Cuban transportation authorities have been giving us plenty to talk about these days. Denying Cuban non-travelers access to certain areas of the Jose Marti International Airport was a true scandal until the illegal measure was finally repealed. The matter has another side to it, however, enveloped by our government’s familiar secrecy.
The normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States has long been a thorny issue. Bilateral conflicts between the two countries date back to the 19th century and reached a peak with the embargo policy applied following the triumph of the revolution in 1959.
A New York Times editorial published urges President Obama to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba – something that is beyond the scope of the embargo provisions and which falls within his presidential prerogatives.
Cuban immigrants have always been made a political issue, presented as persecuted individuals who are fleeing communism and given the status of refugees by the United States – despite the fact that 500,000 of these alleged “exiles” visit Cuba every year without anything happening to them.
I was surprised to read the editorial from the New York Times on October 11, 2014, not because of the subject but because of the unconvincing and poor arguments presented. As a Cuban who’s lived in exile in Europe for more than 20 years, this subject is in my thoughts very often.
Cuban authorities backed down from the restrictions they had imposed denying entrance to Cubans in certain areas of the José Martí International Airport after having “inconvenienced many citizens”. It sounds like the government decided to make a concession in order to calm angered spirits, in a small matter that does not really affect the deeply ingrained ills of authoritarianism and full discretion of their powers.
The Cuban State spends a considerable part of its limited resources on education. Why, then, is our educational system facing a crisis? Reality changed as of the 1990s when Teachers began to leave the classrooms.
True monetary unification will be difficult to achieve in Cuba. The steps taken so far, coupled with what we know about how the Party-State operates, suggest we will continue to see the opportunistic use of multiple exchange rates.
Coverage in Cuba on the situation of the poor in other countries is extensive and crowned by bold headlines. Here, on the other hand, we get a mere slice of our news, a hidden phrase somewhere at best.