Cuba has a single-party authoritarian regime where political opposition is not permitted. There are elections in Cuba, but they are not considered democratic. Censorship of information (including limits to internet access) is extensive, and independent journalism is repressed in Cuba; Reporters Without Borders has characterized Cuba as one of the worst countries in the world for press freedom. (Full article...)
Image 18Rebel leaders engaged in extensive propaganda to get the U.S. to intervene, as shown in this cartoon in an American magazine. Columbia (the American people) reaches out to help oppressed Cuba in 1897 while Uncle Sam (the U.S. government) is blind to the crisis and will not use its powerful guns to help. Judge magazine, 6 February 1897. (from History of Cuba)
Eusebia Cosme Almanza (5 March 1908 – 11 July 1976), known as Eusebia Cosme internationally, was an Afro-Cuban poetry reciter and actress who gained widespread fame in the 1930s. Because of racial segregation, Cosme did not pursue an acting career in the traditional Cuban theater, instead focusing on the art of declamation, or poetry reading. She was the sole Cuban woman and one of the few black women to participate in African-themed declamation. Her performances went beyond reciting the poems, as she used gestures, facial expression and vocal rhythm to convey the emotion of the written word. Focusing on works that served as social commentary on race, gender, and the disparity of the position of blacks in both Latin America and the United States, Cosme was recognized as a master of her craft. Beginning her career in variety shows, she performed in Cuba until the late 1930s, before embarking on international tours.
In 1938, Cosme moved to the United States. She became a naturalized US citizen in the 1940s. She performed to sold-out houses at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Town Hall, and historically black universities. She performed with both Marian Anderson and Langston Hughes, and brought the works of African-American poets to Hispanic audiences via The Eusebia Cosme Show, which aired on CBS Radio from 1943 to 1945. She performed recitations in the United States through the late 1950s, worked as an abstract painter in the 1960s, and began acting in film and television in 1964. Cosme lived in Mexico City from 1966 to 1973, when she appeared in such films as The Pawnbroker and White Roses for My Black Sister. Her most noted role was as "Mamá Dolores", which she played repeatedly in her career. She first played this character, from Felix B. Caignet's radio drama El Derecho de nacer (The Right of Birth), in a 1955 stage performance in New York City. She repeated it in both the 1966 film and telenovela by the same name. In 1971 she filmed a spin-off, Mamá Dolores. Her performance in the 1966 film was recognized with the Premio Ónix as best actress. (Full article...)
...that the music for the song Guantanamera is regularly attributed to José Fernández Díaz in the 1920s, but that pianist Herminio "El Diablo" García Wilson also claimed to have written the song? And that the matter was only resolved decades later, when García's heirs lost their case at the Supreme Court of Cuba?
Hundreds of Cubans have given their lives, literally, in a struggle that was, first and foremost, not theirs but ours. As Southern Africans we salute them. We vow never to forget this unparalleled example of selfless internationalism.
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