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August 09, 2007

So Why Do They Try To Leave Cuba?


...maybe ordinary Cubans just don't read the Guardian.

August 9, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Because they're the only illegal economic migrants from the Caribbean who the US welcomes with work visas instead of deporting?

Posted by: john b | Aug 9, 2007 12:57:16 PM

"Because they're the only illegal economic migrants from the Caribbean who the US welcomes with work visas instead of deporting?"

That may explain a preponderance of cubans in the US. It does not explain why they would leave their island paradise in the first place (unless it is a socialist shit hole of course, which is one possible explanation).

Posted by: ChrisM | Aug 9, 2007 1:23:01 PM

Or just cos it's poorer than the US, perhaps? I'm sceptical that the Mexicans who cross the Rio Grande are doing so to flee the evil Calderonist regime...

Tim adds: Dunno there....they're certainly fleeing the results of a century or three of economic fuckwittery.

Posted by: john b | Aug 9, 2007 1:47:42 PM

Which is something else I'd love to find out, why is there this colossal wealth gap between USA and Mexico, which does not exist between Canada and the US.

Mexico has been (AFAIAA) democratic for a good long while. What exactly have they done wrong that the USA and Canada did right?

Posted by: Mark Wadsworth | Aug 9, 2007 2:12:31 PM

Being temperate and having enormous mineral and wood reserves would be the main Things They Did Right.

Having broadly British law probably helped a bit, too.

Posted by: john b | Aug 9, 2007 2:49:29 PM

of the three coutries ,which one seized its mineral wealth "for the people"

Posted by: embutler | Aug 9, 2007 5:06:33 PM

Mexico has been (AFAIAA) democratic for a good long while

Mexico has had elections for a good long while, which is not quite the same thing, even on the occasions when those elections weren't overturned in coups. During most of the twentieth century the president's hand-picked successor always won the election, by a suspiciously huge margin. It's generally accepted that Mexico's elections were not truly democratic until the 1990s at the very earliest.

A de facto one party state need not be an economic failure (look at Singapore) but Mexico's one party state was avowedly socialist. In practice this meant that an outsize bureaucracy staffed by ruling party cronies levied fees and took bribes from the productive segment of the economy: the usual Third World recipe for stagnation. Put it this way: When your government claims to be both "Institutional" and "Revolutionary" at the same time, you know you've got a problem.

Posted by: xj | Aug 9, 2007 5:35:29 PM

I've always wondered why there are no (like almost literally zero) Cuban refugees in Jamaica or the Dominican Republic (which are at least as close to the eastern end of Cuba as Florida is to the western end), and suspected that this lends support to the economic migrant theory. Vietnamese boat people scattered all over the South China Sea looking for refuge, rather than making a bee-line uniquely toward Hong Kong.

Tim adds: You've made this comment before D2 so I thought I'd try and find out. Here's the answer (or an):

The basic ocean current runs from Cuba north. Thus, if you're strapping a plank to your back, building a raft or braving the sharks on an inner tube, you'll be taken north from Cuba to ,,,errr,,,Florida.

Posted by: dsquared | Aug 9, 2007 11:35:23 PM

"The morale and patriotism of [Cuba's] athletes shall prevail above all else," the 80-year-old leader wrote.

I'm quite sure that the boxing team will feel much better about themselves and their nation while watching less talented boxers win medals on TV. Assuming of course that they will be able to watch the competitions.

Posted by: B's Freak | Aug 10, 2007 5:06:17 AM