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Regina Cano: I have lived my entire life in Havana, Cuba – the island from which I’ve still never left, and which I love. I was born on September 9, and my parents chose my name out of superstition, but my mother raised me outside the religion professed by her family. I studied accounting and finance at the University of Havana, a profession that I’m not engaged in for the time being, and that I substituted for doing crafts, some ceramics, and studying a little English and about painting. Ah! – concerning my picture: I identify with Rastafarian principles, but I am not one of them. I wear this cap from time to time, but I assure you I just didn't have a better picture.

Emigrating with Assets Converted into Liquid Money, Burning Bridges in Cuba

January 3, 2017 | Print Print |

Regina Cano               

travel-passport-300x224HAVANA TIMES — Going to Nestor’s house is one of those things which makes you want to have a good conversation. This time, the conversation focused around the departure of Pucho, who “threw himself” from here – Cuba – towards Guyana and then onto Brazil, in November.

He was going to cross the jungle when the “Teacher” – who was accompanying him in a taxi – last saw him leaving with a trafficker and two men from Holguin (an Eastern province in Cuba), who he came across by chance, just like the law of attraction knows how to bring people together.

The “Teacher” – Ernesto’s neighbor – was given this nickname because of his most beneficial job, he is an English teacher and he was on a trip to Guyana, where he returned telling Pucho’s story. Some say that the Teacher goes on a trip to visit a family member from time to time, others say that he goes to buy goods that can easily be found wherever he goes and brings them back to Cuba.

Everybody who knows him in the neighborhood were on tenterhooks waiting for news about Pucho, who they already knew was in Brazil and waiting for a work permit, which encourages some people here as they were afraid for his life, basing themselves on the news of Cuban deaths relating to the words “jungle” and “trafficker”.

According to Nestor, Pucho’s father decided to help, in fulfilling his wishes for a better future for his son and maybe, as a debt to himself, since h felt that he could no longer travel.

The man sold his car, a car which he had had since the time of Socialists, and with some of this money, which was exactly what he needed to arrive, Pucho set off on his adventure.

According to rumors in the neighborhood, another route was also added – the Caribbean and then a third country – which had been previously taken by two young people, a girl present added. That’s when Pucho did his research with the mother of one who had left for Trinidad and Tobago, to learn the steps that her son followed.

Among those who want to leave the island, those who have assets which guarantee them money for the journey and their initial days in their new country particularly stand out. The for sale ads, according to general opinion, are a part of the symptom of those who sell so they can leave the country.

“It’s gambling everything for everything, but if things go really badly over there, where do you return?” stated Nestor questioning this, who has a “squat” living space in Alamar, which is illegal but is still worth money. That is to say, that he could sell this to any “immigrant” to Havana or to any “crazy person” who would be interested.

Now, it’s Nestor himself who has the renewed dream of leaving the island, who currently sees this as something he can do, particularly when several friends successfully embarked on their escape journeys from Cuba via the Caribbean or Central America, using the travel agreements that Cuba has with some of its nearby countries.

It’s not always a way to get to the US, Cubans have been discovering other places where they can live better in Latin America when compared to Cuba, and they set off towards these places with their lives on their back, searching for work and a life where their salary corresponds to the basic needs to survive and which is what they need, in principle.

Many of them might be able to get their families to follow them like they first thought, some may have to travel through several countries before they finally decide to settle; others will reach the United States, but all of them have the belief that here in Cuba they don’t have the chance to prove their worth in the pursuit of a better future or a solid life which will allow them to climb the social ladder, believing they can.


What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    Despite all the positive comments submitted by Castro sycophants here at the HT site, the Cuban reality is that the Castro regime has failed the Cuban people. Record outmigration reflects that failure.

    • Jeremy

      My Yugoslavian friend recalls the internationalism of Yugoslavia under Tito in training African and other “Third World” peoples in their universities. He said wryly that “they claimed not to be racist, but if any of them ever wanted to stay they sent them home”. I replied that this was not racism it was solidarity, they were being trained to aid their countries of origin and if they wanted to stay they were not being patriotic. Cuba has record intake of students from around the world. Why must they stay? As far as outmigration goes, spreading revolutionaries around the globe, yes I am talking about the economic migrants as well, for they were educated to have revolutionary thinking, even if they embrace the system of their host country, is not a failure unless you think the “First World” in countries should be looking after themselves.

      • Moses Patterson

        You misunderstood or are misinformed. Cuban emigres do not bring their “revolutionary” thinking with them, assuming that it ever existed. On the contrary, Cubans who migrate from Castro tyranny have tended to become the most savage of savage capitalism.