"Man, if I was livin dar..."

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Mon Sep 2 14:32:45 MDT 1996

Most of the poor kids in New York City that I knew were on the Cuban side.
Their reasons for this varied, however the reasons were usually quite
clear and to the point.

Tony a friend, and small-time gangster, supported the Cuban revolution.
One reason was for the money. He would say things like.

"Man, the pot (marijuana) in Cuba is just fantastic, and if we join up with
Fidel maybe we can get a franchise".

But Tony also had ideological convictions. he was Italian and knew people in
the Mafia who hated the people who were running the casino's in Cuba
before Batiste's fall. These were also Mafia people. But they never had
worked on the docks or in the unions! Tony hated the companies in Cuba
because he new the dock workers who unloaded the bananas in New York City.

There was Eddie an Irishman who was running guns to the Cubans because he
supported the IRA. He hated the English and "the fucking rats who ran the
sugar companies and banana companies" in Cuba during the time of Batiste.
Eddie knew what the English were doing to the Irish. He new that what the
Americans wanted to do in Cuba was basically the same thing.

Then there were my Puerto Rican friends who supported their brothers and
sisters in Cuba.

There were my black friends who said, "Man if I was livin dar, det would be
me who was loaden dem fucking bananas".

(From Robert Malecki's Bellybutton book)

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