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Why Obama and Castro Want to Close the Door on Cubans

By: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo - @OLPL - Nov 5, 2015, 11:04 am
The Cuban Adjustment Act may soon be on the way out.
The Cuban Adjustment Act may soon be on the way out. (Latin American Studies)

EspañolSince 1966, more than a million Cubans have become permanent US residents under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Previously, from 1820 to 1960, only 178,535 Cubans obtained that status following the ordinary path. Between 1960 and 2013, it climbed to 1,155,385. Surely, the latter are the best million, the less parasitic Cubans.

Cuba is a post-national diaspora on the run, an example of resilience against the despotic nationalism her citizens leave behind. That’s why only a few hundred migrants ever returned to the motherland, and why the overwhelming majority say they will never go back to the country that expelled them, not even under a democratic regime.

Consequently, our island’s population has changed. During the Castro regime, Cubans from Cuba have become increasingly less wealthy, less educated, less responsible, less participative, less caring, less entrepreneurial, less political, less civic, and, of course, less Hispanic.

There is no cause-and-effect relationship in that list. Facts are facts, even if no one dares to admit them for fear of being called an “extremist right-winger” by populist regimes and leftist academics and media.

With the restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, the Cuban Adjustment Act is damned to be repealed, likely before President Barack Obama leaves office. No matter what the US government says, the pro-Castro lobbyists in Washington and the Cuban-American congressmen all agree on this point of the Castro agenda, although for opposite reasons.

On the one hand, Cuba can’t afford to lose another 1 million who work for free. On the other, the current group of migrants who are leaving the island for the United States are less wealthy, less educated, more narrow minded, more irresponsible, more apathetic, more resistant to change, less politicized, more violent, and, of course, more Afro-Cuban.

In this list, there is no cause-and-effect relationship either. But the fact is that the Cubans who have left the island would rather keep those who remain in the country as far away as possible. The socialist oasis has given way to an ISIS of sociopaths: we don’t fit, we arrive with too many obstacles (even our vocabulary), and we cheat the system (at public expense). Perhaps they are hereditary defects of a totalitarian regime on perpetual life support.

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The Cuban Adjustment Act will be the tool used to ease reconciliation between the powerful on both shores: the communist capital and consumerist capital; the northalgia of the millionaires off the island, and the populace thirsty for dollars on the island.

To achieve this, the ebb and flow of undesirables must be cut off. Wherever you stood when Castro-Obamaism took form, that’s where you’re stuck. Let Apple have a stable environment in which to assemble their iPhones — not in cruel China, but in our own backyard: a place even Donald Trump thinks is cute.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, and then as tragedy again. Fidel Castro’s fascist words in 1980 bounce back from the skyscrapers of downtown Miami like a mirage: “We don’t want them, we don’t need them.”

Yankees, come home. Cubans, stay home.

Translated by Adam Dubove.

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo is a Cuban writer and photographer, a visiting fellow of the International Writers Project, and an adjunct professor at Brown University. Follow @OLPL and his blog Lunes de Post-Revolución.