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1619 Project creator touted Cuba as 'most equal' country in the Western Hemisphere, model for US


Nikole Hannah-Jones argued in 2019 that Cuba's socialist government affords residents a utopian form of racial equality unmatched anywhere in the Western Hemisphere

Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

Last week, spontaneous uprisings erupted across Cuba as residents of the island nation bravely stood up to protest the pains inflicted upon them by the country's oppressive communist regime.

That news likely came as a shock to journalist and "1619 Project" creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, who argued in 2019 that the country's socialist government affords residents a utopian form of racial equality unmatched anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

What are the details?

During an interview with progressive journalist Ezra Klein for Klein's podcast "Vox Conversations," Hannah-Jones touted Cuba as the "most equal" country in the Western Hemisphere, "largely due to socialism."

"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?" Klein asked, prompting the discussion.

"If you want to see the most equal, multiracial democ ... it's not a democracy — the most equal, multiracial country in our hemisphere, it would be Cuba," Hannah-Jones responded, despite admitting she's not an "expert" on race relations internationally.

"Cuba has the least inequality between black and white people of any place really in the hemisphere," she continued. "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."

Hannah-Jones' controversial comments can be heard at the 1:12:20 mark of the podcast.

The National Pulse, which first unearthed the remarks, noted that the journalist also penned an op-ed in 2008 praising Cuba as a gold standard example for other countries to follow.

In the op-ed, Hannah-Jones commended the communist country for its high literacy rate, low HIV infection rate, and for bringing about the "end of codified racism."

"It manifests in what Cuba has accomplished, through socialism and despite poverty, that the United States hasn't," she stated.

What else?

After news broke about Hannah-Jones' past comments, conservative critics pounced.

"Please go to Cuba and stay in Cuba — Nicole [sic] Hannah-Jones," tweeted American Conservative Union senior fellow Mercedes Schlapp. "The anti-American factions in our own country fail to understand the horrors of Communism."

Another commenter quipped, "Yes, all the Cuban people are suppressed 'equally'!!!" adding, "Send Nikole to Cuba!"

"Note to Nikole: Cuba has 'equality' because everyone is equally desperately poor," another said.

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