Returning to the Homeland: Repatriation to Venezuela and Cuba

Rosa Martinez

Venezuelans going home from Chile after hard times.

HAVANA TIMES – I don’t like to give my opinion about things I’m not an expert in or things I haven’t lived firsthand, so I prefer to remain on the sidelines of commenting on what is happening in Venezuela.

I have heard many, many stories about this oil-producing power from Cuban collaborators in the Health or Education sector (who lived there for two years or more), from Cubans who became Venezuelan citizens, and from native Venezuelans.

I have many friends who support Maduro to the death and blame the US for all the bad things that are happening in this South American giant, from sparking the gradual decline in oil prices, to not-at-all pacific protests against the Chavista government.

I also know people against the current government, who criticize this leadership’s incompetence to find a solution to even half of the issues that afflict this friendly ally of ours, starting with shortages that have been present for years now, to the latest blackouts.

Searching for the truth about Venezuela, I watched a feature on Cuban TV some weeks ago about the “Return to Homeland” Plan, which most HT readers must know is nothing but a program implemented by the Venezuelan Government to welcome or help its citizens return, those who had rough experiences in the different places they emigrated to.

In the words of Venezuela’s Minister of International Relations, this plan was unprecedented in the history of our continent, and I have to say, I agree with him.

Of course, it must be unprecedented, just like so many people fleeing a country was unprecedented.

Just like there is no pride in so many young Cubans deciding to jump ship and emigrate to any other place on the planet, instead of trying to get their country ahead, there can’t be any joy in so many Venezuelans venturing off to any other country in the region in search of a decent and well-paid job, which they can’t find in their own.

It isn’t an achievement to have a hundred Cubans return to the island from Mexico either, after having sold all of their belongings and daring to emigrate, of having gone through the same thing as Cain on a journey that includes traveling through half a dozen countries before reaching the North they so desperately long for, to only see it from afar and then be forced to come back empty-handed, ashamed…

What good is this for the Homeland?

Maybe it’s fair to admit that the economic crisis we have here in Cuba doesn’t only depend on us; maybe the excessive shortages that have worsened in the last semester can be attributed, for the most part, to a powerful Government that is hell-bent on suffocating us, and this is definitely true. You only have to hear the latest news from Trump to see just how much he wants to destroy not only the Cuban government, but also the Cuban people, because he would have to be very naive to believe that his measures only affect the government.

There is definitely no pride in the Homeland’s children returning. Every parent knows that they conceive, love, educate and give the best they can to their children, knowing they might leave the nest one day.

It’s one thing if some children find better professional opportunities in another country, or if others fall in love beyond national borders and decide to leave, but it’s a whole other thing if the majority of young people decide to leave their beloved country because of the awful conditions they live in, the limited chances of their lives getting any better, definitely an uncertain future…

There is no pride in seeing the New Generation leave, whatever the cause might be; but there definitely isn’t any pride in the embarrassing return of these same children either; this isn’t a victory for anyone, much less of the government of any country.

Rosa Martínez

Rosa Martinez: I am another Havana Times contributing writer, university professor and mother of two beautiful and spoiled girls, who are my greatest joy. My favorite passions are reading and to write and thanks to HT I’ve been able to satisfy the second. I hope my posts contribute towards a more inclusive and more just Cuba. I hope that someday I can show my face along with each of my posts, without the fear that they will call me a traitor, because I’m not one.

One thought on “Returning to the Homeland: Repatriation to Venezuela and Cuba

  • August 7, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    This is an excellent article.
    Inequality is a blight.
    Unrestrained or Unregulated Capitalism (or if you prefer a harsher term – the law of the jungle) is the cause.
    Neither Communism nor Democracy has managed to rid us of this blight.
    Individuals (who are trying to do the best for themselves and their families) get trapped by the inequities within nations and the inequities between nations.

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