Why Should Cubans Be Sent to Delaware -- or Anywhere?


September 9, 2022 GPFL



Fix the Problem:

  • End the vicious blockade of Cuba.

  • Fix the broken immigration system that is a humanitarian and civil disaster.


A Green Party of Florida counter to candidate Brian Moore's press release: "Cubans should be sent to Delaware!," which is a quote from Florida's Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez, a Cuban American, from the article here:

https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2022/08/22/did-floridas-lieutenant-governor-say-illegal-cuban-migrants-will-be-sent-to-delaware/


We preface our remarks by clarifying that while Moore is a registered Green, he does not have our endorsement for his candidacy. We reject the general thrust of his remarks, and offer our own reflections. We reference only his opening comments:


From Moore's press release: State Senate candidate Brian Moore roundly applauded Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez’s recent statement of August 20th that all newly arriving Cuban immigrants would be sent out of Florida to the state of Delaware. "Finally," Moore thought, 'Florida was going to treat all immigrants, including their 'privileged Cubans,' on an equal basis." However, now that the DeSantis administration has walked back Ms. Nunez’ statement, "we are once again where we started," bemoaned the west-central Florida candidate. ...."We need a consistent policy on illegal migrants, whether they are coming from Mexico or from Cuba."


The desire of Moore and Nunez to export Cuban arrivals to Delaware completely misses the elephant in the room, (beyond the politics of unequal treatment of immigrants, whatever classification of legal or documented status one may use). That is the 60-year-old Cuban blockade, which is economic warfare and in violation of international law.


Nunez seems inclined to play Cuban immigrants as pawns in domestic politics. Moore seems to view Cuban immigrants as freeloaders taking advantage of the system. Neither Moore nor Nunez appear to appreciate the monumental immigration problem that has been escalating for decades. It's a no-brainer that we need a consistent policy for handling all immigrants with respect and basic human dignity, beginning with dissolving the stigma of illegal vs legal, undocumented vs documented, and recognizing the invaluable, historical, and ongoing contributions of immigrants to our country. Comprehensive immigration reform is urgently needed, towards which the Green Party of the U.S. has contributed some fairly encompassing policy recommendations in its platform.



End the vicious blockade


The 60-year-old economic blockade was initiated by the Mallory Memorandum, which specifically stated that its intent was to "bring hunger and desperation" to the Cuban people so they would rise up against Castro. While the blockade has brought hunger and desperation, and even death in risky attempts to leave family and home country, it has not achieved its aim of driving Cubans to rise up against their government. Rather, the blockade contributes to driving a Cuban influx that Nunez and Moore would callously exploit to score political points.


Dr. LeoGrande, an expert on Cuba, has noted that, “For sixty years, the economic embargo has failed to achieve any of its stated policy goals while exacting a high human cost, stifling the development of the Cuban economy and making daily life harder for Cuban families.”..."It no longer benefits any players in the game— not the United States and certainly not the Cuban people."


A notable exception, contends Professor of Cuban and Caribbean History Lillian Guerra, is that the blockade gives the Cuban state cover for monopolizing the country’s resources by claiming "the United States is really responsible for their poverty and their lack of food, et cetera." Contrary to the goals of hardline defenders of the blockade, this “really enables the Cuban government to continue to be in power and to have its power undiminished,” says Guerra. Removing the blockade would reveal the truth, and empower the Cuban people in building a nation and an economy that works for them. It would also foster creating healthy family, economic, and cultural relations between the peoples of both nations.


However, US “hostility to the Castro regime doesn't stem from its failings, but from its achievements,” claims Guardian reporter Suemas Milne, “its social and political successes and the challenge its unyielding independence offers to other US and western satellite states.” The last thing the US wants is the example of a successful socialist state on its doorstep in this hemisphere, even as Cuba continues to demonstrate that it is, despite decades of US aggression..


In 2014, President Obama removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terror in a process of normalization of relations with Cuba. However, in 2021 President Trump reversed it all, putting Cuba back on the terror list and adding several hundred more sanctions. Trump notoriously prevented medical supplies from reaching Cuba in the time of peak-COVID and forced countries to expel Cuba's international doctors brigade who were assisting needy countries with the pandemic!


As if this weren't enough, in Summer of 2021, Miami's Cuban-American mayor, Francis Suarez, called for exploring air strikes against Cuba!


Fortunately, Cuban-Americans of recent generations are more diverse politically and many support the growing movement started in Miami to end the blockade. They had high expectations that President Biden would keep his campaign promises to alleviate Trump’s harsh measures and return to Obama’s relaxation path. Frustrating many, Biden waited until May of 2022 to announce meager measures easing restrictions on family remittances and travel to the island, leaving most of Trump’s moves intact. Biden left Cuba on the state terror list, which some saw as heartlessly pandering to South Florida’s Cuban-Americans just to preserve Democratic party electoral prospects at the expense of the Cuban people, especially during the pandemic. While Biden’s changes were considered a step in the right direction, they did not modify the embargo or U.S. main objectives against Cuba.The Miami Family Caravan to End the Blockade continues to conduct permitted car caravans the last Sunday of every month, as it has for two years now. Abajo el Bloqueo!


The Green Party of Florida has supported movements like the Miami Family Caravan to End the Blockade, Unblock Cuba, as well as Carlos Lazo and Puentes de Amor (Bridges of Love) for Cuban families, including Lazo’s pilgrimage on foot from Miami to the White House last summer (2021) to deliver petitions demanding President Biden honor his campaign commitment to end the economic sanctions against our island neighbor. We organized events throughout Florida and supported our Co-Chair Robin Harris attending Lazo’s Welcome Rally in Lafayette Square in DC as well as an online Unblock Cuba Solidarity event that had contributors from Greens nationally including several GPUS committees and former U.S. Presidential candidates Howie Hawkins and Dr. Jill Stein.


Let Cuba be Cuba! Free Cuba!...from the U.S.!



Fix the broken immigration system that has become a humanitarian and civil disaster.


The irony and hypocrisy here is that much of this immigration is fueled by the US's own violent interventions in Central and South America over the last century, supporting violent dictators to protect American corporate interests. NAFTA alone devastated Mexico's agricultural sector, by dumping US-subsidized cheap corn on the Mexican market. Where were the farmers to go?


Now we’re experiencing a radical shift in the increasing number and origins of immigrants. More are coming from Cuba, Columbia, Nicaragua and Venezuela, a nation also being squeezed by U.S. sanctions, as well as many other nations of the world. Although the pandemic is said to have played a major role by intensifying economic pressures, it’s hard to miss the proverbial chickens coming home to roost, which presents a problem of mounting scale. As Brown University professor Ieva Jusionyte so poignantly observed, after the recent mass drowning in Texas of people trying to cross the swollen Rio Grande: "Our border policies continue to kill."


Greens wholeheartedly agree with the many voices in this news report and elsewhere calling for Congress to act quickly to "pass solutions that bring compassion and security to our border," and to address "socio-economic policies that fuel displacement and migration."


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