or mixed, but 57% of the jail population is black or mulatto and 42% white.
The expert argues that the racial and discrimination problem in Cuba is real and is an issue with “political views in collision course”, and therefore demands an open debate with the participation of public opinion, the Communist party, Parliament, political organizations and unions.