Europe’s Migratory Crisis

Elio Delgado Legon

War and desperation have led to the migratory crisis. Photo: wikipedia.org

HAVANA TIMES — Over the past few months, most of the world’s media have devoted increasing attention to a migratory flow or crisis taking place in Europe.

After following the issue of African and Middle Eastern immigration in Europe for several weeks, I believe the most appropriate term for the phenomenon is “migratory tragedy.”

Migratory movements from countries that were once colonies towards their former rulers’ European territory has been a fairly common phenomenon, historically, and it has been accepted for two reasons. The first is economic, as immigrants constitute a cheap workforce in countries where manual labor is in high demand. The other is moral, as these countries are responsible for the backwardness and underdevelopment of their former colonies.

Before the so-called “war on terrorism” was undertaken by a coalition led by the United States, countries in North Africa and the Middle East had an acceptable degree of political and economic stability and migration patterns were normal.

However, after the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the massacres perpetrated in Libya by NATO countries, these three countries began to be rocked by ungovernable chaos. Coupled with the many weapons given to irregular and mercenary groups (including in Syria), this has brought about the formation of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, notorious for its mass executions, decapitations and the destruction of everything that represents the ancestral culture of these peoples.

Faced with this state of affairs, and in order to save their lives and those of their relatives, the inhabitants of these four countries – Syria in particular – have had no other choice but to request asylum in Europe.

This situation is coupled with the waves of immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, who, in recent months, have arrived at the coasts of Italy and Greece, fleeing from hunger and armed attacks by irregular groups who sow terror across the region.

European Union members meet and debate as to how to confront the problem but have not found a solution to date. Several countries refuse to take in immigrants, while others take in numbers that are far removed from the reality of the problem. US President Barack Obama has said he will grant asylum to 10,000 Syrians next year, but, in the meantime, the greater tragedy draws near.

The crude European winter is nearing as waves of immigrants continue to arrive, and they will continue to do so while the problems that led to the current situation are not resolved. In the meantime, thousands upon thousands of human beings, including many children, are now without a roof over their heads have no heating or warm food, desperately hoping to reach a country that will receive them as human beings.

Some countries are trying to stop the avalanche by building walls and wire fences, but such divisions are not what will halt the exodus of desperate people. This will require repairing the damage that gave rise to this debacle. The call made by a 13-year-old child through Al Jazeera television is indeed powerful: “Please help Syria. We don’t want to go to Europe. Syria needs help now. Stop the war in Syria, just do that.” Putting an end to the war in Syria, ceasing the arms trade with terrorists and combatting them until peace reigns once again in the region, is what will revert Europe’s migratory crisis.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.


18 thoughts on “Europe’s Migratory Crisis

  • October 8, 2015 at 2:14 pm
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    What Capitalism ? The states own companies that sell oil to support a welfare state. Then some self appointed holy men want to run every aspect of life. It is human nature to want to run their own life. Why should a man have to be ruled by a totalitarian dictator without consent ?

  • October 8, 2015 at 12:24 pm
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    Your poor attempt at sarcasm demonstrates you don’t understand what I wrote.

    Saddam & Gadaffi got their money selling oil to China, France and other unscrupulous counties. The US embargoed both of those dictators, no doubt you consider the US embargoes a terrible crime against these poor defenceless dictators.

    Syria has less oil to sell, but they have long been clients of the Russians & the Iranians. The Russians have a major naval port in Tartus which they will fight to the last Syrian to hold onto.

  • October 8, 2015 at 6:03 am
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    People who thought the way that you seem to think said that African slaves did not really want to be free.

  • October 8, 2015 at 1:21 am
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    You should read and understand Griffin’s reply to my comment.

  • October 7, 2015 at 11:06 pm
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    Gladly, John. What about that source that you have that defines socialism the same way you do?

  • October 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm
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    Source please.
    I need a laugh today.

  • October 7, 2015 at 6:47 pm
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    History clearly shows that the GOUSA will always have good relationships with almost any dictator as long as they maintain a free enterprise capitalist economy.
    There is no doubt that without the massive Cuban aid you listed, those dictators would have folded in a New York minute.
    Fidel and Raul are the spawn of the devil .
    Thanks for showing me this truth.

  • October 7, 2015 at 6:40 pm
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    Elio is correct.
    You are not.

  • October 7, 2015 at 6:39 pm
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    No culture in the Middle East has a democratic tradition.
    The four pillars of those societies are : 1)The male-dominated nuclear family, 2) no history of democratic elections and only of strong dictators ,3) an adherence to (totalitarian) capitalism and, worst of all, 4) an adherence to a brutal and primitive and very totalitarian religion as a great many Muslims chose to interpret that religion.
    Every waking moment of those lives is spent in one form of totalitarianism or another .
    Democracy is unknown and sadly, unwanted.
    The region is totalitarian -minded and has been so on a continuous basis for many hundreds of years .
    That will not change soon.
    Back at the time of the so-called Arab Spring , I said this exact thing when a great many people said that democracy would rise out of the ashes of the defunct dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Iraq .
    It didn’t happen because it couldn’t happen. .
    It is just not their way.

  • October 5, 2015 at 10:05 am
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    Syria sent troops to the Syria-Iraq border, but they did not cross over into Iraq nor did they become involved in any fighting.

    Your original assertion, that the dictator Hafizullah Assad, (Bashir’s father), along with Saddam & Gadaffi, “were quite acceptable to the West” is completely false. These brutal dictators existed, and US foreign policy interests required the US to deal with them, in one way or another. At times, the US was in open hostility to these dictators. At a few times, the US engaged in limited co-operation with them. At no time, was the US ever friendly to them, nor were they ever allies.

    Contrast that with the relationship the USSR had towards Iraq, Syria & Libya under the rule of those loathsome, brutal dictators. The USSR armed them, trained their armies & conducted trade with them.

    It must be pointed out that the Castro regime also maintained warm relations with the dictatorships of Syria, Saddam’s Iraq & Gadaffi’s Libya. Cuban tank crews went to Syria and drove Soviet tanks during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1988/08/cuba-havanas-military-machine/305932/
    Today, Cuba continues to provide diplomatic support to the Butcher of Damascus, Bashir al-Asaad.

  • October 4, 2015 at 6:29 am
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    Twenty-one of those 34 countries do not support US efforts this time, including France, which sent 17,000 troops, and Syria, which sent 19,000 troops in 1991.

    From BBC News Online, March 21, 2003

  • October 2, 2015 at 7:04 pm
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    The people of the Middle East where tired of the old dictators. People want personal freedom and a shot at a life. Democracy is the long term solution. All the current dictators need to go.

  • October 2, 2015 at 10:52 am
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    The “Coalition of the Willing” was the name George W Bush gave to the group of countries who joined in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Syria was most definitely not among them. Syria did technically join the coalition in the first Gulf War against Saddam in 1991, but they did not participate in any fighting. During the run up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Cuban spy services provided intelligence to Saddam Hussein. https://cubaconfidential.wordp

    All three dictators were adamantly opposed to the West and were long time clients of the Soviet Union, from whom they purchased most of their weapons, (also from China).

    During the Iran-Iraq war, the US attitude was summed up by the comment of the US Secretary of Defence, “This is a war where we would prefer both sides loose.” US aid to Saddam was in support of that goal. The preponderance of Saddam’s weapons came from the USSR. Every year on his birthday, Fidel received gifts of Iraqi fig jam from his dear friend Saddam (read about it in “The Double Life of Fidel Castro”, a fascinating look at Fidel’s private life by the Cuban dictator’s former bodyguard.)

  • October 2, 2015 at 12:51 am
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    It’s worth remembering that all three of the dictators mentioned were at one time or another quite acceptable to the West. Syria was part of the Coalition of the Willing in the first Gulf War. And before that the U. S. gave Hussein intelligence to attack Iran.

  • October 1, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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    ” an acceptable degree of political and economic stability”, as Elio mentions, is a relative thing. It’s acceptable if you don’t live there, not so much if you do.

  • October 1, 2015 at 2:02 pm
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    There are allegedly Cuban doctors in Syria now. The backstory is that al-Assad does not trust Syrian physicians because as an eye doctor himself, he knows that most of them are Sunnis.

  • October 1, 2015 at 10:58 am
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    Elio describes the brutal, murderous dictatorships of Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and Bashir Al-Assad as providing” an acceptable degree of political and economic stability”.

    The Iraqi & Libyan dictators were warm friend of Fidel Castro until they met their reward at the hands of the people they abused for so long. Bashir Al-Assad continues to slaughter the Syrian people, with military help from Iran & now Russia and diplomatic & trade support from the Castro regime.

  • September 30, 2015 at 10:29 am
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    Elio’s revisionist version of the history in the middle east reflects the biased news sources that he is, unfortunately, held captive by. He writes:

    “Before the so-called “war on terrorism” was undertaken by a coalition led by the United States, countries in North Africa and the Middle East had an acceptable degree of political and economic stability and migration patterns were normal.”

    Simply not true. He obviously has forgotten the unprovoked attacks on the World Trade Center and the US Pentagon. He also chooses to ignore the internal uprisings collectively known as the Arab Spring. As usual, Elio, in true Castro apologist mode, hopes to cast all blame on the US and our freedom coalition. Worthless post.

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