SCREENSHOT / EL MUNDO

The woke class believes that the United States is one of the most oppressive nations on Earth. Consequently, it will side with any dictator who is not on good terms with the US government.

Cuba is a case in point: after 60 years of a vicious dictatorship, the Cuban people have had enough — and now they are out in the streets protesting for freedom. Unsurprisingly, instead of supporting protests, wokesters are excusing the Cuban dictatorship.

Consider a recent statement by Black Lives Matter: the movement “condemns the US federal government’s inhumane treatment of Cubans, and urges it to immediately lift the economic embargo.” Not a single word against Díaz Canel’s — the Cuban dictator— brutal repression and forced disappearance of some demonstrators.

Not to be outdone, over the years, other prominent wokesters have sung praises of the Cuban revolution. For example, Nikole Hanna-Jones — founder of the infamous 1619 project — recently praised the Cuban revolution for ending codified racism. In a podcast conversation documented by The National Pulse, Jones stated that “Cuba has the least inequality between black and white people of any place really in the hemisphere.”

Jones’ claim may or may not be true. Yet she fails to understand that Communist regimes are very apt at reaching equality by levelling down, or as Churchill memorably put it, “socialism is the equal distribution of poverty”.

Still, Jones may indeed be onto something. There were never lynchings or Ku Klux Klan-like organizations in Cuba. In Havana you can encounter plenty of happy interracial couples, and you just don’t see in Cuban life the racial obsessions that you do perceive in the United States.

But Jones does not seem to notice that these facts run counter to her agenda.

For, despite its brutality and corruption, the Cuban regime can be praised for resisting the temptation to engage with the neo-racist policies and rhetoric that much of the Left in the United States now favours. In Cuba, slavery was only abolished in 1886, and in subsequent years, de iure racial segregation persisted in some areas of Cuban life. When Castro rose to power in 1959, he abolished any remnants of legal segregation.

But he was careful enough never to engage in identity politics. Concerning race, Castro’s agenda was very similar to 19th Century poet José Martí’s— the father of the nation. As a promoter of Cuban nationalism, Martí had a deep commitment to end racial injustices in his nation, but he always made it clear that all Cubans —black and white— must stay united, and national identity must always be more important than ethnic identity.

Castro ultimately embraced Marxist rhetoric promoting class warfare, but when it came to race, his approach was far closer to Marti’s. His policies were always thoroughly colourblind, and he severely repressed those who attempted to sow racial divisions amongst the Cuban population.

Truth be told, Castro was actually following Marx’s own dictum. Yes, Marx encouraged class struggle, and this ushered terrible consequences. But Marx was sensible enough to understand that poverty affects all races, and that in order to build a truly progressive society, racial divisions must not be exploited for political gain. The Communist Manifesto’s most famous words, “workers of the world, unite!”, neatly expresses this colourblind ideology. Marx and Engels urged all workers to unite, regardless of the colour of their skin. Marx and Engels would have little patience with the counter-intuitive woke notion that a royal such as Meghan Merkle— or a capitalist such as Oprah Winfrey ­— are oppressed solely because their skin is dark.

Black Lives Matter’s founder Patrisse Cullors proudly claimed that her fellow organizers are “trained Marxists”. They might be Marxists, to the extent that they want some sort of violent struggle to bring about their political goals. But living in a mansion —as Cullors does— hardly qualifies you as a genuine Marxist who is concerned with people’s poverty. And more importantly, when it comes to race, Black Lives Matter is far from being a Marxist organization.

Black Lives Matter does not want the workers of the world to unite; for all they know, blue-collar whites — most of whom voted for Trump— can keep on living in the trailer as despised hillbillies. If you even dare say “All lives matter”— a slogan not altogether different from “workers of the world, unite!”— you’ll be in deep trouble.

Nikole Hanna-Jones favours affirmative action, reparations, and a host of other colour-conscious policies. She wants race to be continue to be a central element in American life— even if it means falsifying history, such as her claim that the American Revolution took place as an attempt to preserve slavery, because the British were considering to abolish it.

Yet, she sings the praises of a regime that for 60 years has been carefully trying to avoid racial divisions. Say what you want about Cuba’s tyranny, but occasionally we should give the devil his due: Castro’s revolution has always kept a commitment to a colourblind approach to race.

Wokesters are a tad confused about Cuba and Marxism’s approach to race, or — more likely — they are simply ignorant. Shame on them.

Gabriel Andrade

Gabriel Andrade is assistant professor of medicine at Ajman University, in the United Arab Emirates. He received a PhD from University of Zulia (Venezuela), in 2008. He worked as Titular Professor at University...