Sunday, May 8, 2016

U.S. Cuba Policy: Violating the Civil Rights of Americans to Appease the Castro regime

Normalizing relations didn't change the Castros but it has changed the United States for the worse


The United States government accepts that U.S. citizens of Cuban descent born in the United States are not recognized by the Castro regime as Americans but as Cuban nationals subject to the dictatorship's laws and regulations. Even though one was born in the United States and has never applied for dual nationality in Cuba they are treated as a Cuban born by the Castro regime in terms of responsibilities but not rights and the government of the USA goes along with it in order to have "normal relations." The United States Embassy in Havana explains it as follows:
Dual Nationality
The Government of Cuba does not recognize the U.S. nationality of U.S. citizens who are Cuban-born or are the children of Cuban parents.  These individuals will be treated solely as Cuban citizens and may be subject to a range of restrictions and obligations, including military service.  The Cuban government may require U.S. citizens, whom the Government of Cuba considers to be Cuban, to enter and depart Cuba using a Cuban passport.  Using a Cuban passport for this purpose does not jeopardize one's U.S. citizenship; however, such persons must use their U.S. passports to enter and depart the United States.  There have been cases of Cuban-American dual nationals being forced by the Cuban government to surrender their U.S. passports.  Despite these restrictions, Cuban-American dual nationals who fall ill may only be treated at hospitals for foreigners (except in emergencies).  See the paragraph below on Consular Access for information on Cuba's denial of consular services to dual American-Cuban nationals who have been arrested, as well as the paragraph below on Children's Issues for information on how dual-nationality may affect welfare inquiries and custody disputes.
Cuban-American dual nationals should be especially wary of any attempt by Cuban authorities to compel them to sign "repatriation" documents.  The Government of Cuba views a declaration of repatriation as a legal statement on the part of the dual national that she/he intends to resettle permanently in Cuba.  In several instances, the Government of Cuba has seized the U.S. passport of dual nationals signing declarations of repatriation and has denied these individuals permission to return to the United States.
Worse yet the United States does not object to these Americans of Cuban descent being denied consular access. Nor does the United States government object to citizens of the United States who are Cuban born being subjected to the following discriminatory practices by the Castro regime:
  • Americans visiting Cuba must present a valid passport and a special tourist card that costs $75.
  • Cuban-born Americans who immigrated after January 1971 must purchase a Cuban passport — even though they have renounced their Cuban citizenship and are now U.S. citizens. These passports are valid for six years and cost $375. To keep these passports active, holders must pay $230 every two years.
  • Cuban-born Americans who left Cuba before January 1971 may use their U.S. passport, but must apply for an HE-11 visa, which costs $250, lasts only 90 days and can take months to obtain.
These discriminatory practices are not taking place in a vacuum. Consider for a moment that a U.S. company, Carnival Cruise Line, in order to appease the Castro regime refused to sell tickets to the Cuba cruise to U.S. Citizens of Cuban origin until protests, lawsuits and bad press forced them to change.  The U.S. government signed off on Carnival's discriminatory treatment of Cuban Americans in 2015.
 

Cuban-Americans protest Carnival discrimination based on national origin
Furthermore how Cuban Americans are valued by the U.S. government, including those who have fought for this country, should be reflected on, following the the release of Gerardo Hernandez on December 17, 2014 who had been found guilty of conspiracy to murder.  One of his victims was a United States Marine, Armando Alejandre Jr., who spent eight months in Vietnam and was murdered by the Castro regime on February 24, 1996  blown to bits in international airspace while engaged in the search and rescue of Cuban rafters. Armando was killed along with two young men born here in the United States (Carlos Costa and Mario de la Peña)  and a third young man who was a resident (Pablo Morales).
 

The Obama administration freed Gerardo Hernandez, the man doing a life sentence for conspiring to murder three American citizens and a U.S. resident. Worse yet a U.S. Senator assisted in that killer's wife, another Cuban spy being artificially inseminated on the U.S. taxpayers dime.

The Castro regime identifies me as the same as a Cuban-born, because my parents were born in Cuba. If I were to get arrested in Cuba the U.S. government has told me that the Castro regime can deny me U.S. consular service because it does not recognize my U.S. citizenship. This despite being born in the United States and my government goes along with it, just alerting me and other Cuban-Americans to that reality in its embassy's website.

Recognizing that the United States government will treat me differently than other Americans if arbitrarily taken by a dictatorship. That the United States embassy in Havana accepts that I not be treated as a U.S. citizen, including being denied consular services, because the dictatorship in Cuba says so is a sobering experience. This goes beyond visiting and legitimizing dictators but changing the very nature of the United States itself to appease a dictatorship.

Prior to the normalization of relations between the United States and the Castro regime I saw myself as an American but thanks to the Obama administration that has changed. All of us whose parents were born in Cuba are now not treated the same by the U.S. government as policy when we travel to Cuba because the Castro regime refuses to recognize our U.S. citizenship. Unlike other Americans traveling to Cuba,  if your parents were born in Cuba do not expect the U.S. embassy consular services to be given access to meet with you. This is discrimination based on national origin.

I no longer self-identify as an American because despite being born here, raised here and declaring my allegiance to the United States my government views me as less and now recognizes it as a matter of policy. 

I now know that I am a Cuban American, discriminated against by my own government of the United States because of where my parents were born in order to appease the dictatorship in Cuba.

The Castro regime says I am not a U.S. citizen and supposedly views me as a Cuban national but if I fall ill there I would be treated as a foreigner. The dictatorship in Cuba like its counterpart in North Korea is not a government but a travesty of one. Over the past 57 years Cubans have been treated as second class citizens in their own country now thanks to normalization with the United States, Cuban Americans can experience being discriminated against because of their national origin by the United States.

This is another example of how normalized relations with an abnormal regime is anything but normal.

General Castro with the First Lady and the President of the United States

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