Cubans in Ecuador
Lately, Cubans have become the focus of attention of the Ecuadorian authorities. It seems that the term illegal follows us, even beyond this island’s borders. And it is a sin whenever a Cuban marries an Ecuadorian.
The Attorney General of Ecuador, Washington Pesántez, made statements to the press about this. The implication of his words seems to be that the islanders are invading his country. He refers to them as if they were a plague: “There are already too many,” he said. He even claimed that there are neighborhoods “taken over” by Cubans.
A certain resentment stands out. It’s true, the need to escape or survive has made the Cuban people resourceful. But not to the point that they are a threat, as the Ecuadorian authorities want to portray them. Nor is it justified for them to insinuate they are criminals.
The accuse them of being smugglers and claim that there is a network of illegal trade, from Ecuador to Cuba. What irony! As if the Cubans could enter the country with boatloads of goods without paying taxes.
A scandal over “knock-offs” (cheap goods) that end up on the black market, because the official prices of hard-currency stores on the island are prohibitive for its citizens, and private economic initiative is forbidden to Cubans in their country.
The Cuban government already has its claws on them when they come to the island, and as if this were not enough, Ecuador has asked for more support. The authorities of the two countries agreed to investigate and punish citizens who have entered into “marriages of convenience.” It is easier to blame the Cubans because senior Ecuadorian officials violated “ethical standards” and notaries accepted or solicited bribes.
Of course, the incident would not affect relations between Cuba and Ecuador! The Cuban government is always ready to punish its own. There is no doubt about that. Especially seizing “knock-offs” at the airport.
The Cuban leaders should be ashamed of their hypocrisy. They criticize the immigration policies of Europe and the United States, while their own nationals . . . can go to blazes!
Do the authorities in Ecuador sanction Ecuadorians for engaging in marriages of convenience? Do they transform a voluntary and private act between two people into a crime just because one of them is a Cuban citizen?
I do not dispute the right of Ecuador as a nation to establish a “selective migration.” But it is unjust to seek sanctions against the Cubans. It would be good to go beyond appearances and search for causes. The increased migration of Cubans can be blamed on “the glorious socialist state.”
So much for the “brothers” of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). A shame. Not only are they silent about violations of the human rights of Cubans, but even worse, they also agree with better methods for suppressing them.
Translator: Tomás A. & Anonymous