Saturday, May 24, 2014

Marrying to Emigrate

Marrying to Emigrate / Rebeca Monzo
Posted on May 23, 2014

A friend told me the following story about having to serve as a witness
in the respective marriages of two of her friends, a Cuban brother and
sister, to two unknown foreigners "recommended" to them by others who
have already gone down this tortuous path:

The first wedding was between the sister and a foreigner; the second
between her brother and an even older foreigner. Out of a sense of
solidarity my friend, who was a witness and participant in both
instances, also became involved in "set design" for both events. This
included arranging for more than fifty photos portraying the wedding
festivities, which meant having to assemble a tremendous array of
"scenery and props."

Since the bride and groom belong to a religion that does not allow
alcohol (though apparently it does not prohibit lying), they had to find
empty beer cans and fill them with water. They also had to buy two
sponge cakes, cover them with some homemade meringue, put the toy "bride
and groom" on top and decorate the wedding table before taking the
photographs that would be presented as evidence.

She also tells me that the siblings did not have two houses in which to
take family photos so, when they staged the second wedding, they were
forced to borrow some of the neighbors' furniture to decorate the living
room. The also had to change pictures and accessories in the bedroom to
make it appear as though it was two different houses.

In addition to all these theatrics (May is Theater Month), she told me
about the fortune the sister and brother had to pay to the international
notary office, which is well aware of the tricks people play and even
offers "suggestions" to their clients.

Besides the "tidy sum" (all in CUC and dollars) they have to keep paying
to the two respective foreigners who lent their services, there is the
risk that the foreign embassy in question will not "swallow" this
gimmick and might deny them their much sought-after visas.

This is but one of the many schemes employed by most of the Cubans who
aspire to "escape" through a third country. They risk an enormous amount
of money — almost always the proceeds from the sale of their homes — and
in the worst cases their lives, to achieve the ultimate goal of setting
foot at any cost on "enemy territory." They will continue doing this
until the Cuban Adjustment Act is rescinded, the prospect of which has
now become an ongoing national rumor.

21 May 2014

Source: Marrying to Emigrate / Rebeca Monzo | Translating Cuba -

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