Why Do Cubans Emigrate?

Cuban emigrants, if they dare to leave on their own, run the risk that the government will deny them the right to re-enter their country. Except for marrying a foreigner or being sent on a government mission, residents of the island should have no reason to live in another country, either temporarily or permanently.

To visit friends or relatives abroad, they need a letter of invitation and permission to leave. The other way would be to permanently leave by abandoning the country. An exit that allows the government to nationalize their properties, through confiscation without compensation. Is that a privilege?

Even with these penalties, many dare to leave illegally, risking their lives and even the lives of their children, on a raft at sea. Don’t tell me that’s the fault of the blockade! Perhaps the United States encourages emigration, but what obstructs it, and has turned it into a business, is Cuban law.

Do you know how many Cubans have spent their income on immigration red tape trying to leave the country legally, and have been denied that right? Only God knows how many have been fed to the sharks. Others do it through a third country and when they have been caught by immigration authorities, they have become stateless, because their government will not let them return.

Here, dreams are impossible to realize, life goals and projects unreachable, simply because there are no opportunities. Why should Cubans be resigned to live in misery? Don’t they have a right to reach for their dreams, to want to live as people, to realize their aspirations?

That is the reason why there are more than two and a half million Cubans around the world. There are still a thousand more reasons that explain why Cubans emigrate.

Translated by: Tomás A.

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