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      The Manufacture of Cuban Political Refugees

      By Manuel Yepe*

      The United States is conducting massive raids to deport migrants from Mexico and Central America; and the fact that there are already two million people deported by the government of Barack Obama (462 000 last year, i.e., 1,265, per day) has been barely reported by the corporate media in the United States and other countries in the continent where the media dictatorship imposed by Washington is felt.

      This is in contrast with the much-repeated news that about seven thousand Cuban migrants were left stranded in Costa Rica while traveling to the United States, drawn by the opportunities available under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Since 1966, this law has promoted the irregular migration of Cubans to the United States with a view to attracting Cuban talent, and as a contribution to the hostile propaganda campaign against the island that Washington has been holding for more than half a century.

      This issue is discussed at the Cubainformación website, based in Spain. Its coordinator, José Manzaneda, points out that, unlike the usual migrants, those eligible under the Adjustment Act receive from the US government social aid, papers and residence documents that automatically converts them into “political refugees”.

      “The cynicism of this double migratory game by Washington becomes even more evident when it is the UN agencies themselves who classify these people as economic migrants. In addition, the International Organization for Migration has recognized what the Cuban government has repeatedly said: these Cubans left the country in a legal and regular way, they can keep leaving and they will continue leaving the country to achieve their goals as the economic migrants they are.”

      “It is understandable that among those planning to migrate to the United States under the privileged conditions of the Cuban Adjustment Act there was panic when, on December 17, 2014 the Presidents of Cuba and the United States announced their intention to normalize relations between their nations beginning with the restoration of diplomatic links.”

      This announcement raised among them the fear that the Adjustment Act would be quickly repealed because of its totally abnormal content. Many of them chose to speed up their emigration plans.

      In the great scandal of the Cuban exiles stranded in Central America there is only one responsible source: the sick US hostility against Cuba. However, there are many damaged and humiliated.

      Several countries in Central America have suffered imperial arrogance. They have seen their security violated or threatened because of a problem that is not specifically theirs, but that contaminates them with the always dangerous and harmful effects of the human and drug trafficking gangs that swarm the area.

      The news about the fate of the Cubans highlighted the contrast between the humiliating discrimination the US applies to its Latin American neighbors while granting “privileges” to the Cubans for their independence. Even The New York Times termed the immigration privilege to Cubans as “an absurd US policy” and called for its repeal.

      Finally, there is a question that no media seem willing to answer: why Cuban migrants do not fly directly to the US from their country, as it has been proven that they have the money to do so? They also complied with all the legal requirements established under Cuban immigration laws.

      But the response would completely expose the cynicism of the White House. This is because the United States had denied all these people a legal entry visa or, somehow had made them assume that it would not be granted with the necessary speed to take advantage of the Adjustment Act.

      Some of these people stated that to finance the trip they had sold their homes, cars and other goods to gain access to the US paradise granted to them under the Cuban Adjustment Act, which is not offered to any non-Cuban citizen in the universe.

      But the astonishing thing is that if these people travel 5,500 kilometers, pay thousands of dollars to coyotes, and risk their lives to enter the United States illegally, then they are eligible for the status of “refugees” and would be granted residency. This is, shocking, Machiavellian and Kafkaesque, says Manzaneda.

      *Manuel E. Yepe, is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana. He was Cuba’s ambassador to Romania, general director of the Prensa Latina agency; vice president of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television; founder and national director of the Technological Information System (TIPS) of the United Nations Program for Development in Cuba, and secretary of the Cuban Movement for the Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples.


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