The Cuban Migratory Wave is Leaving a ‘Generation Gap’ on the Island

Migrants in Ciudad Juárez waiting for their asylum processes to enter the United States. (Captura)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Jorge I. Pérez, Miami, 9 September 2022 —  More than 177,000 Cubans have arrived by land in the United States and more than 5,000 by sea since October 2021, in a new wave of migration from the Island to the North, which already exceeds that of the Mariel Boatlift and is “widening the generation gap.”

The issue will be addressed this Saturday by the conference named “Cuban migrations under totalitarianism and its consequences,” organized by the Institute of Cuban Historical Memory and the group of former political prisoners, the plantados, with the participation of representatives from the different waves of Cubans who have arrived in South Florida since 1959.

It will be attended by Luis Manuel Rolle, who arrived in the United States in 1994 as a rafter at age 16. Today he is a retired captain of the U.S. Army and a specialist in military and geopolitical strategy.

“I will explain from the sociological point of view the generation gap that these migratory waves leave within Cuba,” he tells EFE.

Data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency leave no doubt that the current Cuban exodus is out of the ordinary. With less than a month to go before the end of the fiscal year (the new one begins on October 1), 177,848 Cubans have arrived by land. In fiscal year 2021, there were 39,303, and during the 2020 pandemic, 14,015.

According to Rolle, “it’s the largest migratory wave, including Mariel, Camarioca, the Freedom Flights’ and (Operation) Peter Pan.” In his opinion, “what is happening now is that Cuba has made an agreement with Nicaragua to relieve this pressure cooker” that emerged after the social explosion in July 2021.

“Throwing 177,000 people into the water could have led the United States to an aggressive response. Now we’re seeing that Cubans can go to Nicaragua [without a visa] and from there begin this very dangerous journey to the U.S.,” he says.

“The Government of Cuba is currently in favor of a mass exodus and launches its citizens on a dangerous journey through forests and third countries with human trafficking,” added the author of the YouTube channel Epicentro Global.

For journalist and former political prisoner Pedro Corzo, “we are now facing a gigantic migratory wave, the largest of all and one of the bloodiest due to the insecurity that many Cubans are facing,” he tells EFE.

“We’ve read what is happening in the Darién jungle where so many people are dying and women are being raped and murdered,” says Corzo, who is the organizer of the conference.

Corzo adds that “there is one aspect that we can’t ignore, and that is that over the years these migratory waves are accompanied by thousands of individual exits with different routes and through third countries.”

“Some have been banished, deported and separated from the country where they were born, a despicable amount. We’re going to highlight all that; we don’t want it to be forgotten,” he says.

Irvin Morales, a clinical psychologist who went into exile from Cuba in 1991, tells EFE that “recently, the Cuban migratory patterns have reached levels never seen before.”

“The desperation that this indicates is increasingly pronounced, and any Cuban who thinks that he’s strong enough in mind and body for this journey will take it,” Morales adds.

Last week, the U.S. Joint Task Force for National-Southeast Security (HSTF-SE) stated that it has increased its “operational position” “to face a recent increase in irregular maritime migration that originates in the Bahamas and Cuba through the Florida Straits.”

“The agencies that are part of HSTF-SE are increasing patrols and law enforcement by land, air and sea, day and night,” the federal entity said.

According to official data, since October 1, 2021, U.S. Coast Guard crews have intercepted 5,392 Cubans at sea, compared to the 838 intercepted during the previous fiscal year.

Most of those intercepted at sea are repatriated, unlike those arriving by land that the Cuban Government doesn’t accept back, according to Rolle, “in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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