Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Visas for Cubans

The Cuban government is complaining that the U.S. is not approving enough visas. The 1994 agreement was for 20,000, and for the first nine months only 53.6% have been approved (the counting starts in October). Here is a quote from the original article in Granma:

Could this be related in any way to recent statements by President Bush, when — along with wishing for our president’s death — he expressed his preference for forcing the “changes” he wishes to impose on Cuba, even if that were to lead to an unstable situation that would surely also affect the United Sates?

The answer is almost certainly yes. At the same time, however, the Cuban government should give a more full explanation of why people staying in the country represent a destabilizing factor. There is no doubt that a lack of visas lead people to use dangerous or even criminal (e.g. hijacking) means of getting away, but Granma also refers vaguely to “social indiscipline” stemming from U.S. policy.

4 comments:

Chris Lawrence 6:47 PM  

The non-conspiratorial might also suggest it has something to do with State being far, far behind in processing passport applications by US nationals due to the new (and IMHO misguided) requirement for passports for virtually all international travel and moving resources to solving that problem first.

But one suspects being non-conspiratorial is not high on the list of qualifications for potential Granma editorial writers.

Greg Weeks 6:01 AM  

The idea that one or both governments would manipulate immigration for political ends is really a constant, not a conspiracy.

Miguel Centellas 8:46 AM  

I once calculated the attrition rate of Cuba's emigrant population, and it came out to substantially higher than the rate of (as % of people lost per year) casualties for the US during WWII. And that's just incredibly sad.

Tyna 4:00 AM  

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