Cuba and Lucea: a long his­tory

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: IN THE 1960s, there were many per­sons who lived in Lucea who ran away from Cuba af­ter the Cuban Rev­o­lu­tion in 1959. I grew up among many of those per­sons who told us sad sto­ries of how they were en­slaved by Fidel Cas­tro when he in­tro­duced com­mu­nism to the coun­try. They all told us of a wicked man who took away their rights and free­doms.

These peo­ple were from dif­fer­ent so­cio-eco­nomic back­grounds. One man we called Tres burnt coal for a liv­ing. Oth­ers, like two other men who went by the name Cuban, were poor peas­ants who did odd jobs for a liv­ing. Miss Ma­honey was from Cuba, but spoke bril­liant English. There was a mo­tor boat called Dil­lie in the Lucea har­bour up to about 1972 that brought refugees to the Hanover cap­i­tal.

In 1974, a young dy­namic teacher of his­tory at Rusea’s High School who lived be­side me in Haughton Court called Michael Kelly started the Hanover Pro­gres­sive Move­ment in 1976, which was a quiet in­tro­duc­tion of com­mu­nism to the area. In 1978, when the Work­ers Party of Ja­maica (WPJ) was formed, I joined in the sell­ing of the WPJ’s Strug­gle news­pa­per. I knew that there were many lies told about Fidel Cas­tro and his regime.

I al­ways ad­mired Mr Cas­tro, who had a love for the poor and un­der­priv­i­leged and dis­en­fran­chised among the pop­u­lace. His friend­ship with Michael Man­ley was no co­in­ci­dence. They were from the same stock and knew what poor peo­ple felt in their daily so­journs. I knew that many peo­ple will con­cur with me in the Lucea com­mu­nity and the wider Ja­maica that our coun­try has ben­e­fited tremen­dously through the diplo­matic ties be­tween both na­tions.

Many per­sons gar­nered skills while in Cuba on courses from Lucea and many other ar­eas in Ja­maica. Teach­ers, doc­tors, nurses were trained in Cuba and came back to make their con­tri­bu­tion to na­tional devel­op­ment. May God bless Fidel Cas­tro! PARIS TAYLOR paris­tay­lor82@hot­ Greater Port­more, St Cather­ine

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