1619 project

UNEARTHED: 1619 Project Founder Praised Cuba’s ‘Socialist’ Accomplishments, Counts Education As ‘Cornerstone Of Revolution.’


1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones insisted that “education is the cornerstone of the revolution” in an unearthed article offering praise for Cuba’s Communist revolution resulting in the “end of codified racism.”

The New York Times writer visited Cuba in 2008 on a reporting fellowship, penning a piece entitled “The Cuba We Don’t Know” upon her return. Published in The Oregonian, the article sets out to dismantle the narrative about the Communist country that “come from the U.S. government”: “Cuba is poor. Cuba is communist. Cuba violates human rights and represses dissent.”

The objective is similar to that of the ahistorical 1619 Project metastasizing through U.S. classrooms: challenging the narrative that the U.S. was founded in 1776 and insisting the country’s motives for revolution evolved solely out of a desire to protect slavery.

“Education is the cornerstone of the revolution,” Jones asserts before offering praise for the communist country’s education and health care system, alleging many see the latter as a “world model.”

“It manifests in what Cuba has accomplished, through socialism and despite poverty, that the United States hasn’t,” she writes before quoting a professor who insists “The U.S. cannot forgive us for having this revolution. All 50 years of the revolution have not been for nothing.”

Jones also identifies an advantage of the communist revolution as bringing about the “end of codified racism,” asking in reference to Black Cubans, “Without the revolution, they wonder, where would they be?”
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. Without the revolution, they wonder, where would they be?
The piece continues, blaming Cuba’s poor economy and infrastructure on the U.S.:
A crushing U.S. embargo has ensured Cuba’s low per capita income and crumbling infrastructure. Yet, Cuba boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world. As in the United States, some Cuban children attend schools with tidy grounds and gleaming floors, while others sit at decaying desks in sagging buildings.
“We could see that Cuba is not the great evil we are led to believe,” she concludes.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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