Iraida H. López

Iraida H. López

Autora de Impossible Returns: Narratives of the Cuban Diaspora (2015) y
coeditora de Let’s Hear Their Voices (2019), una antología de escritores cubano-americanos de la segunda generación. Se desempeña como profesora en Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Rizoma (Fragment). Photo: Cristina Almodóvar.

Root or rhizome? Emigration in the Cuban imaginary

In September 2019, OnCuba published an editorial on five steps that would foster better relations between the nation and emigration: allow political participation and vote of Cubans living abroad, simplify bureaucratic procedures and the costs of obtaining and renewing the Cuban passport, eliminate the requirement of returning to the island every two years to maintain residence, homogenize the migratory categories with the aim of offering equal treatment and promoting capital investment through incentives and guarantees. Undoubtedly, the implementation of the previous consular, political and legal proposals would greatly contribute to overcoming the severe restrictions of the past and to renovating the space between the nation and emigration. If, according to the most recent statistics provided by the Cuban State, there are a total of 1,485,618 Cuban citizens residing abroad, not counting their descendants, it is evident that these steps are logical and reasonable. The figure represents about 13 percent of the current population. Moreover, if the 2017 census of the United States reflects a total of 2.3 million Cubans, including their descendants, in this country where most of the emigrants reside, who, in addition, mostly support relations with Cuba and whose remittances have become one of the mainstays...

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