Denying Citizenship to Children of Cuban Opponents is An "Aberration"

For the leader of the Democracy Movement, Ramón Saúl Sánchez, the new law represents an “aberration and another indication of how the Cuban regime discriminates against Cubans.” (El Nuevo Herald)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Miami, 3 January 2018 — Representatives of the Cuban exile community in Miami, on Wednesday, called Cuba’s new immigration rules “abusive and aberrant”; the rules would allow children born abroad to Cuban parents to qualify for Cuban citizenship, but would deny it to such children of parents opposed to the ideology of the regime.

“The nationality of a country can not depend on the ideology of the one presiding over the country, that’s ridiculous,” lamented Ramón Saúl Sánchez, president of the Democracy Movement.

The dissident told EFE that the new code represents an “aberration and another indication of how the Cuban regime discriminates against Cubans and violates human rights, not only of adults but of children.”

For the opponent Rosa María Payá, “it is a further demonstration of the political ‘apartheid’ imposed on all Cubans by the dynastic regime in Havana.”

She added that it is further evidence that the Cuban dictatorship “will not reform itself in order to democratize itself. With or without Castros in the presidency, the regime will continue to treat the people not as sovereign citizens but as if they were state property.”

Elizardo Sánchez, leader of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, who is in Miami, spoke in the same vein.

Sánchez told EFE that “going after” family members, including children and the elderly, of opponents has been a “usual practice” of the Castro regime during the almost six decades it has been in power.

“Now they have dared to put it in black and white,” said the dissident, stating that it does not “surprise me at all.”

“How is it possible that based on the ideology that the child may have in the future, beforehand, and even before birth, it is already legislated that this child, this Cuban, will not be able receive their citizenship,” lamented Ramón Saúl Sánchez.

The leader of the Democracy Movement affirmed that decree law 352, which came into effect on Monday, represents a new “scandal and abuse” of the regime that “violates” all kinds of international agreements.

The Foreign Ministry of Cuba announced last October changes in its migration policy, aimed at facilitating visits to the island of the Cuban diaspora and expediting the obtaining of citizenship for the children of Cubans born abroad.

Thus, it eliminated “the requirement of residency,” so that “children of Cubans living abroad, who were born abroad, can obtain Cuban citizenship and an identity document.”

However, the decree opens the possibility of denying citizenship “when the interested party, the Cuban father or mother or legal representatives of minors (…), have committed acts or carried out actions against the political, social and economic foundations of the Cuban State.”

The president of the Democracy Movement noted that he has been denied entry to Cuba several times, despite being a Cuban citizen because his “ideology is different from that of the regime.”

He lamented that this time the law goes further and is “so arrogant” that they have codified “that a Cuban child ceases to be so by virtue of the ideology of his parent.”

“For those who had hope of change and reform, like me, after sixty years of dictatorship, this is another blow by the Cuban regime against the rights of children and Cubans in general,” he added.

The decree is “a true monument to the coarse sincerity of Cuban-style socialism,” said Cuban student and blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.

The announcement of the Cuban Foreign Ministry was made in contrast to the decision of Donald Trump’s administration to cut its diplomatic staff in Havana and suspend the issuance of visas from there for Cubans who wish to travel to the United States.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.