Earlier I posted this blog that included this You-tube video of apartheid in Cuba caught on video. Today at Babalu Blog I learned a little more information about the gentleman on the video who was told on the tape that his Cuban girl friend is not allowed a room at the hotel. He is from Spain, and his name is Manuel Benito del Valle. He is 29 years old. From Val Prieta at Babalu
Meet Manuel Benito del Valle. He’s a 29 year old Spaniard. He had an internship at the Spanish Institute of Exterior Commerce which entitled him to a diplomatic passport.
He broke the cardinal rule of a Spaniard in Cuba, he broke the Apartheid Rule. He mingled and got friendly with the natives. According to his father, he had been warned not to mix with the “population and their sad circumstances”.
He befriended some Cubans. Maybe fell in love with a Cuban woman-who wouldn’t? He certainly fell in love with that island-who can resist? Once he noticed that Cubans, including his new friends, were second class citizens in their own country, his social conscience awakened. It is very difficult for some people, when faced with an immoral situation that goes against what they know to be right and wrong, to turn and look the other way.
Manuel took a stand on December 10, 2007. He bore witness to the oppression, brutality and exposed it. When he walked into that park, surrounded by Cuban State Security agents and a trained mob of thugs, he did not know if he would make it out alive.
He did. Manuel is back in Spain. He’s lost his scholarship, but gained the eternal gratitude of a people and a place in its history. He’s lost his diplomatic Spanish passport, but as you can see, his body is stamped with a visa that will always guarantee him a Cuban passport.
Perhaps King Juan Carlos is not the only one from Spain who understand the vulgar ugliness of Latin American tyrants. I just wish there were more speaking out against this apartheid in Cuba here in the USA. I am glad that there is one who gets it.