Many Cubans attempt to sail on homemade watercraft to Florida from north of island, or other islands in t Some go to south or east and sail to Cayman Islands, Jamaica, or Hispaniola
What is it
Since 1959, Cubans fed up or upset with government restrictions or general living conditions have been fleeing island by any means available – gaining exit papers and not returning, making homemade rafts and sailing away on ocean
At times, Cuban government has instituted penalties of up to 10 years in jail as deterrent for people thinking of ‘Sailing to Miami’
At one point in 1994, up to 500 Cubans a day were landing on Miami Beach after sailing from Cuba on home made catamarans, cars with floating devices tied to them, inner tubes tied together, etc.
Push Factors to Leave Cuba
Unavailability of basic needs – Medicine, other health care tools to preserve life that are normally available
Communist government oppressing opposing points of view – people wanting freedom of speech
Ability to make more money due to communist system of everything belonging to everybody, equality for non-government people
Just proving you can do it successfully
Desperation for something new – some so desperate to leave that they sail to Mexico and will attempt to cross border into U.S.
Pull factors to America
Liberal policy toward Cuban immigrants without papers – Cubans who arrive are immediately treated as political refugees, given special rights
Large Cuban community in many cities including family members who have already left – New York, Miami
More freedom of speech, opportunity for jobs – basic rights of people living in U.S.
Cuba has tried to influence others to return illegal immigrants to Cuba – as they’re Cuban citizens who left the nation illegally
Cuba itself has been pressured to secure its own borders better to prevent Cubans from reaching other countries in the first place to prevent people from reaching other nations
Governments have made policies to control and deal with illegally entering Cubans
Other governments convincing Cuba to be less extreme on punishment on Cubans who are returned to Cuba
Less young people in Cuba to work – as younger people are more likely to be frustrated and attempt to leave than older people who have families to take care of
Less people overall – especially motivated, innovated types – as they would be most likely to come up with innovative ways to leave island
Communities elsewhere have to deal with influx of foreigners – racism issues come up
Immigrants often have to learn new language, skills, how to interact in new community to assimilate quickly
If rafts break apart in ocean, lead to a lot of pollution – which is likely due to things used to make rafts not normally being intended for that purpose
Rafts made of anything from Styrofoam, to cars, to inner tubes – more or less anything that can be made to float
Less junk sitting around on island of Cuba – as what would normally be considered ‘junk’ being used in rafts
U.S. treating illegally entering Cubans like everyone else who enters in that manner instead of instant special treatment upon landing which is current norm
Cuba becoming more lenient on freedom of speech and travel outside of country – which may lead to Cubans realizing that life outside of Cuba no what expected or that much better, and returning home
U.S. and Cuba reopening trade between each other – leading to medicine and other goods being more accessible to average Cuban
Cuba transitioning into a more democratic system of government – allowing people to have more of a say in what happens in their government, and disallow several nations, including U.S. reason for not trading with Cuba
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"CUBANS-Cuban Immigration to the United States." Center for Applied Linguistics . Web. 29 Jan. 2010. <http://www.cal.org/co/cubans/IMMI.HTM>.