mardi 2 juin 2015
A NEW ROUTE TO FREEDOM? DARIEN GAP?
A NEW ROUTE TO FREEDOM?
HAVANA TO QUITO BY AIR, TO COLOMBIA BY LAND, ON TO DARIEN GAP OR SEA FROM TURBO, COLOMBIA TO PANAMA, OVERLAND TO MEXICO AND APPLY FOR ASYLUM AT THE BORDER CROSSING AND YOUR RELATIVES PICK YOU UP
This is the latest of the routes of Economic Refugees from Cuba to the USA.. but already the others have gotten hold of this news and Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are paying up to 7000 dollars to undertake this arduous journey.
Wall Street Journal recently interviewed, a Cuban husband/wife, Yamil Gonzalez 45 years old and Yalile Alfonso, 47, as they arrived on Panamanian coastal village, smuggled from Turbo, Colombia. That five hour ride cost 700 dollars each.
In Cuba, we have nothing, so we have to do this, said the wife.
There is something wrong with this picture!
If they had nothing in Cuba, how did they pay for the two passports, at 200 dollars each? One way ticket to Ecuador (which has now abolished visa free travel for Cubans, Pakistanis, Indians and Bangladeshis) for two 800 dollars, passage from Ecuador to Colombia, food and lodgings, and ferry charges, i.e. close to 4000 dollars for the two of them! For people who have “nothing” in Cuba this is a lot of money.
In fact it is a lot of money for anyone, Cuban or Bangladeshi or Pakistani or Indian.. not to mention Americans. NYT 30 May 2015
Paul Krugman wrote, The Insecure American, in which he quotes a startling statistic: from the Study on the well being of US households, conducted by Federal Reserve: 47 per cent of Americans interviewed said that they would not have the resources to meet an expected expense of $400! Imagine, just four hundred dollars..
And the Cuban couple from a country which they said had “nothing” could come up with ten times that amount! WSJ continues: the couple was well prepared, passports, detailed plans of buses to the border and the knowledge of US Asylum Laws!
It does not matter how they got that money, most possibly from Miami? Just imagine what an industrious Cuban couple with innovative minds and hardworking can accomplish with 4000 dollars in Cuba? They can start a business, and if they have a good business plan, can repay the debt in matter of months.
I am in awe of a lady in her retirement with money borrowed from her relatives in Miami, bought an ice cream machine and set it up in the veranda of her house in Ayersterran and sold good quality cones of ice cream for 3 Cuban pesos each and within months was able to pay back her loans and afford a comfortable life in Cuba as well as employ two other workers! Medicare or Medicaid or Food Stamps or Cellular phones for Cubans or the 140 million dollars the US Government spends each year to support the Cubans who arrive in the USA illegally, all that is far from her mind. She is a decent hard working lady, who has everything she needs in Cuba, she does not have to migrate to the USA whether by plane or via Darien Gap.
For Cuban, it is the lure of Miami, the pull factor that overrides the economic reality of Cuba, the push factor. When I was living in Jamaica, a survey published detailed that nearly fifty per cent of the population would like to immigrate to the USA if given the chance. Such figures are repeated in Honduras, Guatemala and scores of other countries in this hemisphere alone. The bright lights of Miami, stories of economic flush, at times falsely conveyed by relatives, that is the attraction and not the desire to work or enterprise that attracted this couple to the shore. Such human trafficking is aided and abetted by the Cuban relatives living in Miami.
The days of Cubans arriving in the USA for political reasons is long over, now they are like Bangladeshis or Pakistanis who are seeking an economic opportunity. Cubans like everyone else should be given the choice to apply for asylum and if found to be economic refugees (which is usually the case), the USA government has reasons to send them back. Like they do with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis or Haitians or Jamaicans nearer home.. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander..
Among those who did and continue to do so via Ecuador (No visa , the policy recently changed) or entering from Brazil (easy to get a tourist visa) are
But the majority is Cubans.
A Pakistani man said he had paid 7000 dollars for him to be deposited in Panamanian soil, so that he can continue northwards to USA.. That amount was raised by his family and paid to the people smugglers
So, should USA (which generously is offering to resettle Rohingya minority from Burma, genuine refugees!) take any one who can gather enough money to pay a human trafficker (whether they live in Miami or Pakistan) and issue them residence permits?
I feel sad for what is happening in Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and their citizens who are deprived of a life even resembling something of a civilized one. It is ironic that they seek asylum in a western infidel country (USA, Australia, Europe) rather than a rich Muslim country! Like United Arab Emirates, which will repatriate them, won’t allow any one into their territories. Recently in Abu Dhabi I heard a story of an Indian Muslim who had overstayed his visa and within hours of apprehending him, he was repatriated to India, just WITHIN HOURS!
Why is that they decry the Western Civilization ( Boko Haram means Western Education is Bad), but they rather live in the decadent West? Not the rich Muslim countries of UAE or Qatar. I am sure they are aware that the infidel West obeys civilized laws and has some sympathy for the suffering of humanity. Israel a Jewish state has more Muslim refugees within its borders from Africa than Qatar!
What this Cuban couple wants is not Asylum but entry into USA. When potential refugees to Australia are offered Asylum in other countries, they refuse, they want entry into Australia.
Emigration is a very personal matter. My father, olav ha shalom, said, one day we can look forward to a world where there would be no borders, people can travel and settle down wherever they want. That turned out to be an utopian dream. Thinking about my families in USA, Australia and Israel or France who all have freedom to travel, I feel sad for the families in Syria, Iraq, Yemen who are caught in the conflicts beyond their comprehension. Like the offer to settle Rohingya, we can offer them hope by offering to settle families from conflict ridden zones
They deserve our respect! They have lost everything but their hope, the 20 odd million refugees almost all of them from recent conflicts of 21st century..
ABOVE TWO PICTURES OF SYRIAN CHILDREN REFUGEES.
SADDER STILL IS THE PLIGHT OF SOMALI AND ERITREAN REFUGEES IN YEMEN WHO NOW WILL BE REPATRIATED TO THEIR COUNTRIES!