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Cuba Announces New Migration Policy in the Midst of Strained Relationship with the United States

The government of Cuba has announced a more open migration policy, which will come into effect January 1, 2018.

The policy will allow the children of Cuban emigrants to obtain Cuban citizenship, many of which are residing in the United States, and to a lesser degree, in other Latin American countries.

This policy shift comes after a series of actions enacted by the U.S. government connected to the alleged sonar attacks on U.S. diplomats in Havana. Consequently, the United States has expelled fifteen Cuban diplomats from the District of Columbia, withdrawn U.S. diplomats from Havana, and has suspended the processing of U.S. visas for Cuban citizens.  

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez of Cuba, spoke on Saturday, October 28 in Washington, D.C. where he posited that Cuba’s new policies stood in contrast to the United States. He stated: “The U.S. government closes and Cuba opens.” In addition to discussing Cuba’s new migration policy, Minister Rodríguez described the sonar attack allegations as a “political manipulation destined to damage bilateral relations.”

Cuba will allow its citizens who left Cuba illegally to re-enter the island, with the exception of those who did so through the U.S.-controlled Guantánamo Bay. Lastly, Cuba will allow for Cuban citizens living abroad to enter and exit the Cuban ports while on recreational cruise ships.

 Credit: AFP via BBC

Credit: AFP via BBC

While investigation into these sonar attacks is still ongoing, the United States has a history of falsifying Cuban attacks in order to justify intervention, a technique described as false flag operations.

In 1962, the United States government planned to orchestrate acts of terror, both simulated and real, in order to generate public support for military action against Cuba. Known as Operation Northwoods, it was rejected by the Kennedy Administration.

Cuba’s new migration policy was announced in the wake of the release of classified documents, which reveal that U.S. government officials planned to assassinate prominent Cuban officials within Fidel Castro’s regime. The documents exhibit that there were cash rewards of upwards of $20,000 dollars for killing communist informers, $100,000 dollars for the death of Cuban government officials and a mere two cents for the death of Fidel Castro.

 Credit: Pakistan Today

Credit: Pakistan Today

The announcement of a new economic policy may be part of a larger political strategy, one that aims to garner international support for the island-nation, while also sowing anti-U.S. sentiment abroad.