Let Cuba Live Committee of Maine says end Cuban Adjustment Act

Maine’s Let Cuba Live organization is marking 25 years of work on behalf of decent relations between the United States and Cuba by petitioning the U. S. Congress to end the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA). Spokeswoman Judy Robbins recently pointed out that “the CAA absolutely blocks progress toward normalization of relations that began a year ago. It’s time now — way past time — to end a terrible law,” she said. 

Robbins indicated people can sign the petition at: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-house-of-representatives-u-s-senate-congress-repeal-the-cuban-adjustment-act-now. The petition also appears on the group’s website at www.letcubalive.org. The U. S. Congress passed the Cuban Adjustment Act in 1966.

Let Cuba Live puts forth this argument for ending the CAA:

“We call upon the U. S. Congress to repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA). 

“The CAA is more than the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that it is often associated with. In force for almost 50 years, that law has led to the deaths of innumerable Cubans crossing the Florida Straits in small boats.  The survivors, arriving without documents, can expect permanent U.S. residency, which the CAA guarantees. 

“In both theory and practice, the CAA is unfair and discriminatory. It privileges the majority of Cubans migrating to the United States who are economic migrants. U.S. policies bar similar migrants from every other country in the world. The law hypocritically encourages irregular Cuban migration to the United States even as U.S. travel to Cuba is criminalized and all other Caribbean and Latin American migrants are persecuted.

“The CAA infringes upon Cuba’s sovereign power to determine its own affairs. For example, it entices Cuban professionals away from prioritized work, notably Cuban doctors working abroad. The CAA enables them to move to the United States under the auspices of the State Department’s Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program.  The CAA also encourages Cubans to evade their nation’s now liberal regulations governing foreign travel and migration.

“There is new urgency for the CAA to be ended now. Through this law, the United States is complicit with Cuban migrants currently violating the border regulations of sovereign South and Central American nations. Propelled by the CAA, Cubans trekking north to Texas are creating turmoil in those countries.

“Above all else, the CAA is an anomaly in the new era of eased Cuba – U.S. relations. Normalization of bi-national relations is impossible while the CAA continues.”

Photo: Obama and Castro.  |  AP


W. T. Whitney Jr.
W. T. Whitney Jr.

W.T. Whitney Jr. grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont and now lives in rural Maine. He practiced and taught pediatrics for 35 years and long ago joined the Cuba solidarity movement, working with Let Cuba Live of Maine, Pastors for Peace, and the Venceremos Brigade. He writes on Latin America and health issues for the People's World.