Betrayers or Benefactors? / Regina Coyula

Photo: Marcelo López

The opening-up of licenses for self-employment has produced an increase in the sending of remittances from the United States. Those that left forever — once labeled traitors, worms, scum — are today the oxygen that revitalizes a part of our battered economy. Three hundred thousand Cuban pesos through Western Union is a significant sum. A resident of the 10 de Octubre municipality became a local celebrity: In one week he received seven remittances of five thousand pesos each.

Unlike foreigners, the Cuban community abroad — the official title applied following a change in “orientations” — does not have the right to participate in the Cuban economy. This kind of do-it-yourself spirit is the possibility to invest in the service sector on a small scale through family and friends. No one outside our borders is more interested in the internal well-being than are Cubans in exile.

February 11 2011