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"Everyone in Cuba is a political fugitive" says Cuba's Montaner
Thursday 19 January 2017 13:01

Prominent Cuban writer, journalist and politician, Carlos Alberto Montaner, has voiced criticism over President Obama’s decision to end the policy of allowing Cubans who enter the United States to pursue residency a year later. While Mr Obama claimed there has been an accord with the Cuban government for an “orderly migration”, Montaner accused the president of “pleasing” dictator Raul Castro “without demanding anything in return”.

In his article “Of dry and wet feet” (original in Spanish) the prominent liberal politician says: “to return the Cubans who flee from Cuba, given that they emigrate for material reasons, not because they're political refugees, is to ignore that the economic situation on the island is the consequence of a profoundly unfair and unproductive system imposed at gunpoint in that society.” He concludes: “Except for the persecutors, everyone in Cuba is a political fugitive.”

Mr Montaner warns that many of the Cubans who had begun the journey to “the promised land” will “irremediably die”. He says “thousands of Cubans who now find themselves adrift in the jungles of several Latin American countries, without any hope of ever arriving in the United States” adding that “they find themselves at the mercy of mafias and smugglers.”

After announcing the policy change, Obama’s administration informed that the US and Cuba signed a memorandum of understanding to further cooperation between the two countries for law enforcement and information sharing, specifically with counternarcotics, money laundering, fraud and human smuggling, and counterterrorism.

Carlos Alberto Montaner has for many years led of LI full member Union Liberal Cubana and is member of the Honorary Board of Red Liberal de America Latina – RELIAL (LI cooperating organisation).

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