Cuba's living embodiment of
Ciego de Avila, Cuba | BBC News | Wednesday, 22 June, 2005
"I am 125 today," beamed Benito Martinez, as he joined the birthday
party at his local old people's home in this central Cuban city.
Dressed in his Sunday best of freshly-ironed
shirt and trilby hat, he seemed determined to prove that laughter and
music are the secret of a long and happy life.
A huge, toothless grin formed over his well-aged face as he grabbed
the hand of one of his young nurses. They began to dance to the tune
of a local guitarist.
Those legs of his might date back to the 19th Century, but they still
have plenty of rhythm.
Benito Martinez's life story is short on detail, but very long on years.
He says he was born near the Haitian town of Cavaellon in 1880. Looking
for work, he travelled over to neighbouring Cuba by steamship in the
mid-1920s. He planned to stay for only a few months, before going back
But he never left. He says he worked for a while on one of the biggest
ranches in eastern Cuba, which happened to be owned by Fidel Castro's
He later helped construct the original highway across Cuba, before settling
down in a small farming community outside Ciego de Avila.
A few weeks before the birthday party, we sat together, on old wicker
rocking chairs, outside his small one-bedroom shack.
Benito lives alone, although a local helper cooks and cleans for him.
He has never been married and never had any children.
One of the proudest boasts of the Cuban revolution is that it has
managed to raise life expectancy of its citizens.
You see those trees there," he says,
pointing at an avenue of tall Cuban Royal palms. "I planted every one
of them." He then shows me with great pride the small vegetable plot,
which he still tends.
Hard work, not the pleasures of family, are what appeared to have sustained
this determined man over the decades. He drinks alcohol only occasionally,
no longer smokes, and eats mainly rice, stewed black beans and fresh
His claim to be the world's oldest person has the backing of the Cuban
government. Benito Martinez is the star attraction of the country's
recently formed 120-Club, an organisation promoting healthy lives for
Cuba's most elderly citizens. No recollection
One of the proudest boasts of the Cuban revolution is that despite being
one of the poorer countries in the world, it has managed to raise life
expectancy of its citizens to 77 years, equal to that of the US.
The last time the club met earlier this year, Cuban experts said that
they believed Benito Martinez was probably around 119. Comfortably older
than the current official world record holder, a Dutch woman who is
114. There is, however, no definitive proof of Benito's claim
Although it does appear certain that he has lived in Cuba for the last
80 years, what is unproven is how old he was when he arrived from Haiti.
He has no birth certificate or any other documentation.
He speaks a little Creole, yet he has almost no recollection of what,
if he is 125, would be the first 40 years of his life. But his conviction
I ask him his age a final time. He looks me straight in the eye. "Believe
me," he says. "I know the year when I was born. 1880."
The Island of
Haiti is almost a billion years older than previously believed
Long distance: Research shows ancient
rock under Haiti came from 1,000+ miles away Filed under Research,
on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Source: University
of Florida news
Lava on the Caribbean island of Haiti
(colonially named Hispaniola) indicates deep rock is 1 billion years
older than previously thought
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Earthquakes and volcanoes are known for their
ability to transform Earth’s surface, but new research in the
Caribbean has found they can also move ancient Earth rock foundations
more than 1,000 miles.
of Florida geologists are part of a team that found lavas
on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola – home to Haiti and the
Dominican Republic — that suggest the area is underlain by rocks
almost a billion years older than previously believed. Until now geologists
thought Hispaniola (HLLN/editors note, not the reinstated
colonial name "Little Spain" but the "Island of Haiti"
of Ayiti"- Se pa kado blan yo te fè nou.
Se san zansèt nou yo ki te koule.) was relatively young
from a geological perspective and rocks there should be no older than
the Jurassic period, around 150 million to 160 million years ago.
An article published Sunday on the Nature Geoscience website reports
the team found that unusual lavas resulting from relatively recent volcanic
activity had occurred in the region of the same fault system that caused
the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The existence of this volcanic
activity, which probably occurred less than 1 million years ago, is
unexpected as it postdates the previously known active volcanism in
this part of the Caribbean by at least 40 million years, said Michael
R. Perfit, a professor and chairman of UF’s department of geological
The most surprising discovery came from chemical analyses of the lavas
which were found to have compositions similar to lavas found inside
stable interior parts of continents. A detailed examination of the chemical
data suggests that the source for these lavas is derived from mantle
rock that originated at least 1,000 miles away.
“We can use the trace element and isotope information recorded
in lavas and other environmental samples as sort of ‘inorganic
DNA’ to trace their origin, migratory pathways and age,”
said George D. Kamenov, a UF associate in geology. The department’s
state-of-the-art plasma mass spectrometer was used to measure precisely
the abundances of lead, strontium and neodymium isotopes in the lavas.
The team of geologists found the ratios of these isotopes did not match
any rock substrate found nearby or anywhere else on the Caribbean islands.
Instead the isotope ratios matched billion year old rocks like those
existing in Central and South America today. These crustal fragments
are likely surviving portions of an ancient supercontinent known as
Gondwana. By contrast, lavas found in island arcs such as the Greater
Antilles are formed by oceanic plates being thrust under other oceanic
plates or continents similar to what is currently happening around the
so called “Ring of Fire” around the Pacific Ocean.
Perfit said the findings suggest that as the Caribbean tectonic plate
moved between North and South America it captured a rifted piece of
ancient continent that had formed the foundation of Central America.
Subsequently this fragment migrated eastward, likely for more than 1,000
miles, to its current position in Hispaniola. This implies that continental
material can be transported in the upper mantle for thousands of miles
and survive more or less intact for billions of years with such fragments
serving as “cores” around which islands and eventually continents
The research suggests the possibility that the fault system in the region
can be “leaky” and can be a place where volcanic activity
occurs. Although it is uncommon, sometimes major transform faults (called
leaky transform faults) penetrating tens of miles into the Earth’s
crust serve as conduits for magma to reach the surface. One example
of this is the southernmost boundary of the San Andreas Fault in the
area of the Salton Sea in Southern California.
“In addition to earthquakes in such fault zones you may get volcanic
activity, but we can’t use this to predict earthquakes or say
there will be a volcano in Haiti in the near future,” Kamenov
said. “Although the volcanism we found occurred only a million
years ago, we can’t say if it will happen again or not. In addition,
there are known hot springs and travertine deposits east of these volcanoes
indicating that the geothermal activity continues today.”
The study was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, the
National Science Foundation Latin American Cooperative Program, the
Dominican Republic government’s Dirección General de Minería
and the University of Florida.
See also , Dessalines Three Ideals -
Ayiti Calls Forth?
Lies and Real Haiti News (Ezili Dantò /August 2007)
-The two most common neocolonial storylines about Haiti
Veil of Blood - Ignorance is no Defense by
Ezili Dantò, May 9, 2008
Hochschild's neocolonialism (Ezili Dantò/2004)
white mindsets feed on is not so eye-opening, just typically parasitic,
fearful, self-serving, narcissistic and delusional (Ezili
Examples of Neocolonial journalism,
-The Slavery the Media Won’t Expose (HLLN
three false Haiti stereotypes: That Haiti has no resources, is overcrowded
& violent - (Haiti is only overcrowded in parts of Port
au Prince) -Pointing
Guns at - -Violent Haiti is a myth (2011 update -UN makes
in 2011 over $860,000 per year in Haiti)
manufactured fear, racist myths and false stereotypes about Haitian
brutality and violence
Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Aid Workers raping, molesting and abusing
Links to US free trade fraud that promotes famine in Haiti
False Benevolence – 93% of all foreign aid to Haiti
returns to US hands, less than 1cent of every dollar goes to Haiti gov.
- The real Haiti foreign aid - comes from the over
2billion per year in remittances sent by the Haiti Diaspora.
other national group anywhere in the world sends more money home than
Haitians living abroad.
the Western economic model and calculation of economic wealth fit Haiti,
fit Dessalines' idea of wealth distribution? No. Fact is
Haiti masses own more land than all other populations in the Caribbean,
but their property and informal entrepreneurialship (labor) are not
computed in WB and IMF indexes...their labor is valued only if they
are wage-earners (in mostly US sweatshops). Yet, 70% to 80% percent
of Haitians are peasant farmers. That is what US aims to destroy.
Economic proposals that make sense for the reality of Haiti
Western vs Real narrative on Haiti (Ezili Dantò/2007)
Media Campaign (Ezili Dantò/2004)
New Paradigms for Haiti: Why it's critical to re-create and adapt Ancestors'
Vodun Psychology (Ezili Dantò/2008)
solutions to create a new paradigm
Pressed not to engage with Death regime
May 18, 2004
Barbados' Shameless Path-
Pressed Not to Engage Haiti by Dawne Bennett
Caribbean Net News - Barbados Coresspondent
Solidarity Day Pictures & Articles
May 18, 2005
and Articles Witness Project
May 18, 2005
|Ezili Danto Witness
Project: Direct from Haiti
- Jean's Report on the May 18, 2005 Demonstration
May 18, 2004
least 9 demonstrators killed during huge march on Haiti's Flag
May 19, 2004
group solid with Haiti
May 19th 2005
Occupation and Solidarity
by Jean St.Vil
May 16, 2005
Tiger, Rising Dragon
China's Deployment in Haiti Treads in Familiar Footsteps
by Pranjal Tiwari
May 19, 2005