Desperate Cubans continue to fight against an authoritarian communist regime—yet the Biden administration said that it will not allow Cuban refugees to enter the U.S. by maritime migration. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, himself a native of Cuba, said that while the DHS supports Cubans’ call for freedom, “the time is never right to attempt migration by sea.” Mayorkas also noted that refugees who establish “fear of persecution or torture” will be referred to other countries for resettlement.
Dr. Juan Valdes, an alumnus of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) and a first-generation Cuban-American who is a seminary professor, author, and pastor based in Miami, Florida, commented from a biblical perspective on the crisis and the administration’s puzzling response to it.
“Is it too much to demand consistency and coherence from the White House?” said Dr. Valdes. “How can this administration affirm that the Cuban people are suffering repression from an authoritarian regime and then demand that individuals intercepted at sea ‘establish a well-founded fear of persecution and torture’ to avoid repatriation? Is the fear of persecution, torture, and death not established clearly enough by the mere act of fleeing the country in such a perilous fashion? What else could motivate a mother to risk her life and that of her children by taking a makeshift raft into shark-infested waters knowing that the odds are heavily stacked against her? Is the fear not obvious when Cubans are determined to escape even if it means they may die trying?”
Of the growing crisis in Cuba, plus the ongoing chaos and disorder at our southern border, Dr. Valdes added, “Speaking of inconsistencies, why would a government that grants political asylum to tens of thousands of Middle Eastern families not grant the same political asylum to Cuban families? Why would a government that is allowing 250 asylum seekers to enter the country daily through our southern border with Mexico, based solely on recommendations of humanitarian groups, then turn around and deny asylum to a group that President Biden himself acknowledges are fleeing from a ‘failed state’ and a ‘repressive authoritarian regime’? Apparently, consistency and coherence are not a priority for [our] government, even when lives are at stake.”
Valdes further elaborated: “As with most issues where conflicting opinions carry the day, the crisis in Cuba highlights the importance of true critical thinking. If the objective is finding the truth about the Cuban crisis, it would be foolish to neglect the narrative of the masses currently living in the midst of it. It seems rather obvious that the experience of the Cuban community should carry much more weight than the opinion of outsiders. Uninformed opinions may garner a lot of ‘likes’ on social media, but they are worthless in the pursuit of truth. For example, statements from Black Lives Matter blaming the U.S. embargo for the current crisis are not only foolish—they betray a total disregard for true critical thinking.”
-CNJ Staff Reports