Great article, thanks. My Cuban poet friend Osvaldo Pradere explained to me a long time ago, colorism is quite a social struggle in much of the Caribbean, even in places where people explicitly reject racism.
After Osvaldo emmigrated to the United States (well, perhaps escaped is more accurate vocabulary), his white skin and soft blue eyes gave him a distinct advantage.
The thing is, he knew it. He spent the rest of his life writing poems and plays about equality, explicitly rejecting racism, colorism, and homophobia. (The Castro regime had imprisoned him for including gay content in some of his poetry in Cuba.)
I wonder if his experiences being born and educated in Cuba made an important difference for him as opposed to Juan in terms of experiencing and acknowledging racism.