Saturday, February 20, 2010

El Circulo Cubano: The Cuban Exodus 1959 (3)

On May 2, 1995 the U.S. and Cuba issue a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to promote safe, legal, and orderly migration. Under this accord, Cubans interdicted at sea or who enter the Guantanamo Naval base illegally are returned to Cuba provided that they do not have any protection concerns. The circumstances of returned Cubans are monitored by personnel from the United States Interests Section.

The Cuban people in America over the years have made an enormous and outstanding contribution of their talents, knowledge and creative abilities to the American culture, for the benefit of all.

"America's theater and music halls have also been deeply influenced by Cuban-American entertainers. Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz, Desi Arnaz, and La Lupe have found their way climbing the entertainment ladder to wealth and fame.

"While there are about 64% of all Cuban-Americans that are U.S. Citizens, there are others that are considered reluctant immigrants, compelled to leave their country but with the expectation of returning, and consequently with little desire or motivation to assimilate into the mainstream society." (1)

For an excellent article on the history of the Cubans in Miami, Florida please refer to: Cubans in Miami: An Historic Perspective by Francis J. Sicius.

Cuba is currently facing a critical moment in its Post-Batista history. With Castro's impending death, many are wondering what will become of the future of the Cuban people under his rule for the past 48 years. For some, Castro has become a living legend and will be remembered as a hero. He ensured free health care and education to Cuba's citizens. Others, such as the Cuban-Americans, will always refer to him with hatred as a ruthless dictator who has suppressed the minds and souls of his people.

Will Castro's successor create a new and improved Cuba, or will history repeat itself, plunging Cuba into a worst scenario? Public opinion suggests there will be repercussions beyond the shores of Cuba, that anti-castro groups in Southern Florida will attempt to destabilize the situation in Cuba in hopes that its people will rise against the new imposed government. Perhaps Castro's death will trigger another mass exodus to the United States. No one can know for sure what will take place when the "great man" falls. What do you think:?

Works Cited:

1) American Immigrant Cultures; Builders of a Nation by David Levinson and Melvin Ember; Simon and Schuster Macmillan-New York, 1997 Page: 196-198.

2) Memories of Mariel: 20 Years Later

(3) New York State Archives “Chronology of Cuban Migration: 1958-1998”

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