Apartheid en Cuba
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    Deportees in Their Own Country

    Deportees in Their Own Country / Cubanet, Reinaldo Cosano
    Posted on May 18, 2015

    Cuban Apartheid, suffered by families who abandoned their homes and went
    to Havana in search of a new life

    Cubanet.org, Reinaldo Emilio Cosano Alen, Havana, 15 May 2015 – Rodolfo
    Castro, from Santiago de Cuba, met with three other young men detained
    at the Guanabo police station east of Havana. Driven to the Central
    Train Terminal in a patrol car – so that they could not escape – they
    were put on the train and deported to their provinces, following
    imposition of a fine of a thousand Cuban pesos – some 50 dollars – each.
    So says Osmany Matos, of Guanabo, arrested for a traffic offense who
    witnessed the incident.

    The “Palestinians” (as they ironically call those who come from the
    eastern provinces) Yordanis Reina, Maikel Cabellero and Edilberto
    Ledesma, from the rural area El Parnaso; and Amaury Sera, from the
    Manati township, all in the Las Tunas province, explained to Graciela
    Orues Mena, independent trade unionist:

    We went to work at Guira de Melena in Mayabeque province, because here
    either we don’t work or they pay a pittance, always hired by a farmer.
    One afternoon we were walking through the city with work clothes covered
    in red dirt, when two police officers asked us for identification. We
    were arrested and deported for the crime of ‘being illegal.’ They put us
    on the train with the warning that if we came back we would wind up in
    the courts. They didn’t let us collect our pay for the time we worked or
    change clothes or get our belongings. We spent so many hours hungry on
    the train, without money. An abuse.”

    The Crime? Not having a registered address in Havana.

    Independent lawyer Rene Lopez Benitez, resident of Arroyo Arenas in
    Havana, explains: “The Law Decree 217 of April 22, 1997, Internal
    Migratory Regulations for the City of Havana and its Contraventions,
    better known as the Internal Immigration Law, tries to control
    immigration to Havana (also to the capitals of the western provinces).
    They justify its application because of the dire housing situation,
    difficulty getting work, public transportation crisis, the supply of
    water, drainage, electricity, domestic fuel, sanitation, the low level
    of quality in the provision of other services, which put great pressure
    on the capital’s infrastructure. The Decree arranges for the eradication
    of illegal persons and settlements in Havana and the other provincial
    capitals with work of the Interior Ministry and the National Housing
    Institute. They have carried out thousands of deportations, forced
    evictions. Appeals to the Government and the Communist Party for legal
    protection are a waste of time. The evictions seriously undermine the
    integrity of entire families, including children and elderly people, who
    had achieved labor, social and personal stability.”

    Slums surround the country’s western cities. There are onslaughts of
    demolitions “in the name of urban order and discipline in the charge of
    the Institute of Physical Planning, whose director is the Division
    General Samuel Rodiles, which intends to eradicate the slum areas that
    have emerged in the face of the government’s construction paralysis. Now
    – with the failure of the state initiative – they are trying to increase
    housing construction through their own efforts and a policy of bank
    credits and subsidies,” adds Lopez.

    Acts of rebellion across the island against the evictions have managed
    to paralyze some removals and building collapses.

    Resolution 267 of Internal Immigration is at odds with recent laws
    related to self-employment and Housing. Says Lopez:

    “On October 7 of 2010 the Minister of Employment and Social Security
    issued Resolution 32-2010 arranging for the Regulation of the Practice
    of Self-Employment by which the restrictions of Law Decree 217 – among
    other reasons because of lack of work – do not have justification. Many
    go to the capital to work for themselves in the most varied trades to
    provide services in construction, plumbing, house cleaning, child care,
    health care, agriculture, trade, agricultural supplies, farming. Also
    the essential requirement of proving legality in housing in order to get
    a license to work is facilitated through Law Decree 288 from the October
    28, 2011, Modifications to Law 65, General Law of Housing, in reference
    to the conveyance of property by buying and selling, inheritance and
    gift; and it supports the leasing of dwellings, rooms and spaces. All of
    which, in fact, would annul the restrictions of migration to the capital
    and decrease the record ‘floating population’ of almost half a million,
    according to the Housing and Population Census of September 2012.”

    The most important thing would be to eliminate, above all, the inhumane
    deportation. People and even whole families abandoned their homes in
    order to work, study and try to move forward, but then they were
    deported like pariahs.

    The Internal Immigration Law denies Article 13, Paragraph 1 of the
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948): “All people have the right
    to freely move and to choose their place of residence within the borders
    of a nation.”

    The construction industry, prosperous until 1958, was in rapid decline
    thereafter. Internal deportation for political reasons was used by the
    colonial Spanish government in the 19th century. Carlos Manuel de
    Cespedes (1819-1874), Founding Father, was banished to Contramaestre,
    near Bayamo, his hometown.

    Source: Deportees in Their Own Country / Cubanet, Reinaldo Cosano |
    Translating Cuba –

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