Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Cuba and Lucea: a long history

Published:Tuesday | November 29, 2016 | 11:00 AM


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. Ivan Coburne was a Gleaner correspondent for Lucea until his death in about 1979. 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 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 Worker 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 the daily sojourns. I knew that many people will concur with me in the Lucea community and the wider Jamaica that Jamaica 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!


Greater Portmore, St