Cuba Immigration Reform and Faith Traps

Maria Matienzo Puerto

Entrance/exit to Havana’s Jose Marti Airport. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — Whoever invented the law definitely knew the trap. Yes, we can now travel as tourists; but to leave, almost any country on the globe requires — in addition to applying for a visa — money in a bank account (in euros or US dollars) that back up one’s trip.

What cynicism! An ordinary Cuban with an account in euros or in US dollars! By God!

This is a “mouse trap”! This is the best definition I’ve heard on the street concerning the new situation. It’s not enough to pay for everything, you have to have more.

We’re paid in regular pesos, but we have to exchange our money for Convertible Pesos (CUCs), and to receive American dollars we’re charged a “dignity fee” (the surcharge demanded at money exchange centers here). What’s more, those countries require us to have $2,000 or $3,000 in a bank, though most of us don’t have a dime by the end of the month.

Reality is proving right those analysts and skeptics who complained from the beginning that this was a farce, theater. It’s another game of juggling with the faith of Cubans.

This new joke only fools two huge groups.

Firstly, those who are pathological optimists who believe “now things are beginning to change”; and secondly, those who are unaware of the actual conditions of the island or who have permanently lost contact with Cuban life.

Maria Matienzo

Maria Matienzo Puerto: I dreamed once that I was a butterfly who had come from Africa and discovered that I had been alive for thirty years. From that time on, I constructed my world while I was sleeping: I was born in a magic city like Havana; I dedicated myself to journalism; I wrote and edited books for children; I met to discuss art with wonderful people; I fell in love with a woman. Of course, there are certain points of coincidence with the reality of my waking life and it’s that I prefer the silence of reading and the pleasure of a good movie.

9 thoughts on “Cuba Immigration Reform and Faith Traps

  • February 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Hello Friend, I am glad that you commented. First, I wish to write that I do not agree with you nor with the tone you choose to use to express your opinion. However, I completely understand what I believe you are feeling and I want to let HT’s readers know that I believe a majority of Americans feel the same way you do. I am a frequent commenter to this blog and I am often accused of being extreme. No offense intended, but YOU are extreme! (I hope ‘Luis’ and ‘Grady’ read this)

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