More on the would-be Spaniards

Here’s another story about the Cubans that are applying for Spanish citizenship under Spain’s new naturalization law that confers citizenship on those who had grandparents that were Spanish.

More than 400 Cubans of Spanish ancestry mobbed that country’s stately embassy in Havana on Monday, waiting to apply for citizenship under the newly enacted “law of grandchildren.”…
Officials in Madrid have estimated that as many as half a million people worldwide could be eligible to become citizens, although it is unclear how many of those are in Cuba. Some 300,000 people in Argentina alone may qualify…
There were a few dozen people lined up at the Spanish Embassy in Mexico City. But that was nothing compared to the tangled and disorganized clumps of would-be Spanish citizens that stretched across a busy avenue and engulfed a small park in Havana, because access to the Web is tightly controlled in this country…
Even those who receive Spanish citizenship must wait for permission from the Cuban government to travel abroad, a process that is often slow and arduous.
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AP Photo/Javier Galeano

4 thoughts on “More on the would-be Spaniards”

  1. Henry, This is not a new law. It’s been in the books for more than a decade. Read in an end note my book “The Moncada Attack” how Cuban American Ramiro Arango Alsina, sentenced to 30 years in Federal prison, renounced his U.S. citizenship and took his grandparents Spanish citizenship so that he could be sent to Spain on a prisoner swap in 2000.

  2. Tony, I’m afraid you’re wrong on this one. The law is known as “LEY DE LA MEMORIA HISTÓRICA” and was passed in December of 2007:
    http://www.maec.es/es/MenuPpal/Consulares/SolicitudNacionalidad/Paginas/SolicitudNacionalidad.aspx
    My understanding is that previously one of your parents had to be Spanish, and now that’s opened up to one of your grandparents. Maybe there were special circumstances before where you could get it but the law is new and they will accept applications for the next two years. It’s unknown how many Cubans qualify but Yoani says the estimates are much higher than what the Spanish government says.

  3. There was a time, in the awful, horrible old days, when Spaniards immigrated to Cuba from Spain–in droves. But of course, there was no embargo or global warming then, so that explains everything.

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