Those Who Migrate and Those Who FleeJune 4, 2012 | Print |
Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES — Human migration is a worldwide phenomenon that dates back to ancient times. Humans have always sought to improve their well-being by migrating from poorer to richer areas, from rural to urban areas, and from developing countries to developed ones. But such migrants never said they were “fleeing.”
When migration is for political reasons — as occurred in the era of fascist rule in many countries, like in the past epochs of the bloody dictatorships suffered in Latin America — those migrants were called “exiles.”
In many such cases, people had to seek asylum in foreign embassies to protect themselves from persecution and to save their own lives.
Propaganda campaigns against Cuba have used the term “exiles” to refer to all those who have emigrated from this country; and when they refer to them, they say they are “fleeing.”
The fact is that those who really did “flee” from Cuba, to avoid having to face justice, were the murderers and torturers of the Batista government and many of the politicians who supported the dictator.
Nevertheless, thousands of soldiers, sailors, police officers and officials who didn’t participate in torture or murder remained in the country, and no one bothered them. Some even remained for some time in the army as advisors, trainers, administrators, etc. Some even stayed until retirement.
Many left later on, but they weren’t “fleeing,” simply because no one was chasing them.
All of the media propaganda against Cuba emphasizes the number of Cubans who have emigrated to the United States.
However, they don’t mention the millions of Mexicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Colombians, and people from other countries — more than 50 million — living in that country. They are there even though they don’t receive the official support that Cubans do through the Cuban Adjustment Act (legislation that aims to encourage illegal emigration from Cuba, by any means, even through the commission of serious crimes, including murder).
It’s this US-government-induced illegal immigration that is precisely what’s used as propaganda to say that Cubans are “fleeing communism.”
Another piece of propaganda used by the enemies of the Cuban Revolution is that people die trying to cross the Straits of Florida, encouraged by that legislation. What they fail to mention are the thousands of Latin Americans who die each year trying to enter the United States by crossing the border with Mexico.
What would happen if there were a similar law encouraging the rest of the immigrants from Latin America to come to the US? For them the situation is just the opposite, anti-immigrant laws are being passed.
Have you ever wondered what would be the level of Cuban migration to the US if there were no Cuban Adjustment Act?
I don’t think that many Cubans would risk leaving the security they have in their country to go to a foreign country to suffer the discrimination and persecution endured by other Latin American and Caribbean immigrants there.
Logically, there is not the same standard of living in a poor and underdeveloped country as there is in a rich and developed country. That is the fundamental reason why people migrate from one country to another, a population that is estimated at between 200 and 300 million people around the world. Many of them did in fact flee, but from hunger.
For the anti-Cuban propaganda, people in other countries “emigrate,” but those who leave Cuba are “fleeing.” One has to look more closely to see which ones are really migrating and which ones are fleeing.