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Professor: Cuban Remittances Feeding Racial Divide

A significant increase in remittances to Cuba following the relaxation of U.S. restrictions is disproportionately benefiting whites in Cuba and creating a cultural divide, a prominent Cuba expert said Friday.

“Cuba is now suffering from a racial, ethnic, social and economic divide that is going to be very dangerous in the future and is creating very large problems,” said University of Miami history professor Jaime Suchlicki.

The overwhelming majority of the remittances — perhaps more than 90 percent — go to white Cubans with relatives in the U.S., said Suchlicki, who specializes in Latin American affairs. Very little goes to the black and mulatto population that makes up 62 percent of the total, he said. As the remittances increased, recipients have been in a better position to take advantage of opportunities to open small businesses that cater to tourists and expand a fledgling merchant class.

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