The Unknown of the Diaspora
ELIECER AVILA, Enero 23, 2015
Cuban civil society is often questioned, as are opposition groups, due
to their apparent inability to join the masses and pressure the
government for necessary changes.
All of these questions are not without some truth, and a doubt comes to
mind that I would like to share. I am referring to the fact that the two
million Cubans (between emigrants and descendents) who live outside the
country have not found an effective way to participate in the politics
of the nation.
In theory, this group of Cubans has everything that the internal
opposition lacks in order to have a major influence: full access to
communications and information, freedom of movement, the right of
association and assembly, and, above all, it has an economic power that
could compete with that of the government itself.
On the other hand, the remittances that the Cuban migration sends to the
country every year constitute one of the top three sources of the gross
domestic product. If we accept the maxim that "He who holds the purse
strings holds the power," then it would correspond that those living
abroad should have a wide representation in the parliament for being the
most efficient and productive workers in the system, as well as for
being the largest union. Thus, we could at least say, "He who brings,
participates." But this is not the case.
Quite the contrary, the measures usually taken by the government tend to
directly affect the interest of the emigrants, and at times don't help
their families. The new customs regulations, the cost of the paperwork
to enter the country, and the treatment that often borders on
disrespect, are some examples of this.
To make matters worse, the new Foreign Investment Law* also excludes
them, depriving them of the opportunity to contribute with their
investments and their talent to the development of the country. And it
is a tremendous shame. I know that outside the country there is human
capital of incalculable professional value, with experience in every
kind of business and, above all with immense desires to see their native
land move towards progress.
How is our emigration organized to defend its natural rights in this new
scenario? Will it support in a major way a civil society and a
responsible opposition that has a more inclusive vision of the nation?
For me, this remains an unknown.
13 January 2015
Source: The Unknown of the Diaspora -