Alfredo Fernandez Rodriguez
Last night on the Latin American TeleSur network, I saw two undocumented immigrants in the US (one Mexican and the other Guatemalan) both protesting the privileges and protection the American government extends to Cuban emigrants in the US through the Cuban Adjustment Act.
“It’s enough for a Cuban to simply set foot on US soil for that law to automatically provide them benefits that we have to wait years to receive,” said one of the undocumented individuals.
The problem is that an intelligent enemy is just that: intelligent. Could it be that this law is a response to another adjustment act that exists on the island itself?
I say this because neither the Mexican nor the Guatemalan loses their properties and rights in their country when they emigrate to the US. They can even to return to their homes whenever it’s convenient. Cubans, however, are stripped of their possessions when leaving and cannot return permanently to live on their island until they turn sixty.
I believe the US law could be the response to the Cuban government’s posture toward its own emigrants.
I would like to see the elimination of the “inhuman” Cuban Adjustment Act by the US just as much as I would like to see a show of respect by the Cuban State for the legitimate rights of its emigrants.
The limitations to which Cubans are subjected when emigrating are as revolting as what the Guatemalan and the Mexican objected to in the Cuban Adjustment Act.
All one has to do is to emigrate from Cuba to suffer the wrath of the State through acts such as the loss of properties (housing, car, etc.) or their having to request permission to re-enter their country when returning on a visit.
In the best of cases one can opt for “benefits” provided through something called the Permiso de Residencia en el Exterior (Overseas Residence Permit, or PRE). This authorization allows emigrants to retain their possessions on the island but not other rights.
Another outrage includes the Permiso de Residencia en Cuba (Residency in Cuba Permit, or PRC), which is for people who travel abroad temporarily on personal matters. When they remain outside of the country for more than eleven months, however, such travelers have to make a monthly payment of roughly $50 USD to the Cuban embassy in the country where they reside.
I believe measures of contempt toward Cubans who leave the island lack sense, unless they are seeking to promote policies such as the US Cuban Adjustment Act.