Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cuban-Spaniards Demand Their Rights to Social Security

Cuban-Spaniards Demand Their Rights to Social Security / 14ymedio,
Ferran Nunez
Posted on November 13, 2014

14ymedio, Ferrán Nuñez, Paris, 7 November 2014 — It was the month of
November 2007. A group of seven Latin American countries led by Spain
decided to sign a historic agreement that never came to be, so far, a
mere bureaucratic anecdote. In effect, the Multilateral Spanish American
Convention on Social Security offered a legal solution to the
Hispano-American workers who moved to a Spain then in the middle of a
real estate boom. Similarly, it dealt with former refugees from Chile,
Uruguay and other states who, after a life of work in Europe and once
democracy was re-established in their countries of origin, wanted to
return home with their acquired retirement rights.

Naturally, this movement of workers is part of the wider trend of
globalization which, as we know, accelerated the displacement of workers
from the poorest regions to richer ones, thus creating an ever greater
interdependence among countries. Specifically, among Hispanic nations
where there is "a common cultural, economic and social framework," this
agreement is intended to become an instrument to coordinate the
disparate national laws so that migrating workers and their families, in
the always possible case of return, "could enjoy the benefits generated
by their work in their host countries." In this way, the agreement has
facilitated the return to their country of origin of many workers hit by
the current financial crisis.

The Cuban Case

The Spanish Law of Historical Memory permitted the children and
grandchildren of Spaniards to claim the nationality of their ancestors.
The current global crisis that the island is experiencing has caused
many descendants of those Spaniards, among whom are included the
children of Fidel Castro himself, to welcome the benefits of this law in
order to be able to emigrate. According to the latest official consulate
data, half a million applications were made, of which 190 thousand have
been accepted and 100 thousand are pending. In the end Cuba will have
the greatest colony of Spaniards of all the Americas.

Thus, many fellow countrymen, looking for a better future, have managed
to install themselves on the Spanish peninsula and in other countries.
Spain, through its seventeen administrative authorities, is devoting
considerable resources to organizing the return of these families.
However, the arrival of new Spaniards to the peninsular territory may be
traumatic since there exist no agreements between Madrid and Havana for
recognizing the retirements, among other deficiencies, as pointed out by
lawyer Pedro Luis Sanudo from his blog DobleR, where he advises waiting
for "better times" to try the return adventure.

Based on these realities, an affected group above age 50, residents in
Spain, headed by the returnee Cuban-Spaniard Alvaro Miralles, has
gathered signatures (ten thousand) on the platform The
object of his demand is simple: Cuba's inclusion in the Multilateral
Spanish American Convention on Social Security. He intends to send this
petition to the King and to the Foreign Relations Ministers of Spain and
Cuba during the next Spanish American Summit which takes place in
December in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

For Miralles it is not only a problem of basic justice and equity among
all Hispano-American countries. The protection of Cubans abroad should
be a priority, and he concludes his petition saying: "Cuba has just
received great support in the heart of the United Nations for the
lifting of the economic embargo of Cuba; we believe this is a good
opportunity to also lift another embargo that exists between Spain and
Cuba as regards social security." The next visit of the Spanish
Chancellor to Havana, announced for next November 24, could be the best
occasion to complete this agreement.


Ferrán Nuñez has published the book "Historia de Cuba y de España para
tontos" (The History of Cuba and Spain for Idiots).

Translated by MLK

Source: Cuban-Spaniards Demand Their Rights to Social Security /
14ymedio, Ferran Nunez | Translating Cuba -

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