The massive exodus of Cubans fleeing the island nation began in 1959. Both Contacto Magazine and Profesor Carmelo Mesa-Lago offer some specifics on the economics of the unraveling processes and there is plenty more on it by other authors and scholars.
The scale of the exodus of Cubans fleeing Cuba, an exodus that has actually grown exponentially since the Obama Castro deal kicked in on December, 2014, will be fully assessed only, once it stops.
For 57 years Fidel and Raul Castro have tried to keep Cubans in Cuba at all costs for the Cuban people, including human lives. There are crimes such as the Remolcador 13 De Marzo in which a group of 72 people, babies included took a tug boat to escape and were hunted down and drowned by Cuban authorities. There are many more who have been incarcerated for trying to leave the island, some for many years.
Before 1959, Cubans did not have “expatriate” communities. Cuba did not produce massive amounts of displaced people. Cuba also had an immigration quota.
Angelica Mora journalist, founder of Radio Marti writes about the continuing exodus of refugees from Cuba and its reasons.
The subject of the depletion of Cuba’s human capital for 57 years is already having major impact on every front. Cuban civil groups have to come together and work on this.
By Angelica Mora
NEW YORK – We are facing a crisis in which Cubans want to escape the island by any means and seize any opportunity to do so. It is a silent exodus that worries US officials and causes problems to those nations Cubans cross, when trying to make their way into the United States.
One of the reasons given by the US government, to carry out the agreements with Havana was that these would help Cuban society, especially the middle class. However, this is unlikely to be fulfilled, for the unwillingness of Raul Castro, who boasts saying that the “thawing” was achieved without changes and without the slightest compromise on “the principles of the revolution.”
Actually, emigration from the Caribbean nation, began in the days when Fidel Castro took power in Cuba (1959). Thousands fled in those years, thinking it would be for a short time. Today, many are killed, dispersed in an infinite diaspora, without possible return to the homeland they left behind.
This first Exodus has been followed by others, “Mariel” and “La crisis de los balseros” as it was known the rafters crisis of the 90s. During the “Mariel boatlift” Fidel Castro used the occasion to shed his “undesirables”. The United States had in turn to deal with the mentally disabled, the infiltration of criminals, sent by Castro.
Today, the US government is facing another silent and unstoppable exodus, by land and by sea. Cubans trying to reach United States shores especially through Mexico and Honduras.
Recently, 50 plus Cubans arrived by sea to Puerto Rico, after an unimaginable ordeal. Immigrants often pay huge sums of monies to traffickers who carry then through the dangerous journey, through shark infested waters. Most rafters are rescued from fragile boats and swiftly returned to Cuba. Not touching physically US soil, prevents them from staying in the US. This policy has been followed since 1994, when Bill Clinton Fidel Castro signed the policy accord known as “Dry Feet, Wet Feet”
The driving force of the current exodus is the fear amongst Cubans in the island, reason being that the Cuban Adjustment Act may end as the USA-Cuba agreements kick in and with it privileges of permanent residence will also go and with it the infamous “dry feet, wet feet” political Clinton-Castro deal.
The Cuban Adjustment Act (1966) provides a special procedure under which the natives of Cuba or Cuban nationals and their spouses and children accompanying them, can apply to the United States for permanent residence status, what is commonly known as the “green card”. The “Dry feet, Wet feet” policy is applicable to Cubans only. Those who physically touch US soil may stay, those that do not, are repatriated back to Cuba. There are some cases of Cubans taken to Guantanamo Bay.
It should be noted that the massive escape from Cuba is of wide spectrum. Doctors and athletes have escaped from missions abroad and at sporting events as well.
However, if you really put your finger on it, you see that the problem is not the people but the Castro government, which over 57 years has stolen hope, depriving people of incentives, just thinking about their own gains. and of their freedom to express themselves.