Wednesday, July 18

Cubans Demanding Access to Expensive US Healthcare

Watching Michael Moore's 'health care' adventure movie SICKO, you would get the impression (if you happened to live in a box) that Cuba's health care system was great, and free. So why would Cubans be so desperate to flee their country of free health care to risk getting sick in the US without health care coverage?
Cuba has accused the US of issuing far fewer visas to Cubans wanting to leave than allowed for by an agreement between the two countries.

The Cuban foreign ministry said the US was intentionally delaying meeting the visa quota to destabilise the country.

The deal was reached in 1994, after thousands fled Cuba on makeshift rafts.

It allows Washington to grant up to 20,000 entry visas a year for Cubans. Over the past nine months, fewer than 11,000 have been issued. - BBC
Which part of 'up to 20,000' does the Cuban Government not understand? You have to admit that this is pretty amusing in that the Communist Paradise is concerned that it's own population might riot if enough of them cannot escape to the US. 20,000 abandon Castro to go to the US each year. How many Cubans emigrate to other countries each year? Number like that add up. (Keep in mind that he exports others, like doctors as well.)

The Cuban Government did let one interesting item slip:
The Cuban foreign ministry said the US was intentionally delaying meeting the visa quota to destabilise the country.
Are the Cubans really concerned of unrest at home or was this a veiled threat of a new boatlift if the US does not pick up the pace of issuing visas? No matter, according to the US, this problem is of the Cuban Government's creation:
HAVANA: The U.S. said Tuesday it will not be able to meet the quota of 20,000 visas it distributes to Cubans each year, complaining that Havana has "placed unreasonable constraints" on American diplomats on the island.

The announcement came several hours after Cuba's Foreign Ministry chided Washington for issuing visas too slowly, suggesting the delay was a deliberate attempt to destabilize its government.

"The Government of Cuba has failed to authorize the necessary personnel and materials the U.S. Interests Section needs to function effectively," the U.S. Interests Section in Havana said in a statement e-mailed to journalists.

It accused Cuba of denying visas to Interest Section personal, failing to approve hirings to fill 47 staff vacancies and blocking the importation of materials and supplies. - IHT
So who exactly is trying to keep Cubans from leaving?

The US could stop issuing visas and meet the requirement for this year. Alternatively, they could just simply issue every visa applicant a visa and use the excuse that they are acting to prevent the Cubans from resorting to come to the US illegally by boat. How long do you think the Cuban Government could last without citizens? There are about 11 million Cubans living on that island. We already manage to 'host' about 12 million illegal aliens, a couple million more legal ones can't hurt. At least this group would most likely go back home to rebuild the country once the Communist Government (eventually) collapses.

That however might mean the end of free public health care in Cuba.

Maybe the Cuban Government should offer these people the option of emigrating to Venezuela, Iran or Russia.

Cuba accuses US over entry visas - BBC
US says Cuban constraints made it impossible to meet annual visa quota of 20,000 - IHT

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