In Cuba, Freedom is just another word for repression
There was much rejoicing and celebration among the Things-are-getting-better-in-Cuba crowd when the Castro dictatorship announced their migration reforms earlier this year. The "reforms" claimed to eliminate the infamous "White Card," the exit permit every Cuban had to obtain from the regime in order to leave the country. According to the Cuban dictatorship, Cubans would now be free to come and go from the island as they pleased and would no longer have to seek permission from the government.
Immediately, the "Cuba Experts," news agencies, and Castro sycophants chimed in: "You see? The Cuban government is changing, they truly are embarking on a path of meaningful reform. Things really are getting better in Cuba!"
But just like the "economic reforms" that are really a policy to impose confiscatory tax rates on an already established black market, and the release of political prisoners that was actually their deportation and forced exile, in Cuba, not everything that glitters is gold. It would seem that on the island that the Castro crime family destroyed, freedom is just another word for repression.
While Cubans are no longer required to obtain a "white card" to travel outside of the country, they are required to obtain a passport. And who controls the issuing of passports? The Castro regime. And who decides who is issued or not issued a passport? The Castro regime. So in the end, who decides which Cubans are allowed to leave the island? You guessed it: The Castro regime.
From the Santiago Times, we see the case of Rosa Maria Payá, the daughter of Oswaldo Payá, the Cuban dissident who was murdered by the Castro dictatorship just a few months ago. Rosa Maria was awarded a scholarship to study in Chile, but the Cuban dictatorship refuses to grant her permission to leave the island:
Cuba denies visa for opposition leader wanting to study in Chile
Decision to deny visa to Rosa María Payá provokes outcry from Chile.
The Cuban government denied the request Tuesday of opposition movement leader Rosa María Payá to leave the country to study in Chile.
Payá, who became the leader of the Christian Liberation Movement in July following the death of her father and previous leader Oswaldo Payá, was granted a visa and scholarship to study political theory and public management at Universidad Miguel de Cervantes in Santiago and was due to begin in January.
Mijail Bonito Lovio, a Cuban expat and the secretary of international relations for the Chilean chapter of the Independent and Democratic Cuba Party (CID), decried the Cuban government’s decision.
“It is the second time this year that the Cuban government denied the travel permit to Rosa María Payá,” Bonito Lovio told The Santiago Times. “The reason is very simple: Cuban dissidents on the island suffer repression and their statements abroad could cause the Cuban government to lose the image of sanctity it still has in many parts of the world.”
“(Her trip) threatened to show the world that Cuban dissidents are articulate young idealists and not the criminals that the Cuban government wants us to think,” he said.
The Cuban government’s decision is particularly controversial as the country is preparing to relax its stringent border controls. President Raúl Castro announced in October the elimination of the half-century-old restriction that requires all Cubans to have a government-approved travel permit. The new measure, which would drop this stringent requirement, is set to be implemented Jan. 14, 2013.
However, critics like Bonito Lovio fear arbitrary requirements will simply be transferred to the process for obtaining a passport, leaving the essential process unchanged.
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