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Cuba’s Updated Migration Policy Totally Confounds the United States/Micro-Republic of Miami

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  • Cort Greene
    ** machetera posted: Cuba’s Updated Migration Policy Totally Confounds the United States and the Micro-Republic of Miami - español aquí Edmundo García
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2013
      machetera posted: "Cuba�s Updated Migration Policy Totally Confounds the
      United States and the Micro-Republic of Miami - espa�ol aqu� Edmundo Garc�a
      Translation: Machetera On Monday, January 14, Cuba�s updated migration
      policy went into force and one of the listene" Respond to this post by
      replying above this line
      New post on *Machetera*
      <http://machetera.wordpress.com/author/machetera/> Cuba�s Updated
      Migration Policy Totally Confounds the United States and the Micro-Republic
      of Miami<http://machetera.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/cubas-updated-migration-policy-totally-confounds-the-united-states-and-the-micro-republic-of-miami/>
      machetera <http://machetera.wordpress.com/author/machetera/>

      *[image: tumblr_ls54y12Nd81qa0pmyo1_500]<http://machetera.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/tumblr_ls54y12nd81qa0pmyo1_500.jpg>Cuba�s
      Updated Migration Policy Totally Confounds the United States and the
      Micro-Republic of Miami *- *espa�ol

      *Edmundo Garc�a*

      *Translation: Machetera*

      On Monday, January 14, Cuba�s updated migration policy went into force and
      one of the listeners of my radio program, *La Tarde se Mueve* (Afternoon
      Moves) called in to say that it was as though the floor had been yanked
      right out from under the Miami critics of the Cuban revolution. They can�t
      figure out where to stand; they�re completely adrift in the comments
      they�re making on the radio, TV, and other regular press outlets.

      At the end of the program, around 6 pm., I heard Willy Allen, the Cuban
      American immigration attorney tell Ramon Saul Sanchez on his program for *La
      Poderosa* (The Powerful One), �I believe that these measures are barely
      going to change the situation there (in Cuba),� while Sanchez responded,
      �But the dissident Guillermo Fari�as says that he�s been told he can go
      wherever he wants and then return.� Willy answered, �Oh, I didn�t know
      that, but look, there are hardly any exiles left. For the last 20 years the
      huge majority of those who come to Miami are immigrants.�

      That�s exactly what we�ve been saying every day at *La Tarde se Mueve*;
      that this is one of the reasons for Cuba�s updating of its migration
      policy: the composition of Cuban emigration has changed, particularly in
      regard to the United States, where it occurs more for economic than
      political reasons, and this is a reality that must be taken into account.
      So it turns out that Willy Allen, the braintrust behind the Miami project
      known as �Repression ID,� dedicated to pursuing Cuban emigrants who�ve
      supposedly participated in crimes against human rights in Cuba, agrees with

      The Cuban measures are so disconcerting that Miami�s Cuban American
      rightwing has been completely disoriented by them. So disoriented in fact
      that you can see it in Alfonso Chardy�s recent report at *El Nuevo
      Herald*about a meeting on U.S. immigration reform that took place in
      the offices
      of Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart in Doral. Congresswoman Ileana
      Ros-Lehtinen also attended the meeting. The Cubans were not the main
      objective but the subject of Cuba�s updated migration policy came up and
      after both threatened to change or eliminate the Cuban Adjustment Act,
      Diaz-Balart played stupid, saying that these were proposals made by other
      congressional representatives, other colleagues; while Ileana later swore
      up and down that she had no plans or intentions regarding eliminating or
      changing the Cuban Adjustment Act. That�s how confused they are; they can�t
      even get their story straight.

      From Miami and other parts of the world, some tried to deny that the
      measures are anything new. Since among the skeptics there are some honest
      people who have nothing to do with the usual reactionaries, I want to say
      to them that in a way, it�s understandable that some don�t see a huge
      change in the Cuban migration situation, because for quite some time, these
      changes have been underway, gradually but convincingly. As was said from
      the beginning, this is an �updating� and not an overturning, apology or
      repentant revision of Cuban migration policy.

      In a press conference offered on October 24, 2012, the Secretary of the
      Council of State, Homero Acosta, reported that according to official data,
      between the year 2000 and August 31 of 2012, 99.4% of the exit permits
      solicited by Cubans were granted. Only 0.6% were denied, for substantiated
      reasons. In that same period of time, some 941,953 persons traveled abroad
      for particular reasons, of which 120,975 did not return, a total of 12.8%.
      Of the total who traveled, 156,068 were university graduates and of those,
      10.9% did not return.

      According to Acosta, �these statistics confirm that the great majority of
      Cubans who travel abroad return to Cuba.� Which is to say that an abrupt
      change in Cuban migration policy does not exist, nor is there any need for
      one, since the image of Cuba as a tropical gulag or prison from which one
      cannot leave or enter - as the manipulative major media at the service of
      foreign interests have historically portrayed it - is simply untrue.

      As the data show, Cubans who have really wanted to travel have been doing
      so regularly without many more limits than those that might exist in any
      other country. This was confirmed on Monday, January 14, when the new
      migration measures announced in Cuba�s Official Gazette last October went
      into force.

      At none of the 195 official passport offices was there any kind of unusual
      crowd or fuss, as the disinformative blogger Yoani S�nchez tried to make it
      seem. This so-called reporter for the Spanish *El Pa�s* newspaper spent the
      morning at an immigration office in her neighborhood in Havana and was able
      to complete the paperwork to travel normally. As she herself acknowledged,
      she will only have to wait 15 days to collect her new passport; after all,
      it�s not Yoani�s first trip abroad.

      What was definitely a lie was Yoani�s claim that at that hour of the
      morning there was a line of more than 70 people, with children clinging to
      their parents, all desperately seeking papers in order to leave Cuba. The
      Cuban journalist Manuel Lagarde posted photos of the place at his
      blog, *Cambios
      en Cuba*, along with photos of travel agencies and tour operators
      functioning normally in Havana, something that other media like *BBC
      Mundo*also reported- the offices were not mobbed by Cubans trying to
      leave the

      The updating of the Cuban migration policy is not something left to chance;
      it�s a well-considered policy that comes at a very specific moment,
      following indications from Cuba�s president Ra�l Castro in his speeches to
      the National Assembly, the Sixth Party Congress in 2011 and the National
      Party Conference in 2012. As Secretary Acosta also said, with these
      measures �Cuba is not seeking a stamp of approval� from anyone.

      A report was drafted based on criteria supplied by a wide-ranging committee
      of specialists and leaders directed by General Abelardo Colom� Ibarra, that
      was later studied by the Cuban government, where the confluence of a series
      of factors supported an updating of the policy, among them, the existence
      of a change in the nature of Cuban emigration. As Colonel Lamberto Fraga,
      Second Chief at Cuba�s Immigration Directorate said, all policies and
      procedures were ready to be applied as the measures went into force last

      But that Cuba should make it easier to leave and enter does not mean that
      it is leaving its national territory at the mercy of its enemies. There are
      two principles that should never be forgotten: The right of the revolution
      to defend itself and the right to safeguard the human capital that the
      revolution created.

      How will this work in terms of travel permission for professionals in
      sensitive sectors like health and sports? It is a question that many have
      asked and will surely be answered in practice. For the moment, Cuban
      immigration authorities have made it clear that the people who may not
      travel, for reasons that are standard at the international level, are those
      with pending judicial processes, persons who must complete existing
      criminal sentences, persons who must perform military service (Military
      Service Law 75) and others who have something to do with questions of
      specific interest. A number of not entirely well-intentioned persons have
      asked if the so-called dissidents and opposition will be able to travel.
      The answer has been given. If they have no pending judicial problems, if
      they are not at the age of military service, etc., then they may travel,
      otherwise, no. That�s the law and there�s no reason for exceptions or
      particularities, so the staged media shows and campaigns are pointless,
      because Cuba will not be pressured.

      As soon as the migration reform was announced in October of 2012, both
      Victoria Nuland and William Ostick, spokespersons for the U.S. State
      Department, tried to react with apparent indifference in order to avoid
      recognizing that the Cuban government had seized the initiative. Suddenly,
      having posed as champions of freedom to travel, they suggested pressuring
      third countries not to grant visas to Cubans, under the pretext that they
      might be used as �trampolines� in order to illegally enter the United
      States and take advantage of the so-called Cuban Adjustment Act.

      Today it is truly indisputable that the United States is more restrictive
      about entrances to and exits from its territory, than Cuba. As a result,
      the press puppets in Miami have been unable to do anything other than
      repeat the arguments emanating from Washington. Unlike Nuland however, who
      recently stated that although the United States is not going to change its
      policy, the Cuban immigration reform seems positive and consistent with the
      Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principle of family unity,
      Miami�s extreme right-wing, led by Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen, has
      dedicated itself to threatening in the local media to rescind the Cuban
      Adjustment Act as a way of punishing the Cubans.

      The news has made Cuba watchers like Jaime Suchlicki appear to have totally
      lost it; he is claiming there will be a �slow-motion Mariel� exodus rather
      than a Camarioca of millions. Janisset Rivero of the so-called Democratic
      Directorate predicted lines several kilometers long at embassies in Havana.
      And Ninoska P�rez Castell�n, having nothing much to say at all, preferred
      to ask her listeners, some of whom drove her crazy with their celebration
      of the Cuban migratory changes.

      As my friend, the Cuban journalist Iroel S�nchez said, Cuba was ready for
      the immigration updates. Those who weren�t ready were that part of Miami
      that although it has yet to win, seems still not to have learned how to

      *Edmundo Garc�a is the host of *La Tarde se Mueve* in Miami.*

      *Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala <http://www.tlaxcala-int.org>, the
      international network of translators for linguistic diversity. This
      translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and
      the source, author, and translator are cited.*
      *machetera <http://machetera.wordpress.com/author/machetera/>* | January
      22, 2013 at 7:53 am | Tags: cuban adjustment
      ileana ros-lehtinen<http://machetera.wordpress.com/?tag=ileana-ros-lehtinen>,
      immigration <http://machetera.wordpress.com/?tag=immigration>, lincoln
      diaz-balart <http://machetera.wordpress.com/?tag=lincoln-diaz-balart>,
      travel <http://machetera.wordpress.com/?tag=travel> | Categories:
      Latin America / Caribbean <http://machetera.wordpress.com/?cat=398800>,
      Migration <http://machetera.wordpress.com/?cat=1158> | URL:

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