Cuban Emigres are Ignored by Cuba’s Government

By Osmel Ramirez Alvarez

Cubans in Juarez, Mexico. Photo: politicalhispanic.com

HAVANA TIMES – There might not be many examples in the world of a government that remains totally indifferent to the grave fact that its citizens are emigrating en masse, except for Cuba that is. Instead of being concerned, it completely disconnects from the problems and poor treatment they receive in their attempt to make it abroad. 

We often see the Mexican president or ambassador speaking out about their citizens who have emigrated to the US, or the treatment they receive while they embark on this journey illegally, which they don’t encourage, of course. This is pretty much the general rule for every country. Even Venezuela, where there is a regime that is trying to copy Cuba’s Leftist dictatorship model of government, but there is still a policy with repatriation programs (even if it clearly serves a propaganda purpose). Yet this isn’t the case in Cuba.

Our (?) government doesn’t feel the slightest bit responsible for the thousands of Cubans stranded on the US-Mexico border, waiting to apply for political asylum. We haven’t heard FM Bruno Rodriguez utter a single word about the matter at the UN or in his frequent press conferences, where he deals with the issues of everyone else but not the ones that really concern Cubans, such as this one.

Even President Miguel Diaz-Canel hasn’t brought it up. Plus, we have no idea if they are doing anything about it. It would seem that this “thinking like a country” doesn’t include those who decided to emigrate, looking for a future denied to us here. According to the government, “resistance” is the only dignified attitude and they’ve had us like this for 60 years now, resisting material hardship and ideological misery.

It’s worth highlighting the fact that we can’t use the president’s trending “temporary” crisis term for Cuba’s emigration problem, because it is the complete opposite, it’s “endemic”. Cuba was a country that received migrants during the time it was a democratic Republic, and even during Batista’s dictatorship. We became the opposite, a country of emigrants, a country of lots of emigrants! and this has been one of the negative results of the Revolution. This despite the low infant mortality rates or its high doctor – resident ratio.

However, this mass emigration problem doesn’t exist, officially-speaking. Apparently, Cubans are happy with the Revolution, with the Cuban Communist Party thinking for us, exercising our sovereignty, and we are happy to resist the Empire.

According to the government media those millions of Cubans, that live abroad, and the other extremely high percentage of those who dream about packing up and leaving, only do so because they let themselves be sweettalked by the Empire’s fake and deceiving propaganda, that sells them the misleading idea that they will live better under Capitalism.

It’s incredible, but they continue to brandish these hilarious and proven-to-be-false arguments, which are easier to debunk today, given our people’s greater level of communication thanks to Internet access that is almost entirely subsidized by their emigre relatives.

According to the Cuban government, Cubans in exile are traitors of the revolutionary process, who have only been tolerated since the ‘90s because of the government’s need to suck off the livelihoods emigres earn in the capitalist world which come in the form of remittances, trips back to visit, their sponsorship of businesses in Cuba and phone and Internet top-up cards which fund Cuba’s state-led telecommunications company, ETECSA. In short, they’re a necessary evil.

The fact alone that so many of our fellow Cubans are willing to apply for political asylum in the enemy country that their government has been fighting for 60 years, speaks volumes. That there are several thousands of Cubans piled up at the US border applying for political asylum and that this stream is constant, is enough reason for the government to be talking about it.

They should be going there and worrying about their citizens, taking them aid and negotiating fair treatment from the Mexican and US governments. They should also be analyzing the reasons for this radical decision and drawing up a plan to stop this constant flow.

Not attacking the consequences like they normally do mind you, but the underlying reasons. Not restricting travel rights or illegitimately negotiating the persecution and deportation of its citizens with other governments, but taking a good look at what is going wrong in Cuba and making the changes its people are calling for and need to stay in Cuba and working with the hope of a better future.

However, this isn’t the attitude the government of this country has. They want loyal soldiers, not citizens; they want them to resist poverty in its war against the US, not hope and opportunities to prosper; they want a hegemonic, single-party dictatorship, not a democracy for every Cuban and for the wellbeing of every Cuban.

From its emigres, they only want their money to perpetuate the system that forced them to leave in the first place. And, in order to make sure the libertarian spirit doesn’t spur them on to fight for a better Cuba, they pawn off their lack of action for letting them be able to visit their own country.

This is why they will be ignored as long as Cubans continue to gather in hordes at border controls, crossing rivers and jungles with dangerous human traffickers, in rafts across gulfs or oceans, or in immigration detention centers like stray dogs, fighting to escape this country without a future.

We sometimes hear Diaz-Canel, Raul Castro and Bruno Rodriguez voice their concern about Palestinians living in Israeli-occupied land, or social leaders being killed in Colombia, and even about the US’ gun problem. However, NOT a word about their citizens who have emigrated or are in the process of emigrating! They ignore them. What principles!

Osmel Ramirez

I'm from Mayari, a little village in Holguín. I was born on the same day that the Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975. A good omen, since I identify myself as a pacifist. I am a biologist but I am passionate about politics, history and political philosophy. Writing about these topics, I got to journalism, precisely here on Havana Times. I consider myself a democratic socialist and my main motivation is to try to be useful to the positive change that Cuba needs.



10 thoughts on “Cuban Emigres are Ignored by Cuba’s Government

  • Poverty and its people nobody wants around in this world we have created for humans to live.

    Reply
  • Keep Writing The Truth from The Honest Side of Cuba & your words will be shared through out the Free World. Cuba is Now Growing Out One Word to the World at A Time & Others do Care even when your Government has Forgotten, Ever So Slowly We all Watch How The Birth of a New Cuban Nation Can No Longer Be Held Back from the People.

    Reply
  • I agree with some things, but look at Puerto Rico. Look at how they are treated and look at what their government can or can’t do for their citizens. Look at poverty rates in America, my friend look at how difficult life can be for so many hundreds of people in the supposedly greatest nation in the American continent. Research on why the beautiful Cuban nation is so poor and is going through such crisis. Look at why so many Cubans have had to migrate, risk their lives for a “better future” (?). If the US embargo hadn’t been implemented in the first place, all those people wouldn’t even had had to face the situation they are now facing. The Cuban government hasn’t mentioned anything about those trying to cross the border (I’ll take your word for it for now), but how much more do you expect from a government that faces so many challenges and struggles? There is a current crisis with the crude petrol going on, there are shortages on food more often than not, storm season coming and so many more things to be resolved by a government that barely gets help because of the US embargo and international pressure. Yet the state still helps out as much as possible. Have you heard of university programs for students that come from abroad to study because of high quality education and because they can afford it in Cuba? Do you know how much you pay minimum per year in the cheapest US university? Do some research. The facilities and help you get in Cuba, you get nowhere else. Have you heard of mortgages? Of drug addiction, high rate of homelessness and other social issues? Cuba is a third world country, and it has a regime like no other in the world but in no other place have I seen such social programs. And I’ll tell you more. If it wasn’t for the US embargo (among other things, but mostly), this beautiful country would be in a complete different position, and the US government knows this and that’s why it won’t lift the embargo, because a socialist government cannot succeed. If so many Cubans I’ve heard and seen were to put their efforts and intelligence to work towards improving this country in many possible ways instead of just complaining and criticising, many other Cubans would still be here with there families.
    You only know what you had, once you’ve lost it. Saddest thing is, everyone will only see this when you finally get what you think Cuba needs, open market, international investment, multinational companies buying up supply state-owned companies and your electricity, water and gas bills will be unaffordable; children not being able to afford school books, cultural venues being priced at same rate for everyone, etc. But hey, people will stop leaving then probably, no?

    Reply
    • Total bullsh*t. Cuba’s biggest problem is the Castro dictatorship. The lack of a market economy. Corrupt leadership. These are the internal obstacles that contribute to the majority of Cuba’s problems.

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  • Osmel
    Very nice article. I’ve been visiting Cuba for the last seven years. I’m seven years older than you, and my next trip is going to be to Holguin. I’ve tried to stay off the beaten trail, but my Spanish is not so great. I have a different perspective of Cuba, I’m Canadian. I know you have suffered and prospered, which I believe is rare in Cuba. I would like to talk to you about the differences between our country’s. I’m not an expert, but I think I can tell you the truth about Canada, if you’re interested?

    Reply
  • Creó que la peor hipocresía de los dos mundos es que el gobierno americano puso un embargó a Cuba sabiendo bien que si no lo hacían iva a funcionar pero hicieron un trato con los castros para que no funcionará y como es eso ? Bueno si un gobierno sabiendo bien que su pueblo está castigando por qué le imponen otro embargo al pueblo cubano como así? Bueno el cubano de afuera no puedo ayudar a su gente como de tiene embargo y limitaciones en lo qué puede llevar y enviar y para el colmó de los colmos un salario de miseria para todos no hay escusas para qué el pueblo cubano siga en esa prisión en el tiempo y el espacio es abominable para el desarrollo de la conciencia..

    Reply
  • Hello, Mr. Osmel Ramirez Alvarez, your idealism and commitment are remarkable.
    Your first sentences make that clear: ‘There might not be many examples in the world of a government that remains totally indifferent to the grave fact that its citizens are emigrating en masse, except for Cuba that is. Instead of being concerned, it completely disconnects from the problems and poor treatment they receive in their attempt to make it abroad.”
    Do you really think that Assad of Syria or the Afghan Government or the military in Myanmar or the Chinese Government or the various African states from which the people are fleeing to Europe are for one moment concerned about the conditions in which these refugees find themselves?

    The reasons why Cubans decide to flee their country instead of continuing to ensure the survival of Cuba will often be economic. People from other countries flee from war, excessive violence or oppression, something that is unknown in Cuba. The fact is that all these people decide to leave of their own free will, whatever the reason may be. No one has been deported.
    It, therefore, seems to me to be rather easy to accuse the Cuban authorities of something that no state in the world is doing. The Cuban authorities currently have more important issues to resolve than the welfare of a few of their compatriots who no longer wish to cooperate in the preservation of Cuba’s freedom and independence.
    Once again, I understand your concern for your compatriots who have fled, but that has really been their own choice, so also their own responsibility.

    Reply
  • Osmel Ramirez isn’t being fooled by the same selfish tyrants running Cuba for 60 years.

    Reply
  • It is very easy to talk and praise socialism, the wonderful theory of everyone being equal, free education, free health care and all the other marvels that are part of the communist propaganda, and even criticize the capitalist country you live in, when you do so from a place where you have freedom and are able to max out your potential, most time with the financial help of the capitalist country ( in this case I’m referring to the U.S) through different social programs (which most times are even abused by immigrants,too) like grants to study, food stamps, Medicaid and so forth.
    When you have lived in the belly of communism, and have really experienced it fully not as a tourist, or an exchange student, but as a native who has to “rake” the city trying to find food to feed his family, then you can speak about the wonders of communism. If this was not your lot, all you are seeing is a mirage. None of those “free” things are really free.
    I am one of those lucky ones (and very thankful to this wonderful country that took us in) whose whole family was able to leave that Cuba you are talking about. Been there, done that as the saying goes.
    No, this country and many others are not going to be right for you if your ideal is to live without working or doing as little as possible and be able to reap and enjoy all your hardworking neighbors have. Unless you were born into wealth, everywhere you are you must work for a living, and how hard you work will determine how well you may live. That socialist dream of everyone being equal and having the same whether you work hard or not, is just that, a dream.
    Human nature does not allow that. No one is willing to be taken advantage of.
    Now, those of you who are such enthusiasts of communism should go and move to Cuba, and experience it first hand. I’m sure there is plenty of room with all the people trying to get out.
    Best of luck, from the happiest American Citizen!

    Reply
  • Barbara Your Words are Just So True. From a Tourist that Lived, Studied & Learned first Hand why the Cuban Communist way will Not Work for the Majority that they can not Hold most Back. Very Pleased To Hear you & your Family are of many that Speak the Truth of Freedom in your Life Now & Knowing Both Sides.

    Reply

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