Podcast resurfaces of 1619 project founder suggesting Cuba should be a role model to America

Nikole Hannah-Jones, founder of the 1619 project has claimed that Cuba has the “least inequality between black and white people” largely because of the “socialism” practiced on the island.

Jones made the assertion whilst on a Vox podcast in 2019 hosted by Ezra Klein. Klein himself is known to have taken trips sponsored by the Chinese communist government in return for favourable coverage on his podcast, and like Jones’ he believes that America should take a leaf out of Cuba’s book, especially when it comes to integrated schooling, an area were he believes Cuba should be a role model for America. 

At one stage during the podcast Klein poses the question “Are there candidates right now or even just places that you think have a viable and sufficiently ambitious integration agenda, and if so, what is it.” Jones begins by telling Klein that she is no “expert on race relations internationally” and admits that “it’s also hard to look at countries that didn’t have large institutions of slavery and compare them to the United States.” However, she goes onto state that  “if you want to see the most equal, multiracial democ… it’s not a democracy – the most equal, multi-racial country in our hemisphere it would be Cuba.”

Jones’ then explains that the reason Cuba is racially equal is because of its adherence to socialism; “Cuba has the least inequality between black and white people of any place really in the hemisphere. I mean the Caribbean – most of the Caribbean it’s hard to count because the white population in a lot of those countries is very, very small, they’re countries run by black folks, but in places that are truly at least biracial countries, Cuba actually has the least inequality, and that’s largely due to socialism, which I’m sure no one wants to hear.”

Jones’ remarks are also echoed by a 2008 article published in The Oregonian. In the article she argues against the “Cuba is poor… Cuba is communist” narrative. She praises the island’s education system calling it the “cornerstone of the revolution” and claims that Cuba’s healthcare system is a “world model”. She goes on to argue that “Black Cubans especially are wary of outsiders wishing to overthrow the Castro regime. They admit the revolution has been imperfect, but it also led to the end of codified racism and brought universal education and access to jobs to black Cubans,” 

Cuba has recently returned to the forefront of national news after an unprecedented wave of grassroot protests swept across the communist island. The protests (the first to take place in nearly 30 years) were fuelled by shortages of food, medicine, electricity and were overall in support for ending communism in the nation. On Monday President Biden told reporters “The Cuban people are demanding their freedom from an authoritarian regime. We call on the government of Cuba to refrain from violence in their attempt to silence the voices of the people of China in Cuba.”



Leave a Reply