Since the beginning of the spread of the pandemic, Cuban Consulates have provided timely information to Cuban nationals abroad on the evolution of the disease on the island and on consular procedures.
April 27, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Since the announcement of the regulations on travel to and from Cuba, a measure adopted by the Cuban authorities as part of the national plan for the prevention and confrontation of COVID-19 as of March 20, more than 2,000 Cubans have returned to national territory, by air and sea, from more than a dozen countries, among them: Angola, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, Mexico, Panama and Equatorial Guinea, Cubaminrex reported.
These return flights of Cuban citizens and foreigners residing on the island have been organized between the competent Cuban authorities and their counterparts in each of the countries involved, in strict compliance with internationally established standards.
Since the beginning of the spread of the pandemic, Cuban Consulates have provided timely information to Cuban nationals abroad on the evolution of the disease on the Island and on consular procedures. At the same time, the Cuban authorities are permanently monitoring the situation of our nationals stranded in different countries, while efforts are being made, whenever possible, to ensure their return to our country.
Equally commendable has been the action of Cuban residents and members of solidarity organizations with Cuba, who have provided food, medicines and arranged cheap accommodations for Cuban citizens who are waiting to return to our national territory.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The determining ideology in the “First World” defends the free movement of goods and capital but emphatically excludes the possibility of the labor force enjoying that same freedom. It condemns all governmental action in poor countries to protect their products from the effects of an unequal confrontation in the external market. However, it rejects the possibility of the international displacement of labor according to the same law of supply and demand that they claim for their own goods, capital and other factors of production.
In conditions of absolute freedom of movement of goods in the world market, the winner is the one who produces at the lowest cost.This can only be achieved with higher productivity, which is always the one to which the large corporations of developed countries have access through more efficient technology born of their financial superiority. This leaves the poor countries with cheap labor as their only resource to compete.
A genuinely liberal economic globalization, which upholds the principle of competitiveness and fixes in the market the possibilities of all parties, should include the freedom of movement of all factors of production. This would include the labor force, but this possibility is not even mentioned in neoliberal discourse.
In Latin America, the fundamental receiving pole of commercial exchanges, the United States, closes its borders to spontaneous immigration promoted by the laws of the market. It projects programs aimed at attracting immigrants with specific qualifications or political refugees (real or supposed) that suit its political purposes of domination, ignoring the obvious fact that the economy of the United States objectively needs labor, especially unskilled labor.
Such inconsistency reflects the will to avoid conflicts derived from competition between immigrants and their own workers, without forgetting the manifestations of xenophobia and discrimination against minorities that are manifested in that society, due to multiple historical factors.
From the point of view of the U.S. business which exploits immigrant labor, although their interests in the legal prohibition of immigrant income are affected, the continued income of undocumented workers – with depressed rights – solves their needs. The big losers are the undocumented, persecuted, mistreated and super-exploited immigrants. Emigration to the United States becomes the dominant fact of the regional migratory panorama.
But since the last decades of the 20th century, the Latin American and Caribbean migratory process, which from the time of the conquest until then had left a positive balance, has become negative. That is to say, more emigrants than immigrants.
In the 1980s, with the rise of neoliberalism promoted by Ronald Reagan’s government in the United States, Latin America, like the entire Third World, entered a new period. It is characterized by the effects of an unpayable foreign debt that hindered its development, aggravated by the rise of corruption, embezzlement and the discrediting of traditional politicians.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the socialist system in Eastern Europe deprived the world’s underdeveloped countries of an alternative of economic and technical assistance, as well as relatively safe and advantageous markets.
The rich countries took advantage of the conjuncture to impose a neoliberal orientation on the objective trend towards globalization that technological advances determine for the economy of nations. They then reduced development assistance, forced the weakening of state apparatuses, the de-statification of natural resources and the privatization of state enterprises, preferably through their acquisition by U.S. corporations.
Thus, Latin America, which for centuries was a recipient of migration, became a region of emigrant outflow. Tens of millions of Latin Americans have been forced to emigrate in the last twenty years. All this has led to a sharp increase in inequalities and the concentration of wealth in a small number of people and entities in Third World countries.
England, when its fleet was the largest and most efficient in the world, demanded freedom of the seas without protection measures that would raise the competitiveness of the fleets of other countries. Today, the highly developed countries demand freedom of movement fpr their goods and capital, without barriers that protect the production of countries with less economic development. But they do not include that freedom for the workforce.
September 16, 2019. This article may be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
April 17, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
A new group of Cuban citizens deported from Mexico arrived in Havana on Wednesday as part of the migration agreements between the two countries.
The Mexican Federal Police aircraft landed at José Martí International Airport with people who had left the island legally, but became irregular migrants on their way to Mexico.
In less than a month, approximately 300 Cubans arrived on the island in five flights of the deported, many of them with anecdotes of vicissitudes and outrages suffered during their route through South and Central American countries bound for the United States.
As in previous cases, these human beings will return to their families after receiving the necessary attention, including health care, said immigration authorities, but said that those who left accounts pending with the legal system before leaving must face it.
The Cuban government took advantage of this situation to insist on its call for regular, orderly and safe emigration, in order to prevent people from becoming victims of criminal groups linked to human trafficking in the region.
The scenario has been complicated in recent months by the escalation in the aggressiveness of the U.S. government against the island, which includes the politicization of the flow of Cubans between both sides of the Florida Strait.
Recently, Washington reduced the period of validity of the B2 visa for Cubans from five years to three months, with only one entry, under the pretext of an alleged reciprocity with Cuba’s treatment of Americans.
Havana, through its Foreign Ministry, rejected the decision, describing it as ‘an additional obstacle to the exercise of the right of Cuban citizens to visit their relatives in that country’.
This measure adds to the closure of the services of the United States Consulate in Havana, to the unjustified interruption of the granting of visas to Cubans, forcing them to travel to third countries without any guarantee, and to the failure to comply with the visa quota established by the migratory agreements, he stressed.
With information from Prensa Latina.
Think about the comments made by the American extreme right and, therefore, the Miami anti-Cuban right, about the famous caravan of migrants approaching the southern border of the United States. They bring to my memory that verse of the poet Campoamor in which he says: “And it is that in the traitorous world/ there is neither truth nor lie, / everything is according to the color/ of the glass with which one looks”.
Remember. more or less two years ago, Cubans who had left Cuba legally and who were residing in different South American countries began to advance through Central America with the idea of arriving in the United States? In order to be able to take advantage of the famous Cuban Adjustment Act. The right-wing made statements about a supposed humanitarian crisis. Those Cubans were fleeing, according to them, from the “Cuban communist dictatorship”, and that those compatriots only had the desire to reach “lands of freedom” in order to find the famous American dream.
Very selectively, the same people who described Cubans in Central America as people who pursued the American dream, now accuse the migrants who approach the border with Mexico of being a gang of thieves, criminals, drug traffickers and the sick. They supposedly came exclusively with the idea of murdering, stealing and infecting the citizens of this country (the US). What do you think? A humanitarian crisis in one case and an invasion by criminals in the other.
That caravan is made up of those who have been coming for years, people who flee poverty in search of better living conditions. The constant stream of migrants has never stopped. The difference is that in these moments they have come together to make the journey in larger groups. Perhaps they hope to gain more publicity for their attempt to reach the United States. Hostility is what they have received, not a compassionate welcome like that of the Cubans two years ago, but a negative and demonized one.
Those people who arrive and those who for years have been arriving, come from countries where everything exists that, since the very day of the triumph of the Revolution, the US right-wing have asked of Cuba. These include a multiparty system, market economy, representative democracy, with elections every four years, freedom of the press, etc. And if all that exists in their countries and if by implementing it all problems are solved, we have to ask ourselves, why do they emigrate? Why do they abandon the paradise that should exist in their countries since their social, economic and political system is the one that, according to the right, must prevail in all nations so that progress, wealth and social development can exist?
Obviously, the fact is that there is a multi-party system does not solve anything, but it does create a lot of politicking, corruption and demagogy. Freedom of the press only guarantees that those who have money can control the media to defend their interests. Those who believe that the market should be allowed to regulate everything, if not they are dreaming, at least they are sleeping, since even in the most developed countries there are control mechanisms over it. Representative democracy has shown time and again that it does not represent anyone in the long run. Although, well, it does represent the sectors that in one way or another control power, be it the army, the oligarchy or the political parties.
The poor wretches who come in caravan for the United States were taken as an electoral campaign flag by the Republican right. The President got tired of scaring the voters, telling them that a real invasion of thugs was coming, with the idea of them going to the polls in support of the candidates of the Republican Party. So much so that, starting from election day itself, the man stopped talking about the imminent dangers represented by the arrival of the caravan. Even the army was mobilized to the border and there this part of the troops are waiting for the supposed unarmed invaders to arrive.
The control of a country’s borders is normal and it is a duty of the government. It is true that no one has the right to enter illegally into a nation that is not their own, but what should not be done is to politicize immigration and to let some in and not let others in, only because it suits them politically.
Even now, after the policy of dry feet, wet feet, has been abolished, Cubans are subject to the same treatment as the other peoples of Latin America, since there is still the famous Cuban Adjustment Act, which makes Cubans different and privileges us only for political reasons Why? Oh because, and we have to go back to poetry, “everything is according to the color of the glass with which one looks”.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Trump administration is holding 1,500 teens and pre-teens between the ages of 10 and 17 in captivity. Some were captured and separated from their parents along the Mexican border.
This was reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, stating that they were being held in an old abandoned Walmart that was renovated with classrooms, recreation centers and medical examination rooms to house children in federal custody. Children are allowed two hours of free time each day, including one hour of physical exercise and one hour of free time. There are two separate learning shifts due to the high number of children in the institution.
In the old 250,000 square foot supermarket (just over 23,000 square meters) 313 bedrooms were adapted, with no interior ceilings or doors, where children are forced to lie on their beds all the time. Although according to reports from the newspaper, they are being well fed, many of the young people consulted by the media testified that “the food was terrible and everyone was complaining about it”.
It is assumed that most of the teenage children entered the United States alone, but it can be ensured that the younger children were forcibly separated from their parents at the border under the new Trump zero tolerance policy for immigration. It requires a referral to criminal justice of anyone caught illegally crossing the border for, a decision that has resulted in the separation of a large number of children from their families.
“If you cross the border illegally, even if you do it for the first time, we’re going to prosecute you,” Jeff Sessions told the Association of State Criminal Investigation Agencies in May.
“If you are dealing with a child, we will prosecute you, and that child will probably be separated from you, as required by law. If you don’t want your child to be separated, then don’t take him or her illegally to the other side of the border.
“We’re trying to do the best we can to take care of these children. Our ultimate goal is to reunite the children with their families,” he said. “We are not a detention center. … What we operate are childcare shelters. There’s an extremely big difference.
According to federal officials, in the two weeks following U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement of the separation policy, 638 adults accompanied by 658 children were prosecuted.
It has not been explained whether other centers like these are operating in other parts of the country to imprison children in detention camps> It is known that Jeff Sessions ordered all federal prosecutors to bring criminal charges against all women detained for crossing the border illegally.
According to the Associated Press, which analyzed the Department of Homeland Security’s records, 1,995 children were separated between April 19 and May 31 of the year in question because of the new strong immigration policies.
Politically cornered by the widespread outrage that caused the forced removal of thousands of parents and children, Trump signed an executive order on June 21 to put an end to this course of action, which he had previously described as inevitable.
But as those comparisons continued, other signals to the Trump government from international organizations also emerged.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed deep concern about the “cruel practice” of separating children from their parents by force.
“The idea that any state should try to deter parents from migrating by inflicting such abuse on children is inconceivable,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, ZeidRa’ad Al Hussein, said at a session of the Council he heads.
Amnesty International’s director for the Americas, Erika Guevara-Rosas, said that “these acts meet the definitions of torture under U.S. and international law” because of the mental harm they cause to families for coercive purposes.
Trump responded to the allegations with a peculiar defense of his government’s policy, suggesting that adult migrants arrested at the border could be murderers and thieves. He also accused the Democratic opposition of being obstructionist and being primarily responsible for the separation of families in the United States.
June 28, 2018.
By Araceli Martínez Ortega. Reporter for the newspaper La Opinión since 2006.
March 8, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Alondra Becerra, a young university student of the English literature career, a dancer, and who has two jobs, one as a waitress and the other serving coffee, took time on her busy schedule to attend and lead a march in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate International Women’s Day.
“I’m here for my mom who raised me as a single, sick mother. She is a Mexican immigrant who inspired me to fight for people. I am here for mothers and women who do not know that they have rights and do not go out to fight. For them, I’m here,” Becerra said as she stood in front of the marchers with a long blanket that read “International Women’s Strike.
AUTHOR’S VIDEO: https://www.instagram.com/p/BgFhXn4hNrN/
To immigrants like her mother, she told them to be patient, to keep fighting for change. “I am 21 years old and I will help my mother with her papers,”she said.
This young activist was part of the festive demonstration and march that gathered some 300 women in the evening. Armed with banners and blankets with messages against inequality, poverty, violence, criminalization and discrimination, they sang, danced and prayed. The group left the federal building in downtown Los Angeles to walk around a few streets.
Angela Sambrano, chairman of CARECEN’s board of directors and immigrant rights activist, said they came together to celebrate women as women from more than 52 countries around the world did.
My message to immigrant women is that we demand a halt to deportations, to the separation of our families and that we stand together and support California’s continued status as a sanctuary so that police and government employees don’t collaborate with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” she said.
And he added that immigrant parents are not likely to be afraid to take their children to school, to the hospital or just go shopping for food. We are struggling to keep our families together,” she said.
Sambrano urged immigrant families not to stop fighting. “Know that you are not alone. We are fighting to ensure due process because only together will we change the racist, xenophobic and patriarchal system that has produced someone like President Trump who doesn’t want immigrants and is only interested in protecting the rich behind the backs of the poor, workers and women,” she said.
Edith Anderson Hernandez, an immigrant from El Salvador, arrived at the march with signs alluding to the defense of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the program that allows Salvadorans and other immigrants to live and work in the country. President Trump set a deadline to end TPS for Salvadorans, September 2019.
“I have a brother, a brother-in-law, my nephews and a lot of family with the TPS. I need my family,” cried Anderson Hernandez without releasing her banner.
She called on TPS beneficiaries not to be afraid and stick together.
“It’s the only way we can make a difference. We are in this country for many reasons. We immigrants bring a very hard story. I left my children under 4,8 and 9 years old to come here so they would be able to eat,” she said.
Jennicet Gutierrez, a transgendered Mexican immigrant and activist for the Trans Queer Liberation Movement “TQLM Family” had the opportunity to take the microphone during the demonstration.
As a transgendered woman, it is very important to be present to tell compañeras and women in general that we are part of the struggle and we must not tolerate injustice, violence, discrimination and attacks, day after day,” she said.
She stressed that it is important for the voice of transgender women be heard on International Women’s Day because they too suffer a lot of violence, rejection and injustice.
“I want to tell transgender people and all of them that there are strong and powerful women, fighting to stop them from suffering and putting an end to abuses, whether in detention centres, prisons or being rejected by their families,” she said.
Gutierrez stressed that the International Women’s Day march is an opportunity to show unity in resistance. “Go on with all your dignity day by day. We are human beings and deserve respect!”, she said.
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
As the migrant crisis in Europe grows ever more precarious, violence between security personnel and immigrants reaches a new level and tension between citizens and non-citizens inches higher and higher. Many European citizens ask in alarm: Where will all this lead? Who is behind this phenomenon? What caused the immigration crisis in Europe and who is –or who are– responsible?
The above are some of the questions on the issue that political analyst Brandon de Turbeville, who specializes in Middle East topics, formulates and tries to answer in an article published by the online magazine Activist Post.
“The immigration crisis has not formed organically nor has it formed in a vacuum. The people attempting to enter Europe over the last few weeks are a diverse lot, but the overwhelming majority of them are fleeing countries where the West, the United States, and NATO, have brought “peace” and “democracy” in the last few years via bombs, troops, or proxy terrorists.”
“The European oligarchs know well that they are responsible for the mass displacement and are working to exploit that displacement to their own ends,” says de Turbeville.
It is clear that Europe cannot continue to accept such unfettered immigration which has already wrought economic and cultural havoc upon a number of European nations. Europeans claim their right to the culture and opportunities to develop their capacities in their own countries as any other human beings in the planet.
Europe has been overwhelmed with massive waves of immigration from Middle Eastern and African nations as well as other “third world” countries, even before the current Syrian crisis.
However, while Europe can logically refuse to allow such waves of unwanted immigration, immigrants themselves have the right to demand an end to the actions that generate the climate of insecurity and death which leads them to escape the hell that the West has visited upon their nations.
Thus, the first step that must be taken to prevent the mass influx of immigrants to Europe –in de Turbeville’s opinion– is an immediate cessation of any and all bombing of Syria. There must be an immediate cessation of support for ISIS, FSA, Al-Nusra, or any other “moderate” terrorist operating in the Middle East. The legitimate Syrian government must be allowed to wipe these terrorists off its territory.
“Syrian immigrants are not going to Europe because they dream of debating gender politics, sipping coffee in French cafes, or kneeling at the feet of the European monarchs. They are going to Europe because their homes have been destroyed, their families have been killed, and their country has been overrun with savages.”
“Thus, Europe may also be well served to assist in the rebuilding of Syria with a comprehensive plan of foreign investment and credit extended from various European central banks. This would have the purpose of rebuilding civilian infrastructure, hospitals, schools, sanitation, roads, and industry. Europe should extend civilized cooperation with Syria in this regard.”
But –according to de Turbeville– European oligarchs do not want to see a peaceful end to the crisis in Syria nor do they desire to see a peaceful and humanitarian end to the immigration crisis. That is why the European people must begin to build coalitions amongst themselves and, indeed, amongst immigrant communities, in order to force them to do so.
The influx of “refugees” into Europe is being used to frighten the European public with images of Muslim fanatics, hordes of people chanting into supporting a bombing campaign against the Syrian government.
Under a number of guises –economic, ethical, etc.– the ruling class has opened the floodgates to immigration from countries whose culture is vastly different from that of the host country and where the majority of citizens of European countries are themselves struggling to make ends meet.
The influx of immigrants has only worsened the economic situation of the European countries who have taken them in, creating another underclass of low wage low-skill workers who are then played off against the indigenous Europeans and earlier-waves immigrants of any origin.
Neither group ever understands that it is the oligarchic element in their societies that have created such conditions at home and abroad and thus turn their pent up anger on one another while competing for job opportunities.
January 17, 2016.
Por Manuel E. Yepe
La crisis de migrantes en Europa aumenta sin cesar y se hace cada vez más precaria la violencia entre el personal de seguridad y los inmigrantes, al tiempo que crece y se hace más tensa la relación entre la ciudadanía y los inmigrantes. Buena parte de los ciudadanos europeos se preguntan alarmados: ¿A dónde conducirá todo esto? ¿Quién está detrás de este fenómeno?, ¿A qué se debe la crisis de inmigración en Europa y quién o quiénes son los responsables?
Las anteriores son, aproximadamente, las interrogantes que, sobre el asunto, formula y trata de responder el analista político especializado en temas del Medio Oriente Brandon de Turbeville en un artículo publicado en la revista digital Activist Post. “La crisis de inmigración no se ha formado orgánicamente ni se ha formado en el vacío. La gente que trata de entrar en Europa en las últimas semanas es muy diversa, pero la inmensa mayoría de ellas huye de países a donde Occidente, Estados Unidos y la OTAN han tratado de llevar la paz y la democracia utilizando para ese fin bombas, tropas o terroristas en años recientes.
“Los oligarcas europeos saben bien que ellos son responsables por el desplazamiento masivo y están trabajando por la explotación de ese fenómeno para sus propios fines” -enfatiza Turbeville.
Es obvio que Europa no puede aceptar tanta inmigración irrestricta que ya hace estragos económicos y culturales sobre algunas de sus naciones. Los europeos reclaman su derecho a la cultura y al desarrollo de sus capacidades en sus propios países, como cualquier otro ser humano en el planeta.
Europa se ha visto abrumada por grandes oleadas migratorias desde naciones del Medio Oriente y África, así como desde otros países del llamado Tercer Mundo, incluso anteriormente a la presente crisis siria.
Pero al igual que Europa puede, con toda lógica, negarse a permitir estas oleadas de inmigración indeseada, los inmigrantes tienen derecho a exigirle el cese de las acciones que generan el clima de inseguridad y muerte que les lleva a escapar de un infierno que Occidente ha lanzado sobre sus naciones.
Así, el primer paso que debe darse para evitar la afluencia masiva de inmigrantes a Europa -en opinión de Turbeville- es el cese inmediato de los bombardeos de Siria y garantizar la suspensión total e inmediata de la ayuda al Estado Islámico, al frente al-Nusra, al Ejército Sirio Libre (FSA), o a cualquier otro supuesto “terrorista moderado” en el Medio Oriente. Debe además permitirse que, con la anuencia del legítimo gobierno de Siria, se limpie de estos terroristas su territorio.
Los inmigrantes sirios no se van a Europa porque sueñen con debates sobre género conversando en los cafés de Paris o arrodillados a los pies de los monarcas europeos. Se van a Europa porque sus casas han sido demolidas, sus familias han sido asesinadas y su país está siendo destruido por salvajes.
“Así, Europa pudiera servir a la reconstrucción de Siria con un plan de inversión extranjera y créditos de varios de sus bancos centrales, destinados reconstruir la industria, los hospitales, las escuelas, los sistemas de saneamientos, las carreteras y la infraestructura civil de la nación árabe. Europa, en este sentido, debe extender una mano de civilizada cooperación a Siria”.
Pero, según Turbeville, “los oligarcas europeos no quieren ver un final pacífico y humanitario a la crisis en Siria, lo que hace necesario que los pueblos europeos, por sí mismos, comiencen a formar coaliciones, entre sí y entre las comunidades de inmigrantes, con el fin de obligarles a hacerlo.
La afluencia de “refugiados” en Europa se usa para asustar a la opinión pública europea con imágenes de fanáticos musulmanes, hordas de personal gritando en apoyo a los bombardeos contra el gobierno sirio.
Llevada por una serie de presupuestos económicos, éticos, y de cualquier índole, la clase gobernante ha abierto las puertas a la inmigración de países cuya cultura es muy diferente a la del país anfitrión y donde la mayoría de los ciudadanos de los países europeos lucha por la supervivencia mes a mes.
La afluencia de inmigrantes ha empeorado la situación económica de los trabajadores de menores ingresos creando, de hecho, una subclase de trabajadores de baja calificación y menores salarios que objetivamente compiten con los nativos e inmigrantes previos menos calificados de cualquier origen y con aquellos de salarios más bajos.
Ninguno de estos dos grupos entiende que han sido los elementos oligárquicos de las sociedades en las que conviven los que, desde el exterior, han creado esas condiciones con el propósito de alimentar la enemistad entre uno y otro bando, en competencia por los puestos de trabajo.
Enero 17 de 2016.