June 7, 2019
Laritza Diversent is a Cuban lawyer, now living in the United States, because she was forced to flee her country. She has a beautiful name, doesn’t she? The last name is of French-Haitian origin.
I met her at the Oslo Freedom Forum. She told me her story, in brief outline, and I will relate it to you.
Her father “worked in the fields,” as she puts it. He had fought in the Sierra Maestra with Fidel Castro. He was always loyal to the regime — right to the end. (He passed away some years ago.) Laritza’s mother is still living, and is in Cuba. She has a handicap (unspecified, and I don’t feel like pressing).
Was Laritza political, when she was a girl? No. She was indifferent to politics. She never wanted to be involved in the Communist Youth League or anything like that. Her parents told her to study as much as she could, to maximize her opportunities in the future. That’s what she did.
Like a great many dissidents, Laritza Diversent is Afro-Cuban. Did she ever suffer racial discrimination? Of course, she says — from schooldays onward. Black women, in particular, have a hard time of it, she says. Cuban men say that black women smell like monkeys and sweat too much and so on.