A Cuban Suggests ‘A Course of Detoxification From Castroism’ for Newcomers to Florida

The bad thing, says Nancy, is the perception they have in Florida of Cubans, especially newcomers / 14ymedio]

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Alejandro Mena, Miami, 2 April 2024 — It’s been three months since Estefany (fictitious name) arrived from Cuba to the United States with the humanitarian parole established by Joe Biden’s Administration last year, and at the moment she does not seem to adapt well to the rule of law. Last week, she was fired from her job in a well-known restaurant chain after it was discovered that she stole several belongings from some of her colleagues, including an expensive Apple Watch and a jacket.

“Many Cubans take what is not theirs,” says Nancy, who tells 14ymedio about the woman with whom she worked until a few days ago. “Fortunately for her, the boy whose watch she stole didn’t want to report it, but the boss fired her immediately.”

It is a story that repeats itself. “In the pizzeria where I worked for a while there was a dishwasher who stole boxes of gloves and anything else he could find,” says Fernando, a chef who arrived in Florida from the Island two years ago by the so-called “volcano route” via Nicaragua. “And when we discovered it and the boss fired him, before leaving he complained about the salary they paid him.”

“In the pizzeria where I worked for a while there was a dishwasher who stole boxes of gloves and anything else he could find”

On Monday, two Cubans, Yasniel Acosta Prieto and Ariel Echevarría Borges, were arrested in Indian River County, Florida, when they were caught stealing correspondence from mailboxes, a federal crime in the United States. According to the report by América TeVé, they had in their possession at least 50 letters with “sensitive information” from local residents, including bank details, personal documents and checks, which, the Police warns, could be used to extort or commit some type of fraud.

“They should offer a free Castro detoxification course to all of us who emigrate,” says Fernando, “which is comprehensive. Cubans are very intoxicated with taking what is not ours. I was working in warehouses for five years, and I lived on what I stole there. I’m very embarrassed now, but at the time it seemed normal to me.”

“Most of us only come to work to try to get ahead with our families in freedom”

Almost all nationals of the Island know first-hand, or from close stories, the use of notebooks, pencils, erasers, printer paper and all stationery supplies stolen by fathers or mothers from state offices. Or the snacks they offered in the workplaces. Fernando also has a butcher friend in Miami: “Every time he was at work he stole a few pounds of meat from the customer, until one day he collided with reality. And why would he do this if he’s no longer in Cuba? The truth is that he was very damaged, like everyone else, by the Revolution.”

The bad thing, Nancy says, is the perception people in Florida have of Cubans, especially newcomers. “We are not all like that,” says this young 30-year-old mother, who was a nurse on the Island and in the United States makes a living as a waitress in several establishments, with draconian schedules. “Most of us only come to work to try to get ahead with our families in freedom.

The unprecedented exodus that Cuba suffers mostly impacts Florida, where approximately 75% of the Island’s nationals arrive. At a congress on migration held last February in Hialeah, the authorities pointed out that in recent years the number of accidents, crime and arrests has increased. However, experts such as Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute, say that there is not enough data to link these numbers directly to the increase in migrants.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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