The Miami Herald
Dec. 8, 2009

U.S. writer wants name off list of signers on Cuban letter


One of the 60 African Americans who signed a letter last week alleging Cuban repression against the island's black-rights activists has asked to be removed from the list, saying the letter "is being manipulated to undermine the legitimacy of the important social project underway in that nation.''

"Although I know that racism [in Cuba] has not been overcome, I also know that the progress in Cuba is envied even in the United States,'' Makani Themba-Nixon, executive director of The Praxis Project in Washington, D.C., wrote to one of the letter's organizers.

"This does not mean that there should be no criticism, or no push for more progress. But I don't want any public statement we make to be turned into a weapon to attack a nation and a revolution that have contributed so much to the world,'' she added.

The Praxis Project -- a nonprofit that addresses health issues in black communities -- will probably issue a statement ``for our friends expressing our love and solidarity with the signers, but expressing our decision to withdraw our signature,'' the letter added.

A Spanish-language version of the letter was published Monday in a Cuban government-controlled Internet site, Cubadebate. Themba-Nixon confirmed to El Nuevo Herald Tuesday that she wrote the letter.