The majority of the Cuban community in the United States rejects the aggressive policy of President Donald Trump, said Ernesto Soberon, Director General of Consular Affairs and Cubans Resident Abroad (DACCRE) in the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Soberon told Juventud Rebelde newspaper that the process of normalization with emigration is continuous, irreversible and permanent.
The 4th Conference ¨The Nation and Emigration, continuity of the 1978 dialogue, ¨promoted by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, who initiated a process of rapprochement between Cuba and the Cuban community abroad, will run from April 8-10, 2020, in Havana.
Since then, more than 40 years and three conferences have passed, in which the links established on a premise set forth by Fidel: « (...) the Community must be respected. The community exists. The Community is a force and the Community is taken into account, ¨have been strengthened.
On the effects caused to emigration by Trump's new measures, Soberón said that this confrontation policy is only favored by a minority, but extremely reactionary, sector of the Cuban community in the United States.
He explained that the regulatory measures and changes that most significantly affect the Cuban community residing abroad, particularly those based in the United States, are related to travel restrictions, limitations to consular services in both capitals and reductions in the amount of the remittances.
The elimination of commercial and charter flights to Cuban airports, with the exception of the one in Havana, affects those Cubans who travel to Cuba and their destination is not only limited to the capital city, but also to those wanting to visit other provinces, either for family or other reasons.
«The closure of the US consular office in Havana resulted in an increase in immigration procedures, since Cuban citizens who wish to access a visa to travel to the United States must move to a third country to request it, which generates an additional expense and makes the process virtually unfeasible.
«This measure does not offer any kind of guarantee to visa applicants, because if the application is denied, Cuban citizens are not reimbursed for the costs they have to pay for the procedures.
«Failure, by USA, to comply with the signed migratory agreements, along with the elimination of the multiple entry visa (B2), on the basis of false reciprocity, and the maintenance of the validity of the Cuban Adjustment Law, constitute incentives for the irregular migration of Cuban citizens to United States.
“They legally leave Cuba and then join the routes used by irregular migrants. All of this increases the risk of these people becoming victims of criminal gangs devoted to trafficking in persons, and hinders the regular, orderly and safe migration flow between Cuba and the United States.
Soberon reported that there are 124 countries in which our missions have identified the presence of Cuban communities. We have identified, approximately, 1,485.618 Cuban citizens residing abroad, not counting the descendants and 1,195.607 of them are registered in our consulates.
There are 166 associations of Cubans living abroad in 79 countries. The majority of Cubans living abroad maintain a fluid and stable relationship with their embassies and consulates.
“The number of Cubans permanently resident abroad requesting to restore permanent residence in the national territory has increased annually and steadily. The number of applications reaches 57,746; from January 2013 to date, while 36,471 out of them were made from USA.
The holding of the 4th Conference next April provides a response to a recurring request from Cubans abroad, expressed in national and regional meetings that take place annually in different latitudes of the planet, and will be a new and important step forward in function of continuing to strengthen ties between Cuba and its nationals abroad.
The defense of the Cuban Revolution and the condemnation of the blockade maintained by US Government against Cuba is an issue that will be present at the event.
Other aspects of importance to be addressed at the conference are the ways to strengthen the bond of Cubans living abroad with Cuba through culture in its different manifestations, the ways in which they can contribute to the economic development of the country and the use of social networks in the defense of the homeland, in addition to the promotion of the rapprochement of young people and descendants of Cubans to Cuba, through the historical-cultural ties that they maintain with the country of their parents and grandparents.
"The main concerns expressed by Cubans residing abroad will surely also be addressed within the framework of the event," Soberon added.