The U.S. and the Center American Exodus

The migration of Center Americans, mainly toward the United States has won visibility thanks to the current caravan crossing Mexico, but this is an old phenomenon.

In 2017 the UN agency International Organization for Migration informed that 450 thousand migrants, mainly Central Americans, cross Mexico yearly heading for the United States. This phenomenon boomed in the 80’s of the last century as a consequence of Washington’s massive support to the armies and repressive forces of El Salvador and Guatemala in their bloody war against the liberating movements in those countries which, next to Honduras, were deeply affected. The war originated, mainly in El Salvador, a great flow of refugees, among them thousands of young orphans.

It was not the first, neither the last time when the North American imperialism intervened in Central American countries. Since early in the XX century Washington sent several times marines to impose its wishes in that region of our America. It’s well known the heroic deeds of Agusto Cesar Sandino and his “small crazy army” against the Yankee military intervention early on the XX century in Nicaragua.

Decades later, that country and the Sandinista Liberation Front government would suffer an implacable and bloody aggression by Ronald Reagan’s government. An counterrevolutionary army organized and armed illegally by United States was supplied by air from Honduras in a CIA operation, the Iran-Contras, implemented from there by terrorists of Cuban origin. The airplanes came loaded with weapons from North American territory and returned with drugs to that country. At the same time, that agency created the Death Squads which, causing serious human rights violations, kept in line the Honduran revolutionaries. In 1989, George Bush father ordered the deadly Panama invasion with a total of 3000 killed.

In 2009, from the Military Base of Soto Cano, in Honduras, where the Bravo Task Force of the South Command of the United States, this triggered the coup d’état against president Manuel Zelaya. That action is closely related to the facts that have led to the massive migration of Central Americans. Zelaya entered ALBA and established a flowing cooperation relationship with Venezuela with Chavez in power. He was able to get OAS to lift the exclusion of Cuba in a general assembly of that organization and he was attempting to organize a constituent assembly to transfer to the Honduran people control over their national sovereignty as well as their natural resources. None of this was tolerable for Washington that not only ordered the coup but did everything in its power to consolidate it. Ever since every election in Honduras have been a fraud, including the one that elected the current president Juan Orlando Hernández. Zelaya, allied to the Daniel Ortega's Nicaragua would have been an obstacle for the plans of looting and territorial expansion through mining transnational and the so-called Special Economic Zones.

The sparks of the current and unstoppable migratory movement was the stanch application in Central America of the neoliberal politics designed by the so-called Washington Consent which has become more and more bloody and unsustainable. The people of Latin America and the Caribbean are being subjected to a second conquest and colonization, through transnational companies and the militarization displayed by the United States which includes the presence of military bases in our countries. Satellites governments of the imperialism offer every possibility to transnational companies in their expansion plans of accelerated use of natural resources and overexploitation of the labor force. All of it through the spoiling of lands and waters from indigenous communities, afro descendants and peasants, repressed, when they rebel, not only by the security bodies. Also, frequently, by the so-called organized crime well-paid in return. Also the breaking of productive chains that has led to the deindustrialization and loss of dozens of thousands of jobs.

This neoliberal aggression to the previous ways of capitalist productive organization, dragging unemployment and collapse of the social fabric is the main cause of the growing migration and forced exodus of millions of people toward the United States. The unstoppable peak of criminal organizations and brutal violence against peoples and communities makes it worse. The performance map is superimposed to that of the megaprojects of neoliberalism 3.0.

It’s not in Caracas, it’s in Washington, where for some time now is looming the migratory tragedy of Center America and Mexico.

  • Published in Specials

Italy: Diplomatic tensions flare as migrants head to Spain

CATANIA, Sicily — Italy escalated its standoff with France over migration Wednesday, challenging Paris to take in more asylum-seekers and demanding an apology after the French president accused the new populist Italian government of cynical, irresponsible behavior by refusing entry to a rescue ship with 600 people aboard.

Italy summoned the French ambassador for consultations and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini chided French President Emmanuel Macron by name during a speech before Parliament’s upper chamber.

Salvini said France had taken in only a fraction of the 9,816 migrants it had pledged to welcome under a 2015 EU relocation plan to relieve frontline countries Italy and Greece of the burden of caring for newly arrived migrants.

“So I ask President Macron to pass from words to action and tomorrow morning welcome the 9,000 France promised to welcome as a sign of concrete generosity and not just words,” Salvini said to applause in the Senate chamber.

“I speak in the name of a government but I also have the ambition of speaking for a people who have nothing to learn from anyone about generosity, volunteerism, welcome and solidarity,” he said.

Italy has defended its decision to refuse to allow the Aquarius rescue ship to dock, saying it has never abandoned the ship and is escorting it to Spain. Spain stepped up and offered the Aquarius safe harbor in Valencia after Italy and Malta both refused.

The standoff over the Aquarius appeared a clear tactic by Italy’s new government to force Europe’s hand at the upcoming summit of EU leaders in Brussels June 28-29. Italy for years has complained that it has been left largely alone to manage Europe’s migrant crisis, but the new government says its tactics have finally gotten the point across.

Salvini has accused European aid groups of essentially operating taxi services for Libya-based human traffickers, and has said Italy will now refuse their rescue ships entry. Italian maritime vessels, however, are still docking in its ports: on Wednesday, an Italian coast guard vessel docked in Catania, Sicily with 932 migrants aboard.

The Diciotti was greeted in Catania’s port by activists criticizing the new policy, with a banner draped at the port saying “Stop the attack on refugees.”

French President Emmanuel Macron had blasted what he called Italy’s cynicism and irresponsibility in turning away the Aquarius, which is operated by the humanitarian group SOS Mediterranee and the French-founded Doctors Without Borders.

Macron’s office said Tuesday that France doesn’t want to “start a precedent” that would allow some European countries to breach international laws and rely on other EU member states to take in migrants.

In his speech, Salvini shot back and said France had turned back 10,249 migrants at Italy’s northern border since January “including women, children and disabled people.” The border crossing point at Ventimiglia has been the scene of protests and desperation for years as France has refused to let in migrants, many of whom are seeking to reach family in France or Germany.

Under the EU’s asylum laws — currently the subject of revision amid a major political dispute — migrants must apply for asylum in the country where they first enter Europe. In practice, this has placed a heavy burden on Italy and Greece, where hundreds of thousands of people have entered in recent years. Some countries feel justified in stopping migrants from entering when they should have registered elsewhere.

Salvini also demanded that France make good on its pledge to relocate migrants under a 2015 EU scheme that never fully got off the ground.

France was to have accepted a total of 19,714 migrants from Italy and Greece; in all, it accepted 4,677. Across the European Union, only a third of the 98,255 migrants that were supposed to be relocated under the scheme had been relocated by the time it ended last year.

Salvini’s League campaigned during the March 4 national election on a strong anti-migrant agenda that included promises of mass expulsions of migrants already here. According to government figures, Italy has accepted 640,000 migrants since 2014, but the number of arrivals this year is at a five-year low: 14,441 since January.

The number of migrants arriving in Italy began plummeting last year after the Italian government under the center-left Democratic Party negotiated controversial deals with Libya that beefed up its capacity to better patrol its coasts and discouraged land-based smugglers.

Earlier Wednesday, Salvini accused France of having caused the instability in Libya that has allowed smuggling networks to thrive by spearheading the 2011 NATO-led military campaign that led to the downfall of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

The Aquarius and two Italian ships that have taken some of the migrants are now expected to arrive in Valencia on Saturday night, weather conditions permitting, said SOS Mediterranee’s co-founder Sophie Beau. The port is some 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) from where the ship had been on standby since Saturday night.

“It’s a relief for everyone, our teams and of course above all for the survivors to know that they are finally allowed to head to a safe port in Europe,” Beau told reporters in Marseille, France.

  • Published in World

Trump, Marco Rubio and the Cuban Migration

Since his presidential campaign Trump has been Benton creating a climate of racial, religious and political hatred within and outside the United States.  

He broke up with the Paris Agreement about climate change and did the same regarding UNESCO. He refused to certify Iran’s fulfillment of the nuclear agreement, despite the fact that no one objects the strictest execution of his terms by the Persian country. Now he is travelling through Asia immersed in selling weapons and heating up with his very presence and words the dangerous conflict with Pyongyang that could be solved through the dialogue, but with Trump’s provocations can lead to a nuclear war.  

The aggressive imperialistic group Trump represents is not willing to accept that the United States cannot longer exercise the hegemony almost alone as it did after the collapse of the Soviet Union neither admit the irreversible fact of the multipolarity. He can’t accept disagreements, even less from small countries.  

For that reason he is tearing apart most of Obama’s softening measures regarding Cuba, although the main argument his predecessor used to carry them are still intact: that the blockade and hostility politics had not worked (to attain a régime change). As an aftermath, Obama proposed to the Congress the lifting the genocidal measure. He hadn’t become socialist. He expressed an idea shared by most North Americans and Cubans residents in the United States who have made great part of the establishment, as evidenced on the shower of critics this week after Trump’s announcement of detailed Anti-Cuban measures.

Likewise Trump breakaways from the agreement with Iran although the latter meets is to the letter, the Department of State expels almost the entire personnel from the Cuban Embassy without any explanation, beyond vague reference to the already huge lie of the sonic attack. What’s more critical it leaves with hardly any personnel the consulate with the ultimate purpose to hinder the travel of North Americans to Cuba and of Cuban residents in the U.S. As if traveling restriction weren’t enough for the North Americans as well as for Cuban residents in the island, he has forced them to move to third countries to request a North American visa.  

Nevertheless the verbal attacks Marco Rubio directed during the republican pre-campaign to the presidency, Trump has made peace with the senator and keeps a romance with the old hard core of counterrevolution of Miami, a minority group within the Cuban community and far from the feelings of this very community but with economic and political power in Florida, enriched with the Anti-Castro industry. The real estate magnate has given Rubio and the representative Mario Díaz-Balart an important share in the politics design toward Cuba and Venezuela. It seems as if both legislators understand each other directly with general McMaster – National Security advisor and expert in counter insurgence - and with the CIA and the United States Southern Command.  

But as Washington blocks the relationship of Cubans from both shores, Cuba takes more steps to facilitate it line with the politics of migratory upgrade started on January 14th, 2013. It eliminates bureaucratic red tape, it authorizes the entrance of thousands of migrants who left the Island illegally and who since January 1st, 2018 will be able to meet their relatives in Cuba. It decides to grant the right to Cuban citizenship to children born abroad from Cuban residents in other countries, an important benefit in the case of France and Germany who don't allow them to obtain their citizenship.  

Since 2013 have traveled abroad more than 769 254 Cubans, 79% for the first time. So far in 2017, it has been achieved 28% of growth in comparison with the same period of 2016.  

In 2016 a total of 428 000 Cuban resident abroad, 329 000 of them coming from the United States, while in year 2015 Cuba was visited by 378 000 Cubans and 285 000 North Americans. The increment of overseas Cuban residents who decide to establish their permanent residence in Cuba is still steady.  

The irregular emigration has decreased to the minimum since Washington eliminated the infamous wet feet dry feet politics, which confirms the posture of Havana that always considered it the trigger of that dangerous and chaotic emigration.

Amilkal Labañino Valdes / Cubasi Translation Staff 

  • Published in Specials

Questions and Answers on New Migratory Measures

Several questions have risen around the four measures to be passed next January 1st. Here are some answers to some of the most recurrent questions on the issue:

-What does it mean to eliminate the requirement of enabling the passport for Cuban residents abroad?

With this measure it’s eliminated the step which although a one-time and free procedure in the consular offices, it lengthened the process for obtaining the passport, and people spent money and time in trips and lodgings, among others. Since January 1st, 2018, Cubans residing abroad will only need a valid passport to enter or exit the Island.

-With the elimination of this procedure, does it change what was established on the renovation or extension of the passport?

No. Cubans residing abroad must renovate the passport every six years and over that period of time they must get a passport extension every two years, to make it still valid. After the six years established in the legislation a new one needs to be made. The extension requirement will remain intact after the elimination of the procedure.

-Who won't be able to travel to Cuba even though they are Cuban resident abroad?

  

As established in article 24.1 of Law 302 of year 2012, modifying Law 1312 of year 1976, Migration Law, it would be inadmissible everyone with records of terrorist activities, human or weapon traffic, drug traffic, money laundry; or tied with crimes against humanity, the human dignity, common health; guilty of organizing, encouraging, carrying out, or participate in hostile actions against the political, economic and social foundations of the Cuban State; when defense and national security matters deem it that way, among others. These requirements stay effective.

-Who is benefit with the authorization that Cuban residents abroad can enter and exit national territory in pleasure boats?

This measure is the continuation of abovementioned authorization so that residents in Cuba or abroad, regardless their migratory condition can travel on board cruisers or join as passengers and crews in merchant ships that dock in Cuba and was passed in April 2016. All Cubans living abroad are benefit and wish to come on a pleasure boat, yachts or similar crafts.

-Will Cubans residing here be able to travel to other countries or return to Cuba in pleasure boats (yachts or similar crafts) belonging to Cubans that live in other countries?

NOT for the time being. According to a reliable source some work is still in progress in that matter and other related migratory issues, but the restriction still applies for those residing in the Island to exit or enter in pleasure boats that dock in Hemingway Marine or Varadero Marine.

-Why eliminating the ban after eight years have passed for those who left Cuba illegally and keep it for those who did it through the illegally occupied territory by United States in Guantanamo Bay?

People who dared in illegal exits mostly via marine, jeopardized their lives, those of their family, broke Cuban laws as well as international, and risked the execution of international agreements, besides risking national security; however, once the U.S. eliminated the wet-feet dry-feet politics used with political purposes to illegal Cuban migrants, as well as the elimination of the “parole” program to encourage the desertion of Cuban doctors working in third countries, it has shown a considerable decrease in the illegal flow to the U.S., thus ratifying they were incentives for illegal migration. The measure benefits all those who left Cuba illegally since year 2010 until today who will be able to travel to Cuba starting next January 1st.

In the case of those who left illegally through the Guantanamo Naval Base, committed a serious violation of laws and put at risk the national security of Cuba, hence they are forbidden entrance to the country for good.

-Will people who abandoned Cuban official missions abroad be able to come with these measures?

No. The prohibition of returning to Cuba remains -for the time established, up to five years in some cases and eight years in others - for those who abandoned overseas official missions with the purpose of emigrating, we are talking about doctors, diplomats or sport delegations, or other sort.

-What does it imply by the “elimination of the domicile" requirement?

  

Children of Cubans who were born abroad will no longer have to complete the domicile requirement to become Cuban citizens. With the elimination of this demand, they won't have to reside for a while in Cuba so they can later decide on taking the documents that validate them as Cuban, but by common law for being the son of both parents, or one of them Cuban natural.

-Do stateless persons disappear, that is, people who could not take either nationality?

One of the main legal obstacles this measure eliminates is that there won’t be any more stateless person; that is, the children of Cubans, born in countries that don't grant the nationality for being born there. Some nations only grant citizenship by what is internationally known as blood right which is simply being descendent of citizens from that nation, and not for being natural from that country. With the current legislation, the children of Cubans living in those countries didn't have citizenship, neither Cuban, neither of the State.

Since January 1st, 2018, all those born from a Cuban mother or father will be able to process the nationality through Cuba’s consulate offices, without the need to travel to Cuba and reside for some time here.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

Cuba Advocates for Development to Balance Migration Flow

Cuba has advocated today at the United Nations Office at Geneva to guarantee the full realization of the right to development in the world, which is a way to balance global migration flow.

Cuba representative, Luis Alberto Amoros, stated that analyzing the issue in depth is crucial to analyze the causes for which millions of people emigrate each year, even risking their lives.

'The many problems associated to migration, as its exponential increase to the industrialized world, theft of talent from developing countries and the exacerbation of the shameful discrimination and violation against migrants could only attack the structural causes of migration,' he said.

During an interactive dialogue on the human rights of migrants in the context of great movements, Amoroso defended the need for a substantial modification of the unjust and exclusive international economic order, to act on the origin of migration.

'It also requires a genuine responsibility of the main industrialized countries with international peace and security, and the abandonment of their hegemonic interests that generate situations of instability.'

An international cooperation that guarantees genuine dialogue and collaboration is vital, the shared responsibility of all States in migration matters is recognized, as the respect to the sovereignty and equality of all countries, the Cuban representative stated.

'Of course, this cooperation should ensure the integrity, dignity and welfare of migrants,' he said.

  • Published in Cuba

United States: Resistance against Trump Grows.

The Miami Journal, a digital publication of that city, showed this Sunday the following title: The Trump Revolution, "Chaos, indignation, and dozens of people affected by presidential veto".

According to EFE agency, the measures approved this Friday by Trump, under the pretext of protecting the country against terrorism were denounced by organizations that believe them unconstitutional.

Those dispositions establish to prevent for 90 days the granting of visa and entry to all citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, as well as the welcoming of refugees for 120 days.

Who were the first victims? Parents travelling to the U.S. to meet their families, universities students from those countries or refugees escaping war conflict zones.

The Miami agency also reported that, during the first 24 hours, there were cases of people who weren’t given authorization to fly towards the United States from Egypt, Turkey or Holland.

But also, for example, in New York, more than a dozen of travelers were arrested at JFK airport, next to two Iraqis who carried their visa in order.

One of them, Hameed Jhalid Darweesh, was released after hours of arrest only through the intervention of several organizations and two North American congress members.

Darweesh had been granted visa for him and his family after having cooperated for years with the Pentagon armed forces in Iraq.

"I supported the U.S. Government in the other side of the world, but when I’ve got here they told me 'no', and they treated me like I had broken the rules and done something really ban ", he declared.

For example, they took up to 12 hours confirming half-way that the temporary veto includes the citizens from those seven countries, "regardless if they had permanent residency in the United States."

Including people residing legally in United States for years, "forced now to get an exemption to return there, a process that will come to a decision "case by case."

According to journalistic investigations, nearly 500 000 citizens from those seven nations have earned the permanent residence in the last ten years.

The Wall Street Journal hinted that citizens from these countries count - even though- with passport from another nation, something that will be public shortly.

Bottom line is? No one can deny that in this huge board a marked delicate situation is brewing.

  • Published in Now

Cuba Ensures Regular, Safe and Orderly Migration for its Citizens

Cuban diplomat, Josefina Vidal, has reiterated here Cuba''s commitment to ensure the regular, safe and orderly migration of the citizens of the Caribbean country, as well as their right to travel and to emigrate.

The general director of the United States Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made these statements, after the elimination yesterday by the U.S. government of the so-called ‘wet-foot, dry-foot' policy and the parole program for health professionals that encouraged illegal migration to the United States.

On the approval of the agreement on migratory issues between Cuba and the United States, Vidal asserted that a serious problem for the security of both countries and that of our citizens has been eliminated.

That preferential treatment had created serious problems for the security of Cuba, the United States and our citizens, who were exposed to human trafficking, immigration fraud and violence, she said at the International Press Center in this capital.

With this agreement, the Cubans are equaled in migratory terms with the rest of the citizens of the world, and will be subject to U.S. laws, Vidal said.

She also noted that the elimination of those practices, as well as the current Cuban Adjustment Act, was a claim Cuba made for many years to the United States.

She considered that this significant step in the bilateral relations responds to the national interest of the two countries.

Vidal reiterated that the agreement reached by the United States and Cuba is an example of the interest by both governments in normalizing relations.

It is based on the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and the political will to strengthen the bilateral ties and to establish new understandings on issues of common interest, she stated.

She also pointed out that there is still a group of pending issues to advance in the relations, such as other policies used for more than five decades within an aggressive and hostile arsenal towards our country. Vidal mentioned the economic, commercial and financial blockade and the territory occupied by of the U.S. naval base in the eastern province of Guantanamo against the will of the Cuban people.

  • Published in Cuba
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