Sunday, September 18, 2011

Political Refugees from Cuba?

   There is a lot of controversy here in the United States about the fact that so many Cubans who have taken advantage of the chance to be given political asylum often travel back to Cuba.  The idea of granting political asylum to people is based on the assumption that they were persecuted in their country.  This is something that can be granted to anyone from anywhere if the US believes that the claim of persecution is true.  Sometimes it is. 
   But a special situation has been given to Cubans arriving in the US without going through the visa process.  Because of the US' insistence that Cuba is a repressive country along with the strong anti-Cuban lobby here in the US, this policy has been maintained even though it is found to be baseless by the fact that Cubans are welcomed to travel freely to the country that supposedly had been persecuting them.  Certainly if the persecution really existed, these people wouldn't be so quick to travel back worry free. 
   Now there are congress people who want to prevent these Cubans from travelling to Cuba without obtaining their US citizenship first, which would mean that they would have to wait years before visiting their families.  Do the anti-Cuba politicians really want to prevent these visits?  Of course they do.  They want everyone to cut personal ties with their families on the island.  They would much rather do this than address the real issue of the refugee status.  Why?
   The reason the issue of refugee status won't be addressed is because when we find out that almost none of those who took advantage of the purely political "refugee" advantage given to Cubans and Cubans only, then what? The US would be left trying to explain its way out of the situation that it has almost created by itself.
    This is a policy that exists for the sole purpose of creating the myth of extreme persecution in Cuba. In the past, there were certain times of persecution and the leaders of Cuba have admitted this. There was a time where anything that questioned or opposed the Revolution was quickly accused of being counter-revolutionary. At times those "counter-revolutionaries" were in fact working for foreign governments and other times they were simply not. It is an unfortunate thing that happens in one way or another in every country, not only in Cuba. The US is no exception.
    There is no reason to grant asylum to most people coming from Cuba. Our government knows this well. The people we hear about, from the Ladies in White to the hunger strikers who are heralded in our press  as heroes are all working in conjunction with either the officials at the US Interests Section or their support groups with ties to Washington in Miami. This is not propaganda, but a fact that has been revealed by wikileaks and undercover Cuban agents who have infiltrated the ranks of these people.
    If the US seriously would like the "civil liberties" aspect of Cuba to improve even more than it has already, it wouldn't continue with its expensive and wasteful projects that don't respect the sovereignty of Cuba. As I said above, when a public feels threatened by a foreign menace, it unfairly lumps entire groups of people together and targets them. The US spies on its own citizens and always has to one degree or another. The CIA and NYPD have recently been exposed for working together to infiltrate mosques and monitor street vendors and cab drivers simply because of their religion. Is that program not supposedly justified here because of the War on Terror? Many individuals are unfairly being targeted for having a particular religion.
    So by maintaining this wet-foot/ dry-foot policy and granting a special political asylum to Cubans, the United States is trying to create facts. Statistically we can show how many people request political asylum from Cuba, but in reality it is hard to explain the lack of persecution when they are more than happy to return to visit family on the island. They are welcomed to return and can do so whenever they'd like.
    By saying that the persecution issue is blown tremendously out of proportion doesn't mean that I'm saying that life is perfect or easy on the island for everyone. I'm simply stating that in the absence of the Soviet influence excuse and the "exporting revolution" excuse, the US is stuck trying to rationalize its embargo against Cuba. The democracy issue is a subjective opinion, not an objective one. No country has figured out how to actually implement true democracy, so each country finds a form of it that it feels works best for its particular circumstance. An argument can be made that a parliamentary system like many European countries have is more democratic than a representative republic in which there is no recourse for an unpopular representative, except to wait for the next scheduled election to vote in a new person. There are many views of democracy which are not limited to either this or nothing.   So the excuse is now "a lack of democracy" in Cuba, as if the US is the final judge as to what constitutes democracy.  That is why the US sticks with the incorrect wet-foot/ dry-foot policy and is helpless to prevent the reality of the false political persecution from being exposed by the Cuban immigrants to this country themselves.

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