“The battle fronts are becoming more diverse. We have to fight even within our own ranks.”
That’s the conclusion of this article by Orlando Fondevila, “Neutralizing el exilio,” which looks at the ways in which old instruments of pressure on the Cuban government are eroding from within as, among other things, more Cubans abroad engage with their country. The article appeared at Zoe Valdes’ blog.
Cuban officials, smarter than the average bear, know what’s going on and see the flows of people and funds and their impact. For years, Havana’s posture toward Cubans abroad has been that they are welcome to come to Cuba if they respect local law. The impact of Cuban-American engagement is greater now because laws have changed there and here.
But in the first instance the protagonists are Cuban Americans (and other Cubans abroad). I think we have just begun to see the reaction from Cuban American legislators who in the name of freedom there would restrict Cuban Americans’ freedom here – and who in the name of tearing down a system that enforces conformity of thought there would change U.S. law to ensure that immigrants behave like exiles, whether they feel themselves to be exiled or not.