Manuel Arias seeks ways to defend the right to return permanently to one’s homeland. He raises the issue: “I am Cuban by birth, with Spanish nationality, and Cuba does not recognise dual citizenship.”
Effectively, Cuban citizenship is lost when one acquires a foreign citizenship. The Constitution of the Republic makes it clear that the process for formalisation and loss of same, just like the authorities empowered to decide it, are regulated by law.
Unfortunately for Manuel, the National Assembly is very busy. It has not had time to legislate, in 18 years, about loss and recovery of Cuban citizenship. The mandate was ordained by the Constitution of the Republic, after being revised in 1992.
In law, it doesn’t matter that an unconstitutionality is produced by omission. The legislative body, with only the power to approve, modify or repeal laws, does not fulfill their obligation to legislate regulations that permit the use of constitutional principles.
Mr Arias tries to understand:
“Why does the Cuban parliament, despite the fact that their inaction affects a law so fundamental as citizenship, not make use of its powers? Why does the government require that Cubans who are citizens of other countries enter the country using the passport that defines them as Cuban citizens? What use is there in retaining one’s citizenship if, according to constitutional dictates, it can straightaway be lost?” he continues meditatively.
Business, pure business, he concludes. What the constitution says is of no interest. The decision is in the hands of government authorities who, all in all, are those who decide which Cubans come and which go. Those who get permits have to pay. The bottom line is that the Supreme Law is violated but thousands of pesos are gained as immigration fees.
Manuel Arias still has not clarified all his doubts. Neither has he lost hope of returning permanently to his beloved island. He wonders if there are some regulations in existence that would make it possible for him to return.
Translated, in part by PH