Cuba and US Clash over Cuban Adjustment Act

Amid the growing migration crisis

Wet foot, dry foot. Ilustration: telesur.net
Wet foot, dry foot. Ilustration: telesur.net

HAVANA TIMES — Washington and Havana clashed today on the need to repeal or maintain the Cuban Adjustment Act, at a time when over 3,500 Cubans are stranded in Central America, reported dpa news.

Washington welcomed today a new round of migration talks between the delegations of Cuba and the United States.

At the talks, Cuba reiterated its call on the US to rescind the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act and the implementation of the policy called “wet feet, dry feet”, policies Cuba says encourage illegal immigration and is the cause of the Cuban migrants stuck in Costa Rica near the border with Nicaragua.

For its part, the US government repeated that it has no intention to change US immigration policy toward the island and that the administration has no plans to alter the Cuban Adjustment Act.

Washington is reluctant to make changes, fearing that an announcement of a revocation of the law could lead Cubans to emigrate en masse before the change would go into effect.

Costa-Rica-territorio-Centroamerica-constante_LPRIMA20151118_0197_33The Cuban delegation at today’s session was headed by Josefina Vidal, Director General of United States Foreign Ministry, while leading the US delegation was the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Edward Alex Lee.

During the meeting, the Cuban delegation insisted that the Cuban Adjustment Act and the “dry feet, wet feet” policy has stimulated illegal, unsafe and disorderly migration,” according to a statement issued from the Cuban embassy in Washington.

Havana also considers that this policy is the cause of “smuggling operations and irregular entry into the United States from third countries by Cubans who leave the island entering their initial destination country from where they attempt to reach the United States in an irregular manner.”

The government of Raul Castro said these Cubans become “victims of networks of traffickers and organized crime, as evidenced most recently following the situation created in Costa Rica and other countries in the region.”

The Cuban delegation also reiterated its rejection of the “Parole Program for Cuban medical professionals”, established by the Bush administration in 2006, and which allows healthcare professionals participating on international missions for the Cuban government, to abandon their jobs and enter the United States.

Josefina Vidal. Photo/archive

According to the Cuban government, the program “encourages doctors and other Cuban health personnel to abandon their missions in third countries and immigrate to the United States.” Havana considers this “a reprehensible practice aimed at damaging the Cuban cooperation programs and depriving Cuba of vital human resources that many other countries also need.”

The Cuban delegation stated that both the policy of “wet feet, dry feet” and the “Program for Medical Professional Parole Cubans” are “inconsistent with the current bilateral context, hindering the normalization of migratory relations between Cuba and the United States and creating problems to other countries in the region. ”

The Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 offers Cubans who reach the United States, regardless of whether they have done so legally or illegally, a fast-track to legal residence -a year and one day after arriving to the country-, and later US citizenship.

According to the “wet foot-dry foot” policy the US repatriates all Cubans intercepted at sea (“wet feet”) attempting to enter the country irregularly. Those who step on American soil (“dry feet”) can request permanent residency.

The US and Cuba formally reestablished bilateral relations last July, after more than half a century of disruption.



27 thoughts on “Cuba and US Clash over Cuban Adjustment Act

  • Isn’t it a little embarrassing to the Cuban delegation that so many of their fellow Cubans are willing to risk everything to get the hell outa’ Cuba? If that whole Castro socialist revolution really lived up the hype, why do millions of Cubans not see it? I say solve the problem at home and immigration problems go away permanently.

    Reply
    • No, Moses, as you well know such laws as Wet Foot/Dry Foot EMBARRASS democracy and the United States of America, not Cuba. Propagandists who say differently are shameless by presuming to assume that intelligent, unbiased people don’t readily comprehend that fact. Is Moses too cowardly to discuss such offshoots as the UN vote each October in which America’s and democracy’s best friends all around the world display their acute embarrassment regarding America’s Batistiano-directed Cuban policy? “Get the hell outa’ Cuba” you write. Why not write about the U. S. citizens who are “getting the hell out of Puerto Rico,” which happens to be a U. S. Territory represented in the U. S. Congress. Puerto Ricans can vote in U. S. elections and they are lavishly supported by the U. S. government while Cuba is lavishly targeted. Now, Moses, explain to the choir why the Cuban, Puerto Rican, Syrian, etc. phenomenons pertaining to migration so direly focuses, to your reckoning, on the Cuban quagmire that has been self-servingly Batistiano-made in Miami and Washington. Changing ones Cuban name to an American name…ala Larry Daly…and then bashing Cuba from the safe and lucrative sanctity of a U. S. mansion is perpetuating the lush Castro industry in the U. S. to the gross detriment of the U. S. democracy. This has been going on virtually since January 1, 1959, and there are democracy-lovers who believe that is at least five decades too long. If Wet Foot/Dry Foot has any aspects of democracy, Moses, please tell us what it is.

      Reply
      • I don’t feel the least bit embarassed by US/Cuban immigration policy. If anything, I wish we could offer all oppressed peoples around the world the same opportunity offered Cubans. Likewise, the annual UN vote is a toothless tiger. No sanctions, nada. I would hope that the “choir” understands that the situations in Puerto Rico and elsewhere around the world are completely different than the tyranny of the Castro dictatorship. US foreign policy is not nor should it be ‘cookie-cutter’. Finally, democracy comes in many shapes and sizes. You are obviously anti-US. The one thing REAL democracies have in common is room for dissension.

        Reply
        • You do not know much at all about democracy.
          I won’t repeat the details of your pitiful totalitarian existence.
          Suffice to say that your love for capitalism points out your dislike for democracy.

          Reply
        • “Anti-U. S.,” huh? Your obvious love for McCarthy {Joe} and Batista {Fulgencio} cloud your accusations, Moses. I guess your self-proclaimed “pro-U. S.” positions, to your mind, afford you the right to demean everyone and everything else, including democracy. Why don’t you prove your “pro-U.S.” stance by sanely assessing how much such laws as Wet Foot/Dry Foot shame democracy. Labeling the UN vote “a toothless tiger” is an insult to democracy lovers.

          Reply
          • Joe McCarthy? Fulgencio Batista? Both of them are way before my time. You can stop digging there. I don’t agree that the CAA shames democracy. Again, dry hole. Finally, the annual UN resolution against the US embargo comes with NO sanctions, NO lost trade, no nothing. Hence the label, ‘toothless tiger’. Apt description and hardly an insult.

    • Cuba is not socialist .
      Cuba is under economic attack by the United States .
      You are partially correct in that once the Congress calls off the embargo, Cuba will do just fine economically and socially and Cubans will not have to seek a better life elsewhere. .
      As one who both supports the current embargo because it works to create poverty and a bad image for the revolution and as one who supports increasing the embargo , you are being completely disingenuous when you ask why Cubans are leaving for the United States.
      To repeat and solely because of your unwillingness to learn : were the “wet foot-dry foot” clause of the CAA to be extended to all nations in the Caribbean and Latin America, you’d be able to WALK across all the watercraft heading for Florida from every country south of the U.S. border.

      Reply
  • The real cuban people, not Castro’s cronies, deserve better. Time for Mr Castro to saddle up his horse and load his backpack and ride off into the sunset. Bye, Bye!

    Reply
  • I wonder how many US college grads would immigrate to Cuba if they were guaranteed complete protection from all efforts to collect their Education Loans. More kids might study Spanish in College if that were possible.

    Stealing Cuban Doctors who receive Free, First Class Education, K thru Graduate School is the equivalent. Perhaps it would be reasonable for the Cuban Government to issue Visas to Medical Personnel in return for $300,000 to $500,000. Price depending on the level of skills and education, of course.

    The only things exceptional about the US, these days, is their arrogance, greed, and blood lust!

    Reply
    • “I wonder how many US college grads would immigrate to Cuba if they were guaranteed complete protection from all efforts to collect their Education Loans….”. That number would be close to 0 when they realize they would lose their freedoms and make only about $20 a month.

      Reply
      • Please define the freedoms to be lost by U.S. college grads who moved to Cuba that they now take advantage of in the USA and which would be denied them in Cuba.
        Of course they will gain the freedom from starvation and malnourishment , homelessness, high crime and murder rates in the USA and the lack of affordable medical care suffered by millions of Americans but I’m sure you don’t want to consider that trade-off .

        Reply
  • Freedoms John? ….well those all be the same ones you enjoy. I also personally experinced that “feedom from malnutrition” you speak about. I wouldn’t recomend the diet

    Reply
    • World Health statistics have shown Cuba to be the only Latin American country without childhood malnutrition .
      It is so only because Cuba has a SOCIALIST style means of distributing essential foods and the rest of Latin America has FREE-ENTERPRISE CAPITALIST systems .
      We can talk about freedom of speech and the press after the GOUSA war on Cuba is over .
      These are freedoms that are commonly abridged during times of war as they were in the USA during WWII.

      Reply
      • For all the “benefits” you’re constantly yapping about, Cubans continue to leave the island, legally and illegally. They Choose to come to the USA, despite all negatives you talk about. perhaps you should have a chat with some of them, let them know the error of their ways.

        Reply
  • John, please stop making up your own definition of democracy

    Reply
    • I.C.,
      Democracy comes from the Greek.
      It literally translates into “rule of the people “.
      In practical terms it means one person, one vote and majority rule.
      Now you tell me your definition of democracy and/or where I am in error.
      Moses, Okay , you’re baiting me and we’ve been down this road many times before.
      My definition of socialism is what is taught in universities .
      Yours is from the mouths of Lenin, Stalin and the Castros who all agree that socialism is what has existed under those rulers .
      I find it interesting that you accept their version of what constitutes socialism but then there is no depth of ignorance that you seem unwilling to plumb.

      Reply
  • What freedoms would they lose you ask? Here’s an easy one. Right now I can drive down to San Francisco City Hall, stand outside that gorgeous, well-maintained building and scream at the top of my lungs “F*ck Barack Obama!”. Nothing would happen to me. I would not be arrested. Especially in San Francisco. We call it free speech. In Cuba, on the other hand, if I took the bus to Revolution Square and screamed “Comemierda Raul Castro!”, I would quickly be arrested. There is no free speech.

    Reply
    • You would be allowed to yell “Fuck Obama ” in the USA because neither you as an individual nor you as part of a group represent , in any way , a threat to the establishment. For that same reason the crazy right is allowed to have as many guns as they can afford . The government and more importantly , the free-enterprise system have absolute control of what the vast majority of the public believes and thinks.
      The small minority who would actively oppose the GOUSA or the FEC economic system are no threat. and so are allowed to exist.
      People who are real threats like el Haj Malik El Shabazz ( Malcolm X ) MLK Jr.
      and others are killed or otherwise silenced.
      Cuba is under a long, direct and existential threat from the USA which funds anti-government groups in Cuba.
      There is a big difference in the two situations that you simply cannot admit.
      Cuba’s existence is threatened.
      The existence of the USA is not .

      ns

      Reply
      • I agree. Cuba does face an existential threat from little protesting women armed with nothing more dangerous than a flower. the reason is that the Cuban system, unless maintained by force, is bound to fail. And today, in the twilight of the regime, the danger is growing. Even an armed system can’t maintain the regime in power for much longer.

        Reply
  • Según tu. You are the guy least likely to be the arbiter of what democracy is. You have yet to show even one source that corroborates your goofy definition of socialism.

    Reply
  • The Castros constitution declares the socialists nature of the revolution. I didn’t say nor do I agree that if the US embargo ends, Cuba will do fine economically. Far from it.

    Reply
    • How is it you believe the “Castros ” about whether Cuba is socialist or not when you don’t believe anything else either has to say ?
      Your answer is disingenuous at best .
      It’s the best you could do though and I understand your desperation.
      Of course you cannot say that Cuba will or might do well if and when the embargo is called off . That would mean admitting that you COULD be wrong.

      Reply
      • If Fidel says his name is Fidel, I believe he knows best what his name is. As a dictator, if he declares Cuba to be “socialist in nature” and the evidence of what he has declared checks out, again I believe him. If he says that Cuba is a democracy, which he does, but the evidence suggests otherwise. I go with the evidence. Pretty straightforward to me John.

        Reply
  • We should not forget that Cuba is perhaps the only country in the world that refuses to take back its citizens if they are deported from the US. There are thousands of Cubans who are “deportable” and Cuba has always refused to take them back, except under the Wet/ Dy Feet agreement and the few criminals returned about 10 years after the Mariel exodus. That was the original reason for the Cuban Adjustment Act in the 60’s. The situation has not changed much.

    Reply
  • Of course Moses cannot define Democracy. The US is not one – it used to be a Republic, but no longer is. Now it’s a Plutocracy similar to the ones so admired by the CIA.

    Reply
    • Maybe you are right, and I can’t pin down exactly what a democracy should look like. But I can damning sure tell you what it doesn’t look like. North Korea, Cuba, Saudi Arabia are examples of what isn’t a democracy.

      Reply

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