Prominent Anthropologist and Historian Speaks Out After Being Silenced At Cuban Symposium

Dr. MarÍa Ileana Faguaga, anthropologist and historian spoke candidly with Radio MartÍ reporter, Amando Gil, earlier this week about the recent Cuban African heritage symposium, held at the Juan Marinello Center for Research and Development of Cuban Culture. The event was organized by the Cuban government, with support from the United Nations, to promote the U.N.’s proclamation of 2011 as the International Year for People from African Descent.

Faguaga, who is an academic on African descent, was invited to attend by the Cuban government, but was not permitted to speak during the meeting. She also mentioned that known opposition organizations, such as the Citizen Committee for Racial Integration and the Afro-Cuban Foundation, were absent from the event.

Faguaga feels that the Castro regime has done little to tackle racial prejudice and inequality since coming to power in 1959. She characterized the government’s reluctance to act as “deep-seated, institutionalized, and growing.”

The interview aired on Radio Marti newcasts, including the program “News As It Is,” on June 14.