Dissidents in Cuba
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President Obama lets Cuba treat Cuban-Americans poorly

President Obama lets Cuba treat Cuban-Americans poorly
Guillermo I. Martinez
Columnist

Why do Cuban-Americans need a visa?

In his efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, President Barack Obama
is allowing Cuba to treat Cuban-Americans as second-class citizens.

The Cuban government does not consider those born in Cuba — and even
American-born children of Cubans who have become naturalized American
citizens — as Cuban- Americans. It does not recognize dual citizenships.
Cuba’s point of view is crazy.

Also crazy is Cuba requires Cuban-Americans who came to this country
after 1970 to obtain a Cuban passport and, at the same time, to obtain a
visa.

This makes no sense. How can a country ask people it says are Cuban —
even though they have obtained their American citizenship — to obtain a
passport and at the same time get a visa? I know of no country that
requires its citizens to obtain a visa to enter again.

All this is so the Cuban government can extort a few more dollars from
those who left the country. This group is growing by the tens of
thousands each year. All this is because Soviet aid ended when its
empire collapsed, and then Venezuela aid ended when the price of oil
fell in the world market.

How can a country require people it says are Cuban citizens to obtain a
Cuban visa?

This treatment I expect from Cuba. Not from President Obama. He has
ignored the rights of Cuban-Americans in his efforts to normalize
relations with Cuba.

He wants his legacy to say he did with Cuba what Richard Nixon did with
China. The difference is obvious. China is an enormous market of more
than a billion people and holds more than $17 billion of American debt.
Cuba has its own billion dollar-plus debt.

Cuba has 11 million citizens, and its population is decreasing rapidly.
The birth rate has declined, and young people are leaving the island.
Tens of thousands of them are arriving here.

Recently I talked to a waitress when she had arrived from Cuba. She told
me that together with her husband, they had gone to Ecuador. There they
spent several weeks. Then they went to Panama and from there to Mexico
and presto-magic they presented themselves at the border with the United
States where they were granted instant status thanks to the Cuban
Adjustment Act of 1966.

Both husband and wife are already working. But they wait to have been in
this country a year to obtain their U.S. residence status so they can go
to Cuba to visit the rest of their family they left behind.

This is crazy. Obama is to blame. He has given Cuba everything it wants
and gotten zilch in return. Both Castro brothers have said their one
party (the Communist Party) will be the only party recognized in the
island. The number of dissidents arrested in the island more than
doubled since Obama gave Cuba everything it desired.

When the Carnival ship landed in Havana last week, Cuba organized
hundreds of people to greet the ship. One man went a step further and
got a real-sized American flag and draped himself in it. That was not in
Cuba’s script, and the man was quickly arrested.

I must say Cuba wants to welcome millions of tourists and has done
little so far to make the visit of those who go unpleasant.

It is not fair however, that the American government permits Cuba to
treat Cuban-Americans — and their children born in the U.S. — as second
class citizens. That is Cuba’s decision. What I object to is that my
government in Washington permits a foreign country to violate our civil
rights.

We are not second-class citizens.

Guillermo I. Martinez lives in South Florida. guimar123@gmail.com

Source: President Obama lets Cuba treat Cuban-Americans poorly – Sun
Sentinel –
www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/columnists/fl-gmcol-oped0510-20160509-column.html

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