Ann Louise Bardach

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Why Are Cubans So Special?

Every Cuban knows the “wet foot, dry foot” drill: Risk fleeing to the United States and get caught at sea, and you will be sent back to the island; but if you wangle just one toe onto dry land, you’re home free. From there, typically, it’s a fast track to permanent residency, and eligibility for all manner of benefits, from green cards to welfare, then citizenship — all compliments of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. Indeed, for almost a half century, Cubans have been the most privileged immigrants in the United States.

The repeal of this Cold War relic of immigration policy is long overdue.…  Seguir leyendo »

The tribute concert Aug. 12 for Fidel Castro’s 85th birthday, at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana, was billed as the Serenata de la Fidelidad (the Serenade to Fidelity). In terms of flat-footed plays on the name of Cuba’s maximum leader, I prefer “The Fideliad” — which speaks to his epic, exhausting and endless run, which began in 1959.

Some 5,000 concertgoers turned out for the homage by 22 singers, including Omara Portuondo of the Buena Vista Social Club, but the guest of honor was not present. Instead, he settled for a quiet celebration with family, his 80-year-old brother and presidential successor, Raúl, and his devoted disciple, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.…  Seguir leyendo »