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March 9, 2006

Cuban Americans, White House to discuss policy

This is NOT how the Cuba policy should be discussed. Should I say that again? NOT!

Cuban-American members of Congress meeting with White House officials adds up to little more than a lobby group pushing their own agenda, but without the political kickbacks. This is a national issue and it should get time on the floor in order for the entire Congress to discuss it.

As a Miami resident and an American, I don't agree with the policy. I don't believe Cubans are refugees who come over and should be entitles to social security money. This is a charity and a lure to Cubans, creating a stronger draw for them than the urge to leave home. The policy also entices Cubans to risk their lives coming over. In plain language, the policy gets people killed. What's more, calling a Cuban a refugee is inappropriate in light of the political situation in the Caribbean and Central/South America. Far too many people live under Communist, Socialist, Marxist, or corrupt/tyrannical governments to single-out Cuba for refugee status.

You have to wonder about refugee status and the appropriateness of the law when you see Cubans in America waving their Cuban flags, creating Cuban sections of town, celebrating Cuban holidays, etc. They celebrate another country while this one gives them taxpayer money no taxpayer approved they could have. They act like they would rather be back in Cuba. People are treated worse in other places, so what makes Cuba so important? Years ago people came to America to be Americans. Now they come to be expatriots. I know, don't tell me the story of the people who sacrifice to come here in order to send money back home. If coming to where I come from is such a sacrifice...then don't.

Cubans aren't the only ones to do that. During the last Venezuelan elections, Venezuelans in Miami drove around town with Venezuelan flags on their cars, but not one of them put up an American flag. Maybe the US government would be more eager to help people if they didn't show how much they'd rather be somewhere else?

Being spit on by a Venezuelan when I was in uniform outside my South Beach apartment doesn't help my attitude either...

Ironically, I'm writing this while listening to the Buena Vista Social Club. You see, I want to go to Cuba, go fish in Cuba, and have nothing against it. Sure Castro is a dictator, but so what? People live worse in other places, but those people don't have anyone in Congress. Maybe going there would change my attitude?

I just think the policy is wrong, as is the fact Cubans lament their homeland once they get here. If someone misses their homeland so much, they shouldn't have left it in the first place. It's our own fault. We don't use the most "adult" diplomacy toward Cuba. The fact we use a bad policy that entices them to risk their lives to come here is our fault. Our policy gets Cubans killed.

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