11. DON’T Allow Unlimited Remittances to Foment Segregation and Disparities
Unlimited remittances to the island risks dividing Cuba's democratic opposition, pitting Cubans with relatives in the United States against Cubans with no relatives living abroad. Many early exiles living in the United States today are white and have prospered. Much of Cuba's population today and many of the courageous leaders of the democratic opposition to the Cuban regime are of African or mixed-race descent; and they do not have relatives in the United States. Even with the current monetary limitations of $300 per quarter, white Cubans receive up to 250 percent more in remittances from family abroad than their Afro-Cuban compatriots. Growing income disparities may in turn become a stumbling block upon future efforts for “national reconciliation” amongst all Cubans, regardless of race, whether they remained on the island or in exile abroad.
This week, Roberto Zurbano wrote in The New York Times ("For Blacks in Cuba, the Revolution Hasn't Begun"):
Most remittances from abroad — mainly the Miami area, the nerve center of the mostly white exile community — go to white Cubans. They tend to live in more upscale houses, which can easily be converted into restaurants or bed-and-breakfasts — the most common kind of private business in Cuba. Black Cubans have less property and money, and also have to contend with pervasive racism. Not long ago it was common for hotel managers, for example, to hire only white staff members, so as not to offend the supposed sensibilities of their European clientele.
Today's reality is even more dire than Zurbano depicts.
Just ask Afro-Cuban pro-democracy activists.