On Your Marks, Get Set… / Cuban Law Association, Yanelis Ramirez Cruz #Cuba

By Lic. Yanelis Ramírez Cruz

With this motto conscientious teachers prepared us in physical education classes for the stretching our tense muscles, somewhat stunted by the idleness in the classroom where another  classroom professional, this time in math or other subjects, tried to awaken our dormant adolescent neurons.

We had to run a section of the yard, to the finish, near a close neighbor.

I bring up this topic with regard to the publication in the Official Gazette of  Decree Law 302 amending Law 1312, the Emigration Act of September 20, 1976.

On October 16, we Cubans woke up listening to reports on all the news media about changing immigration policy. The Granma newspaper article read:

Updating Cuba’s Immigration Policy.

As expected, the queue to buy the paper that day took on significant proportions, and it was another big surprise that the Official Gazette mentioned was available along with the paper.

The news has become the talk of meetings around the table, in the parks and the corridors: now Cubans can travel where they want, without having to receive a letter of invitation from relatives, friends or acquaintances from other countries, after paying the high consular fees to the Cuban Embassy.

It seems a radical change but, looking sharp eye, not so much. It’s enough to look with an analytical spirit at Decree No.306 “With Regards to the Treatment of Cadres, Professionals and Athletes who require permission to travel abroad .

This is a complicated puzzle because the decree, with incredibly dark and convoluted language, inaccurately states who are those who can not leave the country with the supposed ease offered by the modifications.

It talks about those classified as cadres, managers of the central apparatus of the state, managers and executives who work in activities “vital” to developing the country’s ’strategic’ programs, research projects and health services, as well as technicians performing those same vital and strategic activities and high-performance athletes, coaches and trainers who are vital to the Cuban sports movement.

In a word, no doctors, no nurses, no health personnel, no athletes, no physical education teachers, no teachers of any kind. These are excluded from the amendment.

Does this mean there will be a new law increasing their miserable salaries. Could be. I doubt it.

They will continue to be asked for sacrifice, work and more work. Meanwhile, thousands of young people are crouched on one knee and look towards the finish line, waiting for the teacher’s signal with the old phrase: On your mark, get set, … out!

November 1 2012