Published by Granma International
Despite measures implemented by the United States government since the end of 2017, intended to limit bilateral relations between the two countries -including the suspension of consular services in Havana; the expulsion of 17 diplomatic officials from our embassy in Washington, using unjustifiable and politically motivated pretexts; and recently the suspension of flights to nine destinations in Cuba – ties between the émigré community and the homeland have not been eliminated.
This is confirmed by the fact that a total of 623,831 Cubans living abroad visited the country in 2019, “evidence of the strengthening of ties between Cuba and its citizens,” said Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, who added on his Twitter account that 552,816, of that total, came from the United States.
Hostile U.S. actions, which remain in effect, hinder the normal flow of Cubans traveling abroad and those traveling to Cuba, particularly to and from the United States, thus making normal communication among Cuban families difficult, confirming the Foreign Minister’s statement: “Cuba opens and the United States closes.”
According to Ernesto Soberón Guzmán, director of Consular Affairs and Cubans Living Abroad at the Foreign Ministry, more than three million arrivals to national territory by Cubans living abroad have been recorded over the last six years.
This trend also represents the reality of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s comments in September of 2018, when he met with 150 Cuban residents in the United States, in New York, and stated: “We are counting on you. We are Cuba.”
This commitment has also been reflected in work carried out by the 166 associations of Cubans living in 79 countries, which support the country’s principal international objectives, Soberón stated, reaffirming at the XIII Regional Conference of Cubans in Europe, at the end of 2018, that the strengthening of relations between the island and its citizens abroad is a continuous and irreversible process.
To further strengthen these ties between the government and Cubans living abroad, Havana will host the Fourth Conference on Nation and Emigration April 8-10, 2020, at a time when the United States is reinforcing its attacks with unilateral measures restricting commercial flights to Cuba.