What Never Has Been Lost
In his desire to return, Manuel Arias searches for legal information. He consults a lawyer who explains to him that as long as the parliament does not legislate over the case, Decree 358 of 1944, Rule of Citizenship, will continue in force in the Cuban legal system.
According to the postulates of this rule, with respect to the process of loss and recuperation of this right, the Ministry of State, now known as the Ministry of Exterior Relations (MINREX), prepares the instruction from a file when he has proof that a Cuban citizen has acquired another citizenship.
In the case of Mr. Arias, MINREX should declare, through resolution, the loss of Cuban citizenship. This decision is sent to the Ministry of Justice, so that it can make a marginal, corresponding annotation, in place of the inscription from the Civil Registry.
To regain lost citizenship, Paquito simply must appear before the registry of Civil State of his domicile in Cuba, to show and to have inscribed his proposal to recuperate it. Then, after one year, the court proceedings will take place.
The steps to follow seem simple, but for Paquito they are impossible. He does not have the form to certify he has lost his Cuban citizenship, because MINREX did not declare it, so therefore he would not be able to request the establishment of his domicile in Cuba. In reality he can’t recuperate what he has never lost.
The fact is that the government makes it case omitting the statutes of Decree 358 of 1944. It violates the fundamental prerogatives of Cubans and simulates legitimacy in the act. They can’t deprive anyone of his right to change citizenship, nor even to have two, because they only recognize the Cuban one. They interpret the law as they wish.
The lawyer gives Manuel hope. He suggests that he ask, as a Cuban immigrant, for “Permission of Repatriation,” an authorization granted by the Cuban migration authorities to return to Cuba permanently.
Archived under: Human Rights, Cuban Stories, My Island, Permission to Enter and Leave
Translated by Anonymous and Regina Anavy