Math does not make mistakes. Two plus two is always four. It is part of the exact sciences. The Spanish press agency EFE published a report titled “Spanish government studies possibility of slashing aid for former Cuban political prisoners”, which has been re-posted in various other news agencies around the world. However, the “sources close to the Ministry of Exterior Relations”, which EFE quotes without mentioning names, does not say the absolute truth, or is not aware of specific details.
Two minutes before boarding the plane which brought us to Madrid on July 13th of 2010, we signed documents provided by functionaries of the Spanish embassy in Cuba at the airport of Havana. These documents were known as BROA, and they specify the aid we would receive upon arriving to Spanish soil for 18 months, but could be extended to 24 months in cases of VULNERABILITY, which we do find ourselves in at this very moment.
According to the document, we were to receive house payment of up to $745.00€ monthly, not 700 as the functionaries of the Red Cross who tend to us have informed. The document which we signed was to give us funds for being political refugees in the European Union, not in Spain. The truth is surely known by the functionaries who elaborated the secret agreement between Moratinos, Zapatero, Raul Castro, and Jaime Ortega.
Of the monthly 180.00€ per person which we receive, we have to pay electricity, gas, water, food, and everything else, which we have to justify with receipts. This is something which is very good and normal, just that I can’t buy candies and sweets for my 7-year-old son Emmanuel. Inviting a friend to drink coffee at any shop is a sacrilege. Albert Einstein could not carry out any similar mathematical analysis in order to survive.
In regards to medical coverage, it is the same which every other resident of Spain has, and it is registered. It is much better and of excellent quality. Very far from the Castro propaganda which says that Cuban healthcare is the best in the world. The Cuban medical centers wish they were at the level of Gomez Ulla or Gregorio Maranon, doctors whom I’ve met. There is nothing special, save for the fact that the first 8 families which arrived to Madrid were able to routinely carry out medical check-ups thanks to the gestures of the Community of Madrid, considering that the Red Cross, which was the entity in charge of the refugees at that time, had refused.
Translator’s note: Julio César Gálvez is one of the Black Spring political prisoners released into exile in Spain in 2011. He blogs at Cuban Voices from exile with Pablo Pacheo Avila and Jose Luis Garcia Paneque.
12 April 2012