Farewell to Obama and to ‘Wet Foot/Dry Foot’

Go Lean Commentary

This is a Red Letter Day in the affairs of the United States of America: it is the inauguration of the 45th President, Donald J. Trump. Out with the old, in with the new. The old, Barack Obama, bid farewell to the American Halls of Power; but he bid farewell too, to one of the most egregious immigration policies in the history of civilization: ‘Wet Foot / Dry Foot’ policy for Cuban migrants.

Good  riddance to a bad policy!

Many people have died trying to flee Cuba, (Haiti too); see the “Bad Old Days” in Appendix B VIDEO.

CU Blog - Farewell to Obama and to 'Wet Foot-Dry Foot' - Photo 1Obama disbanded this executive policy – instituted by the 42nd President Bill Clinton – as one of his final acts, before his term ended. Yippee, Mr. Obama. This ‘Wet Foot / Dry Foot’ was indefensible. It portrayed the impression that the American homeland was the panacea of Caribbean (and/or Cuban) ills, and if one was lucky enough to put their ‘Dry Foot’ down on American soil, they were blessed; if their ‘Wet Foot’ never touched American soil, then they’d be cursed to a substandard Caribbean existence. Plus, with the Cuban exclusivity, this policy put a wedge among Caribbean people in general: Yes to Cubans; no to Haitians, Dominicans, Jamaican or any other regional citizens.

Now, all of the Caribbean can be treated the same and as one, by the American legal-governmental institutions.

We are the same!

We could be one!

Caribbean leaders must do the heavy-lifting to reform and transform the Caribbean member-states to fix our eco-systems, to make our homeland a better place to live, win and play. This is the purpose of the book Go Lean…Caribbean, to serve as a roadmap for elevating Caribbean society, for all 30 member-states (Cuba et al). The book does not ignore the subject of immigration and refugees. In fact the roadmap provides perhaps the ultimate resolution to this perplexing problem, that of a regional entity providing a regional solution.

We must give Caribbean citizens every reason to want to stay, rather than the status quo, where they are willing to risk life-and-limb (for themselves and their children) to get out and get to the US. This is the sad-and-bad reality that is depicted in this news article here:

Title: Cubans amass at Mexico-Texas border after ‘wet foot/dry foot’ change
By: Rick Jervis, USA TODAY Daily Newspaper

CU Blog - Farewell to Obama and to 'Wet Foot-Dry Foot' - Photo 2NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico — Joel Gonzalez was midway across the narrow pedestrian bridge connecting the U.S. and Mexico at this border crossing when U.S. border guards waved him back to Mexico.

A U.S. policy that for decades awarded Cubans like Gonzalez, 31, automatic amnesty was repealed the day before. His dream of a new life in America instantly vanished.

“You feel this weight in your chest,” he said, recalling that day last week. “You have these ideas about the future, all these thoughts in your head. To get so close and have your dream of freedom taken from you is very hard.”

Gonzalez and dozens of other Cubans have been amassing at this crossing since the Obama administration ended the so-called “wet foot/dry foot” policy on Jan. 12. The rule, created by President Clinton in 1995, allowed most Cubans who touched U.S. soil to stay in the country, while those intercepted at sea were returned to Cuba. Those who remained in the U.S. for one year were allowed to apply for legal permanent residence.

CU Blog - Farewell to Obama and to 'Wet Foot-Dry Foot' - Photo 3Cuban officials have long denounced the rule, saying it incentivizes Cubans to leave the communist island. Other critics say while the policy was put in place to help Cubans fleeing political persecution, many instead used it for economic betterment in recent years.

The new policy forces Cubans to apply for visas in their home country or face deportation if they enter illegally, just like migrants from other countries. About 20,000 U.S. visas are awarded in Cuba each year.

Despite the shift, Cubans continue to arrive at this border crossing, just across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas. Around 120 Cubans are now in this Mexican border town, according to local estimates, staying at churches or in migrant centers. Many, like Gonzalez, say they won’t leave.

“In Cuba, if you think differently from the system, you’re marked,” said Gonzalez, a systems engineer. “You don’t get jobs, you don’t get opportunity. If you’re against the system, there’s no way to survive.”

The repeal of wet foot/dry foot is the latest in a series of efforts by President Obama, beginning in late 2014, to end five decades of isolation with Cuba. President-elect Donald Trump, however, has said he may renegotiate the accords.

Sensing a change was imminent as relations warmed between Washington and Havana, thousands of Cubans rushed to enter the U.S. last year. Overall, 56,406 Cubans entered the U.S. via ports of entry in fiscal year 2016, more than double the number who arrived in 2014, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

The change in U.S. policy will likely improve relations between the two countries and could force Cuban officials to focus on improving conditions, rather than simply allowing the disaffected to flee, said Ted Piccone, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies Cuba.

“The safety valve – of exporting unhappy Cubans who could cause trouble – just got smaller,” he said.

Some Cubans at Nuevo Laredo said they hoped Trump would reverse the repeal. But that may be wishful thinking, Piccone said, given Trump’s tough stance on illegal immigration.

Some arriving here now left the island months ago, well before the policy change. Each morning, they gather at the intersection of Avenida 15 de Julio and Avenida Vincente Guerrero, within sight of the U.S., sharing the latest news and debating the next move.

Idania Laurencio Fernandez, 44, left Cuba in mid-October for the small South American country of Guyana. From there, she traveled to Brazil, trekked through jungles, sailed up the Amazon River, traveled across nine countries in Central and South America and spent 12 days in an immigration detention center in Tapachula, Mexico, before being able to leave for Nuevo Laredo.

She arrived Jan. 13, the day after the policy was repealed. She said she planned to stay until something changes, fearing repercussions if she returned to Cuba. “We can’t go back,” Fernandez said. “I’m persona non grata in Cuba.”

Fernandez said she hopes her predicament sheds light on what she described as a worsening situation on the island, where the average worker earns $20 a month and dissension isn’t tolerated. “Obama doesn’t understand,” she said. “He let himself be fooled. The Cubans in Cuba know the reality.”

As a worker in the service industry in Varadero, one of Cuba’s most popular tourist beach destinations, Manuel Reyes, 37, said he was earning a decent living. But the island’s lack of basic rights and stagnant economic growth was suffocating, he said. He was denied visas to the U.S. and Canada and tried leaving Cuba three times on homemade rafts but was forced back each time due to mechanical failures.

Finally gaining a Mexico visa, he flew to Monterrey on Jan. 12 and arrived at the Nuevo Laredo border crossing early the next morning. Dreams of joining friends in Miami or Las Vegas came to an abrupt end when he learned of the changed policy.

Like most others gathered here, Reyes said he’s not leaving. He sleeps at a local church and prays each day for a reversal in U.S. policy.

“We’re going to stay firm. We have a lot of faith,” he said. “And there are many more Cubans coming.”

CU Blog - Farewell to Obama and to 'Wet Foot-Dry Foot' - Photo 4

Related stories:

Obama ends ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy for Cubans

Cuban-Americans at odds over ‘wet foot, dry foot’ repeal

In final days, Obama administration signs law enforcement pact with Cuba

On 2nd anniversary, Cubans race to sign U.S. contracts to secure opening

Source: Posted Jan. 19, 2017; retrieved Jan 20, 2017 from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/01/19/cubans-texas-border-wet-foot-dry-foot/96770142/

One person can disrupt the lives of so many people … in the Caribbean.

The ‘Wet Foot / Dry Foot’ policy was initiated by Presidential Executive Order – by Clinton.

The ‘Wet Foot / Dry Foot’ policy was canceled by Presidential Executive Order – by Obama.

So the new president – Donald Trump – can readily re-institute a ‘Wet Foot / Dry Foot’ policy again.

Please, Mr. President Trump, do not do it!

We do not need to send the wrong message to people in the Caribbean that it is OK to take to the High Seas and endanger their lives, or their children lives. We also do not need to incite Smugglers and Human Traffickers – see Appendix A VIDEO – to entice Caribbean citizens to flee their homeland. The cancellation of the ‘Wet Foot / Dry Foot’ policy takes away the incentive, inducement and rationale for migrating in the first place.

Why do people want to leave their Caribbean homes?

Two factors: “Push” and “Pull”. These factors highlight reasons that people want to flee “home” and seek “refuge” in foreign countries. “Refuge” is an appropriate word; because of societal defects, many from the Caribbean must leave as refugees – think LGBTDisabilityDomestic-abuseMedically-challenged – for their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. In addition, the lure of a more prosperous life in the US (and other destinations) drive the “pull” side of the equation, making most people emigrating economic refugees.

A key problem with this ‘Wet Foot / Dry Foot’ migration policy is that it echoes a bad and wrong message, that some Caribbean people are “Less Than“, and the rest of the people are worth even less than that.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean posits that the region should be “mad as hell and refuse” to accept the continuation of any image defying immigration policy. As a people, we must not tolerate just any standards; we must stand for something more and better. We must fight for change … with revolutionary fervor.

Another dire consequence of the ‘Wet Foot / Dry Foot’ policy is that it hardened the attitudes of other Caribbean countries in the middle of migrant source countries (like Cuba and Haiti) and their American destination. The Bahamas, in particular in the Caribbean, had been “in the way” and have thusly developed harsh attitudes and treatment of Cuban and Haitian refugees. This country have changed their constitution to tighten their immigration policy to end the automatic birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants; this is the provision:

The Bahamas no longer automatically grants citizenship to people born in its homeland, as was the case for all citizens born before Independence in 1973. There are now special provisos that applies when one parent is or is not a Bahamian citizen; many of these provisos are gender-biased.

Other countries that have been in the way” include Mexico and Guyana.

The Caribbean member-states are badly in need of remediation, to lower the “push and pull” factors that drive so many to risk their ‘life and limb’, and those of their children, to take flight to where “Wet Foot / Dry Foot” would matter. How can we reform and transform? While this is easier said than done, the Go Lean book and blogs posit that the effort is less to cure the Caribbean homeland than to thrive as an alien in a foreign land. So this is the quest of the Go Lean roadmap, to make the Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play for its 42 million residents across the 30 member-states. The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), which would apply best-practices for community empowerment. This roadmap has these 3 prime directives, proclaimed as follows:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance, with consideration for minority equalization, to support these engines.

How exactly can the CU impact Cuba and Haiti, the most troubled countries in the region and the primary sources of migrants? The book relates the strategy that was successful in the history of post-war Europe, the Marshall Plan. The Go Lean book details the Caribbean Marshall Plan (roadmap) for Cuba and Haiti, and other failing Caribbean communities.

The related subjects of rebooting European and Caribbean societal engines have been frequently blogged on by the Go Lean promoters, as sampled here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9813 Fidel Castro Is Dead; Now What for Cuba?
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9487 10 Things We Want from Europe and 10 Things We Do Not Want
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6563 Lessons from Iceland – Model of Recovery
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5733 Better than America? Yes, We Can!
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3473 Haiti’s Caracol Industrial Park – a preview of a Self-Governing Entity
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3455 Restoration of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba – Need for Re-boot Now
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3090 Introduction to Europe – All Grown Up
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2907 Local Miami Haitian leaders protest Bahamian ‘Bad’ immigration policy
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2809 A Lesson in History: Economics of East Germany
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2330 ‘Raul Castro reforms not enough’, Cuba’s bishops say
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1531 A Lesson in History: 100 Years Ago Today – World War I
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1433 Caribbean 70% brain drain to foreign shores
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1014 All is not well in the sunny Caribbean
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=599 Ailing Puerto Rico open to radical economic fixes
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=273 10 Things We Want from the US and 10 Things We Do Not Want

The Go Lean book details a series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to optimize the “push/pull” factors that send Caribbean citizens to the High Seas to flee their homeland:

Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Anti-Bullying and Mitigation Page 23
Community Ethos – Minority Equalization Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision –  Integrate region into a Single Market Economy Page 45
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Department of Homeland Security Page 75
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid Page 115
Planning – 10 Big Ideas … in the Caribbean Region – Haiti & Cuba Page 127
Planning – Ways to Ways to Model the EU – From Worst to First Page 130
Planning – Reasons Why the CU Will Succeed – Germany Reconciliation Model Page 132
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices – Cuba & Haiti on the List Page 134
Planning – Lessons from East Germany – European post-war rebuilding Page 139
Planning – Lessons from the US Constitution Page 145
Planning – Lessons from Canada’s History Page 146
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 172
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Empowering Immigration – Case Study of Indian Migrants Page 174
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Justice Page 178
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora Page 217
Advocacy – Ways to Protect Human Rights Page 220
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Cuba Page 236
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Dominican Republic Page 237
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Haiti Page 238
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Jamaica Page 239
Appendix – Puerto Rico Migrations to New York Page 303

All of the Caribbean needs to deal with our domestic issues … now! We do not need the good fortune of putting ‘Dry Foot’ on US soil. We need to just work to fix our home. This is the purpose of the Go Lean book, to show how … to minimize the push-pull factors leading to societal abandonment.

The Go Lean/CU roadmap has proposed the solutions: assembling of many regional organization and institutions to engage reboot strategies, tactics and implementations.

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean to learn the lessons from other societies. The Go Lean book posits that the Caribbean is in a serious crisis, but asserts that this crisis would be a terrible thing to waste. The people and governing institutions of Cuba, Haiti and the entire Caribbean region are hereby urged to lean-in for the empowerments described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. The Caribbean should be the greatest address on the planet. People should be dying to get in, not dying to get out. It is time to reboot and turn-around our fortunes.

Let’s do this … right, just us, with no American interference – no ‘Wet Foot/Dry Foot’ – just Caribbean solutions.

Farewell Obama and farewell to ‘Wet Foot/Dry Foot’. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix A VIDEO – U.S. Upgrades Cuba’s Ranking on Human Trafficking List https://youtu.be/JPkuw4ak9eM

Published on Jul 28, 2015 – The U.S. State Department government upgraded Cuba’s ranking in its Human Trafficking list. According to Washington, Cuba has made significant progress in combatting sex and human trafficking and now stands at midlevel in the annual list. teleSUR http://multimedia.telesurtv.net/v/us-…

  •  Category: News & Politics
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Appendix B VIDEO – Bad Old Days: Cuban Human Traffickinghttps://youtu.be/CTwMouJKL38

Published on Oct 23, 2013 – Latest news across Belize; source: http://edition.channel5belize.com/

  • Category: News & Politics
  • License: Standard YouTube License


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