Some of you might have already heard about this policy established in 1995 by Bill Clinton as part of Cuban Adjustment Act. What did it mean for Cubans? Well, Cuban caught on the waters between the two nations (with “wet feet”) was sent home or to a third country. One who makes it to shore (“dry feet”) get a chance to stay in US and after 1 year and 1 day become a legal resident.
So for years hundreds and thousands of people would put their life in danger and try to cross the Mexico Bay to get to US. Some would choose to go through Central America or Mexico.
Fidel’s two step brothers went to US. They are both safe and sound, but with no chance to visit Cuba for at least 5 years. They made it but for years there’s been so many people who haven’t reached their American Dream. Some were sent home and went to jail, some died on the way. Some were stopped in Cuba because yes, Cuban government is controlling all the coast. Fidel as he’s Cuban can’t enter half of the resorts or get in the boat. In his own country. Also if police notices a car full of Cubans close to a deserted beach…well, they’re in trouble. Still, so many people managed to escape.
But these days are over. President Obama few days before he left the White House (12.01.2017) announced the immediate cessation of the wet feet, dry feet policy. It was so sudden that hundreds of people got stacked on the way or on the borders with no chance of getting in. Cubans hoped that Donald Trump would change Obama’s decision but after the wall thing, I don’t think so.
I don’t really know what to think. In one way it’s a shame that the US finished the Cuban law. In another….I think Cubans worked for it as well. Through the years the emigration to USA became a business. Yes, a well paid business. Of course some people would try to get to America on their own, homemade boats or through another country but the most of them would escape on the motor boats called “lanchas”.
Who has lanchas? Those who already left Cuba. How much they charge? Well 10.000 USD per person. How Cubans pay for it?? Selling houses and everything they have in Cuba. What if they don’t have anything? If they’re lucky and have family in the US already, the family pays for it. Yes, there are people out there who would make money on those who have nothing and risk their life to have a better life for their families. That’s why maybe it’s better this way.
What I hope for? I hope for real change in Cuba so people can make their lives without thinking about escaping. And maybe we’re crazy but we really want to go back to Cuba and wait there for this change to happen.
Stay tuned 🙂