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    The Unknown of the Diaspora

    The Unknown of the Diaspora / 14ymedio, Eliecer Avila
    Posted on January 22, 2015

    14ymedio, Elicer Avila, 13 January 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 / 14ymedio, Eliecer Avila |
    Translating Cuba –